Last year's pollution data for Oxford

Richard Parnham made this Freedom of Information request to Oxford City Council

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Dear Oxford City Council,

On tonight's local BBC evening local news, Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, mentioned that pollution levels in Oxford had dropped considerably last year (2020) compared with previously.

Please send me the pollution monitoring data that underlies that assertion - even if unverified at this point. Please send me the data in as granular form as is available - i.e. ideally, per pollution monitoring station in, in whatever interval periods this data is collected.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Parnham

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Mr Parnham,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference:9847
 
Thank you for your email below.  Your request was received on 2nd February
2021 and you will be sent a response within 20 working days (of receipt)
in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000/ Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), subject to the information not being
exempt or containing reference to a third party.
 
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recognises the unprecedented
challenges all are facing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
 
In particular they understand that resources, whether they are finances or
people, may be diverted away from usual compliance or information rights
work. Whilst the ICO can’t extend statutory timescales, they will not be
penalising public authorities for prioritising other areas or adapting
their usual approach during this extraordinary period.
 
Therefore while the Council will make every effort to comply with the
Statutory Requirements you may experience understandable delays when
making information rights requests during the pandemic.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer
 
Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City
Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
 
 

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freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Parnham,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference:9847
 
Further to the acknowledgement below, it is more proper to consider your
request in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
(EIR), rather than the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Therefore, I can
respond to your  EIR request received on 2nd February 2021 as follows:
 
On tonight's local BBC evening local news, Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy
Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford,
mentioned that pollution levels in Oxford had dropped considerably last
year (2020) compared with previously.
 
Please send me the pollution monitoring data that underlies that assertion
- even if unverified at this point. Please send me the data in as granular
form as is available - i.e. ideally, per pollution monitoring station in,
in whatever interval periods this data is collected.
 
Response:
 
The website where the air pollution data can be seen are:
[1]https://www.airqualityengland.co.uk/
       
Please see attached the comparison of the NO2 annual means and monthly
means between 2019 and 2020 for all our 3 automatic monitors as referred
to.
Data for 2020 is still not ratified data
 
 
If you disagree with any part of the response to your request, you are
entitled to ask the Council for an internal review of the decision(s)
made.  You may do this by writing to the Monitoring Officer, by either
email – [2][email address] – or by post to Monitoring Officer, Oxford
City Council, St Aldate’s Chambers, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1DS.  After
the result of the internal review, if you remain dissatisfied, you may ask
the Information Commissioner to intervene on your behalf.  You may do this
by writing to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer
 
Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City
Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Email: [3][email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
 
 
 
_____________________________________________

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Dear Oxford City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I had expected to receive granular (i.e. day by day, or whatever time period the data is collected) pollution data from the whole of the Oxford City area for 2020 - notwithstanding that the data is not yet verified at this point. What I received was a snapshot of data from just three sites. This is insufficient for what I need. I want to see how COVID had affected pollution levels across the whole of the city, and explore the results in a granular, site by site level.

This data may form the basis of a legal challenge about various anti-car measures currently being pursued by Oxford City and County Council - so I cannot wait until the verified data is eventually produced in the summer.

I appreciate my question was slightly ambiguous in its scope. However, the council seems to have taken a very minimalist interpretation of what I am asking for. Please therefore conduct a formal review of what I originally asked for, taking an expansive interpretation of the information I was requesting. Alternatively, please treat this as a new request. Either way, I want to receive as granular 2020 pollution data as you can possibly provide me, from every monitoring station across Oxford city.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

Yours faithfully,

Richard Parnham

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Mr Parnham,

Oxford City Council – Reference:9887

Thank you for your email below. Your request was received on 12th February 2021 and at this stage we are treating your request as a new request rather than an internal review. You will be sent a response within 20 working days (of receipt) in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000/ Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), subject to the information not being exempt or containing reference to a third party.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recognises the unprecedented challenges all are facing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In particular they understand that resources, whether they are finances or people, may be diverted away from usual compliance or information rights work. Whilst the ICO can’t extend statutory timescales, they will not be penalising public authorities for prioritising other areas or adapting their usual approach during this extraordinary period.

Therefore while the Council will make every effort to comply with the Statutory Requirements you may experience understandable delays when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer

Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance. Get tested if you have symptoms.

show quoted sections

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Mr Parnham,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference:9887
 
Further to the acknowledgement below, it is more proper to consider your
request in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
(EIR), rather than the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Therefore, I can
respond to your  EIR request received on 12th February 2021 as follows:
 
The granular data which is being requested was already made available to
you in your previous response EIR 9847. It can all be found on the website
here:
 
[1]https://www.airqualityengland.co.uk/
 
which we previously provided. Here you can search data in exactly the
format you wish to receive it, in 1 hour intervals.
 
If you disagree with any part of the response to your request, you are
entitled to ask the Council for an internal review of the decision(s)
made.  You may do this by writing to the Monitoring Officer, by either
email – [email address] – or by post to Monitoring Officer, Oxford
City Council, St Aldate’s Chambers, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1DS.  After
the result of the internal review, if you remain dissatisfied, you may ask
the Information Commissioner to intervene on your behalf.  You may do this
by writing to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer
 
Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City
Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Richard Parnham

Dear Oxford City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing in relation to Oxford City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Last year's pollution data for Oxford'.

You have not delivered what I wanted, against my quite clearly stated request. You have pointed me in the direction of a website that shows pollution data from just three sites in Oxford. I want all of last year's pollution data (even if unverified), as captured via numerous "diffusion tubes", across Oxford.

This is not a request for an appeal. It's a request that you correctly read what I very clearly asked for, understand it, and give me the data.

Thank you.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

Yours faithfully,

Richard Parnham

GRIFFITHS Emma, Oxford City Council

13 Attachments

Dear Mr Parnham,

I have been asked by Susan Sale, the Council's Head of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer to deal with your request for an internal review in relation to your request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (FOI 9847 and EIR 9887).

Your original request was made on 2 February 2021 when you wrote to the Council:
"Please send me the pollution monitoring data that underlies that assertion - even if unverified at this point. Please send me the data in as granular form as is available - i.e. ideally, per pollution monitoring station in, in whatever interval periods this data is collected."

On 10 February 2021 my colleague, Kathryn Winfield wrote to you with the following information:

" The website where the air pollution data can be seen are:
[1]https://www.airqualityengland.co.uk/

Please see attached the comparison of the NO2 annual means and monthly
means between 2019 and 2020 for all our 3 automatic monitors as referred
to.
Data for 2020 is still not ratified data". An excel spreadsheet was attached to that email for your information.

On 12 February 2021 you wrote to the Council again:

" Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I had expected to receive granular (i.e. day by day, or whatever time period the data is collected) pollution data from the whole of the Oxford City area for 2020 - notwithstanding that the data is not yet verified at this point. What I received was a snapshot of data from just three sites. This is insufficient for what I need. I want to see how COVID had affected pollution levels across the whole of the city, and explore the results in a granular, site by site level.

This data may form the basis of a legal challenge about various anti-car measures currently being pursued by Oxford City and County Council - so I cannot wait until the verified data is eventually produced in the summer.

I appreciate my question was slightly ambiguous in its scope. However, the council seems to have taken a very minimalist interpretation of what I am asking for. Please therefore conduct a formal review of what I originally asked for, taking an expansive interpretation of the information I was requesting. Alternatively, please treat this as a new request. Either way, I want to receive as granular 2020 pollution data as you can possibly provide me, from every monitoring station across Oxford city.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

I have considered your request for information and the data that has so far been provided to you in relation to FOI 9847 and EIR 9887. I have attached some further data to this email which are the lab results showing the monthly concentrations measured at all of the Council's air quality monitoring sites throughout 2020. I have also attached the spreadsheet that you have been sent previously which shows all the hourly measurements of NO2 recorded during the period 01/01/2020 to 31/12/2020 at each of the 3 automatic air quality monitoring stations in Oxford.

The Council does not hold any further information in connection with your requests for information.

I hope that this information is helpful.

If you are not satisfied with this response you may ask the Information Commissioner to intervene on your behalf. You may do this by writing to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely,
Emma Griffiths
For and on behalf of Susan Sale, Head of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer, Oxford City Council

Emma Griffiths | Lawyer | Law & Governance | Oxford City Council | St Aldate's Chambers | St Aldate's | Oxford OX1 1DS | DX 4309 Oxford 1 | 01865 252208 (POST POINT SAC 3.8)

Service of documents by email is accepted at [email address] only. The subject header must be marked 'SERVICE'.  Service by fax is not accepted.

Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance. Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
     

0016836 / 00641852

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