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Leisure Review 2016

John Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Dacorum Borough Council

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Dear Dacorum Borough Council,

Please send me a copies of:

1. The "Leisure Review" referred to at Item 17 on the agenda for the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13 December 2016 - "LEISURE REVIEW - REVIEW OF THE COUNCIL'S APPROACH TO MANAGING
LEISURE SERVICES"

2. Pages 179-190 of the Reports Pack for the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13 December 2016.

3. The Minutes and Decision(s) for Item 17 on the agenda for the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13 December 2016 - "LEISURE REVIEW - REVIEW OF THE COUNCIL'S APPROACH TO MANAGING
LEISURE SERVICES"

Yours faithfully,

Matt Bullard

Freedom Of Information Mailbox, Dacorum Borough Council

Dear John,
Thank you for your request.
Please note the Ref No/Target Date above - your request has been routed to the relevant department for consideration.
'Automatically Generated e-mail.'

The information in this message should be regarded as confidential and is intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified. The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those of Dacorum Borough Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware that emails sent to or received from Dacorum Borough Council may be intercepted and read by the council. Interception will only occur to ensure compliance with council policies or procedures or regulatory obligations, to prevent or deter crime, or for the purposes of essential maintenance or support of the email system.

Dear Freedom Of Information Mailbox,

Your reply to my request for information is overdue. I would be grateful for a response ASAP please.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

Robert Smyth, Dacorum Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear John Smith

 

Please find a response to your request for information under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000.

Thanks

Rob

 

Robert Smyth
Assistant Director – Performance, People & Innovation

Dacorum Borough Council

 

T: 01442 228979 (ext. 2979)
M: 07958370866
E: [1][email address]
A: The Forum | Marlowes | Hemel Hempstead | HP1 1DN

 

 

 

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Dear Dacorum Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Dacorum Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Leisure Review 2016'.

I have requested the following information which you have not provided, citing sections 43 and 42(1)(2) of the FOI Act:

(1) The "Leisure Review" referred to at Item 17 on the agenda for the Cabinet
meeting on Tuesday 13 December 2016 - "LEISURE REVIEW - REVIEW OF
THE COUNCIL'S APPROACH TO MANAGING LEISURE SERVICES"
(2) Pages 179-190 of the Reports Pack for the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13
December 2016.
(3) The Minutes and Decision(s) for Item 17 on the agenda for the Cabinet
meeting on Tuesday 13 December 2016 - "LEISURE REVIEW - REVIEW OF
THE COUNCIL'S APPROACH TO MANAGING LEISURE SERVICES"

In relation to section 43, you have said "Disclosing the commercially sensitive information in the report and minutes would prejudice the Council’s position and the interests of the third party. This includes details relating to their commercial bid."

I believe this response is flawed. The information I have requested originates from a time before the you had put the sports and leisure service out to tender and therefore you cannot at that stage have possibly been in receipt of a "commercial bid" from a "third party", because you had not publicly invited any such bids. There can therefore not be any prejudice to any third party. Unless of course you had received an uninvited bid from a third party, which the Cabinet was considering outside of normal, fair and lawful procurement processes?

To justify this aspect of your response you should in my view confirm whether and if so which of the information requested contains information pertaining to a third party's bid. I do not believe that any of it does, and I certainly do not believe that all three documents do, given the time from which they originate.

In relation to the prejudicing the council's position, you have now completed the competition and awarded a 10 year contract to a new provider. Whilst I accept that the information requested may reveal the council's position at the time the information was created, it can in no way prejudice the council's position now that you have made and publicised your final decision. Because your position is now final, no person could now be advantaged or disadvantaged from information that may reveal the council's position at that time, because neither you nor they can alter your position now - it is final. Indeed, and contrary to your application of this FOI exemption, information revealing the council's position at that time should meet the public interest test for disclosure. As you well know, there has been an unprecedented level of opposition to your re-tendering of these services, much of it centred on concern arising from a lack of understanding from residents as to why you chose the path you did. Information pertaining to your position at that time would increase the transparency of the contracting of these services.

In relation to section 42(1)(2) you have said "The Council can confirm that Legal Advice has been given in respect to this matter, but that information is exempt by virtue, of it being Legal Advice given by the Solicitor to the Council to Council Officers / Members."

I do not believe that all of the information I requested constitutes legal advice within the meaning of this exemption, and am doubtful that any of it does. The Leisure Review is a document I understand to have been provided to the council in whole or at least in part by non-legal consultants and so it is very difficult to believe that it constitutes legal advice, and as such I do not believe that this exemption can be fairly applied to the Review or the pages of the reports pack I have requested. In respect of the minutes of the cabinet meeting, I am requesting minutes of a discussion concerning a review paper and reports pack which I do not believe constitutes legal advice, and so it is therefore difficult to understand how the minutes themselves could constitute legal advice. I also note that for the published minutes and reports pack the reasons given for not publishing these sections do not mention anything about them containing legal advice.

I invite you to consider again whether these exemptions apply and particularly if they apply to all of the information requested. If they do not apply to all of the information then, in the interests of transparency, please kindly provide the information requested but with any genuinely commercial or legal sensitivities redacted.

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,

John Smith

Freedom Of Information Mailbox, Dacorum Borough Council

Dear Mr Smith,

By way of an update - The lawyer dealing with this request for review will be reviewing this w/c 10th April.

We will hope to have a response to you by the end of that week at the latest.

Kind Regards
FOI Team

The information in this message should be regarded as confidential and is intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified. The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those of Dacorum Borough Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware that emails sent to or received from Dacorum Borough Council may be intercepted and read by the council. Interception will only occur to ensure compliance with council policies or procedures or regulatory obligations, to prevent or deter crime, or for the purposes of essential maintenance or support of the email system.

Freedom Of Information Mailbox, Dacorum Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir,

Please find attached the Council's response to your request for a review of FOI 5768

Kind Regards
FOI Team,

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are John Smith please sign in and let everyone know.