Licenced Betting Offices in Tower Hamlets 2007-13

Richard Richardson made this Freedom of Information request to Tower Hamlets Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Richard Richardson

Dear Tower Hamlets Borough Council,

Please could you release to me information on how many Licensed Betting Offices were licensed in Tower Hamlets in each year from 2007 to 2013.

For clarity: I wish to understand the total number of bookmakers licenced in each year 2007-13 and how that has changed over time. Some councils make their current register available online, unfortunately this gives just the current number not the historic trend.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Richardson

Misbaul Faim, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Your request for information has been considered under the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please following the link below.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

[1]http://www.towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/docume...

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

You can also search our Disclosure Log for any specific topics of interest
[2]http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...

 

The Council’s website [3]www.towerhamlets.gov.uk contains a section on the
Freedom of Information Act that lists other publications readily available
from the Council under its Publication Scheme.

 

Conditions for the re-use of information where the [4]copyright is owned
by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets can be found on our website.

 

If you are unhappy with this response or wish to complain about any aspect
of the handling of this request please write to:

 

Corporate Complaints Unit

Tower Hamlets Town Hall

Mulberry Place

5 Clove Crescent

London E14 2BG

[5][email address]

 

If you are still dissatisfied with the Council’s response after the
internal review you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner
at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

[6]www.ico.org.uk

 

Regards

 

Misbaul Faim

Information Governance Administrator

Legal Services 6th Floor

Mulberry Place

London E14 2BG

020 7364 1714

[7][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/docume...
2. http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...
http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...
3. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
4. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgsl/1051...
5. mailto:[email address]
6. http://www.ico.org.uk/
7. mailto:[email address]

Richard Richardson

Dear Misbaul Faim,

thank you for this response, which looks like a reference to an earlier similar but slightly different request by someone else.

A manual count gives me
71 in 2007
then new licences of
3 in 2008
1 in 2009
3 in 2010
4 in 2011
0 in 2012
1 in 2013

(though it is unclear if this refers to all of 2013 as this request only asked for licences as close to 1st Sept 2012 as available suggesting this response was completed some time in 2013 but before the end of the year).

Crucially there are no details of any licences that lapsed, were surrendered or revoked during the period so it is not possible to calculate (as requested) the total number of bookmakers licenced in each year.

From this information I can only calculate a maximum number for 2008,2009,2010,2011 & 2012 - it may not be correct just to add the new licensees.

For 2013 I can't even be sure 71+3+1+3+4+0+1=83 is the maximum as others could have been licenced later in 2013. Besides which it is not the maximum number I am asking about it is the actual number of bookmakers operating each year and so lapsed, revoked or surrendered licences are relevant.

Please could you tell me how many bookmakers were licenced in each year, which is different to the request for bookmakers addresses.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Jane L Jones, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

 
 
Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for your email.
 
Your request is being considered and you will receive a response within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as required by the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.
 
If the time taken to meet your request is likely to exceed 18 hours, we
will likely refuse to provide the information.  In that case, we will try
to contact you and offer advice and assistance on how to amend your
request to bring it below this time limit.
 
Regards
 
 
Jane Jones
Information Governance Administrative Officer
Legal Services
6th Floor
Mulberry Place
London E14 2BG
0207 364 4736
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jane L Jones, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

1 Attachment

 
 
Dear Sir/Madam
 
Your request for information has been considered under the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please following the link below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
You can also search our Disclosure Log for any specific topics of interest
[1]http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...
 
The Council’s website [2]www.towerhamlets.gov.uk contains a section on the
Freedom of Information Act that lists other publications readily available
from the Council under its Publication Scheme.
 
Conditions for the re-use of information where the [3]copyright is owned
by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets can be found on our website.
 
If you are unhappy with this response or wish to complain about any aspect
of the handling of this request please write to:
 
Corporate Complaints Unit
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
[4][email address]
 
If you are still dissatisfied with the Council’s response after the
internal review you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner
at:
 
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
[5]www.ico.org.uk
 
Regards
 
 
Jane Jones
Information Governance Administrative Officer
Legal Services
6th Floor
Mulberry Place
London E14 2BG
020 7364 4736
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...
2. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
3. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgsl/1051...
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Richard Richardson

Dear Jane L Jones,

I have checked the attached spreadsheet and again it appears to be information produced for an earlier FOI request for someone else and merely details licensing events for a range of addresses.

There is data on the starting point of licenses and some licensing events for specific addresses but there is no data on when a licence was revoked, surrendered or lapsed, information that you have a statutory duty under the Gambling Act to maintain a register of, available for public inspection.

I have requested this information from every council in Great Britain, about a third of them have already been able to answer it - twelve councils provided complete information within a day. Now one of those did this via reference to an earlier FOI request but that actually had the information in it. Randomly chucking information out on the same subject because others have asked for that in the past in the hope that it answers the request is not likely to work.

The important information for this request is the date the betting shop license was first issued, whether it is current and where it is not current when the licence ended. Please could you supply this information?

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Jane L Jones, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

I am out the office and will return on Monday 7th April 2014 contact Ruth
Dowden or Robert Wingate. 

 

For anything urgent or Freedom of Information requests please email
[Tower Hamlets Borough Council request email]

Thank you

Jane Jones

Information Governance Administrative Officer

Legal Services

6th Floor

Mulberry Place

London E14 2BG

020 7364 4736

 

Richard Richardson

Dear Tower Hamlets Borough Council,

Has there been any progress with regard to thin FOI request?

Yours faithfully,

Richard Richardson

Freedom of Information, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

1 Attachment

Hi a response was sent on 21st March I am not sure what has happened, sorry.

Dear Sir/Madam

Your request for information has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please see attached.

You can also search our Disclosure Log for any specific topics of interest http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...

The Council’s website www.towerhamlets.gov.uk contains a section on the Freedom of Information Act that lists other publications readily available from the Council under its Publication Scheme.

Conditions for the re-use of information where the copyright is owned by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets can be found on our website.

If you are unhappy with this response or wish to complain about any aspect of the handling of this request please write to:

Corporate Complaints Unit
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
[email address]

If you are still dissatisfied with the Council’s response after the internal review you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.ico.org.uk

Regards

Jane Jones
Information Governance Administrative Officer
Legal Services
6th Floor
Mulberry Place
London E14 2BG
020 7364 4736

Richard Richardson

Dear Freedom of Information,

I have had two responses from you, both seem to be data dumps from earlier requests and not related to my specific request. The two responses are contradictory.

The question is simple - how many bookmakers were operating in Tower Hamlets in each year 2007-2013. I have rechecked the second data file and it suggests

2007 - 67
2008 - 68 (+3 -2)
2009 - 70 (+2)
2010 - 72 (+4 -2)
2011 - 76 (+5 -1)
2012 - 77 (+1)
2013 - 74 (-4 +1)

but this contradicts the earlier reply and has a very unusual pattern with an implied drop in 2013 as a result of no new annual licences being issued, I suspect some of these are syill operating.

What seems to be happening here is that instead of responding to the FOI request you are chucking data sets from other questions at me, worse they are mutually incompatible. (ie 71 in 2007 vs 67) - they are also likely incomplete - ie William Hill 26 Market Way which is listed as an annual fee paid on 17/8/2010 but no licence issued.

This is a statutory duty for the council. Not just responding under FOI but since 1st September 2007 maintaining a register of licenced premises available for public inspection (Gamblign Act 2005.

I have spent ages analysing the random spreadsheets sent to me - why not try answering the FOI request properly? 13 councils did answer completely within a single day - seriously, failing to answer properly just makes it more expensive and leads to frustration.

What I need is the total of new licences issued in each year 2007-13 and the number of licences surrendered revoked or lapsed in each year 2007-13 - not hard, and a statutory duty.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Freedom of Information, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

Mr Richardson

FOI 10278 Licenced Betting Offices in Tower Hamlets

I have sent your email to licensing to respond to and will be in touch shortly. Sorry about this.

Thank you

Jane

show quoted sections

Jane L Jones, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

1 Attachment

 
 
Dear Sir/Madam
 
Your request for information has been considered under the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please see below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
You can also search our Disclosure Log for any specific topics of interest
[1]http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...
 
The Council’s website [2]www.towerhamlets.gov.uk contains a section on the
Freedom of Information Act that lists other publications readily available
from the Council under its Publication Scheme.
 
Conditions for the re-use of information where the [3]copyright is owned
by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets can be found on our website.
 
If you are unhappy with this response or wish to complain about any aspect
of the handling of this request please write to:
 
Corporate Complaints Unit
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
[4][email address]
 
If you are still dissatisfied with the Council’s response after the
internal review you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner
at:
 
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
[5]www.ico.org.uk
 
Regards
 
 
Jane Jones
Information Governance Administrative Officer
Legal Services
6th Floor
Mulberry Place
London E14 2BG
020 7364 4736
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...
2. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
3. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgsl/1051...
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Richard Richardson

Dear Tower Hamlets Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Tower Hamlets Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Licenced Betting Offices in Tower Hamlets 2007-13'.

I have now received three sets of contradictory information in response to a fairly straightforward request. None of the three can agree on the number licenced in 2007.

The second set of data suggested
2007 - 67
2008 - 68 (+3 -2)
2009 - 70 (+2)
2010 - 72 (+4 -2)
2011 - 76 (+5 -1)
2012 - 77 (+1)
2013 - 74 (-4 +1)

The third set says
2007 - 74
2008 - 4 ??
2009 - 79
2010 - 75
2011 - 62 ??
2012 - 78
2013 - 70

This final response is clearly not accurate with regard to 2008, 2011 should also be treated with some concern, though it is likely the most complete of the three (contradictory) responses. An alternate source also likely derived from an FOI request puts the current number operating as 81.

Given the clear inconsistencies within this third set of data I feel that I have no option but to seek an internal review.

The question is how many bookies were operating in each year. From the register the date licences were issued and the date they were revoked/lapsed/surrendered should be known so the calculation should be straightforward.

So far 274 English councils have answered this question completely 14 did so in a single working day. Please can you review this response and supply a definitive response which does not include clear anomalies?

To date I remain unclear how many were licenced in 2007 when the register began and unclear about how many were operating in 2013 or today.

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 Richardson

Richard Carter, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

1-87553845 FOI 10587 Licenced Betting Offices in Tower Hamlets 2007-13

 

 

Dear Mr Richardson

 

I was sorry to hear of your concerns.

 

I have passed your complaint to Joytun Akther, Complaints and Information
Officer, asking that a full investigation takes place on my behalf under
Stage 3 of the Council’s Complaints Procedure.

 

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

 

Sent on behalf of

 

David Galpin

Service Head - Legal Services

 

 

 

Many Thanks

 

Richard Carter

Complaints and Information Officer

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Town Hall

5 Mulberry Place

Clove Crescent

London

E14 2BG

 

Phone: 020 7364 4164

 

 

 

Joytun Akther, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Richardson

 

Please find attached the Stage 3 reply, together with the response to your
FOI request.

 

Kind regards

 

Joytun Akther

Complaints & Information Officer

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Town Hall

6^th Floor, Mulberry Place, Clove Crescent

London E14 2BG

Tel  020 7364 2241

 

 

Richard Richardson

Dear Joytun Akther,

Thank you for this response where regret regarding the reuse of other similar requests is acknowledged but in this final set of "accurate data" (12 May)we are still left with the fact that the 2008 figure is clearly wrong and the 2011 clearly dubious/anomalous.

I am not sure what check has been made to confirm accuracy bit it has clearly been inadequate.

The question essentially boils down to how many bookmakers were operatig in each year, the latest response clearly does not make that clear or accurately for 2008 and alnost certainly not 2011, which in turn casts doubts on the figures for all years.

Please look at this again, your response that the third reply is accurate is clearly not the case for all years.

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson

Joytun Akther, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

Thank you for your message.

 

I am in the office on Weds, Thurs and Fri when I will respond to your
emails.

 

For urgent queries, please contact:

 

Complaints & Information Team

Tel: 020 7364 4163

Email: [email address] or

Email: [email address]

 

Joytun Akther, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

Dear Mr Richardson

Thank you for your email. I have forwarded your comments to the Licensing Team, and will be in touch as soon as I have a response.

Kind regards

Joytun Akther
Complaints & Information Officer
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Town Hall
6th Floor, Mulberry Place, Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
Tel  020 7364 2241

show quoted sections

Joytun Akther, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Richardson,

Please find attached the response from the Team concerning Betting Shops.

I understand that the confusion in figures had arisen because some premises did not pay in certain years and the report was counting ‘annual fee’ reminders. Other reports run on this Freedom of Information request included different parameters, hence the various figures created.

This report has been checked several times and this is their final submission.

Please accept our sincere apology for the length of time taken to clarify this.

Kind regards

Joytun Akther
Complaints & Information Officer
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Town Hall
6th Floor, Mulberry Place, Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
Tel  020 7364 2241

show quoted sections

Richard Richardson

Dear Joytun Akther,

Thank you for this.

The second set of data suggested
2007 - 67
2008 - 68 (+3 -2)
2009 - 70 (+2)
2010 - 72 (+4 -2)
2011 - 76 (+5 -1)
2012 - 77 (+1)
2013 - 74 (-4 +1)

The third set suggested
2007 - 74
2008 - 4 ??
2009 - 79
2010 - 75
2011 - 62 ??
2012 - 78
2013 - 70

This final set suggests:
2007 - 69
2008 - 71 (+3 -1)
2009 - 70 (+2 -3)
2010 - 72 (+4 -2)
2011 - 74 (+4 -2)
2012 - 75 (+1)
2013 - 75 (+1 -1)

Now this final set is at least internally consistent but I am almost sure that it is still unreliable - what happened to the 2007 total of 74 in the second set?

I guess I have little choice but to accept this latest (checked but incredibly awkwardly presented information) as the the most accurate, but I have to say you are still failing in your staturtory duty to maintain a proper register.

Other sources put the numer today at 81 but I suspect that they have been misled by asking you how many there are.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Richardson