Minutes of the Blue Plaques Panel
Frankie Roberto made this Freedom of Information request to Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England
This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.
Dear Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England,
Please could you make available the minutes of the Blue Plaques Panel - I understand that these are available, but could not find them on your website.
If available, I would like the complete archive of the minutes from the past 10 years.
Dear Mr Roberto
Re: Freedom of Information Request - Blue Plaque panel minutes.
I am in receipt of your email, dated and received by English Heritage 18
February 2010, for response. In your email you have requested copies of
the Blue Plaque panel minutes for the last ten years.
As Access to Information Assistant for English Heritage I am responsible
for processing the request under the terms of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000. We will be writing to you within the statutory 20 working day
timeframe with a response to your request. You will be informed if this
is not possible.
If you are unhappy with the level of service you have received in relation
to your request you may ask for an internal review. You should contact:
Mr Mike Harlow, Legal Director, English Heritage, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138
- 142 Holborn, LONDON, EC1N 2ST.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
CHESHIRE, SK9 5AF.
Access to Information Assistant
E-mail: [email address]
Can I enquire as to the status of this request? I can understand if it's taking a little while to compile the information, but an update would be useful.
Dear Frances Quelch,
I received the Open Minutes (from 2007 onwards) directly via e-mail from your colleague this morning - many thanks for those. If possible, could you re-attach them in response to this e-mail so that they will be archived at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/29... (I've been contacted by several others interested in seeing the minutes)
I understand that a colleague is considering the release of the minutes from before then (2000-2007)? Could you consider this as a request for an Internal Review into those?
Thank you for your email. I am pleased that you have received the open minutes of the Blue Plaques Panel and hope that you find them informative. I understand that Jane Biro in the Blue Plaques Team has let you know that I will be dealing with your request for them and I can confirm that I have all the relevant information.
I am sorry that there seems to have been some confusion surrounding your request and thank you for your patience. I feel that it may however, be useful for me to summarise the correspondence that you have had with this team about your request up until now which should explain why this request is yet to be responded to.
From looking at our file I can see that you wrote to us initially on the 18 February and your request was acknowledged the following day. My colleague Frances Quelch then wrote (following you exchanging emails with the Blue Plaques Team) to you at your personal email address on 24 February to enquire whether or not you wished the exempt minutes to also be considered for disclosure and did not have any further correspondence with you on this matter until you wrote requesting an update on the progress of your request on 9 April. You confirmed to Frances that you would like both sets of minutes on the 21 April having exchanged emails with her the previous day. It was at this point that we began to process your request fully as up until then we were unclear as to exactly what you were asking for. I am sorry for the time that elapsed between 9 April and your request being clarified; this was due to staff leave. I hope to reply to you formally this week/early next.
I note that you say that you are unsure as to exactly what the difference is between 'open' and 'exempt' minutes. As with all EH committees and panels the business of the Blue Plaques Panel is minuted in either the 'open' or 'exempt' minutes. In summary, 'open' minutes do not require a formal request as they can be obtained once they have been agreed as a correct record. This is why the Blue Plaques Team have sent you the 'open' minutes. The 'exempt' on the other hand, have to be considered for disclosure on a case by case basis at the time the request is received. As you have asked for minutes which pre-date the implementation of the 'open' and 'exempt' minutes system I have been reviewing those along with the newer 'exempt' Panel minutes.
While I note that you have asked for an internal review I have not passed the case file to the relevant member of staff as while I appreciate that it may seem that you have been waiting for a response for some time I hope that this email helps explain the current situation and, as I say earlier, why you are yet to receive a substantive response. I would therefore ask that you wait until you have received my response and trust that this is acceptable.
Dear Jessica Trevitt,
Many thanks for your comprehensive reply, and apologies for any confusion from my end - I hadn't fully realised that your colleague was waiting upon a clarification from me.
I also slightly mis-understood the meaning of an 'Internal Review' - I'd presumed that this was simply the process you were already undertaking to consider the disclosure of the 'Exempt' minutes pre and post 2007. I see now that this has a separate meaning under the FOI act, which isn't what I intended - so you can ignore consider that request.
In terms of the exempt minutes, I see from the Open minutes which your colleague sent me that it is mainly contact details and business information which has been removed. This is perfectly okay for my purposes - it's the plaque proposals, shortlists and decisions which I think are the most interesting parts, and the most deserving of being in the public domain.
Thank you for your email. I am pleased that we have now sorted out any previous confusion. I would however, like to check whether or not you are saying, in your final paragraph below, that the information that you have at the moment is all that you would like as it is "perfectly OK for your purposes" or would you still like me to consider the 'exempt' minutes? I would also like to say that the 'exempt' minutes cover the entire 10 year period of your request and not just pre and post 2007 as you say in your email - each Panel meeting covered by the 'open' and 'exempt' system has two sets of minutes: one 'open', one 'exempt'.
Confirmation of whether or not you would like me to consider the 'exempt' minutes for disclosure would be really appreciated. You may feel that your request has been answered.
Dear Jessica Trevitt,
Apologies again for any confusion.
The Open minutes from 2007-2010 are fine for coverage of that period.
What I'd still like to receive is some form of minutes from 2000-2007 so that the complete decade is available.
I appreciate that this is a lot of minutes, but the historical value of these is really significant, and so it'd be great to make these public.
Could you also advise how far back you hold digital versions of the minutes? I know that the scheme has been running a lot longer than 10 years!
Thank you for your email. I am out of the office on the 6 May. I will repond to your email as soon as possible when I return.
If however, you need a reply sooner, or your are forwarding me a new FOI/EIR request, please contact Fran Quelch ([email address]<mailto:[email address]>) x4537 or [email address]<mailto:[email address]>.n
If your email is a new FOI/EIR request and you do not forward it to at least one of the addresses above it will not be considered to have been received and will not be processed.
Thank you for your email in which you confirm that the information that you are interested in receiving is that covering the period 2000-2006 (to the end of 2006). Don't worry about whether or not we have the information electronically. I have hard copies and will scan in, and email to this address, that which I'm able to give to you.
Blue Plaque panel open minutes from March 2007 attached.
All other minutes requested are being dealt with by Jessica Trevitt, Access
to Information Manager.
*Jane Biro *|* *Blue Plaques Coordinator
*English Heritage * | 1 Waterhouse Square | 138-142 Holborn |* *London
| EC1N 2ST
*Telephone * 020 7973 3757
Further to my below email it has become apparent that it will not be possible for me to email you the minutes that I intend to send to you in response to your request. This is due to the volume of information. Do you have a postal address that I can send it to? You can then upload the documents to the website if you wish as you did those that the Blue Plaques Team sent you.
I would advise you to use your personal email account when sending me your postal address rather than your WhatDoTheyKnow.com one, otherwise your address will be on the Internet.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Many thanks - I'll send you my postal address separately.
Dear Jessica Trevitt,
Do you have an update on these minutes? I have not received anything by post yet.
I am very sorry that you don't seem to have received my response. I don't understand why this is as I sent it on the 17 May to the address that you gave me. The papers were in a A4 gusset envelope with the address handwritten.
I will recopy the papers and post them to you again shortly.
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