Money spent on flood defences across Cheshire West and Chester

Lauren Dowell made this Freedom of Information request to Cheshire West and Chester 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 refused by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Dear Cheshire West and Chester Council,

I would like to know how much has been spent on flood defences over the last 5 years. In addition, I would also like to find out how much the council has spent repairing flood damages.

Yours faithfully,

Lauren Dowell

FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

RE: Your request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004

 

Reference: RFI 0005

 

Dear Lauren Dowell

 

Thank you for your request for information. We are dealing with your
request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

It will be treated as a request within the meaning of the Act: this means
that we will send you a full response within 20 working days, either
supplying you with the information which you want, or explaining to you
why we cannot supply it.

 

If we need any further clarification or there is any problem we will be in
touch.

 

 

Disclosures Team

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tel: 0300 123 8 123

Email: [1][email address]

Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port
CH65 0BE

Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]

FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Dear Lauren Dowell

 

Thank you for your request for information of the 28^th September 2018
which has been logged as RFI 0005.

 

We confirm that your request has been dealt with under the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

 

The FOIA provides that environmental information is an absolute exemption
(section 39(1)) and therefore requests for environmental information must
be dealt with under the EIR.

 

For the purposes of clarity your request is reproduced below together with
pertinent information:

 

I would like to know how much has been spent on flood defences over the
last 5 years.

 

Over the last five years Cheshire West and Chester Council have
contributed to the following flood defence scheme:

 

Northwich Flood Alleviation Scheme - Completed March 2017 - 7.2m Total
Cost - 500k contribution from CWaC.

 

In addition, I would also like to find out how much the council has spent
repairing flood damages.

               

We confirm that Cheshire West and Chester Council does hold the requested
information, however to comply with your request creates a cost to the
authority that is unreasonable to be borne. To establish repair work
carried out from flood damage over the time period requested, would
involve examining approximately 2500 records from activity such as ‘dig up
and repair’ and ‘jetting works’ to see if the issue was related to flood
damage. Further scrutiny would then be required to establish any
associated costs for repair.

 

The Council is excepting the information from disclosure under the EIR as
this aspect of your request is considered Manifestly Unreasonable, as
defined by Regulation 12 (4) (b) of the EIR.

 

Regulation 12 (4) (b) states that a public authority may refuse to
disclose information to the extent that:

 

(b) the request is manifestly unreasonable.

 

At paragraph 8 of the ICO Guidance entitled Manifestly Unreasonable
requests issued in March 2013 it states that:

The exception can be used when the request is vexatious; or when the cost
of compliance with the request is too great.

 

CWaC consider that to fulfil your request it would create costs that could
be considered unreasonable.

 

In the Information Commissioners Guidance of March 2013 entitled
'Manifestly unreasonable requests' at Page 7 it states that:

'In assessing whether the cost, or the amount of staff time involved in
responding to a request, is sufficient to render a request manifestly
unreasonable the FOIA fees regulations may be a useful starting point.'

 

Using the FOIA fees limit as a guidance and from our preliminary
assessment, we estimate that compliance with your request would exceed the
appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act
2000. This is currently £450 or approximately 2.5 days of one person’s
time.  In order to provide you with the information on the scale that you
have requested would require accessing information relating to
approximately 2500  records to identify, locate and extract
the information requested.

 

We estimate your request would cost, using the fees regulations as a
starting point:

 

We estimate your current request would cost, using the fees regulations as
a starting point:

 

1. Identify, locate and extract information from 2500 records @ 2 minutes
per record =

5000 minutes

2. 5000 minutes = 83 hours

3. 83 hours x £25 (rate per hour local authorities can charge under the
Act) = £2,075

 

A disproportionate amount of the Council's time would be taken up in
assisting with this request. It is not to the benefit of CWaC as a Council
or for the Council tax payers.

 

The EIR legislation states that this exception is subject to a Public
Interest Test with the presumption being in favour of disclosure. The
application of the test in respect of your request results in the
following outcome.

 

 FOR THE EXCEPTION AGAINST THE EXCEPTION
Public authorities should be protected from There is a need for open and
exposure to disproportionate burden or transparent local government
disruption in handling information request   HIGH
HIGH
Handling disproportionate requests can place  
a severe strain on resources and get in the
way of the public authority in delivering
mainstream services or answering other
requests HIGH                    
It is estimated that there are approximately  
2500 individual records that the request
encompasses. The amount of time to carry out
this work will exceed more than 18 hours.
HIGH  

 

CWAC considers that the public interest in applying the exception
outweighs the public interest in not applying the exception and the public
interest test confirms the Council's use of the exception of manifestly
unreasonable.

 

We trust this answers your request.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled you can request a review by writing to the Disclosures Team within
40 working days from the date of the Council’s response.

 

You are entitled to a review by the Council if:

·         You are dissatisfied with the Council’s explanation of why the
application was not dealt with within the 20 working day time limit.

·         All the information requested is not being disclosed and you
have not received an explanation why some information is not being
disclosed.

·         A reason for the disclosures under the request being refused is
not received.

·         You consider that exemptions have been wrongly applied, and/or

·         You consider that a fee has been wrongly applied.

 

Please set out your grounds for seeking a review together with what
specific part of your request those grounds apply to and the outcome you
are seeking. The Council reserves the right to ask you for clarification
of the grounds for your review request if the grounds are not clear, and
to delay commencing the review if such grounds are not provided.

 

The Disclosures Team can be contacted by email via:
[1][Cheshire West and Chester Council request email] or at the following address:

 

Disclosures Team

Cheshire West and Chester Council

(Flr 2 HQ)

4 Civic Way

Ellesmere Port

CH64 0BE

 

The Disclosures Team will acknowledge a request for an internal review
within 5 working days and complete the review as soon as possible and no
later than 40 working days from receipt of the request.

 

More information about the Council’s internal review process can be found
via:

[2]http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk...

 

If you remain dissatisfied following the outcome of your review, you have
a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Website: [3]www.ico.org.uk

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Disclosures Team – Customer Relations and Information

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tel: 0300 123 8 123

Email: [4][email address]

Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port
CH65 0BE

Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

 

 

PD (Fees)

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Cheshire West and Chester Council request email]
2. http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk...
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]