New Anglia LEP Thetford Sustainable Transport Package

The request was partially successful.

Robert Whittaker

Dear Norfolk County Council,

I am writing in connection with the £2.3m that was originally allocated to a "Thetford Sustainable Transport Package" by the New Anglia LEP. I believe that there was a recent proposal to re-allocate the majority of this funding to a project to build a roundabout for the Thetford Enterprise Park. As you are represented on the LEP Board and Local Transport Board, and as the
Highways Authority would presumably would involved in the design and delivery of these projects, I assume that you must hold various documents concerning the allocation and re-allocation of this funding.

Under FOIA, I would like to request the following information:

1/ Whatever documents you have detailing the original plans for the £2.3m spend on Thetford Sustainable Transport Package. This might include a submitted application, an award confirmation letter, and any plans you had for projects on which the money might be spent.

2/ The meeting papers and any draft/final minutes/meeting notes from the New Anglia Local Transport Board Meeting held on or around 31 May 2016. In particular, I am interested in those items dealing with the proposal to re-allocate some of the £2.3m funding, and where this proposal came from.

3/ Any information you hold on who initiated the proposals to re-allocate the funding, and any role played by NCC officers / councillors here, if this is not already obvious from the above.

4/ Any draft minutes or meeting notes from the New Anglia LEP Board meeting held on 21st June 2016. I am particularly interested in information about Agenda item 8.

5/ Any plans and costing estimates you hold for the TEP roundabout and other works which would benefit from the re-allocation, if not already included above.

Since some of the requested information here belongs to a third party, I understand that there may be some confidentiality issues. However, given the need for transparency around the allocation of public money, I trust that you will agree that it is in the public interest that the information be disclosed. Regarding the Local Transport Board minutes, I note from http://www.newanglia.co.uk/wp-content/up... that the minutes are supposed to be published by the LEP, but the link at the bottom of http://www.newanglia.co.uk/the-norfolk-a... is broken. I've contacted the LEP about this via Twitter, but without any response (https://twitter.com/rjw62/status/7513353...). Unfortunately, I understand that the LEP is not itself subject to the FOIA.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information Request ICM 10136.

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 received on 10/07/2016.

Lewis Freeman will be dealing with your request.
 
We have up to 20 days in which to deal with your request. If we require clarification regarding your request, we will contact you to explain this. The 20 working day period will then start from the day that we receive your clarification.
 
You will also be informed in advance if there is a charge for supplying copies of the information.

Please also be aware that, if the requested information contains references to any third parties, we may need to consult these individuals about the release of their personal data before making a decision whether or not to release the information to you.

We will also provide an explanation if any information is not released to you.

Should you have any queries regarding your request, please contact the team by email [email address] or by telephone 01603 222661.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Cooper
Business Support Assistant (Compliance Team)
Information Management Shared Service
County Hall
Martineau Lane
Norwich
NR1 2DH

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Robert Whittaker

Dear Norfolk County Council,

Re FOI Request ICM 10136

It appears that the Local Enterprise Partnership has now published the minutes and papers for the Local Transport Board Meetings at http://www.newanglia.co.uk/the-norfolk-a... . Accordingly, I will withdraw item 2 from my request, as I now have access to this information.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker

Thank you for letting me know. I will amend my records accordingly to note that a response to question 2 is no longer required. The deadline for response is unchanged.

Regards,

Lewis Freeman
Information Compliance Officer

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Robert Whittaker

Dear Norfolk County Council,

Re FOI Request ICM 10136

The Local Enterprise Partnership has now published the minutes for the LEP Board Meeting at http://www.newanglia.co.uk/wp-content/up... . Accordingly, I will withdraw item 4 from my request, as I now have access to this information.

Also, by way of clarification when I referred to the "Thetford Sustainable Transport Package" in my request, I intended to include all the components of the original £2.3m allocation. Some references I've seen since have listed the "Sustainable Transport Package" as one component within the allocation. I'd like information about the all the components, not just that one. But please don't let this delay your response if you've already prepared things based on just that one component. I'm happy to wait longer for information on the other components, but would like what you have already been working on based on your original interpretation by the original FOI deadline.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker,

I will amend my records to say that q4 is no longer required. I will take a look into the additional point you make below.

Regards,

Lewis Freeman
Information Compliance Officer

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Information Management, Norfolk County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker

I am writing to advise you that the time limit for responding to your request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 needs to be extended. The Regulations allow us 20 working days to respond to your request from the date of its receipt. However, it is occasionally necessary to extend the 20- working-day time limit for issuing a response, such as where a case is complex or voluminous. In this case, I regret that we must extend the time limit for responding by 20 days because of the volume of the information.

We do hold information that falls within scope of your request, however, we require the additional time to enable us to provide you with the best possible response.

We should be in a position to provide you with a response by no later than 05 September 2016, and we will respond to you as soon as possible before this date. If there is any further delay I will keep you informed.

Yours Sincerely

Lewis Freeman
Information Compliance Officer

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Dear Mr Freeman,

Many thanks for the update, and I'm sorry if this request is proving difficult. It wasn't meant to be particularly arduous, and I'm having trouble understanding exactly why, since presumably whoever decided to request the reallocation would have already collated the information in points 1 and 5 that I am requesting. For point 3, if it helps, there is no need to provide a large volume of specific documents if you can just provide the information as to who was behind the moves more succinctly.

Obtaining this information is somewhat time sensitive, as I would like it in good time to be able to present at the next Greater Thetford Development Partnership meeting on 19th August. Given the above I would therefore be minded to appeal against your extension to the 20-working-day deadline. But rather than a formal appeal at this stage, perhaps you could just quickly provide a bit more detail as to the precise volume of information involved, and why this means that it is impracticable to provide it within the earlier period. If any of the remaining points 1,3,5 can be answered individually in a quicker period of time, then I would like you to do so. Please don't delay those responses because one of the other parts is taking longer.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

FYI

Thank you,

Sarah Cooper
Business Support Assistant (Compliance Team)
Information Management Shared Service
County Hall
Martineau Lane
Norwich
NR1 2DH

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Information Management, Norfolk County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker,

 

To explain the reason for the time extension, this is because there are
almost 500 pages of documentation in scope of your request which will need
to be manually reviewed and redacted. It is not as simple as being able to
provide you with the name of the person involved in the decisions as this
is not a singular effort, so various documentation would need to be
released to you.

 

I would point you to the ICO guidance on EIR time extensions [1]here. As
you will see on page 12 and 13, “the public authority may extend the
period of 20 working days referred to in the provisions in paragraph (2)
to 40 working days if it reasonably believes that the complexity and
volume of the information requested means that it is impracticable either
to comply with the request within the earlier period or to make a decision
to refuse to do so.” In this case we consider the request to be
voluminous, but it could also be considered complex as we are not the only
agency involved in the matter. On that basis, your request has been
extended as allowed by the Regulations, by 20 working days, and I am
unable to commit to the information being provided to you by the date for
which you require it. I note that you say that this is required for you to
present to the Greater Thetford Development Partnership meeting on 19
August. If officers from the County Council or the District Council
involved in this process are due to be present at this meeting, it may
possibly be more effective for an overview to be provided at this meeting
by means of discussion.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Lewis Freeman

Information Compliance Officer

 

 

Dear Mr Freeman,

Many thanks for the update, and I'm sorry if this request is proving
difficult. It wasn't meant to be particularly arduous, and I'm having
trouble understanding exactly why, since presumably whoever decided to
request the reallocation would have already collated the information in
points 1 and 5 that I am requesting. For point 3, if it helps, there is no
need to provide a large volume of specific documents if you can just
provide the information as to who was behind the moves more succinctly.

Obtaining this information is somewhat time sensitive, as I would like it
in good time to be able to present at the next Greater Thetford
Development Partnership meeting on 19th August. Given the above I would
therefore be minded to appeal against your extension to the 20-working-day
deadline. But rather than a formal appeal at this stage, perhaps you could
just quickly provide a bit more detail as to the precise volume of
information involved, and why this means that it is impracticable to
provide it within the earlier period. If any of the remaining points 1,3,5
can be answered individually in a quicker period of time, then I would
like you to do so. Please don't delay those responses because one of the
other parts is taking longer.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

 

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Dear Mr Freeman,

Many thanks for that extra detail -- your position seems much more sensible now. I must say that I'm rather surprised that there's so much documentation there -- I was previously led to believe that there was very little in the way of concrete plans for either the original allocation or the TEP roundabout. If you'd like to discuss what information I'm actually interested in, to potentially save you some time an effort in assessing / redacting, then I'd certainly be open to that.

Thanks for your suggestion regarding a summary from one of your officers at the GTDP Board. However, this request came about because the NCC officer in question failed to provide this background information at the previous meeting (despite asking board members to vote in support of the funding re-allocation). Unfortunately he's then not responded to my emails. So if you're able to get him to provide a suitable summary to be distributed with the papers for the next meeting that would be great.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Whittaker

 

Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“the Regulations”)–
Information Request ICM10136

 

I refer to your request for information dated 10 July 2016. As allowed
under the Regulations, we had to extend this request by a further 20
working days because of the volume of information being requested.

 

The search for the information has been completed and I am pleased to
supply you with the following information:

You asked for: “1/ Whatever documents you have detailing the original
plans for the £2.3m spend on Thetford Sustainable Transport Package. This
might include a submitted application, an award confirmation letter, and
any plans you had for projects on which the money might be spent. 2/ The
meeting papers and any draft/final minutes/meeting notes from the New
Anglia Local Transport Board Meeting held on or around 31 May 2016. In
particular, I am interested in those items dealing with the proposal to
re-allocate some of the £2.3m funding, and where this proposal came from.
3/ Any information you hold on who initiated the proposals to re-allocate
the funding, and any role played by NCC officers / councillors here, if
this is not already obvious from the above. 4/ Any draft minutes or
meeting notes from the New Anglia LEP Board meeting held on 21st June
2016. I am particularly interested in information about Agenda item 8. 5/
Any plans and costing estimates you hold for the TEP roundabout and other
works which would benefit from the re-allocation, if not already included
above.”

You withdrew question 2 on 17 July 2016 and question 4 on 05 August 2016.

 

On 05 August 2016 you clarified: “by way of clarification when I referred
to the "Thetford Sustainable Transport Package" in my request, I intended
to include all the components of the original £2.3m allocation. Some
references I've seen since have listed the "Sustainable Transport Package"
as one component within the allocation. I'd like information about the all
the components, not just that one. But please don't let this delay your
response if you've already prepared things based on just that one
component. I'm happy to wait longer for information on the other
components, but would like what you have already been working on based on
your original interpretation by the original FOI deadline”

 

Please find attached documentation which covers questions 1, 3 & 5.

 

Please note that information that is personal to third parties has been
redacted in line with Regulation 12(3) and 13(1) of the Regulations.  It
is the view of Norfolk County Council that communication exchanges with
these third parties relate to another person, and that it would be unfair
to disclose this information as these individuals have a reasonable
expectation that such information held by Norfolk County Council would
remain confidential.

 

If you are dissatisfied with our handling of your request you have the
right of appeal through the Council’s internal review procedure by setting
out the grounds of your appeal in writing to:

 

[1][email address]

or Information Compliance Team

Room 101, North Wing

County Hall

Martineau Lane

Norwich

NR1 2DH

 

An appeal should be submitted within 40 working days of the date of this
notice and should be identified as "EIR Appeal".

 

If you are dissatisfied after pursuing the complaints procedure, you may
apply to the Information Commissioner. Contact details as follows:-

 

First Contact Team

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane, Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

E-mail: [2][email address]

[3]http://www.ico.gov.uk/

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lewis Freeman

Information Compliance Officer

Information Management Service

Norfolk County Council

County Hall

Martineau Lane

Norwich

NR1 2DH

 

 

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