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Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Cheshire West and Chester Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Cheshire West and Chester Council,

In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, and subject to section 40(2) on personal data, could you please provide me with a complete and up-to-date list of all business (non-residential) property rates data for your local authority, and including the following fields:

- Billing Authority Property Reference Code (linking the property to the VOA database reference)
- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant)
- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town)
- Occupied / Vacant
- Date of Occupation / Vacancy
- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds)
- Rateable Value
- Reliefs and Reductions
- Liability in pounds

If you are unable to provide an absolute “Occupation / Vacancy” status, please provide the Exemptions and / or Reliefs that a particular property may be receiving.

Please provide these data as machine-readable as either a CSV or Microsoft Excel file, capable of re-use, and under terms of the Open Government Licence (meaning reuse for any and all purposes, including commercial).

I'm sure you get many requests for business rates and responding and managing these FOIs must be costly for you. Could I request that - as 71% of local authorities now do - you update and release this dataset via a dedicated page on your local authority website or on an open data service. I can recommend approaches for you to consider, and you should find that this reduces the time and cost of this request process.

Please it is imperative that all information sent back to me is up to date.

Yours faithfully,

Kurt Williams

FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

RE: Your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

Reference: RFI 1909

Dear Kurt Williams

Thank you for your email dated 13 November 2019.

They 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: [email address]
Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port CH65 0BE
Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

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FOI West, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Dear Kurt Williams

Thank you for your request for information of 13 November 2019 which has been logged as RFI 1909 and has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We confirm that Cheshire West and Chester Council holds information relating to your request.

For the purpose of clarity your request has been reproduced below:

In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, and subject to section 40(2) on personal data, could you please provide me with a complete and up-to-date list of all business (non-residential) property rates data for your local authority, and including the following fields:

- Billing Authority Property Reference Code (linking the property to the VOA database reference)
- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant)
- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town)
- Occupied / Vacant
- Date of Occupation / Vacancy
- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds)
- Rateable Value
- Reliefs and Reductions
- Liability in pounds

If you are unable to provide an absolute “Occupation / Vacancy” status, please provide the Exemptions and / or Reliefs that a particular property may be receiving.

Response

The Council considers that an exemption at Section 21 of the FOIA 2000 applies to your request.

Section 21 (1) of the FOIA states:
Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant otherwise than under Section 1 is exempt information.

The purpose of Section 21(1) is to ensure that there is no right of access to information via FOIA if it is available to the applicant by another route. Section 21 is an absolute exemption which means that there is no requirement for a Public Interest Test.

The Council operates a publication scheme through its website which allows access to the business rate account information. All of the information for the period you have requested is available via this publication scheme. The Council can therefore direct you to where the information is available and the exemption in s21 (1) applies.

The following datasets are available to you:
• All Business Rates and Reliefs
• New Business Rate Liability

Your request was submitted by email and as such it is considered reasonable to assume that you have access to a computer and the internet and therefore that you have access to the information requested other than by being supplied with the information by the Council.

The website link for access to the information you request is:
http://inside.cheshirewestandchester.gov...

The Council considers that your request has been answered in full by either confirming that information is not held, providing you with the information requested, or explaining why any information has been withheld and the reasons for any redaction. Where applicable, the Council has also told you the reasons for the delay in responding to 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 Information 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 Information Disclosures Team can be contacted by email via: [Cheshire West and Chester Council request email] or at the following address:

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

The Information 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:

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: 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: [email address]
Location: Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port CH65 0BE
Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

PD (EX)

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