Norwich Western Link Road: expression of dissatisfaction

Andrew Boswell made this Freedom of Information request to Norfolk County Council

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

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

Dear Norfolk County Council,

Please provide the number of people living in Norfolk who have between the 1st January, 2019 to the present day submitted in written form to Norfolk County Council an expression of dissatisfaction over NCC’s proposal to construct the Norwich Western Link Road

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Boswell

Freedom of Information, Norfolk County Council

Good Morning,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information Request ENQ-424865-C2M6Y2

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 received on 20 August 2020.

We have up to 20 working days in which to deal with your request; however, the current circumstances relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) may impact on our ability to meet deadlines and so we may take longer to provide you with a response.

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
Information Compliance Team
Dept: 01603 222661
Bay 7-9, Ground Floor, County Hall, Norwich

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Dear Freedom of Information,

"We have up to 20 working days in which to deal with your request; however, the current circumstances relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) may impact on our ability to meet deadlines and so we may take longer to provide you with a response."

With respect to above statement, please provide:

- evidence of a genuine lack of capacity to deal with my request

- evidence which shows that the diversion of resources within your organisation means that there is a lack of expertise and capacity to deal with my request in the usual timescale

- evidence of how you are reviewing capacity so that my request and others may be responded to as soon as possible

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Boswell

Freedom of Information, Norfolk County Council

Dear Mr Boswell

 

I refer to your request for information dated 20 August 2020.

 

You asked for:

 

The number of people living in Norfolk who have between the 1st January,
2019 to the present day submitted in written form to Norfolk County
Council an expression of  dissatisfaction over NCC’s proposal to construct
the Norwich Western Link Road

 

Your request has been considered and is refused. In accordance with the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (the Regulations) this letter
acts as a Refusal Notice.

 

Exception

Regulation 12(4)(b) provides that a public authority may refuse to
disclose information to the extent that the request for information is
manifestly unreasonable.

 

Reason

Although the EIR does not have a regulation regarding cost, the
Information Commissioner advises that the Freedom of Information & Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit & Fees) Regulations 2004 can be reasonably
used as a guide. The "appropriate limit" as stated in these regulations,
is 18 hours, which is equivalent to £450.

 

Unfortunately, we do not hold data in a format that enables us to provide
the details as requested.  We are confident that providing the information
that you have requested would involve a significant amount of time;
certainly, this would be well in excess of 18 hours.

 

We have however carried out consultations for the Norwich Western Link
(NWL) project, and these details were reported to our Cabinet and previous
EDT Committee.  Links to these details are published on our website, which
provides specific details relating to the NWL project.  Please use the
link below to view the details, most notably the 15 July 2019 Cabinet
report and Options Selection Report and the 8 March 2019 EDT Committee
report.  There is also a link to the 12 October 2018 EDT Committee report
that provide details of earlier consultation results.

Link:
[1]https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/roads-and-tra...

 

Public Interest Test Reasons

 

There is always a public interest in ensuring transparency in the dealings
of the Council. However, to comply with your request would constitute an
unreasonable diversion of resources and place a significant and
unnecessary burden on the Council over and above what we are required to
do under the law. Norfolk County Council has considered "the size of the
public authority and the resources available to it, including the extent
to which the public authority would be distracted from delivering other
services" and have determined that, to spend the time required in
collating the information for this request would severely impede the
ability of the authority to deliver key services.

 

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:

 

[email address]

or Information Compliance Team

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 for a decision whether your request
for information has been dealt with in accordance with the Regulations. 
Refer to the ICO Website at: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ for advice on
how to report a concern.  Or you can write to them at:

 

First Contact Team

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane, Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Compliance Officer

Information Management Service

Norfolk County Council

County Hall

Martineau Lane

Norwich

NR1 2DH

 

 

 

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Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for your response.

I do not accept your refusal and request an internal review.

My request is already well scoped asking for only written communications – that is email and letters. The project concerned is funded to the tune of £7m this year, and has a well organised project team, part of a wider Infrastructure Delivery Team. It is reasonable to expect that each letter and email received would be processed by a member of the Infrastructure Delivery Team’s media and outreach team which is well resourced itself, as evidenced by the consultations and other outreach which the project directs at the public.

Therefore, I do accept your statement “Unfortunately, we do not hold data in a format that enables us to provide the details as requested”, nor that processing would be well in excess of 18 hours.

Further, the results of your previous consultation provides no valid response to the request. The request is clearly for emails and letters of dissatisfaction sent to Norfolk County Council outside of your consultations.
Please review: I look forward to speedy delivery of the requested information following the review.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Boswell

Freedom of Information, Norfolk County Council

Good Morning,

Thank you for your email.

I can confirm your Freedom of Information Request, ENQ-424865-C2M6Y2, has been progressed to the Internal Review stage and assigned to an Information Compliance Manager to investigate and complete. They will be in contact soon.

Thank you,

Sarah Cooper, Business Support Assistant
Information Compliance Team
Dept: 01603 222661
Bay 7-9, Ground Floor, County Hall, Norwich

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Dear Freedom of Information,

Please can you advise me when the review of this FoI will be complete. I believe that it is now overdue.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Boswell

Freedom of Information, Norfolk County Council

Dear Mr Boswell,

I regret that we are currently dealing with a backlog of requests and
appeals. We will conclude this matter as soon as we can.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Compliance Team

Insight & Analytics, Strategy & Governance

County Hall

[1]Norfolk County Council   [2]Twitter[3]Facebook[4]Web

 

 

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Freedom of Information, Norfolk County Council

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Freedom of Information Request ENQ 424865 C2M6Y2 Norwich Western Link Road expression of dissatisfaction.html

    13K Download

Dear Mr Boswell,

 

I refer to your below email dated 13 September, in which you appeal
against the Council’s response to your enquiries which relied on the
‘manifestly unreasonable’ exception under Regulation 12(4)(b) of the
Environmental Information Regulations (the EIR).

 

Following further review and discussion with colleagues in the Community
and Environmental Services department, I have concluded that the Council’s
original position is valid, and so I am unable to uphold your appeal.

 

There is no central repository (either electronic or paper) from which we
are able to easily identify relevant information or run electronic reports
which will do so. It would therefore be necessary to locate and manually
review each piece of correspondence in order to determine its relevance,
or not, to your specific enquiries.  

 

Expressions of dissatisfaction may have come in to a number of different
services/teams depending on the specific focus (eg. the cost, the route,
the timeframe, the impact on land, on wildlife, noise). In this context
the timeframe requested is in fact quite significant (over 18 months).

 

You also refer to “the number of people living in Norfolk…”, and so this
would add a further consideration in terms of trying to determine which
correspondence may have come from Norfolk residents.

 

It is also possible that correspondence received which generally supports
the road scheme may also include some concerns about particular aspects,
and so the question here is whether these would qualify as expressions of
dissatisfaction “over NCCs proposal to construct the NWLR” rather than
concerns about certain aspects only.

 

On the above basis the Council’s originally stated position is maintained;
however, if you remain dissatisfied you may apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision on whether your request for information has
been handled in accordance with the Regulations.  Please refer to the ICO
Website at: [1]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ for advice on how to report a
concern.  Or you can write to them at:

 

First Contact Team

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane, Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Compliance Manager (FOI Lead)

Information Compliance Team

Insight & Analytics, Strategy & Governance

County Hall

[2]Norfolk County Council   [3]Twitter[4]Facebook[5]Web

 

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Freedom of Information, Norfolk County Council

Dear Mr Boswell,

 

My apologies as I have issued an incomplete version of the response which
does not incorporate some further wording. It does not change the overall
position; however, it does hopefully provide further context for that
position.

 

Directly below is the final version of the response:

 

I refer to your below email dated 13 September, in which you appeal
against the Council’s response to your enquiries which relied on the
‘manifestly unreasonable’ exception under Regulation 12(4)(b) of the
Environmental Information Regulations (the EIR).

 

Following further review and discussion with colleagues in the Community
and Environmental Services department, I have concluded that the Council’s
original position is valid, and so I am unable to uphold your appeal.

 

Your request for information was quite wide ranging and sought details of
views shared with the County Council.  There are a variety of informal and
formal ways in which people can choose to contact the County Council, and
there is no central repository of each and every contact.  For example,
many residents will choose to share their views with their local elected
Members who often deal with large numbers of contacts.  It is for
individual Members to determine how best to deal with these; for some they
may feel able to answer direct, some they may wish to share with officers
and for others they may wish to direct people to raise their concerns via
a formal process e.g. the complaints process or a public consultation.

 

General expressions of dissatisfaction may be directed to a number of
different services/teams depending on the specific focus (eg. the cost,
the route, the timeframe, the impact on land, on wildlife, noise) and
because of this will not all be held in one place. In this context the
timeframe requested is in fact quite significant (over 18 months).   It
would therefore be necessary to locate and manually review each piece of
correspondence in order to determine its relevance, or not, to your
specific enquiries.  The only exception to this is are the responses to
public consultation exercises and the outcomes of the public consultations
relating to this scheme are already available to view on the Council’s
website.

 

You also refer to “the number of people living in Norfolk…”, and so this
would add a further consideration in terms of trying to determine which
correspondence may have come from Norfolk residents.

 

It is also possible that correspondence received which generally supports
the road scheme may also include some concerns about particular aspects,
and so the question here is whether these would qualify as expressions of
dissatisfaction “over NCCs proposal to construct the NWLR” rather than
concerns about certain aspects only.   Therefore, this adds further
complexity to dealing with your request.

 

On the above basis the Council’s originally stated position is
maintained. 

 

If you remain dissatisfied you may apply to the Information Commissioner
for a decision on whether your request for information has been handled in
accordance with the Regulations.  Please refer to the ICO Website at:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ for advice on how to report a concern.  Or
you can write to them at:

Or you can write to them at:

 

First Contact Team

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane, Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Compliance Manager (FOI Lead)

Information Compliance Team

Insight & Analytics, Strategy & Governance

County Hall

[2]Norfolk County Council   [3]Twitter[4]Facebook[5]Web

 

 

 

From: Freedom of Information
Sent: 26 November 2020 08:05
To: '[FOI #686238 email]'
<[FOI #686238 email]>
Subject: ENQ-424865-C2M6Y2-Environmental Information Request-INTERNAL
REVIEW

 

Dear Mr Boswell,

 

I refer to your below email dated 13 September, in which you appeal
against the Council’s response to your enquiries which relied on the
‘manifestly unreasonable’ exception under Regulation 12(4)(b) of the
Environmental Information Regulations (the EIR).

 

Following further review and discussion with colleagues in the Community
and Environmental Services department, I have concluded that the Council’s
original position is valid, and so I am unable to uphold your appeal.

 

There is no central repository (either electronic or paper) from which we
are able to easily identify relevant information or run electronic reports
which will do so. It would therefore be necessary to locate and manually
review each piece of correspondence in order to determine its relevance,
or not, to your specific enquiries.  

 

Expressions of dissatisfaction may have come in to a number of different
services/teams depending on the specific focus (eg. the cost, the route,
the timeframe, the impact on land, on wildlife, noise). In this context
the timeframe requested is in fact quite significant (over 18 months).

 

You also refer to “the number of people living in Norfolk…”, and so this
would add a further consideration in terms of trying to determine which
correspondence may have come from Norfolk residents.

 

It is also possible that correspondence received which generally supports
the road scheme may also include some concerns about particular aspects,
and so the question here is whether these would qualify as expressions of
dissatisfaction “over NCCs proposal to construct the NWLR” rather than
concerns about certain aspects only.

 

On the above basis the Council’s originally stated position is maintained;
however, if you remain dissatisfied you may apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision on whether your request for information has
been handled in accordance with the Regulations.  Please refer to the ICO
Website at: [6]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ for advice on how to report a
concern.  Or you can write to them at:

 

First Contact Team

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane, Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Compliance Manager (FOI Lead)

Information Compliance Team

Insight & Analytics, Strategy & Governance

County Hall

[7]Norfolk County Council   [8]Twitter[9]Facebook[10]Web

 

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