Dear Hastings Borough Council,

HBC have released a number of updates concerning the landslip in Old Roar Gill. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/news/latest/...

Please provide under EIR the following documents(in any form including emails/correspondence)

1 The results of the "immediate site visit" referred to in the Update - 23 February 2024
2 The Surveyors assessment referred to in the Update - 23 February 2024
3 The Further geotechnical assessment referred to in the Update - 23 February 2024
4 The Housing team further assesments referred to in the Update - 23 February 2024
5 The Monitoring results referred to in the Update - 23 February 2024
6 All reports/documents/emails /correspondence produced by the "emergency response team" that have been meeting to "monitor the incident and provide assistance" referred to in the update - 26 February 2024h
7 The documents concerning the "continued review of the situation" referred to in the Update - 26 February 2024
8 Any other documents held concerning the landslip

Yours faithfully,

Chris Hurrell

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information (Subject Access request) your
request will be dealt with according to the requirements of the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the timescale for response may be
extended to 40 days.
 
You can find out more information about [1]Freedom of Information as well
as all of the services the council provides on [2]our website.
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[3]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_council/f...
2. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/
3. file:///tmp/www.hastings.gov.uk

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Hurrell
 
I refer to your recent Freedom of Information request ref: FOIR-592136801.
 
Please find attached our response.
 
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Lisa Greathead
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
Muriel Matters House
Breeds Place
Hastings
TN34 3UY
01424 451722
 
[1][IMG]
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/my.hastings.gov.uk

Dear Hastings Borough Council,

I wish to take this to review.

The public interest lies in the documents being released. The landslip is a matter of concern to residents affected by the landslip and to the wider public who use the park. The course of justice and safe space arguments are outweighed by the wider public interest. Preventing release of the documents is harmful to HBCs reputation and suggests that HBC are attempting to conceal the causes of the landslip and any mitigation measures possible.

HBC have not properly explored the public interest test.

Further more this request recognises that the documents exist. This conflicts with a similar request submitted by affected residents :
https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my-council/f...

This request asked for :
“Please provide details of any landslip occurrences which have taken place in the Old Roar Gill area between Ghyllside Road and Old Roar Road, within the last decade. Include in these details recommendations provided by any structural or geotechnical surveyors to complete remedial work and what remedial work which was actioned by Hastings Borough Council.”

HBC claimed that no information was held.
“Hastings Borough Council holds no information in respect of this request.”

HBC’s response to this request clearly conflicts with the response to my request. The landslip which occurred in Feb 2024 was within the scope of FOI 593558596 yet HBC claim no information is held.

My request for the information concerning the Feb landslip recognises that information is held and then refuses it under course of justice.
Both responses cannot be true. Which response is correct? Does HBC hold information or not?

Yours faithfully,

Chris Hurrell

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information (Subject Access request) your
request will be dealt with according to the requirements of the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the timescale for response may be
extended to 40 days.
 
You can find out more information about [1]Freedom of Information as well
as all of the services the council provides on [2]our website.
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[3]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_council/f...
2. https://www.hastings.gov.uk/
3. file:///tmp/www.hastings.gov.uk

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Dear Mr Hurrell

I refer to your email dated 12 April 2024 requesting an internal review following our response to your Freedom of Information request: : FOIR-592136801. Subject: Old Roar Gill landslip - Documents referred to in HBC updates.

Your request for an internal review is currently being investigated however, many officers of the council have been involved with the Election therefore, I am writing to advise you that unfortunately there will be a delay in responding.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Greathead
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
Muriel Matters House
Breeds Place
Hastings
TN34 3UY
01424 451722

show quoted sections

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

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Dear Mr Hurrell
 
I refer to your email dated 12 April 2024 requesting an Internal Review
following our response to a recent Freedom of Information request ref:
FOIR-592136801 Subject: Old Roar Gill landslip - Documents referred to in
HBC updates.
 
I have been asked, as a senior officer of the council who has not been
involved in your case to look into how we handled your request.  Please
accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your request.
 
Hastings Borough Council received the following request on 2 March 2024
 
HBC have released a number of updates concerning the landslip in Old Roar
Gill. 
[1]https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=ht...
 
Please provide under EIR the following documents(in any form including
emails/correspondence)
 
1       The results of the "immediate site visit" referred to in the
Update - 23 February 2024
2       The Surveyors assessment referred to in the Update - 23 February
2024
3       The Further geotechnical assessment referred to in the Update - 23
February 2024
4       The Housing team further assesments referred to in the Update - 23
February 2024
5       The Monitoring results referred to in the Update - 23 February
2024
6       All reports/documents/emails /correspondence produced by the
"emergency response team" that have been meeting to "monitor the incident
and provide assistance"  referred to in the update - 26 February 2024
7       The documents concerning the "continued review of the situation"
referred to in the Update - 26 February 2024
8       Any other documents held concerning the landslip
 
Hastings Borough Council responded on the 26 March 2024
 
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
 
Under Environmental Information Regulations the information you have
requested regarding Old Roar Gill landslip - Documents referred to in HBC
updates is being refused under Exception 12(5)(b) ‘The course of justice
and inquiries’. The course of justice has a wide meaning which includes
material covered by Law enforcement, investigations and proceedings.
 
This exception is subject to a Public Interest Test.
 
This means that a public authority can refuse to disclose information
under these exceptions if in all the circumstances of the case the public
interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in
disclosing the information.
 
Factors for disclosure:
 

• Transparency and accountability.

 
Factors against disclosure:
 

• The landslide at Old Road Gill is live and remains ongoing.
• Protecting information that has been acquired, being assessed and
reviewed during the ongoing investigations. If such information if
released could prove prejudicial or misleading if released.
• Allowing officers of the council to fully investigate the cause of the
landslide and assist residents during a major incident, without the
burden and distraction of requests for information.
• Internal communication can also refer to correspondence which contains
confidential and sensitive information.
• Consideration of options and the exchange of views within a ‘safe
space’.
• Maintaining the confidentiality of discussions in the interest of good
governance and the perceived threat and/or risk to candour and
boldness in the giving and exchanging of views or advice.

 
 
You requested an internal review on the 12 April 2024
 
 
I wish to take this to review.
 
The public interest lies in the documents being released. The landslip is
a matter of concern to residents affected by the landslip and to the wider
public who use the park. The course of justice and safe space arguments
are outweighed by the wider public interest. Preventing release of the
documents is harmful to HBCs reputation and suggests that HBC are
attempting to conceal the causes of the landslip and any mitigation
measures possible.
 
HBC have not properly explored the public interest test.
 
Further more this request recognises that the documents exist. This
conflicts with a similar request submitted by affected residents :
[2]https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=ht...
 
This request asked for :
“Please provide details of any landslip occurrences which have taken place
in the Old Roar Gill area between Ghyllside Road and Old Roar Road, within
the last decade. Include in these details recommendations provided by any
structural or geotechnical surveyors to complete remedial work and what
remedial work which was actioned by Hastings Borough Council.”
 
HBC claimed that no information was held.
“Hastings Borough Council holds no information in respect of this
request.”
 
HBC’s response to this request clearly conflicts with the response to my
request. The landslip which occurred in Feb 2024 was within the scope of
FOI 593558596 yet HBC claim no information is held.
 
My request for the information concerning the Feb landslip recognises that
information is held and then refuses it under course of justice.
Both responses cannot be true. Which response is correct? Does HBC hold
information or not?
 
Review
 
Hastings Borough Council is working very closely with the residents
affected by the landslip and has met with them a number of times since the
landslip. We are doing all we can to understand the causes of the
landslip, essential before we can consider mitigation.  Geotechnical
experts appointed by our insurers have carried out a detailed
investigation, and with the consent of our insurers the results have been
shared with the directly impacted residents and their insurance companies.
 
It is intended that the results of the geotechnical investigation will
accompany a report to Cabinet in the near future, therefore will be in the
public domain.
 
In regards to the similar Freedom of Information request you refer to,
this is very different from your own.  It requests details of any landslip
occurrences over the last decade.  Hastings Borough Council responded with
no information held as there have been no landslip occurrences during this
time, other than the most recent in February 2024.
 
If you remain dissatisfied then you may complain to the Information
Commissioners Office (ICO) who will decide whether the Council has handled
your request correctly.
 
Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Tel: 08456 30 60 60
[3]www.ico.org.uk 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Mark Bourne
Head of Information Technology
 
 
 
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References

Visible links
1. https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=ht...
2. https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=ht...
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. file:///tmp/my.hastings.gov.uk