Percentages of households issued with council tax summonses and liability orders

The request was refused by Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council.

Dear Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council,........ Wigan council etc..
Please can you provide me with the numbers and relevant percentages in relation to the total liable households in the Wigan borough that have been issued with Council tax summonses and liability orders for each of the last five years . Please list each year independently .

1 : How many summonses have been sent in each year for the past five years ?

2 : What is the overall percentage of households in the borough issued with summonses ?

3 : How many liability orders have been issued in each year for the past five years ?

4: What is the overall percentage of households in the borough issued with liability orders ?

5 : (a) How many complaints have been made to the court by the council in each of the past five years ? (B) How many names have been on each complaint ?

6: How many Council tax liability orders have gone uncollected in each of the past five years ?

7: How many liability orders have been passed on to debt collection agents/ agency's in each of the past five years ?

8: (a) How many liability orders in each of the past five years have been successfully collected by debt collection agents / agency's on behalf of the council ? (b) and what cost to the council ? (c) what has been the shortfall in total revenue to the council in the past five years if any in regards to these collections ? please list years independently and include percentage of success rates failure rates .

9: How many council tax liability orders have been paid by someone other than the named party on the liability order ( like an in house tax write off by the council or .gov insurance etc.. ) for the past five years ? and who are those party's /agents ?

Yours faithfully,
M Fletcher .

Dear Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Percentages of households issued with council tax summonses and liability orders'.

Why have you not responded (at all ) to my information request regarding council tax Facts and figures for the Wigan borough ? .
I have only ever made one request for information and you have failed to reply in any form .
" A public authority must comply with section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt. "

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

M Fletcher

A Ratchford left an annotation ()

I'm sorry to say that WBC have an appalling recording with regards to Freedom of Information requests. They have been investigated at least once by the ICO in recent times.

Also, in my experience, they do not take kindly to probing questions, so don't be too disappointed when you get a section 14(1) off them for all (or some) of this.

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

 

This is in response to your request for information and request for an
internal review.

 

In accordance with Section 8(1)(b) of the FOI Act 2000 we have reasonable
grounds for believing that the name being used may not be your real name.

 

Though the FOI Act is generally applicant and purpose blind, the
legislation allows authorities to take account of whether requests are
vexatious, repetitious and/or form part of an organised campaign.  If
pseudonyms are used on sites such as What do They Know.com this could
facilitate the making of requests which might justify refusal on one or
more of the above grounds.

 

In order to progress your request I shall require proof of your identity. 
This may take the form of a photocopy of the relevant page of your
passport, of if you do not have a passport you may supply a recent copy of
a utility bill addressed to you at your home.  To preserve your own
privacy, please do not send this information to us via What do They Know. 
Either email [1][Wigan Council request email] or send by post to Complaints and
Information Team at the address below.

 

The Information Commissioner has published guidance on this issue which is
available from the link below:

 

[2]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

 

You may apply to the Information Commissioner if you do not agree with the
approach taken by the Council. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Complaints and Information Officer

Resources Directorate

Wigan Council

PO Box 100

Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan WN1 3DS

www.wigan.gov.uk

www.twitter.com/wigancouncil

www.facebook.com/WiganCouncilOnline

 

 

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A Ratchford left an annotation ()

I stand corrected. They used section 8 and not 14(1)

However, they are in breach of this section as paragraph 25 explains:

"Any variation of the requester’s title or first name combined with their surname (e.g. Mr Smith or John Smith) will be sufficient to meet this requirement. However, a first name or surname provided in isolation, or a set of initials, will not.

Example

A requester named Robert Jones could call themselves ‘
Rob Jones’ , ‘Bobby Jones’, ‘R Jones’, ‘Bob Jones’ or ‘Mr Jones’. "

You can read this section here https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

And you can file a complaint with the ICO by filling in the form here: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/y/ot...

Dear Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council,

M Fletcher
Dear anonymous public servant working for Wigan borough council .

Firstly : It is duly noted that you seem to have ignored my original ( and still valid ) request for information and did so without any form of reply or acknowledgement to myself until prompted by my follow up request for an" internal review " Is this a deliberate delaying tactic ? or just shoddy office procedure ? Either way I'm sure this dose not meet the standards set out by by ICO .

Secondly : You now seem to be Arbitrarily blocking my original ( still valid ) request after keeping me waiting more than 20 days without notice and seem to now be accusing me of using a false name ! and i quote " we have reasonable grounds for believing that the name being used may not be your real name "
Are you accusing me of deceit ?

Thirdly : In you claiming " we have reasonable grounds for believing that the name being used may not be your real name " What reasonable reasonable grounds are you referring to As i would very much like to know what information if any this accusation is based upon ? Also is it your policy treat all requests pertaining council tax information be treated in this same vexatious manner as you have done with my first and only FOI request ?

Fourthly : You now seem to be demanding and offering legal advice in that I'm now required by you to prove my identity to you " In order to progress your request I shall require proof of your identity. The relevant page of your passport, of if you do not have a passport you may supply a recent copy of a utility bill addressed to you at your home "
Can you show me where in Law i'm obliged to show you my personal information including my home address ! In order to have an FOI request answered ? .

Fifthly: What legal qualifications do you hold for issuing any such Request /order for my personal information and what qualifications do you hold to make any determination on the validity of any of the documents requested by you in my proving of my Identity ?
You have also failed to identify the party to whom i'm supposed to hand over my personal information to . So Who are you ? . What legal qualifications do you hold ?

Sixthly : I will declare here and now The M Fletcher is indeed a living breathing man and not a " pseudonym "

seventhly : Can you explain how the use of " M fletcher " Is in breach of the actual guide lines here >

"Any variation of the requester’s title or first name combined with their surname (e.g. Mr Smith or John Smith) will be sufficient to meet this requirement. However, a first name or surname provided in isolation, or a set of initials, will not.

Example

A requester named Robert Jones could call themselves ‘
Rob Jones’ , ‘Bobby Jones’, ‘R Jones’, ‘Bob Jones’ or ‘Mr Jones’. "

You can read this section here https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

In finishing would like to thank you for seemingly offering legal advice in your reply .

Yours M (Master) Fletcher . Without malice , vexation or frivolity .

PS all correspondence will be sent to the ICO if and when necessary .

Dear Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Percentages of households issued with council tax summonses and liability orders'.

Yet again Wigan Council have failed to even acknowledged never mind reply to my last reply to you , or heaven forbid actually answer my still valid initial FOI Request regarding Council tax facts and figures .

M (master) Fletcher
1/11/2015

" From: M Fletcher

3 October 2015

Dear Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council,

M Fletcher
Dear anonymous public servant working for Wigan borough council .

Firstly : It is duly noted that you seem to have ignored my
original ( and still valid ) request for information and did so
without any form of reply or acknowledgement to myself until
prompted by my follow up request for an" internal review " Is this
a deliberate delaying tactic ? or just shoddy office procedure ?
Either way I'm sure this dose not meet the standards set out by by
ICO .

Secondly : You now seem to be Arbitrarily blocking my original (
still valid ) request after keeping me waiting more than 20 days
without notice and seem to now be accusing me of using a false name
! and i quote " we have reasonable grounds for believing that the
name being used may not be your real name "
Are you accusing me of deceit ?

Thirdly : In you claiming " we have reasonable grounds for
believing that the name being used may not be your real name " What
reasonable reasonable grounds are you referring to As i would very
much like to know what information if any this accusation is based
upon ? Also is it your policy treat all requests pertaining council
tax information be treated in this same vexatious manner as you
have done with my first and only FOI request ?

Fourthly : You now seem to be demanding and offering legal advice
in that I'm now required by you to prove my identity to you " In
order to progress your request I shall require proof of your
identity. The relevant page of your passport, of if you do not have
a passport you may supply a recent copy of a utility bill addressed
to you at your home "
Can you show me where in Law i'm obliged to show you my personal
information including my home address ! In order to have an FOI
request answered ? .

Fifthly: What legal qualifications do you hold for issuing any such
Request /order for my personal information and what qualifications
do you hold to make any determination on the validity of any of the
documents requested by you in my proving of my Identity ?
You have also failed to identify the party to whom i'm supposed to
hand over my personal information to . So Who are you ? . What
legal qualifications do you hold ?

Sixthly : I will declare here and now The M Fletcher is indeed a
living breathing man and not a " pseudonym "

seventhly : Can you explain how the use of " M fletcher " Is in
breach of the actual guide lines here >

"Any variation of the requester’s title or first name combined with
their surname (e.g. Mr Smith or John Smith) will be sufficient to
meet this requirement. However, a first name or surname provided in
isolation, or a set of initials, will not.

Example

A requester named Robert Jones could call themselves ‘
Rob Jones’ , ‘Bobby Jones’, ‘R Jones’, ‘Bob Jones’ or ‘Mr Jones’. "

You can read this section here
https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

In finishing would like to thank you for seemingly offering legal
advice in your reply .

Yours M (Master) Fletcher . Without malice , vexation or frivolity
.

PS all correspondence will be sent to the ICO if and when necessary . "

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

M Fletcher

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear M Fletcher,

I am writing to respond to your request for a senior officer review of Wigan Council's decision in relation to your freedom of information request below. I would first of all apologise to you that you did not receive a response to your request within the 20 working day deadline required by the Act. 

My decision on review is that the Council’s response dated 2 October 2015 to your freedom of information request was appropriate and that the Council was justified in asking you for identification to enable it to confirm the validity of the request submitted by you before it responded substantially to it.

In addition, even should you produce identification to the Council to show that your request is valid, I conclude that your request would in any event be vexatious under section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and so the Council would not be obliged to comply with it. The volume of requests concerning council tax that the Council has received from a number of persons, who the Council considers are working as part of a campaign group, is now such that the Council considers the requests are placing a disproportionate burden on the Council's financial and human resources. The number of requests that the Council is receiving regarding council tax is a burden on the Council deliberately intended to cause annoyance and responding to your requests, and others, would involve disproportionate effort.

The public interest favours the Council being able to carry out its wider obligations fully and effectively so that it can meet the needs of all the communities that it serves. The public interest is not served by diverting its resources from its core duties in order to answer the many requests and questions it receives concerning its council tax service, the purpose of which appears to be to undermine the Council's legitimate legal functions.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of this response you can complain to the Information Commissioner, who is the regulator for Freedom of Information. His website is www.informationcommisioner.gov.uk and his helpline number is 0303 1231113.

Regards,

Peter Hassett
Strategic Manager - Chief Legal Officer
Resources Directorate
Wigan Council
Wigan New Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan WN1 1YN
www.wigan.gov.uk
www.twitter.com/wigancouncil
www.facebook.com/WiganCouncilOnline

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