PFI Sandhill View School

Nicholas Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to Sunderland City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sunderland City Council,

I am interested in information for the PFI for Sandhill View School.

View from PartnershipUK site:
http://www.partnershipsuk.org.uk/PUK-Cas...

My questions:

1. Can you please tell me how many companies submitted an application for the tender of this PFI?

2. Can you please supply copies of the actual applications each company made please?

3. The actual PFI went to: Sunderland CLC Schools Services Limited. This was owned as follows:
~ Jarvis 50% From: 17 August 2001 To: 30 March 2004
~ Barclays 50% From: 17 August 2001 To: Present
~ Secondary Market Infrastructure Fund (SMIF) 50% From: 30 March 2004 To: Present

Was one contract signed between Sunderland Council and the company named: Sunderland CLC Schools Services Limited?

Or was 3 differing contracts drafted and signed with each company concerned above?

4. Can you supply me with the said contract/s asked in question 3 please?

I would also like to ask similar questions answered for the PFI for Sandhill City Learning Centre. Can I ask them in this request or would you like me to submit a differing request for the PFI?

Yours faithfully,

Nicholas Taylor

Solicitor - Freedom of Information, Sunderland City Council

Dear Mr Taylor,

I confirm that your request for information has been received and is receiving attention.

The Council aims to provide available information promptly and in any event within 20 working days, unless, exceptionally, there is a need to consider whether the information is exempt from disclosure. Please note that there may be a charge for providing copies of the information. If the cost of complying with your request in full exceeds £450, we will ask you to reconsider your request, or to pay a fee before the information is supplied. If we need to ask you to refine your request or to pay a charge or fee we will let you know. Please quote the reference below if you contact the Council regarding this request.

Yours sincerely,

[email address]
Customer number - 1340

RFI number - 2095

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Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Taylor

Please find attached Sunderland City Council's response to your Freedom of Information request. As you will see from the content, this is a preliminary response as we have had to revert to a third party before we can issue a final response. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding, and for any inconvenience caused as a result of this delay.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind Regards

Nick Humphreys
Information Sharing and Management Officer
Business Development Team
Children's Services
1st Floor
City Library and Arts Building
30-32 Fawcett Street
Sunderland
SR1 1RE
0191 561 1303
[email address]

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Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

Thank you for your response.

Regarding question 1.

Thank you for the information supplied.

Regarding question 2.

Your answer:
"As the tender applications were made more than 10 years ago, we no longer hold copies of the applications."

Can I ask how long the tender applications were held for? Was it 10 years?
Is the length of time they are held for governed under a national policy or is the decision made at local council level?

Regarding question 3:

Can you confirm that Semperian have a 100% shareholding in Sunderland CLC Schools Services Limited?
If not can you please break down the the shareholding by percentage and the respective companies who have shareholding in this company?

Regarding question 4:

You denied this part of my request as you feel it is exempt Under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act.
I contend that this part of the Act is now unlawful and thus an unenforceable exemption.

I refer you to the Audit Commission Act of 1998 Section 15 part 1 which states:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
15 Inspection of documents and questions at audit

(1)At each audit under this Act, other than an audit of accounts of a health service body, any persons interested may—

(a)inspect the accounts to be audited and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts relating to them, and

(b)make copies of all or any part of the accounts and those other documents.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As you can see it clearly stipulates that any "person interested" may inspect contracts.

A legal precedent has been set for this, I refer you to:

VEOLIA ES NOTTINGHAMSHIRE LTD
vs
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
and
Interest Parties:
(1) SHLOMO DOWEN
(2) AUDIT COMMISSION FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES
AND THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE IN ENGLAND

The full ruling can be viewed here:
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admi...

If you wish to deal with this part of the FOI request privately then please contact me via e-mail.
I will willingly come down to the Civi Centre as i'm a rate payers in the area covered by the contract.
I will be seeking to exercise my legal entitlement to make copies of the said contract under Section 15 (1)(b) of the Audit Commission Act of 1998.

Regarding the question for the PFI for Sandhill City Learning Centre, firstly thank you for clarifying that this is covered under the same PFI.

A question I wished to ask now knowing this is:

Can you please identify and provide copies of any documents and/or correspondence mentioning the company registered as:
SUNDERLAND CLC SCHOOLS INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

Further to my above request, can I ask the following please:

Please can you supply me with a copy of the confidentiality agreement that was agreed between the council and SCLCSS Ltd?

Also please can you supply me with a copy of all the council minutes which discussed and passed the PFI agreement?

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

Dear Mr Taylor

 

Thank you for your subsequent emails with requests for further information
regarding the PFI for Sandhill View School. Unfortunately due to the
nature of the requests we are unable to respond to them as 'business as
usual' queries and have had to log them as a new request, received at this
office on Monday March 15^th 2010:

 

Customer number - 1340

RFI number - 2157

 

1. Can I ask how long the tender applications were held for? Was it 10
years? Is the length of time they are held for governed under a national
policy or is the decision made at local council level?

 

2. Can you confirm that Semperian have a 100% shareholding in Sunderland
CLC Schools Services Limited? If not can you please break down the the
shareholding by percentage and the respective companies who have
shareholding in this company?

 

3. Can you please identify and provide copies of any documents and/or
correspondence mentioning the company registered as: SUNDERLAND CLC
SCHOOLS INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED

 

4. Please can you supply me with a copy of the confidentiality agreement
that was agreed between the council and SCLCSS Ltd?

    

5. Also please can you supply me with a copy of all the council minutes
which discussed and passed the PFI agreement?

 

In terms of the response to question 4 of your original request (RFI
2095), please can I just clarify that we are not denying this part of your
request. Rather, we are unable to respond at this juncture as we are
required under Section 43 of the FOI Act to obtain the contractor’s views
on the release of this information. Once we have received their views we
will consider this element of your request for release and respond to you
as soon as possible. Thank you for providing the guidance around Section
15 of the Audit Commission Act 1998, which will inform these
considerations.

 

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind Regards

 

Nick Humphreys

Information Sharing and Management Officer

Business Development Team

Children's Services

1st Floor

City Library and Arts Building

30-32 Fawcett Street

Sunderland

SR1 1RE

0191 561 1303

[email address]

 

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Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

Can you please update me on the progress of the yet unanswered question of the original request (RFI number - 2095)?
By law this should of been answered by the 12th. I understand and allowed an extra period of time as you wished to converse with Semperian regarding the original request. I believe the time that has elapsed is more than reasonable for Semperian to of conveyed their thoughts.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

I hereby give Sunderland City Council 3 days notice to answer my original FOI request fully.
I will expect an answer by Friday 9th April 2010 at the very latest. That date is 4 weeks past the specified time set out in the Freedom Of Information Act.

I have been very lenient and understanding, knowing that you wished to contact Semperian and also that your offices would of been closed for the Easter Holidays. However, I think I have been more than patient in waiting for my response.

If no answer is given by the specified date I will be requesting an Internal Review.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

Dear Mr Taylor

Thank you for your email of April 6th. Once again, we sincerely
apologise for the protracted delay in providing you with a full and
final response to your request, and for the frustration and
inconvenience caused as a consequence.

Although we are endeavouring to provide you with a response as a matter
of urgency, we fully understand that a delay of four weeks after the
original response deadline is unacceptable and have noted your intention
to request an internal review if no response is received by Friday 9th
April 2010.

If we are unable to provide a response by Friday 9th April 2010, I will
write to you again on that date to advise as such.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Humphreys
Information Sharing and Management Officer
Business Development Team
Children's Services
1st Floor
City Library and Arts Building
30-32 Fawcett Street
Sunderland
SR1 1RE
0191 561 1303
[email address]

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Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

Dear Mr Taylor
 
I regret to inform that we are still unable to provide a final response to
your original FoI request. You may request an internal review at the email
address below, quoting your Customer and RFI numbers:
 
[1][email address]
Customer number - 1340
RFI number - 2095
Yours sincerely
 
Nick Humphreys
Business Development Team
Children's Services
Room 4.1
Civic Centre
Burdon Road
Sunderland
SR2 7DA
 
0191 561 1434
[2][email address]
 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]

Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

Regarding:

RFI:2095

Before asking for an internal review, can you please detail as to the reason why you have failed to answer the FOI appropriately in what is a well extended time period?

Has the delay been caused within the council or due to the consultation process with Semperian?

Regarding:

RFI:2157

Can you update me on this FOI request please? As i'm sure you are aware, this request is well overdue.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Taylor

 

Please find attached Sunderland City Council's response to your subsequent
Freedom of Information request ref 2157, together with supporting
documents. As you will see from the content, this is also a preliminary
response as we are still waiting for Semperian’s views in relation to
releasing their commercial information.

 

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind Regards

 

 

Nick Humphreys

Information Sharing and Management Officer

Business Development Team

Children's Services

1st Floor

City Library and Arts Building

30-32 Fawcett Street

Sunderland

SR1 1RE

0191 561 1303

[1][email address]

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Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Taylor

 

Please find attached Sunderland City Council's response to your subsequent
Freedom of Information request ref 2157, together with supporting
documents. As you will see from the content, this is also a preliminary
response as we are still waiting for Semperian’s views in relation to
releasing their commercial information.

 

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind Regards

 

 

Nick Humphreys

Information Sharing and Management Officer

Business Development Team

Children's Services

1st Floor

City Library and Arts Building

30-32 Fawcett Street

Sunderland

SR1 1RE

0191 561 1303

[1][email address]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

show quoted sections

Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

Regarding:

RFI:2095

Before asking for an internal review, can you please detail as to the reason why you have failed to answer the FOI appropriately in what is a well extended time period?

Has the delay been caused within the council or due to the consultation process with Semperian?

Regarding:

RFI:2157

Thank you for your response and the information supplied.

However there is an issue regarding Question 5 and the Council Meeting minutes.

11th April 2001 ~ (Preferred Bidder)
20 June 2001 ~ (Key legal, financial and commercial terms).

I have checked the minutes for both meetings listed above and found no mention of the PFI in either of the meetings.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Taylor

Thank you for your response.

In terms of RFI 2095, I'm afraid I won't be able to provide detailed
reasons for the delay. Investigations into reasons for delays and
failings would be more appropriately served by the review process, and
you can certainly highlight specific areas of concern when requesting a
review.

In terms of RFI 2157, please see the attached agendas. It seems the
sections of the minutes and associated reports of 11th April and 20th
June 2001 where the Sandhill View PFI Project was discussed were classed
as "not for publication" under the Local Government (Access to
Information) Act 1985, and are therefore not included in the minutes
published on the Council's website.

I will need to seek advice from the Council's Democratic Services team
regarding the release, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, of
information covered by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act
1985, and will revert to you in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Humphreys
Information Sharing and Management Officer
Business Development Team
Children's Services
1st Floor
City Library and Arts Building
30-32 Fawcett Street
Sunderland
SR1 1RE
0191 561 1303
[email address]

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Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

RFI 2095

I hereby request an Internal Review.

RFI 2157

Thank you for your response and look forward to further communication on this request.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

I am on annual leave Monday 19th till Friday 23rd April. I will respond to
your email on my return to the office on Monday 26th April.

If your query is urgent please redirect to the appropriate contact below:

Information Governance (incl. Freedom of Info, Data Protection, Info
Sharing, Records Mgt etc): [email address]

ContactPoint: [email address], [email address]

If you are making a request under the Freedom of Information Act please
redirect it to [Sunderland City Council request email] and it will be
treated as received upon receipt at this address.

Thank you.

Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

With Regards to RFI 2157,

You stated the following:
"In terms of RFI 2157, please see the attached agendas. It seems the sections of the minutes and associated reports of 11th April and 20th June 2001 where the Sandhill View PFI Project was discussed were classed as "not for publication" under the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, and are therefore not included in the minutes published on the Council's website."

Firstly, minutes are not covered by that Act, only the report, so please can the minutes be released forthwith?

Secondly, upon reading the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, there are 2 sections which cover "not for publication" classification. One is only for Scotland so that can only mean the classification was made under Section 100B
Access to agenda and connected reports, with Part 5 being the relevant section.

This states:

(5) Where by virtue of subsection (2) above the whole or any part of a report for a meeting is not open to inspection by the public under subsection (1) above—

(a) every copy of the report or of the part shall be marked “Not for publication”; and

(b) there shall be stated on every copy of the whole or any part of the report the description, in terms of Schedule 12A to this Act, of the exempt information by virtue of which the council are likely to exclude the public during the item to which the report relates.
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/A...

Looking at Schedule 12A of the Act to which it is relating to: Local Government Act 1972 (c.70)

Section 9 of Schedule 12A states:

"9 Information is not exempt information if it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992"
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/A...

Obviously the PFI for Sandhill View School it would of needed Sunderland Council to grant itself planning permission.

Part of Section 9 states:

"pursuant to regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992"

Regulation 3 states:

"Applications for planning permission
3. Subject to regulation 4, an application for planning permission by an interested planning authority to develop any land of that authority, or for development of any land by an interested planning authority or by an interested planning authority jointly with any other person, shall be determined by the authority concerned, unless the application is referred to the Secretary of State under section 77 of the 1990 Act for determination by him.

4.—(1) Regulation 3 does not apply in the case of an application for planning permission to develop land of an interested planning authority where—

(a)the authority do not intend to develop the land themselves or jointly with any person, and

(b)if it were not such land the application would fall to be determined by another body."
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1992/Uksi_19...

Sunderland Council would be classified as an "interested planning authority"
Also SCLCSS Ltd would be the person jointly associated.

As you can now clearly see, the reports should never of had the "not for publication" classification in the first place.

Due to this, can you please release the reports at the councils earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Taylor

Please find attached Sunderland City Council's update regarding the
outstanding element of your Freedom of Information request RFI2095.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards

Nick Humphreys
Information Sharing and Management Officer
Business Development Team
Children's Services
1st Floor
City Library and Arts Building
30-32 Fawcett Street
Sunderland
SR1 1RE
0191 561 1303
[email address]

Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

Thank you for your response.

Regarding:RFI 2095

I respectfully decline your offer of a redacted copy of the contract. So please do include this part of your Internal Review process.

Regarding: RFI 2157

Thank you and I look forward to Council's Democratic Services section response.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

Dear Mr Taylor

 

Just in response to your telephone query on Tuesday 4^th May, regarding
the equity moving on from Secondary Market Infrastructure Fund to
Semperian, I can confirm that the precise name is Semperian PPP Investment
Partners Limited, and the equity transferred in January 2009.

 

Kind Regards

 

Nick Humphreys

Information Sharing and Management Officer

Business Development Team

Children's Services

1st Floor

City Library and Arts Building

30-32 Fawcett Street

Sunderland

SR1 1RE

0191 561 1303

[1][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

Regarding: RFI 2157

Can I ask if the Council's Democratic Services has provided an update and offered up any type of time scale of when it will release the reports and minutes?

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nicholas Taylor

Dear Nick Humphreys,

I have no other alternative but to give the council 3 working days notice regarding both FOI requests.

I have been very patient through the whole process.

No response has came from my last request for an update, I have rang the council for the last 3 days trying to find out with no avail even though I had been promised someone would ring me back, which they didn't.

If this matter is not resolved I have no other alternative to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Taylor

Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Taylor

RFI 2157 - Please find attached the Part II documents regarding PFI
Sandhill together with supporting letter.

Kind Regards

Nick Humphreys

 

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Nick Humphreys, Sunderland City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Taylor

RFI2157: Please find attached the extracts of the Part II minutes
regarding PFI Sandhill.

Kind Regards

Nick Humphreys

 

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From: Nick Humphreys
Sent: 20 May 2010 21:22
To: [FOI #28914 email]
Subject: Re:

 

Dear Mr Taylor

RFI 2157 - Please find attached the Part II documents regarding PFI
Sandhill together with supporting letter.

Kind Regards

Nick Humphreys

 

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Rhiannon Hood, Sunderland City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Taylor
The attached letter sets out the conclusions of my review of the Council's
response to your request for information.
yours sincerely
Rhiannon Hood

alan m dransfield (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Hi Nicholas
I have had similar problems obtaining PFI school info via the FOIA act and my complaints have gone right thru to the UT and he is due to give his final decision any day.

Your PA are acting in a V similar vague secretive manner. What are they hiding.

David left an annotation ()

A very interesting read