Plaque on the Bradford Odeon

Richard Killip made this Freedom of Information request to Yorkshire Forward

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

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

Dear Sirs

The former Odeon cinema in Bradford had a Bradford City Heritage plaque on its wall reading "This building, formerly the New Victoria Cinema, was built in 1930 and was one of the biggest English cinemas outside London with 3,318 seats, a restaurant and a ballroom" which was removed in 2007.

I require the following information:

1. Was this plaque removed by, or was its removal sanctioned by, Yorkshire Forward?

2. Who authorised its removal?

3. Does Yorkshire Forward still have it?

4. Where is it?

5. Why was it removed?

6. When do you intend to reinstall it?

Yours faithfully

Richard Killip

Rachel Mason, Yorkshire Forward

Dear Mr. Killip,

Thank you for your request for information disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, in which you requested information concerning a Bradford Odeon plaque.

I acknowledge your request received 3rd January 2012 and advise that I am dealing with it in accordance with the Act. Please quote the above reference on all future correspondence concerning your request.

Yours sincerely

Rachel Mason
Corporate Information Manager

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Rachel Mason, Yorkshire Forward

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Killip,

 

I write in response to your request for information disclosure under the
Freedom of Information Act, in which you requested information concerning
a Bradford City Heritage plaque in connection with the Odeon Building. You
specifically requested the information:

    

     1. Was this plaque removed by, or was its removal sanctioned by,
Yorkshire Forward?

    

     2. Who authorised its removal?

    

     3. Does Yorkshire Forward still have it?

 

     4. Where is it?

    

     5. Why was it removed?

    

     6. When do you intend to reinstall it?

 

I confirm that Yorkshire Forward does not hold the information requested
and has no knowledge of the plaque you refer to, nor of its whereabouts.
Therefore, we are unable to provide this information to you.

 

As this request has been logged as a request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act, Yorkshire Forward is obliged to offer you the
right to complain. If you are not satisfied with the way we have handled
your request, or if you are unhappy with our response, you can appeal via
our Complaints Procedure, a copy of which is attached.  The Yorkshire
Forward Directorate that has been dealing with your request is Finance. If
you are still dissatisfied after pursuing our Complaints Procedure, then
you may wish to appeal to the Information Commissioner at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
5AF, telephone: 01625 545700, fax: 01625 524510 or email
[1][email address].uk  The Information Commissioner's website is:
[2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Rachel Mason

Corporate Information Manager

Direct line: 0113 3949677

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Dear Rachel,

Thank you for your reply. I am writing to request an Internal Review of your handling of my Freedom of Information Request.

You state in your response that "Yorkshire Forward does not hold the information requested and has no knowledge of the plaque you refer to, nor of its whereabouts" and that this means that you are unable to provide the requested information to me.

I do not believe that Yorkshire Forward have no knowledge of the plaque. Yorkshire Forward were the freehold proprietor of the building until late last year. As a public body Yorkshire Forward have an obligation to safeguard the public funds they use. This includes monitoring and having an awareness of any assets they own.

I find it very difficult to believe that Yorkshire Forward could purchase a building without knowledge of its appearance - especially given how prominently displayed the plaques were.

Furthermore, Yorkshire Forward confirmed knowledge of the disappearance of the plaques in an article published in the Yorkshire Post on 6th November 2007 entitled "Mystery as plaques vanish from historic former cinema". The article can be found online here: http://goo.gl/fxYhX.

I quote directly from the article concerned:

//
A spokesman for Yorkshire Forward, which owns the building, said, yesterday: "We are looking into it. Someone may know something about it. We cannot say either way at the moment."
//

It is, therefore, clear that irrespective of whether Yorkshire Forward were aware of the plaque at the time they purchased the building, they have been aware of it since 6th November 2007 when they were alerted to it by the Yorkshire Post. Yorkshire Forward have also investigated its disappearance. It is therefore, frankly, a complete mistruth that Yorkshire Forward "has no knowledge of the plaque [I] refer to" even if, as you assert, the authority has no knowledge of its whereabouts.

I therefore require that an internal review is conducted regarding any information that Yorkshire Forward may have about the plaque mentioned, including the contents of the investigation that the Yorkshire Forward spokesman said would be conducted.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: http://goo.gl/AOrzU.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Killip

Dear Rachel

Further evidence, were it to be required, that Yorkshire Forward is aware of the plaque and it would seem its whereabouts.

I quote directly from Mike Priestley's article in the Bradford Telegraph & Argus dated 15th November 2007:

//
Plaque's in safe hands

Such is the suspicion over official intentions towards the New Vic/Gaumont/Odeon building that some readers feared that the disappearance of a couple of Bradford City Heritage plaques from its front wall was part of the softening-up activity prior to it being pulled down.

Well who can blame them? After all, the car park at the rear of the building was barricaded-off months ago, giving it the appearance of a demolition site. Was taking away its plaques just another stage in the same process, a sort of stripping of its honours before banishing it to history?

Not so, apparently. A call to Yorkshire Forward (who own the building) brought the following response: "One of the plaques from the exterior wall of the Odeon building in Bradford, which refers to the New Victoria Cinema, has been placed in safekeeping following the disappearance of a second plaque, which commemorated the brewery which formerly stood on the site."

So now you know. Let's hope that whoever has the Whitaker's Brewery plaque returns it when the Odeon is finally saved.
//

Please see attached link: http://bit.ly/svlbut

So it would appear not only that Yorkshire Forward are aware of the plaque but also that they are aware of its whereabouts.

Please forward this email to the person conducting the internal review as well as my earlier email requesting the review.

I trust that my alerting you to this evidence will result in full and candid prompt disclosure of the information requested in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Act as I am sure that Yorkshire Forward would not wish to be embarassed by any such blatant failure being brought to the attention of the Information Commissioner.

I trust that an apology for the clear mistruth sent earlier today will also be forthcoming.

Yours sincerely

Richard Killip

Rachel Mason, Yorkshire Forward

Dear Mr. Killip,

Thank you for your request for an Internal Review, received 11th January 2012, in respect of the above Freedom of Information request. Gareth Venables, Head of Legal Services will conduct the Internal Review and we anticipate being able to send you the completed review on or before 8th February 2012.

In the meantime, if you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Rachel Mason
Corporate Information Manager

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Gareth Venables, Yorkshire Forward

Dear Mr. Killip,

 

I have today completed the Internal Review that you requested in the above
matter.

 

It is with the Executive Director of Finance for approval and sign-off. 
It is possible that this will not occur tonight, in which case I will send
it to you on Monday.

Best regards,

Gareth

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gareth Venables, Solicitor

Head of Legal Services

[1][email address]

Direct line: 0113 39 49919
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Yorkshire Forward
Head Office: Victoria House, 2 Victoria Place, Leeds, LS11 5AE

Find out more at www.yorkshire-forward.com

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The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the virus scanning
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On leaving the Yorkshire Forward (Yorkshire & the Humber Regional
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Communications via the Yorkshire Forward (Yorkshire & the Humber Regional
Development Agency) network may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Gareth Venables, Yorkshire Forward

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Killip,

 

I now attach a copy of the signed Internal Review in this matter.

 

Yorkshire Forward will be forwarding a copy to HCA today.

 

Best regards,

 

Gareth

 

From: Gareth Venables
Sent: 10 February 2012 16:43
To: '[FOI #98457 email]'
Subject: Internal Review of Freedom of Information request - Plaque on the
Bradford Odeon

 

Dear Mr. Killip,

 

I have today completed the Internal Review that you requested in the above
matter.

 

It is with the Executive Director of Finance for approval and sign-off. 
It is possible that this will not occur tonight, in which case I will send
it to you on Monday.

Best regards,

Gareth

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gareth Venables, Solicitor

Head of Legal Services

[1][email address]

Direct line: 0113 39 49919
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Yorkshire Forward
Head Office: Victoria House, 2 Victoria Place, Leeds, LS11 5AE

Find out more at www.yorkshire-forward.com

show quoted sections

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the virus scanning
service supplied by MessageLabs. (CCTM Certificate Number 2009/09/0052.)
On leaving the Yorkshire Forward (Yorkshire & the Humber Regional
Development Agency) network this email was certified virus free.

Communications via the Yorkshire Forward (Yorkshire & the Humber Regional
Development Agency) network may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Gareth Venables, Yorkshire Forward

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Killip,

 

For completeness, if you do wish to take this matter up with HCA, you
should email [1][email address]. I am told that this
mailbox is monitored constantly.

 

Best regards,

 

Gareth

 

From: Gareth Venables
Sent: 13 February 2012 10:26
To: '[FOI #98457 email]'
Subject: FW: Internal Review of Freedom of Information request - Plaque on
the Bradford Odeon

 

Dear Mr. Killip,

 

I now attach a copy of the signed Internal Review in this matter.

 

Yorkshire Forward will be forwarding a copy to HCA today.

 

Best regards,

 

Gareth

 

From: Gareth Venables
Sent: 10 February 2012 16:43
To: '[FOI #98457 email]'
Subject: Internal Review of Freedom of Information request - Plaque on the
Bradford Odeon

 

Dear Mr. Killip,

 

I have today completed the Internal Review that you requested in the above
matter.

 

It is with the Executive Director of Finance for approval and sign-off. 
It is possible that this will not occur tonight, in which case I will send
it to you on Monday.

Best regards,

Gareth

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gareth Venables, Solicitor

Head of Legal Services

[2][email address]

Direct line: 0113 39 49919
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Yorkshire Forward
Head Office: Victoria House, 2 Victoria Place, Leeds, LS11 5AE

Find out more at www.yorkshire-forward.com

show quoted sections

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the virus scanning
service supplied by MessageLabs. (CCTM Certificate Number 2009/09/0052.)
On leaving the Yorkshire Forward (Yorkshire & the Humber Regional
Development Agency) network this email was certified virus free.

Communications via the Yorkshire Forward (Yorkshire & the Humber Regional
Development Agency) network may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

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

Richard Killip left an annotation ()

I have made the same request to the Homes and Communities Agency which can be found here: http://goo.gl/uIXj3

Dear Gareth

Thank you for your comprehensive review in which you stated in response to my disbelief that Yorkshire Forward does not hold the information requested: "Effective and secure information transfer to successor bodies is a major part of this process, and to my knowledge the transfer to HCA was comprehensive and successfully completed."

I have followed your advice and requested the information from the Homes and Communities Agency. That request can be found at the following link: http://bit.ly/xqg8f4.

As you can see, the Homes and Communities Agency is adamant that they do not hold the information requested, having looked "in every possible place" for it. I can therefore only conclude that the "effective and secure information transfer" was only partially and unsuccessfully completed, and would therefore like to afford you the opportunity to re-examine your response before I consider whether to take the step of referring the matter to the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely

Richard Killip

Gareth Venables, Yorkshire Forward

Dear Mr. Killip,

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry you are still unable to obtain the information you are seeking.

I can confirm that 8 boxes of paper records and 550 electronic files relating to the former Odeon building were transferred to HCA via secure courier and encrypted disks, so the transfer of the information certainly took place in September last year. What I cannot say is whether or not those files contained any information within the scope of your request, but I have no reason to doubt what HCA have told you.

Nevertheless, I will contact HCA myself to see if there is anything further that can be done to assist you.

Best regards,

Gareth

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Richard Killip left an annotation ()

I have referred this matter to the ICO with the following narrative:

This Freedom of Information request concerns a plaque that was located on a building that Yorkshire Forward used to own. In 2007, when Yorkshire Forward still owned the building, the plaque was removed.

I requested information from Yorkshire Forward regarding this plaque. Yorkshire Forward responded, indicating that they did not hold the information requested.

I requested an internal review of Yorkshire Forward's handling of my request on the basis that I did not believe that Yorkshire Forward did not hold the information requested. This belief was based on two newspaper articles, which I sent to Yorkshire Forward quoting the relevant sections.

The review was conducted by Gareth Venables who admitted in his review that Yorkshire Forward held the information in 2007 but no longer held it owing to Yorkshire Forward's forthcoming dissolution. He further stated that all information regarding the building concerned was forwarded to the building's new owner, the Homes & Communities Agency.

Having requested the same information from the Homes & Communities Agency, they too deny any knowledge of the plaque.

The following facts do not appear to be in dispute:

1. Yorkshire Forward had knowledge of the whereabouts of the plaque in 2007

2. Yorkshire Forward have sent documentation to the Homes & Communities Agency regarding the building

3. Yorkshire Forward claim not to hold the information any more

4. The HCA also claim not to hold the information.

The information was definitely in Yorkshire Forward's possession in 2007 because they confirmed to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus that the plaque had "been placed in safekeeping following the disappearance of a second plaque, which commemorated the brewery which formerly stood on the site". It appears to me that one or the other organisation must hold the information requested - and that it was either transferred to the HCA or it wasn't. However, both agencies are adamant that they do not hold the information. I find it incredible that the information can be "lost" simply because ownership has passed from one emanation of the state to another.

Richard Killip left an annotation ()

ICO Case Reference Number: FER0445564

Richard Killip left an annotation ()

The ICO have informed me that they are unable to investigate this complaint due to the abolition of Yorkshire Forward. Their correspondence is reproduced below:

//
Dear Mr Killip,

Further to my email yesterday, please see the attached letter detailing the next stages in the investigation into your complaint against the Homes & Communities Agency. As before, I would be grateful if you could please read through the letter and confirm that the scope of your complaint has been correctly identified.

Regarding your complaint against Yorkshire Forward, as this public authority has ceased to exist, the Commissioner is unable to investigate the complaint and so the case will be closed. Please note this will have no impact on the other two cases of yours that I am currently investigating.

If you have any queries regarding these cases please contact me.

Regards,

Michael Avery Case Officer - Complaints Resolution (Group 1
//