£180,000 of Kick Start funding for street scene improvements to London Road in Bognor Regis

Tony Dixon made this Freedom of Information request to West Sussex County 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 successful.

Dear West Sussex County Council,

I am aware that the council has agreed to provide £180,000 of Kick Start funding for street scene improvements to London Road in Bognor Regis.

I have a number of concerns relating to the manner in which this funding has been allocated, as follows:

a) That the democratic process may have been bypassed in approving the designs for London Road.
b) That £180,000 of public funding has been allocated without proper due diligence on claims made by the applicant.
c) That quantifiable criterion to measure the outcome of this public funding have not been set.

Therefore I would like to request the following information:

I understand that the £180,000 of funding was agreed on the basis of a business case put forward by Arun District Council. May I please have a copy of that business case and any supporting evidence.

May I have a copy of any further evidence considered by the Capital Investment Appraisal Group (CIAG) relating to this £180,000 of funding. Please also provide a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which this funding was discussed/agreed.

May I have a copy of all internal communications that relate to this £180,000 of funding, and also any communications with the applicant.

May I have any information that makes it clear at what point the council, as highways authority, approved the final designs. I would also like any information that makes clear who approved those designs and under what powers.

Please provide any information confirming which Bognor Regis county councillors were consulted on the final designs.

It is my understanding that the Joint Western Arun Area Committee (JWAAC) was bypassed in the approval of these designs. May I have any information that justifies or explains why JWAAC was bypassed.

May I have any information that explains the criterion for Kick Start funding and any evidence that identifies how this particular scheme fulfils the terms of the Kick Start funding. (Please do not send assumptions - I am only interested in evidence. For the sake of clarity would it be possible to redact anything that might be considered an assumption in order to help the public to see the wood from the trees – the evidence from the assumptions.)

I have heard it suggested that Arun District Council claim the improvements will increase footfall by tens of thousands of people and put £4.5million into the local economy. May I have any information that demonstrates that the council has carried out due diligence on these or any other claims made by the applicant.

May I have any information that explains how the outcome of this public funding is intended to be measured.

I recognise that some of this information may be published on the council’s web site – if so I would be grateful if you could provide the appropriate web link.

These are difficult times in local governance with painful cuts to public services, pay freezes, and staff redundancies (your Chief Executive is one recent victim – for what it’s worth I found him to be a first class public servant and I am very sorry to see him go) and so it is vital that large scale funding decisions are made in the proper manner, through the democratic process, with proper consultation of democratically elected representatives and with due diligence at all times.

The county council owes it to all those who have suffered, or will suffer, as a result of cuts in public spending to demonstrate publicly that this funding has been properly justified.

Would you please send any response to this WhatDoTheyKnow web address. FOI law requires public bodies to take account of requestor's preferred means of communication.

Yours faithfully,

Tony Dixon

Freedom of Information Act,

Dear Mr Dixon,

 

Thank you for your enquiry, which has been forwarded to the appropriate
officers for a response.

 

Please note that following a decision by the Cabinet at a meeting on 4th
September 2012, FoI and EIR requests to West Sussex County Council and the
Council's responses may be published on the Council's website in a
suitably anonymised form. This is in addition to the individual response
to the requestor, and in line with the Council's commitment to
transparency and open data.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Dave Loveman

Customer Relations Team Manager

 

Freedom Of Information |  [1]West Sussex County Council | Location:
County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RQ
E-mail: [2][email address]

 

 

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Dear West Sussex County Council,

This FOI request is now overdue.

Would it be possible to advise me when I can expect a response?

Yours faithfully,

Tony Dixon

Freedom of Information Act,

Dear Mr Dixon,

 

I do apologise that the Council appear to have missed the expected
timescales for responding to you.

 

I will ask the officer dealing with your request to ensure there are no
more undue delays.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Dave Loveman

Customer Relations Team Manager

 

Freedom Of Information |  [1]West Sussex County Council | Location:
County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RQ
E-mail: [2][email address]

 

 

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CI Group FOI,

I have sent this one back to Clare Whatley for her to ensure that
everything I am sending out is correct and then this will be sent today.

 

Sorry

Alison

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Alison Attwood | Business Practitioner, Business Management Team, |
| Business Improvement, [1]West Sussex County Council |
| Location: Room 215, East Wing, County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RF |
| Internal: 28338 | External: +44 (0) 3302 228338 | E-mail: |
| [2][email address] |
| |
|   |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

 

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CI Group FOI,

12 Attachments

Our Ref: 1024

 

Dear Mr Dixon

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

I refer to your request for information in relation to Kick Start funding
for street scene improvements to London Road in Bognor Regis.  Your
request was received by me on 29 January 2014 and is being processed under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

I am now in a position to respond to you as follows and attach the
following documents which provide the relevant information:

1.   PDF Public Realm consultation

2.   Improvements Survey Report – results of that consultation

3.   Business Case from Arun for the scheme 24 July 2012

4.   District & Boroughs Kick Start September report to Environmental and
Community Services Select Committee November 2012 responsible for the
scrutiny and overview of this programme

5.   Approval letter from WSCC 21 June 2013 confirming the funding

6.   Arun times press release

7.   Highlight reports produced during the course of the project

8.   Project Update Feb 2013 sets out the use of a Local Development Order
for this project

 

The following link to Arun District council’s website provides further
information on the councillors involvement and the consultation process
followed:

[1]http://www.arun.gov.uk/main.cfm?type=NI&...
start

[2]http://www.arun.gov.uk/main.cfm?type=NI&...
start

 

It is my understanding that the Joint Western Arun Area Committee (JWAAC)
was bypassed in the approval of these designs. May I have any information
that justifies or explains why JWAAC was bypassed. - JWAAC is a WSCC-run
body and therefore beyond the remit of Arun DC decision-making

 

I have heard it suggested that Arun District Council claim the
improvements will increase footfall by tens of thousands of people and put
£4.5million into the local economy. May I have any information that
demonstrates that the council has carried out due diligence on these or
any other claims made by the applicant.

See Business Case as accepted by KickStart

 

May I have any information that explains how the outcome of this public
funding is intended to be measured. - The first measure is that the
project is successfully delivered within budget and timescales. Vacancy
rates within the town centre are regularly monitored to review trends over
time.

Feedback will be requested from Traders and shoppers regarding their
satisfaction with the town centre

 

I recognise that some of this information may be published on the
council’s web site – if so I would be grateful if you could provide the
appropriate web link. - The Kickstart information was not published on
Arun District Council’s website

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most
documents supplied by us will be copyright of West Sussex County Council.
 
Information you receive which is not subject to WSCC copyright continues
to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from
which the information originated. You must ensure that you gain their
permission before reproducing any third party (non WSCC) information.
 
If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you may
wish to ask for a review of our decision under our complaints procedure
via our website.
 
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints
procedure.  The ICO can be contacted at the Information Commissioner's
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Please remember to quote our reference number above in any further
correspondence.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Alison Attwood

Business Practitioner

 

 

Alison Attwood | Business Practitioner, Business Management Team, Business
Improvement, [3]West Sussex County Council
Location: Room 215, East Wing, County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RF
Internal: 28338 | External: +44 (0) 3302 228338 | E-mail:
[4][email address]

 

 

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