Public Rights of Way GIS Data

The request was successful.

Dear Cambridgeshire County Council,

I am writing to you to request information regarding the GIS data you hold on Public Rights of Way in Cambridgeshire. I see that you are able to produce an interactive visual representation of the County's Rights of Way in an online map at http://my.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/myCambri... . The underlying data used to generate the images and pop-ups depicting/describing the Rights of Way on this map must presumably be held in a digital database or datafile somewhere.

In this request I shall use the term "Rights of Way Database" to refer to this database or datafile, even though it may not be a traditional database. It may be that the same database holds more than just the Public Rights of Way data, in which cases, references to the "Rights of Way Database" should be taken to just refer to those parts or tables that hold Public Rights of Way data.

In relation to this, I would like to request the following under FOIA/EIR as appropriate:

1/ The name of database/file format used for your Rights of Way Database. (Here, I'm looking for an answer such as "a KML file", "a MySQL database", "an ARCInfo database with PostgreSQL storage".) If multiple databases exist in more than one format, please list all of them.

2/ A copy of the database definition / schema for your Rights of Way Database. (Depending on the format from 1, this could be a file specification, the relevant SQL table definitions, or simply a list of the tables, their relationships, and the fields they contain.) If it is not obvious from any of the field names what information they contain, please provide a brief description.

3/ A full copy or data-dump of the information/data contained in your Rights of Way Database. (This should include, at a minimum, each Right of Way's name, parish, reference number, any internal ids, and the geographic/positional data necessary to define the route -- probably in the form of way segments and coordinates.)

For your responses to 2 and 3 I have a strong preference for the data to be provided in a open and re-usable electronic form.

Finally, I would also like to request permission (under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations) to re-use any data provided in response to item 3 under the terms of the Open Government Licence 2.0. If that is not possible because of third-party IP rights, then please consider granting permission to re-use the information under the Ordnance Survey OpenData Licence instead.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker

PS: I am aware of the recent ICO decision notice at http://ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/deci...
concerning a related request to you for information about Public Rights of Way. Note that in part 3 of my request, I am specifically asking for the information stored in the your Rights of Way Database, rather than information about Rights of Way more generally. In particular, I am interested not just in general routes taken, but also on the accuracy and faithfulness of the digitisation, and the numerical precision with which line segments and their coordinates are stored in the Database. This information is not available from the online map, nor from any paper definitive maps or statements. So, in contrast to the request that the Decision Notice concerns, the specific information I am seeking is not already publicly available.

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

See also this recent Court of Appeal judgement which the ICO probably didn't consider in its decision notice, given the timings: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...

It relates to FOI but I think EIR regulation 6 (1) looks quite similar to FOI 11(a) in its language.

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker

Re: Freedom of Information Request ref 4460.

Thank you for your email which was received on 29th August 2014 in which you requested information about Public Rights of Way GIS Data.

Your request will be dealt with in line with the Freedom of Information Act and its regulations. In accordance with the Act, the Council aims to respond to all requests within 20 working days, in this instance, by 26th September 2014.

If we require further information, clarification or a fee in order to fulfil your request we will contact you again. Please quote the reference number above in all future correspondence concerning this request.

Yours sincerely,

Kind regards,

Kim Lavin

ITP Project Support Officer

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Dear Cambridgeshire CC FOI Team,

I believe that your response to my Freedom of Information Request ref 4460 is now overdue. Contrary to what was stated in your acknowledgement of 2nd September, my original request should have been received by your email system on 28th August, albeit at around 11:20pm. This makes the 20th working day, by which I should have received a reply, 25th September.

If you are unable to provide a full reply today, please explain why and give an indication of when you will be able to respond. If any of the parts of my request are proving difficult, then please do not let these hold up your response to the other parts.

Finally, as per the ICO's guidance on the requirement to respond "promptly" and not just within 20 working days (paragraphs 21-25 of [1]), please provide an explanation of why you were unable to respond to my request sooner.

Yours sincerely,
Robert Whittaker

[1] http://ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/libr...

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker

I apologise for the delay in responding to your request. We are still in the process of finalizing our response and unfortunately this has taken longer than expected due to a significant number of requests being received in recent weeks. We acknowledge that we are required to meet the deadline and have failed to do so in this case and assure you we are endeavouring to provide a full response as soon as possible. This should be with you next week and we will contact you again for news of any progress.

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Team
Cambridgeshire County Council

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Dear FOI,

Re: Freedom of Information Request ref 4460.

More than a week has gone by since your last message, and I still do not seem to have had a reply, nor been offered any further explanation for the continuing delay.

While I sympathize with your position of having to deal with a large number of FOI requests, the law is quite clear on the time scales allowed for a response. Additionally, my request should be pretty simple for you to deal with -- a database administrator within your IT department should be able to provide the requested information within at most half and hour.

I appreciate that the re-use question may require more consideration. But as I said before, if any of the parts of my request are proving difficult, then please do not let these hold up your response to the other parts.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

Re: Freedom of Information Request ref 4460.

More than another week has gone by since my last message, and I have received neither a response to my original request, nor any further details of the reasons for the continuing delay. You have now been considering my request for more than 35 working days. The legal maximum time limit is 20. How much more time do you need?

Given that your disclosure log shows plenty of other requests being answered with reference numbers that post-date mine, I must question whether an FOI backlog is the only reason for the delay in responding to my request. Please review your handling of my request, and provide a full explanation of why it is taking so long.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

A few days ago I complained to the Information Commissioner about the delayed response to this request. The ICO has now assigned my complaint the reference number FER0557948. He has today written to the Council asking them to respond within 10 working days of the receipt of his letter!

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker

 

Re: Freedom of Information Request ref: 4460

 

I write with reference to your e-mail of 29 August regarding Rights of Way
data.

 

We have considered your request under the terms of the Environmental
Information Regulations. Please find our response attached. I apologise
once again for failing to meet our 20 working day deadline in this case.
This was due to it taking longer than anticipated to compile and complete
a full response to your queries, alongside other request-handling work,
and taking into account ongoing work to publish additional details
relating to Rights of Way on our online mapping service.

 

I hope this information is helpful but if you are unhappy with the service
you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint
or request a review, you should write to Catherine Preston, Information
Governance Manager, at either [1][Cambridgeshire County Council request email] or by post at
Box SH1202, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP within 40 days of the date of
this e-mail.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

 

Generally, the ICO will not undertake a review or make a decision on a
request until the internal review process has been completed.

 

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Team
Cambridgeshire County Council

 

 

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Dear Cambridgeshire County Council,

Many thanks for your (albeit somewhat belated) reply to my request #4460 under EIR. Unfortunately I am not completely happy with your response, and would like to revisit a couple of issues:

First, I believe that your response is incomplete. While your answers to requests 2 and 3, deal with all the meta-data about each Right of Way, they omit any mention of the geographic and presentational information that must also be stored in the MapInfo files. I believe it was clear from my request that I also wanted details and copies of what geographic information you hold.

From my understanding of MapInfo files, there will be geographic information in a .map file and a linking .id file to link each map object with the metadata that you did describe in your response. The .map file should comprise object definitions and coordinates and (possibly) presentational data.

For question 2, I would expect details of how each right of way is stored -- e.g. is each a single MapInfo object, what type of object(s) are used, what coordinates are stored (OSGB grid references, WGS84 lat/lon, etc.), and what other information (if any) is present? For question 3, I would expect you to consider providing me a copy of (the information in) the .map and .id files you have. (As I explained in my original request, the precise geographic information is not accessible via your online map.) Also if you are claiming that the other metadata is already available via your online map, I would need a way to link each geographic object to that available data -- for example by providing the unique "Pathno" field.

Since this is a clear omission on your part, I trust that it will be examined as a matter of urgency, and that you will provide these missing parts of your reply within the 10 working days given to you by the Information Commissioner in his letter of 17th October.

Secondly, I must disagree with your application of EIR 6(1)(b). While it is true that the information is "publicly available", and that the information for any individual Right of Way is "easily accessible" via your online map (assuming you already know roughly where it is located), I do not agree that the complete set of information I requested taken as a whole and covering all the rights of way is "easily accessible" as required by 6(1)(b). For me to access the requested information for every right of way through your online map, I would need to manually click on each route on the map individually. This would involve lots of zooming and scrolling around, as there are a lot of Rights of Way. I'd probably also get many duplicates, increasing the effort still further, since it it not always obvious from the map where one right of way stops and another starts. Since I do not even know the total number of Rights of Way, I could never be sure that I hadn't missed a small section with a different number somewhere.

For the "Width" column, you state that it will be added to the online map shortly. If it is not currently available, then 6(1)(b) does not apply. Please provide this information in a reusable electronic format, together with a way to identify which path each width belongs to.

(While I am not sure I agree with all the other exemptions you applied to the information that it not publicly available, this is not information I am particular interested in, so I will not ask you to review those decisions.)

Finally, I note that you have also failed to respond to my request to reuse the information you have provided. As 6(1)(b) is not an exemption to providing information, I believe my re-use request covers the information you state is available in your online map. Please respond to this request as you are required to do under the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker.

PS: Rather than continuing to fight releasing your PRoW information in a much more useful format, surely it would be a better use of public money for you to simply copy the MapInfo files, delete the columns of meta-data you claim are exempt, and then send me what's left. I would then be happy. And since you are claiming the information is already accessible to me, you could surely not have any objections to me having access to the same information in a different format.

Dear FOI,

It is now two weeks since my message of 22nd October, requesting that you provide certain information missing from your initial response, and that you re-examine your application of EIR 6(1)(b). The full text of my message can be viewed at https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

I have yet to receive an acknowledgement of this message, so could you please confirm that the requested review is underway, and give me an indication of when it might be complete.

Secondly, with regards to the omissions from your response, it is now more than 45 working days since you received my original request, and past the additional 10 working days given to you by the Information Commissioner in his letter of 17th October. I am still waiting for the remainder of your response to my original request. If I do not receive this by the end of this week, I shall be contacting the Information Commissioner again to complain.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

It has now been more than 20 working days since my request for an internal review of your handing of my request under EIR. I have yet to receive a reply or even an acknowledgement. I note that under EIR you are legally required to respond "as soon as possible" and also "no later than 40 working days". However, the Information Commissioner's Guidance also states that "in most cases it
should be possible for the authority to respond within 20 working days".

Since you are now over that limit, please explain why this review is taking longer than the ICO's expectation. I would also be grateful for an acknowledgement that you have received my request for a review on 22 October 2014, and an estimate of when you expect to be able to provide a response.

Finally, I would note that in my message of 22 October 2014, I pointed out two omissions from your response to my original request. I believe my request that you supply the missing information would constitute a valid request under EIR, and thus necessitate a response within 20 working days. You are now past that limit.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

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

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker

Your message to the Council's Twitter account has been forwarded our way.
We apologise for the delay in responding. We are in the process of
finalizing our response and aim to do so by the end of next week.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance Team

Cambridgeshire County Council

 

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Dear FOI,

Re my EIR request #4460.

"The end of next week" as specified in your previous message has long since gone. As has the end of the month and the end of the year. More importantly so has the 40-working-day statutory deadline for you to complete your internal review under the Environmental Information Regulations. I have still not received your response, nor any apology nor any explanation for the continuing delay.

You have also still not provided the information nor claimed any exemptions for the parts of my request you omitted to answer the first time around. Nor have you responded to my re-use request, which you are required to do under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations. (See my message of 22nd October 2014.)

Please provide me with an update by the end of today, along with a definite date for when I will receive a complete response.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

Re my EIR request #4460.

More than two weeks have now gone by since my last message of 6th January, and I have still not received any response from you. What is going on?

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

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

Dear FOI,

Re my EIR request #4460.

Another two weeks has now gone by, and still I have not had any response from you. However, something has recently come to my attention that may have a significant bearing on this case.

Section 19(2A) of the Freedom of Information Act requires Public Authorities to include a requirement in their publication scheme to publish certain datasets in a reusable format. This requirement is implemented via the following clause in the ICO's model publication scheme that you have adopted [1]:

"To publish any dataset held by the authority that has been requested, and any updated versions it holds, unless the authority is satisfied that it is not appropriate to do so; to publish the dataset, where reasonably practicable, in an electronic form that is capable of re-use; ..."

From the wording of s19(2A) it is clear that the effect of this is that whenever a requested dataset is published, then it must (also) be published in a reusable form unless it wouldn't be "reasonably practicable" to do so. While the decision to publish the dataset can be made on the "not appropriate to do so" test, once a dataset is published the decision on whether or not it is to be made available in a reusable form must be made only on the "reasonably practicable" test. There is no exemption from s19(2A) for environmental information (see paragraph 99 of [2]).

In this case, the dataset of your Public Rights of Way has been requested. In response to a previous request [3], you claimed that the information was already available to the applicant. Thus your position is presumably that you are already publishing the dataset. That being the case, you are therefore required to publish the dataset in a reusable format if it is reasonably practicable for you to do so. Neither the online map nor the paper copies available for inspection constitute reusable formats, but I believe that the mapinfo files you described in your initial response [4] would do so. It would clearly be very straightforward for you to create a copy of these files, remove any additional columns that should not be published [5], and then publish the resulting files online on e.g. a quarterly or annual basis.

I therefore expect you to make the requested data available in a reusable format without further delay.

Regards,

Robert Whittaker

[1] http://www4.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/downlo...
[2] https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
[3] https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
[4] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...
[5] http://testdrive.mapinfo.com/techsupp/mi...

Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

Following another complaint, the ICO has re-opened FER0557948 and will be investigating the various issues I've raised with the Council's handling of this request.

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

Re: Freedom of Information Request ref 4460.

It has now been another 20+ working days since my last message to you, and I have not yet had a reply. Also, you have still not communicated the results of the internal review I requested.

Can you please at least acknowledge this message, and let me know when I might expect to receive a proper reply.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker,

Many thanks for your email below.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in the Council's correspondence. I can confirm that I am looking into the handling of your request and I hope to be able to provide you and the Information Commissioner with a full and final response by the end of next week at the latest.

Please again accept my apologies and I hope that this has not caused you any inconvenience.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Withey
Information Governance Officer
Cambridgeshire County Council
SH1001
Shire Hall
Castle Hill
Cambridge
CB3 0AP
01223 699137
www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
www.cambridgeshire.net

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Robert Whittaker

Dear Jo Withey,

Many thanks for getting back to me at last. I trust that your promised response response will include full consideration of the arguments I put forward in my message of 6th February (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p... as well as the various issues documented in my internal review request of 22nd October (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p....

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Whittaker

 

Please find attached our full response to your request for an internal
review into request Ref 4460. We apologise once again for the delay in
providing this response.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance Team

Cambridgeshire County Council

 

 

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Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

Many thanks for your comprehensive reply. However, I must admit I was a little perplexed by the amount of space devoted to considering the application of 12(4)(d) and 12(4)(e) given that I was not contesting your use of these exemptions.

Unfortunately I do not agree with all of your other interpretations / applications of the exemptions, so I will be continuing to pursue my complaint with the Information Commissioner.

One minor point that I would like to obtain some clarity on first though is regarding the "precise geographic coordinates" that you did not consider in your initial response. In your most recent reply, you appear to be taking the view that they are exempt, but you are not explicit as to what exemption you believe applies. Is it you position that the coordinate information is accessible via the online map (and hence the "easily accessible" exemption applies) or that the coordinates are not available, and hence the unfinished/incomplete exemption applies (as per the 5th paragraph on page 7 of you most recent reply)?

Could you also confirm (as per my internal review request) in exactly what format and to what precision the geographic coordinates are stored within your MapInfo files?

Given the length of time you have already taken to provide your most recent response (which is far beyond the legal limit for an EIR internal review), I would be most grateful for a swift reply on these final two points.

Finally, regarding my request for re-use. While it is true that under the The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005, you do not have to permit re-use, you do nevertheless have to respond with a formal refusal notice under s8 and s9. Since you have not yet explained any means of redress, I do not believe that you have yet complied with your duties here. For future requests, you should also note the time limits specified in s8.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

It has now been over 20 working days since my message to you of 27th March. I am still waiting for a reply to two questions in that message . For your convenience, these questions were as follows:

One minor point that I would like to obtain some clarity on first
though is regarding the "precise geographic coordinates" that you
did not consider in your initial response. In your most recent
reply, you appear to be taking the view that they are exempt, but
you are not explicit as to what exemption you believe applies. Is
it you position that the coordinate information is accessible via
the online map (and hence the "easily accessible" exemption
applies) or that the coordinates are not available, and hence the
unfinished/incomplete exemption applies (as per the 5th paragraph
on page 7 of you most recent reply)?

Could you also confirm (as per my internal review request) in
exactly what format and to what precision the geographic
coordinates are stored within your MapInfo files?

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker,

Thank you for your email below.

The Council can confirm that the grid reference, and their precision at which they are stored, are the direct product of the line that is recorded on the Council's GIS table. This information does fall part of Regulation 12(4)(d) as the details of the line recorded are not verified compared to the actual Definitive Map records and are therefore 'inaccurate and incomplete'.

What is published is the grid references that are part of the map display (i.e. as you move your mouse across the map, the coordinates displayed change). Therefore we highlighted that this information is available publicly as this gives an approximation that may be useful; however the display of each right of way will still be dependent on the line recorded and so the precise coordinates cannot be taken to be completely accurate and are covered by the exception as stated above

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Team
Cambridgeshire County Council
SH1001
Shire Hall
Castle Hill
Cambridge
CB3 0AP
01223 699137
[Cambridgeshire County Council request email]
[email address]
[email address]
www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk

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Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

Many thanks for that clarification. However, you have still not responded to my final request:

"Could you also confirm (as per my internal review request) in
exactly what format and to what precision the geographic
coordinates are stored within your MapInfo files?"

Since you talk of "grid references", would I be correct in assuming that the coordinates are stored as numerical OSGB eastings and northings? If so what it the precision used -- do you store figures down to the nearest metre, or do the coordinates have more or fewer significant figures than that? Alternatively, perhaps the coordinates are stored as WGS84 latitude and longitude values. If so, how many significant figures / decimal places are stored?

One final question (which may be very important when it come to judging the accuracy and completeness of the data) , can you confirm whether or not you include (a derivative of) the electronic PRoW data you hold in your submissions to the National Street Gazetteer? To that end, can you please provide me with a copy of your most recently submitted Metadata Statement (i.e. http://www.thensg.org.uk/iansg/document....

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

I believe that it has now been 20 working days since my previous message of 30th April, which contained some specific requests for information from you. Specifically, I am seeking clarification of exactly what coordinates / grid references you hold in your PRoW GIS data, and whether that data is being used as part of your NSG submissions.

Can please you let me know when you will be in a position to respond?

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

I have still not received a response or any acknowledgement to my request of 30th April, which is now overdue. Please acknowledge this request by return, and let me know when you will be in a position to respond. For your convenience, my request was as follows:

Could you also confirm (as per my internal review request) in
exactly what format and to what precision the geographic
coordinates are stored within your MapInfo files?

Since you talk of "grid references", would I be correct in assuming
that the coordinates are stored as numerical OSGB eastings and
northings? If so what it the precision used -- do you store figures
down to the nearest metre, or do the coordinates have more or fewer
significant figures than that? Alternatively, perhaps the
coordinates are stored as WGS84 latitude and longitude values. If
so, how many significant figures / decimal places are stored?

One final question (which may be very important when it come to
judging the accuracy and completeness of the data) , can you
confirm whether or not you include (a derivative of) the electronic
PRoW data you hold in your submissions to the National Street
Gazetteer? To that end, can you please provide me with a copy of
your most recently submitted Metadata Statement (i.e.
http://www.thensg.org.uk/iansg/document....

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker

Dear FOI,

Another week has gone by, and I still have not heard anything from you. Can you please at least acknowledge my request of 30th April, and let me know what is causing the hold-up? This request, and my subsequent reminders (which have also gone unanswered) are all available online at https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

If I do not get a response by the end of this week, I shall be submitting another complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

Following another complaint to the ICO -- this time regarding the lack of response to my request above of 30th April, the ICO has now written to the Council, requesting they provide a response within 10 working days. (FS50586801)

Robert Whittaker

Dear Cambridgeshire FOI,

I am STILL waiting for a response to my FOI/EIR request of 30 April 2015. You can view the request online at https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

This is now the fourth reminder that I have sent you about your response being overdue, and you have also received a letter from the ICO requesting that you respond by 16th July. Please acknowledge this email and let me know when you will be in a position to respond.

I would also like an explanation of why I have received neither a response nor even an acknowledgement to date. For instance, as anyone been instructed not to respond to my messages?

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker

Thank you for your email received on 30 April 2015, in which you requested
information about geographic co-ordinates for public rights of way.

Your request has been dealt with under the Environmental Information
Regulataions 2004 and I can confirm that Cambridgeshire County Council
does hold this information.  Please see the Council's attached response
for further information.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to Dan Horrex, Corporate Information Manager, c/o
Information Governance Team, Box SH1001, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP or
by email to [1][Cambridgeshire County Council request email] within 40 days of the date of
this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council. The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF or via their website at
[2]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Withey

Information Governance Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council

SH1001

Shire Hall

Castle Hill

Cambridge

CB3 0AP

[3]www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
[4]www.cambridgeshire.net

 

The information in this email is confidential and may be legally
privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you receive this
email by mistake please notify the sender and delete it immediately.
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Dear Jo Withey,

Many thanks for finally responding to my query, and thank you for the information you have provided. However, it was somewhat disappointing that your response contained no apology or explanation for the substantial delay in your response.

I think it is quite obvious from my messages of 1st June, 10th June, 17th June and 22nd July, that I am not happy with the amount of time it took you to respond. Accordingly I would like to ask for a formal review of the Council's handling of this request. I trust that the review will be conducted by a senior official outside of the teams that were involved in handling the original request. I also trust that it will address the queries I raised on 22nd July, namely to provide an explanation for the delay and details of whether anyone was instructed not to respond to my messages.

Finally, I see that the metadata statement that you provided in response to my request is dated 30/07/2015. Could you please also send me a copy of the most recent version that existed at the time of my request (i.e. 30th April). If LSG updates are submitted monthly, this will presumably be one from either the end of March or the end of April 2015.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Whittaker.

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear Mr Whittaker

 

Re: Internal review acknowledgement

 

Thank you for your email which was received on 11 August 2015 in which you
requested a review of the handling of your recent request for information
reference 5554.

 

Your request has been passed to Dan Horrex, Corporate Information Manager
to review.  In accordance with guidance, the Council aims to respond to
all requests for review within 20 working days, in this instance, by 8
September.  However, please note that in complex or voluminous cases, it
may take up to forty working days.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Governance Team

Cambridgeshire County Council

SH1001

Shire Hall

Castle Hill

Cambridge

CB3 0AP

01223 699137

[1][Cambridgeshire County Council request email]
[2][email address]

[3][email address]

[4]www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk

 

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FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker

Further to your request for a review of your recent access to information
request, please find attached the Council’s response.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF or via their
website at [1]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/.

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Team

Cambridgeshire County Council

SH1001

Shire Hall

Castle Hill

Cambridge

CB3 0AP

[2]www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
[3]www.cambridgeshire.net

 

The information in this email is confidential and may be legally
privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you receive this
email by mistake please notify the sender and delete it immediately.
Opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily
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Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

ICO Decision Notice FER0557948 has now been published regarding the complaints I made about my original request for the PRoW data.

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

The ICO has found largely in my favour, and has ordered the Council "To disclose the information from the database to the complainant, other than information held with in the ‘Notes’ field and the ‘CCC Maintainable’ field of the database."

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Whittaker

Further to the decision notice issued by the Information Commissioner on 6
October 2015, please find attached the Council’s response and requested
information.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Withey

Information Governance Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council

SH1001

Shire Hall

Castle Hill

Cambridge

CB3 0AP

01223 729164

[1]www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
[2]www.cambridgeshire.net

 

The information in this email is confidential and may be legally
privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you receive this
email by mistake please notify the sender and delete it immediately.
Opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily
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Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

The Council has now released the requested GIS data, as required by the ICO's Decision Notice.

However, they are still refusing to allow the information to be re-used under a standard Open Licence. See my re-use request for essentially the same information at https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

Now the appeal deadline has passed and the data has been released, here are some further observations about the ICO's Decision Notice at https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

* The ICO found that the council was not correct to apply EIR 6(1)(b). As far as I can tell, this was principally because the information available online did not fully duplicate the specific information I had requested from the underlying database; but also partly because of the council's duty to consider the form requested by the applicant, and the fact that it would not be onerous to supply the information in the requested format. Curiously, this is in sharp contrast to a previous DN, which made the opposite ruling on 6(1)(b), on similar facts: https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

* Because of the first finding, the ICO declined to consider my arguments that the council was failing to comply with its FOI Publication scheme (in particular the requirement forced by FOIA S19(2A) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012... ) by not providing the information in a re-usable format. This is a shame, as I think this argument, if correct, would be much more persuasive, and more widely applicable to other datasets only accessible via restrictive web interfaces.

* The ICO also did not consider my arguments that even if the information was available online, and individual items were easily accessible, taken as a whole the full dataset would not be "easily accessible" under EIR r6(1)(b). The ICO has previously ruled against similar arguments, but I think this is ridiculous for large datasets, where many manual queries / web page views would need to be made in order to obtain the whole dataset. Such arguments need proper consideration, and if necessary an appeal to the Tribunal.

* My reading of one of the Council's later responses is that they accepted that some of the coordinate information in the underlying database could not be obtained from the online map. Instead they sought to rely on r12(4)(d) (Material in the course of completion, unfinished documents and incomplete data) to withhold this information. While the Decision Notice notes an incorrect application of r12(4)(d) in paragraph 9, and includes arguments and conclusions as to why this exemption might not apply to the coordinate data (paragraphs 24-27 and 68-69), it fails to explicitly state that the application of r12(4)(d) to the coordinate data (as opposed to the other fields) was incorrect. This appears to be an oversight by the ICO.

* The majority of the 18-page notice (paragraphs 30-83) is concerned with the question of whether r12(4)(e) and r12(4)(d) were correctly applied to three particular fields from the database that aren't accessible via the online map. This is somewhat odd, as this is not an aspect I had complained to the ICO about, and it it clear from the thread above that it was not a part of the Council's decision I was contesting. It was also not mentioned in the ICO's correspondence to me where he outlined the scope of the investigation. Oddly, the Council made the same mistake when responding to my internal review request. Perhaps the ICO was confused by this. Whatever the reasons, it is a shame the ICO (and presumably the council too, when responding to the ICO's enquiries) wasted so much effort on considering this matter.

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

A further decision notice has now been issued ordering the council to provide an open licence for the information:

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

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