Queens Counsel Advice to Portsmouth City Council for a Right of Way around the Camber Dock

Keith edmunds made this Freedom of Information request to Portsmouth 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 successful.

Dear Portsmouth City Council,

A recent decision has been made by Portsmouth City Council, supposedly based on an Advice from Queens Counsel, not to grant a Right of Way around the Camber Dock in Old Portsmouth, despite much public support for such, and, much evidence provided that this Right of Way has existed for decades. (This was stated by Councillor Ellcombe at a recent Neighbourhood Forum meeting).
I request a full copy of this Queens Counsel Advice, without any redactions, to be provided via this website. Please also provide concrete evidence of the cost to the public purse for this Advice.
My reason for this request is that the Advice is about a matter of great interest to the public and the funds for the Advice have been provided from the public purse.
There should be no reason whatsoever that this information should be witheld from the council taxpayers of this city.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Edmunds

sameen left an annotation ()

I second this.
you have also been asked by me to release this information through separate correspondence.

Keith edmunds left an annotation ()

Sameen, thanks for your comment l see from your own previous FOI request on asylum seekers that they claimed they could not publish the data you requested on this website and would send it to you privately. This is not true, if I were you I would insist they publish the data on the website. There is much precedent of complaints about this being upheld by the Information Commissioner. Failure to publish is an attempt to stop the information being accessed by the media which is undemocratic and contrary to the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act.

FoI (ITS), Portsmouth City Council

1 Attachment

 
 

FOI Customer, Community and Democratic Services
Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL
Telephone:      023 9268 8482
                               

                                               
 
Reference: FOI/2015/1437
 
Dear Mr Edmunds
 
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 24 December 2015.
 
Your request is being considered and, subject to the points made below,
you will receive the information requested as promptly as possible within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.
 
If we need to obtain more information from you in order to understand what
information you require, we will contact you. If this is the case, the 20
days time limit will not commence until your request has been clarified.
 
The Act defines a number of exemptions that may prevent release of certain
information.  The City Council will consider whether any of these
exemptions apply and, where required by the Act, whether it is in the
public interest to release the information.  If we have to make a public
interest test, the 20 day time limit might be extended. We will inform you
if the time scale has to be extended and if any information is withheld
and of your rights of appeal.
 
The City Council would like to make you aware that disclosure of
information obtained through FOIA is a disclosure into the public domain.
 
The City Council’s standard approach is to provide the information in the
form in which we hold it.  If you require alternative formats, e.g. audio,
large print, etc. or a different language, please let me know and we will
provide it if reasonably practicable to do so. If your request is a
question and we do not hold the answer in recorded form we will try and
provide an answer where we are able unless it requires the creation of new
information.
 
There may be a fee payable for this information request and we will send
you a Fees Notice if this is the case. Any fee must be paid before the
request is provided.  The time between the issue of the Fees Notice and
receipt of payment is excluded from the calculation of the 20 working day
time limit.
 
Any personal information you provide in relation to this request will only
be used for the purposes of processing your request for information.
 
If you have any queries or concerns then please contact the Corporate
Information Governance Officer at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices,
Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2AL, telephone 023 9268 8482,
e-mail [1][email address].
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 
Rachel-Marie Wilson
Corporate Complaints and FOI Officer
                                                                       
 
 
 
 

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Dear FoI (ITS),

You are now out of date for providing the information required by this freedom of information request and therefore are in breach of the law.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Edmunds

FoI (ITS), Portsmouth City Council

2 Attachments

Information Governance
           Community & Communications Service
           Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL
           Telephone:   023 9268 8482
 
 
Our Ref: FOI20151437
 
29 January 2016
 
Dear Mr Edmunds
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST - ADVICE TO PCC
 
Thank you for your request for information received 24 December 2015,
which was considered under the Freedom of Information Act. Please accept
our apologies for the delay in providing a response.
 
You asked for:-
 
a full copy of this Queens Counsel Advice, without any redactions, to be
provided via this website. Please also provide concrete evidence of the
cost to the public purse for this Advice.
 
In accordance with the Act, I confirm Portsmouth City Council holds the
information you are seeking.   
 
I attach copies of the invoices which evidence the cost of the advice.

In accordance with Section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act,
information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege
could be maintained in legal proceeding is exempt information and we
believe this applies to the advice sought by the council at this time.
 
Section 10(3) of the Act allows in this instance for a further reasonable
period to consider the Public Interest Test and we will therefore be
taking this permissible extension.  In the meantime, in accordance with
Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act, this e-mail acts as a
refusal notice to this part of your request at this time.  We will provide
the outcome of the Public Interest Test in due course.
 
It should be noted in any event that the opinions will be made available
as part of a document inspection exercise in relation to the appeal
against the Council's refusal to modify the Definitive Map and Statement.
 
You have the right to appeal against this outcome or to complain about our
treatment of your request.  If you wish to do so, please set out in
writing your grounds of complaint and send to the Corporate Information
Governance Officer at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices, Guildhall
Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2AL, telephone 023 9268 8482, e-mail 
[1][email address].
 
Should you be dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaints decision you
may wish to follow the Portsmouth City Council’s Compliments and
Complaints procedure which can be found on the Portsmouth City Council
website or by contacting the Civic Offices.
 
Once these processes have been exhausted you have a further right of
appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
 
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
[2]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 
Helen Magri
Corporate Information Governance Officer
 
Portsmouth City Council
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth
PO1 2BQ
 
T:  023 9268 8482
E:  [3][email address]
E:  [4][Portsmouth City Council request email]
[5]www.portsmouth.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Dear FoI (ITS),
I disagree with your assessment that this Q.C.'s Advice is exempt from the FOI Act under article 42 as this is clearly in the public interest, and in no way compromises legal professional privilege or commercial confidentiality. Additionally your statement that further reasonable time to consider the public interest test is too vague and would appear to be clear prevarication, which again is in breach of the FOI Act and therefore the law. To this end I expect a reply by 5 February 2016, at the latest, or I will make a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Edmunds

Dear FoI (ITS),

Please carry out an internal review of your decision not to provide me with the information requested.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Edmunds

FoI (ITS), Portsmouth City Council

 

[1]FOI image

Customer, Community and Democratic Services
Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL
Telephone: 023 9268 8482
Fax: 023 9284 1327

Reference: FOI/2015/1437

Dear Mr Keith Edmunds

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST

I acknowledge receipt of your e-mail asking for an internal review of the
decision made following your recent request for information.

Portsmouth City Council will convene a panel to investigate your original
request and a response will be sent to you within 20 working days of
receipt of your appeal. If it includes a decision that information should
be released to you, the information will be provided to you as soon as
possible.

If you are still dissatisfied with the response to your request, you can
apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether your
request has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act. The Commissioner will normally require you to
have gone through our internal review process before he considers your
appeal. If the Commissioner finds in your favour, the Commissioner can
require Portsmouth City Council to release the information to you.

The Commissioner can be contacted at the following address:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
United Kingdom

Telephone: 0303 123 1113
[2]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact the Corporate
Information Governance Officer at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices,
Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2AL, telephone 023 9268 8482,
e-mail [3][email address].

Yours sincerely

Helen Magri
Corporate Information Governance Officers.

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References

Visible links
2. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]

FoI (ITS), Portsmouth City Council

1 Attachment

       
 
 
Information Governance, Community & Communications Service
Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL
Telephone:      023 9268 8482
Fax:            023 9284 1327
 
Our Ref: 2015/1437
4 March 2016
 
 
Dear Mr Edmunds
 
FOI INFORMATION REQUEST – Outcome of Internal Review
 
I write to communicate the outcome of the internal review of the response
provided by Portsmouth City Council to you recent request for information.
 
The appeal was conducted in accordance with Portsmouth City Council’s
procedure outlined on its website at the following web address: 
 
[1]https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/the-co...
 
In your original request, you asked for:-
 
"…a full copy of this Queens Counsel Advice, without any redactions"
 
In our original response, we sought to rely on Section 42 of the Freedom
of Information Act (Legal Professional Privilege) to withhold the
information. I advise however that since then, it has been agreed the
advice should be made available for public inspection as part of the Right
of Way Appeal Process.  You are therefore able to view this and all
evidence gathered by the council by contacting PCC's Strategic Transport
Planner to arrange an appointment.  His contact details are as follows:-
 
[2][email address]
Telephone 02392 834590
 
In accordance with Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act
(information accessible by other means) we are not therefore required to
provide the information separately in response to individual requests.
 
I trust this now concludes your request, however, if you remain
dissatisfied, you have a further right of appeal to the Information
Commissioner at:
 
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
[3]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 
 
Helen Magri
Corporate Information Governance Officer
 
Portsmouth City Council
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth
PO1 2BQ
 
T:  023 9268 8482
E:  [4][email address]
E:  [5][Portsmouth City Council request email]
[6]www.portsmouth.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 

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Dear FoI (ITS),
Thank you for your reply. I have no wish to see 'all evidence gathered by the council' with regards to the 'right of way' application, I just wish to see the two advices on the matter prepared for the council by the Q.C. Consequently I wish these advices to be published on this website, not the least reason being there are others who wish to view these documents through this medium. Your original prevarication for not providing the information under section 42 of the Act has now been shown to be bogus as also is your reason for not publishing the information on this website, as you will be aware there is much precedent from the Information Commissioner ruling against public authorities who refuse to publish legitimate Freedom of Information documents on this website. You are now out of time for providing the information and therefore in breach of the law. Please publish these two advices immediately on this website.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Edmunds

sameen left an annotation ()

Dear Portsmouth City Council and Keith

I understand you will have received several requests for the barristers advice. It was about £5100 which doesn't suggest it was very long given this QCs prestigious rates. I'd still like to challenge it particularly as it wasn't advice commissioned on a competitive tender.

I was always OK about finding a middle way to accommodate the legitimate needs of what remains of the working port, the health and safety of people and the need to reassure people of public access in my ward. A lack of transparency, selective quoting from barrister advice and the communication methods used to date from those who took their time to engage the council on this matter will only pit councillors against their residents.

I'm happy to come in and review the councils pack. I need to know if the exemption is section 21 instead of section 43 eg as long as we obtain the material by the means suggested, the council and the barrister will be happy for it to be reproduced.

FoI (ITS), Portsmouth City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Edmunds

I write with reference to your complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.

The Council took the decision to make the Queens Counsel Advice available for inspection along with all of the evidence relating to the Right of Way application, in order that it could be seen in context. The Council stands by this decision, however, so that your request may be brought to a close, I attach a copy of the advice.

I will inform the Information Commissioner that this has now been done and trust this concludes the matter.

Yours sincerely

Helen Magri
Corporate Information Governance Officer

Portsmouth City Council
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth
PO1 2BQ

T:  023 9268 8482
E:  [email address]
E:  [Portsmouth City Council request email]
www.portsmouth.gov.uk

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Dear FoI (ITS),

It is clear that Portsmouth City Council was in breach of the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to release this information under the bogus excuse of Article 21 of the Freedom of Information Act, and, has only done so because you are now in receipt of my official complaint to the Information Commissioner. This disgraceful behaviour which seems to be endemic within Portsmouth City Council is both illegal and immoral. When I hear from the Information Commissioner I will be making a further complaint about this illegal behaviour and this request will remain forever on this website as evidence that Portsmouth City Council is quite prepared to break the law to achieve it's own nefarious objectives.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Edmunds

Keith edmunds left an annotation ()

A Decision Notice by the Information Commissioner has been issued against Portsmouth City Council, it can be found here:

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