Raising Public Awareness of HPMCZ

Beaumaris Town Councl made this Freedom of Information request to Countryside Council for Wales

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.

Beaumaris Town Councl

Dear Countryside Council for Wales / Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru,

In 2009 the Marine Conservation Society was awarded a grant of £40,000 for a project to raise the public's awareness of HPMCZ. According to a previous FOI response the reference number is GU9103.

At the start of the project there would have been some form of document to define what the outcomes and deliverables of the grant would be. At the end of the project there would have been some form of report submitted by MCS setting out what had been done for the public funds given.

We request copies of these documents so that we can see what was done to make the people of Wales aware of HPMCZ.

Yours faithfully

Prof Trevor Ashenden
Town Clerk
Beaumaris Town Council

Jill McCallum, Countryside Council for Wales

1 Attachment

Dear Professor Ashenden

Please find attached an acknowledgement letter regarding your request.
Regards
Jill

Jill McCallum

Library

01248 387183

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Donna Muirhead, Countryside Council for Wales

9 Attachments

Dear Prof Ashenden,

Please see attached CCW's response to you recent request.
Kind Regards Donna.

Donna Muirhead
Swyddog Mynediad i Wybodaeth/ Access to Information Officer
Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru/ Countryside Council for Wales
Maes y Ffynnon
Penrhosgarnedd
Bangor
Gwynedd
LL57 2DW

Ffôn / Tel. :  01248 387219
E-bost / E-mail : [email address]

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Beaumaris Town Councl

Dear Donna Muirhead,

Thank you for the documents that you sent to us. You have been most helpful.

Unfortunately we do not agree that you have complied with our request as you have not sent one of the documents that we requested and the other documentation sent was incomplete.

1. We asked for a copy of the document that was produced at the start of the project setting out the outcomes and deliverables of the grant. Please send that document.
2. You said that one of the output reports has gone missing. However there there appear to be three output reports missing from those that you have sent us: There are no output report to support claims 1, 2 and 4. Incidentally the output reports to support claims 6 and 7 are incorrectly dated.

I would be grateful if, as a matter or urgency, you would provide the documents omitted from your response.

Yours sincerely,

Prof Trevor Ashenden
Town Clerk
Beaumaris Town Council

Donna Muirhead, Countryside Council for Wales

4 Attachments

Dear Prof Trevor Ashenden,

Please see attached CCW's response to your recent request.

Kind Regards
Donna

Donna Muirhead
Swyddog Mynediad i Wybodaeth/ Access to Information Officer
Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru/ Countryside Council for Wales
Maes y Ffynnon
Penrhosgarnedd
Bangor
Gwynedd
LL57 2DW

Ffôn / Tel. :  01248 387219
E-bost / E-mail : [email address]

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Beaumaris Town Councl

Dear Countryside Council for Wales / Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Countryside Council for Wales / Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru's handling of my FOI request 'Raising Public Awareness of HPMCZ'.

For the Attention of Adrian Williams, Director of Planning and Resources.

Beaumaris Town Council is grateful for the information already provided in response to our FOI/EIR request (ATI000876b) which has clarified the work that the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) were paid to do to publicize marine conservation zones (MCZ). However the Town Council is not satisfied with the decision to withhold some information which we feel is essential to fully understand the agreement between MCS and CCW.

The Council has made it clear, particularly in our response to the Welsh Government’s consultation, that the Welsh Government and its agencies have failed in their duty to engage with the local communities affected by the proposals. It is now clear that CCW invested £40,000 of public funds in a lobbying group in order to raise awareness of MCZ yet the proposals when announced in April still came as a surprise to many of the communities affected, particularly those in North Wales. It would appear that MCS failed to do the job that they were paid to do to an adequate standard.

The work done by MCS had a South Wales bias: only 1 of the 17 events for the public they were paid to attend were in North Wales; 5 of these meetings were at Langland!; of the 18 presentations to the public only 3 were in North Wales and 2 and Mid Wales. Of the little work done in North Wales the emphasis seems to have been skewed away from the communities that were to be affected. There are no events on Anglesey or Pen Llyn. Leaflets were distributed on Anglesey but targeted at tourists rather than affected residents. .

It is the Town Council’s opinion that lack of early public and community engagement contributed to the unnecessary conflict during the MCZ consultation. Given MCS’s role in failing to properly engage the public the Town Council believe that it is in the public interest to have the fullest possible disclosure of the grant documentation to determine:

1. What did MCS promise to do in return for the grant of public funds
2. To what standard did they promise to do the work

It is only by establishing these facts by release of the grant application and offer letter that the public will be able to see whether the failure to engage communities arises from CCW’s failure to properly agree grant conditions or MCS’s failure to do the work to an adequate standard.

Dr David Parker has signed a public interest test certificate refusing release of the grant application form and grant offer letter. The town council disputes the reasoning given for the refusal:

1. It is claimed that the agreed outputs are documented on the claim forms provided. To a degree this is true, however one of the outputs changes during the project and it is important to see what was initially contractually agreed. Also the claim forms contain no quality standards: did CCW agree with MCS that it was acceptable to have so few events in North Wales; did CCW agree that MCS could be paid for attending meetings with CCW's Marine Team.
2. It is claimed that the grant form contains commercially sensitive information. The Town Council is at a loss to see that MCS own some unique method of organising events, attending meetings or writing leaflets that gives them a commercial advantage. Even if such a method existed, details should be redacted and the requested information (quality standards for outputs) provided.

Beaumaris Town Council believes that the lack of community and public engagement with MCZ has damaged the goal of effectively protecting Welsh seas against damage. As far as we can see this grant was the only effort made to gain public and community engagement. It clearly failed to deliver its objectives and the Council believes that it is therefore in the public interest to have full transparency in the agreement between CCW and the lobbying group MCS.

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

Yours faithfully,

Prof Trevor Ashenden
Town Clerk
Beaumaris Town Councl

Donna Muirhead, Countryside Council for Wales

2 Attachments

Dear Prof Ashenden,

Please see Adrian Willimas's response to your recent appeal.

Kind Regards Donna

Donna Muirhead
Swyddog Mynediad i Wybodaeth/ Access to Information Officer
Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru/ Countryside Council for Wales
Maes y Ffynnon
Penrhosgarnedd
Bangor
Gwynedd
LL57 2DW

Ffôn / Tel. :  01248 387219
E-bost / E-mail : [email address]

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Beaumaris Town Councl left an annotation ()

Beaumaris Town Council have raised an appeal with the Information Commissioner. The Town Council disagree with CCW and believe that the public interest is best served by openness in how public money is spent and that in this case there is no significant risk to MCS's competitive advantage.

Prof Trevor Ashenden
Town Clerk

Donna Muirhead, Countryside Council for Wales

5 Attachments

Dear Professor Ashenden,

 

Please see attached a response from CCW to your recent request for the
Grant application form.

 

Kind regards

 

Donna

 

 

Donna Muirhead

Swyddog Mynediad i Wybodaeth/ Access to Information Officer

Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru/ Countryside Council for Wales

Maes y Ffynnon

Penrhosgarnedd

Bangor

Gwynedd

LL57 2DW

 

Ffôn / Tel. :  01248 387219

E-bost / E-mail : [email address]

 

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Did you know that under Freedom of Information Act 2000, an email can form
part of a response for information?

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O 1 Ebrill 2013, bydd Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru yn cymryd cyfrifoldeb am y
swyddogaethau sy’n cael eu cyflawni ar hyn o bryd gan Gyngor Cefn Gwlad
Cymru, Asiantaeth yr Amgylchedd a Chomisiwn Coedwigaeth Cymru.

 

From 1 April 2013, Natural Resources Wales will take over the functions
currently carried out by the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment
Agency Wales and Forestry Commission Wales.

 

 

Beaumaris Town Councl

Dear Donna Muirhead,

Thank you for providing the information requested.

We are pleased that CCW reveiwed their decision and concluded that it was after all not in the public interest to withold it.

Yours sincerely,

Prof Trevor Asheenden
Town Clerk
Beaumaris Town Councl