Dear Sir or Madam,
In Autumn 2007 consultants undertook an audit of Wirral's allotments as part of the review of Cultural Services. In a report to Cabinet (http://www.wirral.gov.uk/minute/public/c...) on the 7th February 2008, The Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Corporate Services wrote that
"5.2 The Director of Regeneration appointed consultants Strategic Leisure to prepare the Cultural Services Strategic Forward Plan in July 2007. Work to audit the facilities within the control of the Director of Regeneration has been completed".
Please could I have the results of the completed audit of allotment provision, including any data, reports and recommendations sent to the council by the consultants.
Thank you for your recent request for information detailed below.
The information you have requested in relation to allotment provision
forms only a small part of the overall review that Strategic Leisure
were tasked with, as mentioned in your Para 5.2 below.
The information from Strategic Leisure is currently only available in a
draft format and is therefore exempt from the requirements of The
Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it is information to be published at
a later date.
The information will be published at a later date on our Website.
There is currently a wealth of information on our website about
allotments and our allotments strategy which you may find interesting.
Please click on the link below.
Dear Jane Corrin,
Many thanks for your reply, and link to the Council's allotment web page.
You did not mention in your reply that information exempt under Section 22 is subject to a public interest test.
If you are saying that there is a public interest in non-disclosure of this information, please could you send me the assessment of the balance of the public interest which has been carried out, which I believe must be properly analysed and supported.
Dear Jane Corrin,
I am writing to remind you that the response to my request for information is now overdue. By the 2nd June I should have received either the information requested, or a valid legal explanation of why it must be kept confidential.
I would be grateful if you could follow this up for me.
Regarding the original information you requested and in conjunction with
my earlier reply below; the Council offers the following additional
information for you, in relation to your request.
The information the Council first received, in a draft format from
Strategic Leisure was in a complex format with a unique matrix and
scoring system that Strategic Leisure employed. The Council believed
the data to be in an overly complex format and not readily
understandable or easy to interpret. The Council therefore tasked
Strategic Leisure with producing the data in a more user friendly format
and/or provide a key for clear understanding of the original scoring and
matrix system used.
The Council is currently awaiting a new version of the data in question
which will be reviewed for ease of understanding and will be made
available at a later date.
As previously mentioned, the allotment data, when produced, will form
only a small part of the overall review that has been asked for.
In summary the Council is not keeping the information confidential, we
do not have the information available to us at the moment, as it is
being worked on by Strategic Leisure. I hope this has clarified the
situation for you.
Dear Jane Corrin,
I am simply asking for any written information sent to the council by the consultants on the subject of the audit of allotments, including results, data, reports and recommendations.
I do not expect the various parts to be in the format of a final report. I understand that the data is in a complicated matrix and that the consultants have been asked to reformat this. I'll bear this in mind, and I'll bear in mind that whatever is supplied is a draft. In fact, I'll consider the information in the light of any further comments that WMBC may like to provide. I do also understand that the information is part of a larger study, and if it is not easy to extract the bits referring to allotments, then please simply send all the documents in their entirety and I will extract what I wish to know.
I really would like to have either the documents from the consultants, or a valid legal explanation of why they must be kept confidential.
If the next response to this request is to be that I can't have either, please could you tell me how I might take this further.
The Council has reviewed your request for information and stands by its
original decision to hold the information back under section 22
"Information intended for future publication".
This exemption is a qualified exemption and the Council has considered
whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption is greater than
providing the information.
After review, and bearing in mind the Public Interest test, the Council
is confident that the information in question, in its current state is
still in a very rough draft stage; and needs considerable amendments and
changes put it before we would be able to put it into the public domain.
We are further confident that the finished piece of information will
have very little likeness to this rough draft piece of work. The
Council could not answer any enquiries or questions on the current piece
of information as it is not in a format that we have accepted as
The Council has never said that the information is confidential and
indeed it will be published once we have accepted the consultants work
You may of course complain about this decision and once the internal
complaints procedure has been exhausted, if you remain dissatisfied you
may take your complaint to the Office of the Information commissioner.
From: Margaret Campbell
[mailto:[FOI #11147 email]]
Sent: 10 June 2009 08:33
To: InfoMgr, FinDMT
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Results of 2007 allotment
Dear Jane Corrin,
I am simply asking for any written information sent to the council
by the consultants on the subject of the audit of allotments,
including results, data, reports and recommendations.
I do not expect the various parts to be in the format of a final
report. I understand that the data is in a complicated matrix and
that the consultants have been asked to reformat this. I'll bear
this in mind, and I'll bear in mind that whatever is supplied is a
draft. In fact, I'll consider the information in the light of any
further comments that WMBC may like to provide. I do also
understand that the information is part of a larger study, and if
it is not easy to extract the bits referring to allotments, then
please simply send all the documents in their entirety and I will
extract what I wish to know.
I really would like to have either the documents from the
consultants, or a valid legal explanation of why they must be kept
If the next response to this request is to be that I can't have
either, please could you tell me how I might take this further.
Dear Sir or Madam,
Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Results of 2007 allotment audit'.
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
I am dissatisfied wit the response because it doesn't explain what factors have been taken into account in deciding that it is in the interests of the public to withhold the draft documentation already received from the consultants. There is no evidence to show that WMBC has considered any public interest in favouring disclosure.
Dear Sir or Madam,
On the 15th of June I wrote asking for an internal review of the decision not to release the documentation from consultants relating to the 2007 allotment audit, and have had no response to this.
I would be very grateful if you could follow this up and let me know how things are progressing.
Thank you for your email below, I will follow this up for you today.
Dear Jane Corrin
As you are aware, on the 29th September I received a reply to my personal email account from a council officer attaching a copy of "the final draft of the Open Space Assessment which includes the information that you requested about the allotment survey".
Please would you be kind enough to forward the response to this email also, and please could I have copies of the original documentation from the consultants as originally requested?
As you requested please find attached a copy of the final draft of the
Open Spaces Assessment. Please could you clarify for me what further
documentation you require?
Thank you for forwarding the information to this email address.
I understand from previous contact about this that Strategic Leisure had originally provided something which the council had felt was "in an overly complex format and not readily understandable or easy to interpret".
I would like, please, to have this original report from them.
As requested please find attached a copy of the previous draft
document provided by Strategic Leisure.
Thank you. Can I just check that when you say this is the previous draft document - were there others before that?
Also, could you pass on the appendices to the report too please?
<<Wirral PPG17.xls>> Hi Margaret,
Sorry for the delay in responding but I have been following this up
with the consultants and in particular your enquiry about the
Firstly I can confirm that there were no other draft reports before
the one I have sent you which was dated March 2009. As you point out the
report refers to a number of appendices but I have to advise that no
appendices were provided with the report by the consultants. One of the
appendices referred to was individual quality ratings for individual
allotment sites. This information was subsequently produced but included
all sites not just allotments and for your information I have attached a
copy. In the finalised draft of the report which I sent you previously
you will note that the consultants decided not to include this detailed
survey data but to illustrate the results as maps.
I trust that this now provides all the information that you
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