Revenues and expenditure for traffic management initiatives in North East Lincolnshire

Stan Higgleston (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to North East Lincolnshire Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by North East Lincolnshire Council.

Stan Higgleston (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Please could you supply the following:

- Traffic and parking management strategies for the Borough for the current financial year,

and for the last three;

- A breakdown of the exact amount spent on traffic calming measures and on parking enforcement and/or management measures, broken down by each measure.

- A breakdown of the exact amount gathered in revenues by these measures.

Yours faithfully,

Stan Higgleston

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Higgleston

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been allocated the reference number 6026/1314

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at: http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Feedback Officer
Resources Directorate

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Higgleston

 

Thank you for your information request made on 23^rd October 2013
reference number FOI 6026_1314. I wish to confirm that North East
Lincolnshire Council holds the information you have requested.

 

Traffic and parking management strategies for the Borough for the current
financial year, and for the last three;

 

The 2011 Parking Strategy is attached to this E-mail.

 

Balfour Beatty Workplace is a private company that delivers Civil Parking
Enforcement of behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council. To provide a
breakdown of costs associated with carrying out Civil Parking Enforcement
would prejudice Balfour Beatty's commercial interests. The revelation of
market sensitive information and indeed, information that is potentially
useful to competitors, could weaken the company position in a competitive
market. This information is therefore exempt under the Freedom of
Information Act.

 

The following revenue was collected from the issue of Penalty Notices,
both on and off street:

 

01/04/2010 – 31/03/2011 = 242,663.00

 

01/04/2011 – 31/03/2012 = 38,210.57

 

01/04/2012 - 31/03/2013= 315,346.00

 

A breakdown of the exact amount spent on traffic calming measures and on
parking enforcement and/or management measures, broken down by each
measure.

 

A breakdown of the exact amount gathered in revenues by these measures.

 

Traffic calming, when provided, is funded from Capital budgets. Since
2009/10 these have provided for :

 

Introduction of a 30mph limit for Barnoldby le Beck which included chicane
feature at the two entrances to the village. The scheme in total cost
£30,000 but the cost of the chicanes themselves only amount to £7,950.

 

Broadway, Grimsby where a mini roundabout was constructed having speed
cushions on its approaches together with, at locations elsewhere along the
road, active speed humps on the main carriageway and the realignment of a
give-way junction at a total cost of £60,000.  No revenue has arisen as a
result of these schemes.

 

If you are unhappy with the response you have received, you have the right
to request an internal review by the Council. If following this you are
still dissatisfied you may contact the Office of the Information
Commissioner. If you wish to request an internal review, please contact me
and I will make the necessary arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Freedom of Information Officer

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Confidentiality Note:  I am not authorised to bind my authority
contractually, nor to make representations or other statements which may
bind the authority in any way via electronic means.

 

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this email?

 

Not protectively marked

 

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Stan Higgleston (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of North East Lincolnshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Revenues and expenditure for traffic management initiatives in North East Lincolnshire'.

In relation to the following:

"Balfour Beatty Workplace is a private company that delivers Civil Parking Enforcement of behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council. To provide a breakdown of costs associated with carrying out Civil Parking Enforcement would prejudice Balfour Beatty's commercial interests. The revelation of market sensitive information and indeed, information that is potentially useful to competitors, could weaken the company position in a competitive market. This information is therefore exempt under the Freedom of Information Act."

How would it prejudice the commercial interests of Balfour Beatty?

Balfour Beatty is not operating in a competitive market; it is contracted to NELC for a number of years, therefore has effectively a monopoly.

Aside from this, NELC's loyalties lie with the taxpaying residents to ensure best value for money, NOT safeguarding its current contracted firm's position and profits by concealing expenditure.

Please review this decision.

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

Yours faithfully,

Stan Higgleston

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Higgleston

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for an Internal Review of Freedom
of Information Request 6026_1314.

 

Your request for an Internal Review has been passed to the relevant
department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20
working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to
respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the
expected date for receiving a response.

 

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

 

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Higgleston
 
Further to your request, an Internal Review has taken place into North
East Lincolnshire Council's handling of your information
request 6026_1314, concerning your request for ‘Revenues and Expenditure
for Traffic Management Initiatives in North East Lincolnshire’.
 
I have reviewed the response provided to you and the handling of your
request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and find:
 

 1. That your request was responded to within the statutory time of 20
working days;
 2. That you were informed whether or not the information you asked for
was held by North East Lincolnshire Council;
 3. That you were provided with the information that you asked for that
was available under the Freedom of Information Act;

 4. That your response provided you with your rights of appeal.

 
I am therefore satisfied that the Council has acted in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act in the handling of your request.
 
Within your Internal Review request you have asked ‘How would it prejudice
the commercial interests of Balfour Beatty?’ in querying the Council’s use
of an exemption relating to commercial sensitivity.
 
Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act states that:
 
(1) Information is exempt information if it constitutes a trade secret.
(2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this
Act would, or would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of
any person (including the public authority holding it).
 
The application of an exemption relating commercial sensitivity considers
the prejudice that could be caused to commercial interests of private
companies or the Council itself. In this case it is considered that
disclosure of costing information would prejudice the commercial interests
of Balfour Beatty. To clarify, if costing related to the operations were
to be disclosed then this would prejudice their ability to tender for
contracts and services in other areas, not solely within North East
Lincolnshire. Further, it is the case that certain information relating to
the operation of business within Balfour Beatty is not information held by
or on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council. Such information includes
salaries paid by Balfour Beatty and other associated costs.
 
The Council therefore consider that the section 43 (2) exemption has been
correctly applied.   
Section 43 is a qualified exemption, and requires North East Lincolnshire
Council to consider the balance of public interest for the disclosure or
withholding of the requested information, before applying the exemption.
In assessing the public interest the following factors, were considered:

* The public interest in understanding the activities of North East
Lincolnshire Council, to inform their decision making, allow them to
challenge the decisions and actions of the council and participate in
debate;
* The public interest in ensuring North East Lincolnshire Council can be
held accountable for its decisions;
* The public interest in ensuring North East Lincolnshire Council are
able to effectively provide services and deliver outcomes for the
community;
* The affect disclosure would have on the commercial interest of the
third parties in a competitive environment.
* The public interest in ensuring North East Lincolnshire Council 
offers services at the best value for money.

 
The Council has reviewed its original decision based on the balance of the
public interest against the exemptions applied and have determined that
the decision to withhold the information is upheld.
  
I trust that this Internal Review answers your queries in relation to your
request, and clarifies that your request has been handled in accordance
with the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or
the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review
by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council
 
Andrew Dulieu
Feedback Officer
 

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Stan Higgleston (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Is the council oblivious to the fact that it is taxpayer's money being spent and preventing the public from knowing where? It has been noted that s.43 of the Freedom of Information Act is being cited in almost all instances – where transparency is called upon – to circumvent its obligations under that legislation. It is an abuse of the Law to rely on exemptions relating to commercial sensitivity because it has outsourced its obligations to provide certain services to private companies. The authority is obliged to be accountable to the electorate and should be where its priority lies, not with its profit making company.

One would naturally be suspicious and wonder whether the reason for refusing to disclose such information was not commercial interests, but because the council would want to conceal dodgy accounting; back-handers, under the table deals, or whatever you'd like to call them. For that reason I will be writing to the council's external auditor to ask that an investigation into the authority's accounts is carried out in the hope some light will be shone on the lack of transparency, particularly in response to FOI requests.

Yours sincerely,

Stan Higgleston