Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

1) Please inform us about the number of FOI/EIR requests made in the last three years by a member of the public wishing to obtain a copy (or otherwise access) our meeting minutes
2) For 1) above please inform us how many different applicants made the requests
(Please note that we are not asking for any personal information)
3) Please inform us if any of our draft or final agreed minutes have been provided to anyone in the last two years by Southwark Council
4) Please inform us if the Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum is a separate legal body / organisation from London Borough of Southwark, or not
5) If the answer is “no" to 4) above please inform us if Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum voluntary delegates are covered by London Borough Of Southwark’s insurance policy including for defamation and legal expenses
6) The Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum is “administered by” The London Borough of Southwark, please can you inform us if you have a definition of “administration” and what functions / tasks etc “administration” entails (there are administration functions / tasks set out in the Forum's constitution and we are asking if your use any other approach / definition / description of "administration")
7) The London Borough of Southwark has responded to previous requests for draft minutes by refusing to hand over draft minutes. Is that still your approach? Do you hand over draft minutes?

The Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum supports the principles of openness, transparency and honesty. However, delegates have been subjected to a malicious hate campaign and a separate threat of legal action for defamation which forces us to seek clarification of our Forum and its relationship with The London Borough of Southwark. The Forum is “administered" by The London Borough of Southwark and it is in the public interest for this information to be provided if it is held. We appreciate you may respond “not held” or “don’t know”.

Yours faithfully,
Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Crystal Norbert, Southwark Borough Council

Southwark Council - Information request

Our reference: 1199280

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Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear Crystal Norbert,
By law, Southwark Borough Council should normally have responded promptly and by 16 October 2019.
Yours sincerely,
Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Crystal Norbert, Southwark Borough Council

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Southwark Council - Information request

Our reference: 1199280

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Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

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

We are writing to request an internal review of Southwark Borough Council's handling of our FOI request 'Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum'.

Our request was refused on the online response because "Under Section 2(1) of the Freedom Of Information Act, the London Borough of Southwark neither confirm nor deny that the information you requested
is held" however in the attachment pdf the request is refused because "invalid under section 8 (1) (b) of the Freedom of Information Act (2000)". Which is the reason for refusal? Section 2(1) or section 8 (1) (b) or both?

In regards to 8(1)(b) invalidity, section 8(1)(b) requires that a request for information must state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence. Applicants must provide their real name and not use a pseudonym. Both email and postal addresses are acceptable and the real name of the applicant is Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum (not a pseudonym) and an email address has been provided via whatdotheyknow.com system which is acceptable.

At Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum 12th November 2019 meeting, administered by Southwark Council and attended by two Southwark Council officers, and reported back to our Forum all the requests made by using this account. We note that you use of Section 8 is very similar to other recent responses to us including one by TfL which is on its way to the ICO. The Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum is part of Southwark Council's formal consultation structure. We ask you to treat the request as valid otherwise the matter will have to be determined by the ICO.

In regards to Section 2(1), this applies to the whole request? Thank you for the fact of refusal which we appeal and please can you explain your decision? The exemption used, why the exemption applies, where the public interest test applies, the balance of arguments in favour of Section 2(1) confirm nor deny? And so on. So we can understand your decision better.

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,

Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Anson, Jo, Southwark Borough Council

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Dear Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum,

 

Please find attached my response to your request for a review of the
handling of your FOI request.

 

I hope that this deals with your concerns, but the letter sets out the
next step available to you if my response does not address them to your
satisfaction.

 

Regards,

 

Jo Anson

Head of Financial and Information Governance

Tel. 020 7525 4308

Southwark Council, 160 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QH

 

Postal address:

Southwark Council, Finance and Governance, 2^nd floor hub 1, PO Box 64529,
London, SE1P 5LX

 

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Where opinions are expressed in the email they are not necessarily those
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Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear Southwark Borough Council,
Thank you for the response.
We have sent the response to the LBS Officer who administers the Forum, Chair and Vice Chair or Tenants Council and Kieron Williams who we're having a chat with very soon. We have marked this request "refused" on the whatdotheyknow.com/ system. Before contacting the ICO to appeal we will be double checking that our Forum is separate from the council or not. It is a very important point of law. A lot follows from it. A body with its own constitution that is part of the our council would be a strange animal indeed. And think of the Tenants & Residents Associations in Southwark - all part of the same formal consultation structure. And there are outstanding issues of insurance and liability for housing forums too. Our members will seek information in the meantime since you will no doubt continue to use the same reason not to provide information to us.
Yours sincerely,
Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum