Secret Landlords and Council Collusion

Matt O'Donoghue made this Freedom of Information request to Liverpool City Council

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was refused by Liverpool City Council.

Matt O'Donoghue

Dear Liverpool City Council,

(1) Please provide a full list of ALL declared property interests held by ALL Liverpool City Councillors in a searchable format xls spreadsheet.
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It is the duty of the monitoring officer to provide a publicly available database of the full register of interests in relation to elected officials, and this includes property and land holdings in the City.

It is not acceptable at any time, particularly in times of COVID restrictions, to expect an individual to make an appointment to view the register at the CUNARD or elsewhere.

This declaration of interests is important so the public can assess whether a development or regeneration scheme may be of pecuniary advantage to a councillor.

It is not uncommon for Councillors to use the advantage of insider knowledge around housing or public works developments, through the advance knowledge gained by their position of responsibility.

A councillor may use this insider knowledge to make strategic purchases of plots that increase in value, and to make a tidy retirement nest egg through their abuse of position.

Many Councillors who have been trusted and elected by the people of the City of Liverpool have failed to publicly disclose their property interests.

This deliberate move on the part of the monitoring officer to actively obscure transparency, deliberately prevents the public or journalists from identifying those who may gain from a decision passed at Council.

This public WhatDoTheyKnow request is being made after a private and direct email request made to the Monitoring Officer on January 27th was ignored.

Hopefully, the City Council FOI Team will act with integrity and not do the same with this public request.

A previous response to an FOI stated that I have made “speculative requests” in the past and this was a reason given for delayed response, well after the statutory time limit.

All future FOI’s which exceed this limit will now automatically be referred to the ICO as this appears to be the best way to remind the team of their responsibilities to deliver some kind of response.

If the council actually followed accepted practice and published information such as this, for ALL and not just a few of their Councillors in a publicly available and searchable format, these “speculative requests” would not need to be made.

Perhaps, LCC’s £400,000 FOI budget may be substantially reduced through this application of integrity to its statutory duties.

Transparency as a move towards accountability, by other departments at LCC, may actually save the Council wasting ratepayers money on responding to “speculative FOI’s”.

In this case, LCC’s monitoring officer appears to be actively obscuring the truth.

Yours faithfully,

Matt O'Donoghue

Liverpool City Council

 
Dear Matt O'Donoghue
 
Please note:

We would at this time advise that Liverpool City Council in common with
other public authorities is presently dealing with, responding to and
affected by the current public health emergency arising from Coronavirus.

When we have sufficient personnel to be able to deal with, and respond to,
your request we will do so in due course.

We thank you for your patience at this time whilst staff are diverted to
maintaining essential services for the residents of Liverpool during this
current public health emergency.

 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 5 March
2021 concerning Dear Liverpool City Council,

(1) Please provide a full list of ALL declared property interests held by
ALL Liverpool City Councillors in a searchable format xls spreadsheet.

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Matt O'Donoghue

Dear Liverpool City Council,

Thank you for your prompt acknowledgement.

For once, this ‘speculative’ request for information held on publicly accountable elected representatives will be in a very easy to reproduce format that will not take hours to find.

Apologies to the FOI team for having to waste their valuable time and deal with this.

If the Monitoring Officer adhered to their Statutory Responsibilities and published the information on Liverpool Council website, instead of hiding it away from public scrutiny, this request would not have been placed.

A ‘copy and paste’ onto the xls could take less than half an hour, once Liverpool City Council’s over stretched and COVID burdened staff have chance to schedule the unnecessary action.

Yours in hopeful anticipation of a swift response,

Matt O'Donoghue

Information Requests, Liverpool City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Matt O’Donoghue

 

Please see attached our response to your information request.

 

We thank you for your patience and understanding whilst Liverpool City
Council, in common with other public authorities is currently dealing
with, responding to, and affected by the current public health emergency
arising from Coronavirus which, in accordance with emergency legislation,
has meant that our staff are being diverted to maintain essential services
for the residents of Liverpool during this current public health
emergency.

 

Regards

 

Liverpool City Council

[1][email address]

[2]LCC autosig LetsGetVaccinated

 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Liverpool City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Liverpool City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Secret Landlords and Council Collusion'.

The information is not on the website. Please respond to the request by Wednesday March 31st or this will be referred to the ICO.

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

Yours faithfully,

Matt O'Donoghue

Information Requests, Liverpool City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Matt O’Donoghue

 

Please see attached the Internal Review outcome relating to the above
request.

 

We thank you for your patience and understanding whilst Liverpool City
Council, in common with other public authorities is currently dealing
with, responding to, and affected by the current public health emergency
arising from Coronavirus which, in accordance with emergency legislation,
has meant that our staff are being diverted to maintain essential services
for the residents of Liverpool during this current public health
emergency.

 

Regards

 

Liverpool City Council

[1]LCC autosig LetsGetVaccinated

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links