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Shephall View Development

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To Stevenage Borough Council:

Stevenage Borough Council wrote to residents close to this possible development claiming a Planning Application had been made -
1. Who was this Planning Application made by?

2. What are the financial inducements offered by this applicant to Councillors and the Council Officers?

3. What form have these inducements of money , hospitality and benefits taken - eg holidays offered and payments in kind , cryptocurrency , etc?

4. Why have councillors and council officers taken these inducements?

5. Why are false claims about a tendering process being made by SBC when only one Developer is allowed to bid and submit this single Planning Application ?

With Great Concern,

William Groarke

DPA, Stevenage Borough Council

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The reference number for your request is FOI/346.

 

 Thank you for your request for information, which will be handled in
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stevenage@infreemation.co.uk,

 

Dear Mr Groarke,

  

Your Request for Information Ref: FOI/000346

 

I am writing to you in response to your email dated 19^th December 2022.
Your request has been processed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA). 

 

Your Request

 

RE: Shephall View Development

To Stevenage Borough Council

Stevenage Borough Council wrote to residents close to this possible
development claiming a Planning Application had been made  

 

Your Question

 

 1. Who was this Planning Application made by?

 

Our Response to Question 1

 

The Planning Application was made by Stevenage Borough Council

 

Your Question

 

2. What are the financial inducements offered by this applicant to
Councillors and the Council Officers?

3. What form have these inducements of money , hospitality and benefits
taken - eg holidays offered and payments in kind , cryptocurrency , etc?

4. Why have councillors and council officers taken these inducements?

 

Our Response to Questions 2 – 4

 

The Council has reviewed your request, and unfortunately, we are unable to
provide a response to these questions.

This is because the FOI Act gives a general right of access to all types
of recorded information held by public authorities. As such, we are not
required to create new information to respond to a request, or give a
judgement or opinion that is not already recorded.

Furthermore, we would advise that it is not the standard practice of the
Council for officers to comment on opinions or speculations. 

 

In addition, please note that Councillors and Council Officers have a
responsibility to comply with our Code of Conduct. 

Our Employee Code of Conduct stipulates that it is a criminal offence
under the Local Government Act 1972 for an officer of a local authority to
demand or accept any fee or reward whatsoever other than their employment
within the Council.

The Councillors Code of Conduct is available on our website and can be
viewed by accessing the following link: [1]Councillors Code of Conduct
(stevenage.gov.uk)

Please refer to Point (6) under General Obligations:

‘You— (a) must not use or attempt to use your position as a member
improperly to confer on or secure for yourself or any other person, an
advantage or disadvantage; and (b) must, when using or authorising the use
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your authority's reasonable requirements; (ii) ensure that such resources
are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political
purposes); and (c) must have regard to any applicable Local Authority Code
of Publicity made under the Local Government Act 1986’.

If you have any difficulties accessing this information at the source we
have indicated, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Your Question 

 

5. Why are false claims about a tendering process being made by SBC when
only one Developer is allowed to bid and submit this single Planning
Application

 

Our Response to Question 5

 

As stated in the response to Question 1, Stevenage Borough Council are the
responsible party for the submission of the Planning Application.

There is currently a tender process ongoing to seek a potential developer
for the site with any appointment subject to the proposals receiving
Planning Permission.

 

I trust you find the response helpful and can assure you we have provided
all the information Stevenage Borough Council holds. If you are
dissatisfied with the service you have received or wish to appeal the
response, please send an email quoting the reference number of your
request and the reason for your appeal, to the Council’s Data Protection
Officer by email at [2][Stevenage Borough Council request email] within two months of receipt.

 

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

If you remain unhappy with the outcome of your appeal you can contact the
ICO, the details of which can be found at ico.gov.uk. In general the ICO
will only review cases once an organization has completed its internal
review.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the
contents of this letter.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Team

 

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team

Stevenage Borough Council

 

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References

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2. mailto:[Stevenage Borough Council request email]

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are William Groarke please sign in and let everyone know.