Solar panels at the Hawkstone Estate

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Southwark Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

A few years ago the following solar panels were installed on the new roofs of these Southwark House blocks:
Rotherhithe Old Road, Hawkstone Estate 130 solar panels;
Canute Gardens, Hawkstone Estate 160 solar panels;
Jarman House, Hawkstone Estate 160 solar panels.
A total of
450 solar panels.
Reportedly these panels produced electricity. It has been reported by the Chair of the Estate's Tenants & Residents Association that estate residents were to benefit from cheaper estate lighting bills. It is also reported that the panels were installed without consultation with the estate residents.
Delegates to Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum have already made repeated informations requests at the Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum verbally and received no response despite being assured a response would be forthcoming.

Please can you inform us who owns the solar panels?
Please can you inform us what contract (or other agreement) Southwark Council has with the owner of the solar panels and / or any supplier of electricity?
Does Southwark's General Fund benefit? If so, by how much does the ring fenced Housing Revenue Account benefit? (Benefit = money)
What arrangements are in place to carry out periodic inspection of the new very expensive roof covering under the 360 solar panels?
How do the residents of the Hawkstone Estate benefit financially from having 360 solar panels on the roofs of three blocks?

It is in the public interest to ensure very expensive new roofs can be visually inspected when necessary and particularly when large areas of roofing have already been identified as defective and repaired. Warranties and insurance are usually not cheap. It's in the public interest to know how HRA assets are used to generate revenue for the council and over commercial interests and how that revenue is spent.

Yours faithfully,

Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
I am writing to request an internal review of Southwark Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Solar panels at the Hawkstone Estate'.
No response has been received.
This will also be reported back to the next meeting of the Forum on 12 November 2019.
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,
Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

accessinfo, Southwark Borough Council

Dear Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum,

Thank you for your email. I have conducted a search on our system and in our mailbox but can not find receipt of this request.

Unfortunately we will not be able to conduct an Internal Review as this request was not received. We can process this as a new request if you wish.

In order for us to process your request, we require your full name. Section 8(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires us to collect your name and contact address (e.g. email or postal address) and without this information, your request is invalid and cannot be processed.

Please can you confirm your full name within 10 working days so we can validate your request and continue to process it.

Kind Regards,

Payal Panchal
Information Officer
London Borough of Southwark
PO BOX 64529

[email address]
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Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear accessinfo,

We have reported back to that "this request was not received" by you. The system shows the request delivered to you. You may wish to investigate who in your organisation might have deleted the request from your inbox.

Section 8 sets out the criteria for what constitutes a valid request under the Act:
Section 8(1)(a) requires that a request for information must be made in writing. This
can either be in hard copy or electronically which we have completed using this website.
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 and an email address has been provided via system which is acceptable.

At last nights Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum meeting, administered by Southwark Council and attended by two Southwark Council officers, we 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 a recent response to us by TfL which is on its way to the ICO.

Our request is very overdue due and please conduct the internal review as we requested. But more importantly, as made clear at last nights Forum meeting to Resident Services Manager (North Team), please supply the information and tell us what is going on with the solar panels on the low rise roofs.

Many thanks,
Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The request was received by the council's mailserver. We indicate this with the green tick on the outgoing message, you can click on "delivered" for more details . We consider our green tick is as good as, if not better, than recorded delivery via the post, and we at WhatDoTheyKnow are an independent third party who are showing that your request was sent, and delivered.

The council's mailserver responded to WhatDoTheyKnow's server passing it your message with a "250" OK response, it issued a message ID: 2u5195ku79-1 and replied: "Message accepted for delivery"

The council are, perhaps surprisingly, using a mail server from a service called Proofpoint in California, USA. It appears this an email filtering system and the council may be misusing it or it may be misconfigured, if they're losing legitimate emails such as the request here. Perhaps the council could consider "whitelisting" correspondence sent via

Also this request is probably valid in the name of Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum. The council could be pointed to the Information Commissioner's guidance in paragraphs 38 and 39 at

which states:

"Requests from unincorporated bodies such as campaign groups or clubs are also valid and in most cases should be accepted at face value. However, if the authority has reason to check whether the organisation is authentic, it may need to take a more pragmatic approach to validating its identity because these bodies are often relatively informal associations of people with no ‘official’ status.

We therefore recommend that authorities adopt a lower and more informal test for determining whether a name provided by an unincorporated body"

The council should be aware the forum exists, it appears it hosts their minutes on their website, though the latest are from 2016

Richard - volunteer

Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum

Dear accessinfo,
Our next Forum meeting will be on 10th December 2019 and we will decide whether to send this request, and our others you have failed to process in accordance with the law, to the ICO. Please ensure you comply with the law.
Yours faithfully,
Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum