Stock Condition Surveys

Mr H Jackson made this Freedom of Information request to Stoke on Trent City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

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

Dear Stoke on Trent City Council,

Could you please furnish me with any and all of the full stock condition surveys and reports that have been commissioned by the authority relating to domestic hosing stock since 2011.

Yours faithfully,

Mr H Jackson

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Jackson

 

Your request for information ref. SOT67935

 

Thank you for your request for copies of any full domestic housing stock
condition surveys and reports that have been commissioned by the local
authority since 2011.  Your request was received by the Information Rights
Team on 30 April 2018.  This is being dealt with under the terms of the
appropriate Information Rights legislation.

 

In some circumstances we may charge for information.  If there is a charge
we will let you know, as you will have to pay it before we deal with your
request.

 

Some information does not have to be released under this legislation.  We
will check the information you have asked for and send you as much as
possible.  If another person or organisation is named in the information,
we may have to ask their opinion before we decide what we can give you.

 

You should expect to receive a response to your request on or before 30
May 2018 in line with the legislation's 20 working day statutory deadline.

 

For your information we may publish the response to your request on our
City Council's website, which can be found at the following address:
[1]www.stoke.gov.uk.

 

If you have any queries about this email please do not hesitate to contact
us.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street

Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

City of Stoke-on-Trent 

t 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

e [2][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

 
Save time, go online; pay your council tax, manage your benefits, book a
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show quoted sections

 

References

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1. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Jackson

 

Your request ref. SOT67935 for copies of any full domestic housing stock
condition surveys and reports that have been commissioned by the local
authority since 2011

 

We have now considered your request and can advise as follows:-

 

The Private Sector housing stock condition surveys have been carried out
in 2008 and 2017.

 

The HRA (council housing) stock condition surveys have been carried out in
2011 and 2017.

 

Only the 2017 reports are therefore covered by the scope of your request.

 

Both of the surveys that were carried out in 2017 are subject to the
regulation 12(4)(d) exception under the Environmental Information
Regulations.

 

Regulation 12(4)(d) allows a public authority to withhold information if
it is considered unfinished or incomplete.

 

This exception has been applied because, whilst the surveys themselves are
complete, they are currently going through a process within the local
authority where they will be shared with, and discussed by, relevant
officers and elected members. The surveys will be published once this
process is complete.

 

It is not considered in the public interest to release information which
is going through a formal process with the local authority. This is
because the premature release of the information, before the final
discussions have taken place, could prejudice such processes.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to: The Information Rights Manager, Information Rights
Team, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Floor 2, Civic Centre, Glebe Street,
ST4 1HH, or email [1][Stoke on Trent City Council request email].

 

If, after contacting us, you are not content with the outcome, you may ask
the Information Commissioner for a decision. Before doing this, please see
the following link for guidance from the Information Commissioner relating
to how to use your information rights responsibly and effectively, to
enable you to gain the best outcome from the process -
[2]http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public.

 

Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you
have already used our internal review procedure. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, tel: 0303 123
1113 or you can visit their website at [3]www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

City of Stoke-on-Trent

Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

T: 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

E: [4][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

Dear Stoke on Trent City Council,

Could you please furnish me with any and all of the full stock condition
surveys and reports that have been commissioned by the authority relating
to domestic hosing stock since 2011.

Yours faithfully,

Mr H Jackson

 

 

 
Save time, go online; pay your council tax, manage your benefits, book a
housing repair and report a pothole at a time and place that’s convenient
for you at www.stoke.gov.uk 

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
2. http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public
3. http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx
4. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

Dear Stoke on Trent City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Stoke on Trent City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Stock Condition Surveys'.

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ]
The 2017 stock condition surveys have been listed within the business case for Selective Licensing as the evidence for poor housing conditions yet details of this report has not been made publicly available during the consultation or consultation analysis period.
Indeed ,the table included in the Business Case to evidence poor housing conditions refers only to lower than average EPC ratings and habitable rooms.
If the report is incomplete why was it used as a basis for evidence and will you be useing the same evidence for properties you propose to licence under phase two?
The Business Case lacks any kind of transparency and the refusal to provide this information is undemocratic.
I would ask once again for this information to be provided and for this matter to be referred to the authorities scrutiny department .

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,

Mr H Jackson

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr H Jackson

SOT67935 Environmental Information Regulations 2004 Internal Review regarding your request for information about Stock Condition Surveys.

Thank you for your correspondence requesting an Internal Review, which was received on 25/05/2018, regarding your request for information about Stock Condition Surveys.

Under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, an internal review is a statutory requirement and there is a statutory timescale of 40 working days for the Council to respond, starting from the day after the receipt of your Internal Review, we calculate this to be 23/07/2018.

If you have any queries about this email please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly| Information Rights Manager
Information Rights | Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Housing and Customer Services
Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street
Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH
t 01782 235965, 233020, 232853
e [email address]

show quoted sections

Dear Stoke on Trent City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Stoke on Trent City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Stock Condition Surveys'.

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ]

If there are additional and unpublished items within the stock conditions surveys which form part of the authorities evidence to support the introduction of Selective Licensing then this evidence should have been included within the authorities comprehensive business plan so that respondents may have taken this information into account during the consultation period.
As it is, the evidence offered within table 10 --private stock condition survey to support poor housing conditions only refer to lower than average EC ratings and less habitable rooms.
Other one line sensationalised statements regarding poor housing conditions are not supported by any evidence within the Business plan or Prospectus so the authorities case should not be regarded as robust .

If officers are to use other information contained from the limited stock condition surveys that were commissioned for the purpose of considering Selective Licensing it does not seem unreasonable to share this information with the general public during the consultation analysis period to enable a fair opportunity to raise questions about contents within this report before recommendations or options are put to cabinet.

In your internal review ,please also refer this matter to your department that deals with monitoring of policy as i am unable to trace any record of there involvement before consultation commenced and they should be aware of the limited information provided to support such a case.

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,

Mr H Jackson

Dear FOI,

The 40 working days mentioned in your last communication have now elapsed and i am still awaiting your reply.
Please furnish me with copies of both the Private sector and Council dwelling stock surveys of 2017 without further delay.

Yours sincerely,

Mr H Jackson

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Jackson,

I apologise for the delay in responding to your request for an Internal Review, which has been due to a short term staff resource issue.

The Stock Condition Survey has now been through the Council’s internal process and has been published online, please follow this link: https://www.stoke.gov.uk/directory/27/da...

We will aim to provide a full Internal Review response to you by 8th August 2018.

Kind Regards

Information Rights Team
City of Stoke-on-Trent
Housing and Customer Services Directorate
Civic Centre   Glebe Street   Stoke-on-Trent   ST4 1HH
Phone: 01782 232853, 233020, 233732, 235965
Email: [Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,
My request of 30th April 2018 asked for copies of all stock condition surveys .

Please furnish me with copies of the surveys completed for social housing which I am unable to find on your web site.

I now understand that the private sector surveys appear to have been published on your web site late June or early July but not forwarded to me in the intervening three months.

Your internal review should take into account any retrospective actions that are required when freedom of information responses delay the release of requested information.

Yours sincerely,

Mr H Jackson

Dear FOI,
The second date that you have provided for completion of an internal review has now elapsed and my request for copies of the social housing stock condition surveys of 2017 have remained unanswered.

Kindly forward the above surveys and advise of the complaints procedure for these unnecessary delays .

Yours sincerely,

Mr H Jackson

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Jackson,

I apologise for the delay in responding to your Internal Review request.

We are currently finalising our response to your request, this has taken longer than anticipated due to staff resources and the availability of Officers over this period.

We hope to respond to you within the next couple of days.

The surveys are available through the following links as they are now published on the City Council's website:

The Stock Condition Survey has now been through the Council’s internal process and has been published online, please follow this link:
https://www.stoke.gov.uk/directory/27/da...

The above link also provides access to the reports and appendices for the Selective Licensing Scheme including the Headline Survey Report.

For the selective licensing business case please follow this link:
https://www.stoke.gov.uk/downloads/file/...

If you wish to make a complaint please email [email address] or complete the online form at the following link:
https://www.stoke.gov.uk/info/20003/your...

Kind Regards

Information Rights Team
City of Stoke-on-Trent
Housing and Customer Services Directorate
Civic Centre   Glebe Street   Stoke-on-Trent   ST4 1HH
Phone: 01782 232853, 233020, 233732, 235965
Email: [Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,
Thank you for your reply BUT the link refers to PRIVATE stock condition surveys only .
I have also been asking for copies of the PUBLIC stock condition surveys from the outset, please forward these on .

Yours sincerely,

Mr H Jackson

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Jackson,

Please can you confirm if you are referring to the Stock Condition Survey relating to Council owned domestic properties?

Kind Regards

Information Rights Team

Information Rights Team
City of Stoke-on-Trent
Housing and Customer Services Directorate
Civic Centre   Glebe Street   Stoke-on-Trent   ST4 1HH
Phone: 01782 232853, 233020, 233732, 235965
Email: [Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,
That is correct.
My initial request was for copies of BOTH the private and public (council dwelling ) surveys,
neither of which have been sent to me .

The private surveys which you initially denied ,ended up eventually being published online without anyone
advising me though i had asked for an internal review.

No mention of the public surveys has been mentioned in any of your previous communications.
Could you please forward them or provide a link.

Yours sincerely,

Mr H Jackson

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Jackson,

We apologise that you were not made aware that the Private Stock Condition Survey had been published in June 2018 and for any inconvenience this has caused you. This is now available online at the link provided to you, alongside a number of other documents relating to the Selective Licensing Scheme. If you have any problems accessing the link please let us know and we will provide a copy of the document.

The Council Housing Stock Condition Survey has not yet been published. Once our Team obtains this from our Housing Colleagues we will release it to you unless it is considered that an Exception under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 applies. If this is the case we will advise you in detail about the reasons we consider this applies and why it is not in the public interest to release the information at this time, and also when it is likely to be published or available for release. We will confirm as quickly as possible as we appreciate the deadline for your Internal Review has now passed.

Kind Regards

Information Rights Team
City of Stoke-on-Trent
Housing and Customer Services Directorate
Civic Centre   Glebe Street   Stoke-on-Trent   ST4 1HH
Phone: 01782 232853, 233020, 233732, 235965
Email: [Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

show quoted sections

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Jackson

 

SOT67935 Environmental Information Regulations Internal Review regarding
your request for information about Housing Stock Condition Surveys and
Reports

Having received your request for an internal review the Council has now
reviewed its original decision regarding your request for information.

 

We can confirm that your Review has been partially upheld. Please find our
explanation for this below.

 

Your request:

 

Could you please furnish me with any and all of the full stock condition
surveys and reports that have been commissioned by the authority relating
to domestic hosing stock since 2011.

 

The Council’s response to your request:

 

We have now considered your request and can advise as follows:-

 

The Private Sector Housing Stock Condition Surveys have been carried out
in 2008 and 2017.

 

The HRA (council housing) stock condition surveys have been carried out in
2011 and 2017.

 

Only the 2017 reports are therefore covered by the scope of your request.

 

Both of the surveys that were carried out in 2017 are subject to the
regulation 12(4)(d) exception under the Environmental Information
Regulations.

 

Regulation 12(4)(d) allows a public authority to withhold information if
it is considered unfinished or incomplete.

 

This exception has been applied because, whilst the surveys themselves are
complete, they are currently going through a process within the local
authority where they will be shared with, and discussed by, relevant
officers and elected members. The surveys will be published once this
process is complete.

 

It is not considered in the public interest to release information which
is going through a formal process with the local authority. This is
because the premature release of the information, before the final
discussions have taken place, could prejudice such processes.

 

Your Internal Review:

 

25/05/18 I am writing to request an internal review of Stoke on Trent City
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Stock Condition Surveys'.

 

The 2017 stock condition surveys have been listed within the business case
for Selective Licensing as the evidence for poor housing conditions yet
details of this report has not been made publicly available during the
consultation or consultation analysis period.

Indeed ,the table included in the Business Case to evidence poor housing
conditions refers only to lower than average EPC ratings and habitable
rooms.

If the report is incomplete why was it used as a basis for evidence and
will you be using the same evidence for properties you propose to licence
under phase two?

The Business Case lacks any kind of transparency and the refusal to
provide this information is undemocratic.

I would ask once again for this information to be provided and for this
matter to be referred to the authorities scrutiny department .

 

30/05/18 If there are additional and unpublished items within the stock
conditions surveys which form part of the authorities evidence to support
the introduction of Selective Licensing then this evidence should have
been included within the authorities comprehensive business plan so that
respondents may have taken this information into account during the
consultation period.

As it is, the evidence offered within table 10 --private stock condition
survey to support poor housing conditions only refer to lower than average
EC ratings and less habitable rooms.

Other one line sensationalised statements regarding poor housing
conditions are not supported by any evidence within the Business plan or
Prospectus so the authorities case should not be regarded as robust .

 

If officers are to use other information contained from the limited stock
condition surveys that were commissioned for the purpose of considering
Selective Licensing it does not seem unreasonable to share this
information with the general public during the consultation analysis
period to enable a fair opportunity to raise questions about contents
within this report before recommendations or options are put to cabinet.

 

In your internal review, please also refer this matter to your department
that deals with monitoring of policy as i am unable to trace any record of
there involvement before consultation commenced and they should be aware
of the limited information provided to support such a case.

 

Internal Review Investigation and Findings:

The City Council has now completed its investigation into your Internal
Review. As part of this investigation we have liaised with the Head of
Asset Management and Investment and the Strategic Manager for Private
Sector Housing. We have considered your request and our original response
in detail and our use of the exception found at Regulation 12(4)(d) of the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (unfinished or incomplete
information).

 

Regulation 12(4)(d) allows information to be withheld if the information
or the process the information must go through is incomplete or
unfinished. This exception was applied to the information you requested,
the Private Sector Housing Stock Condition Survey and the HRA Stock
Condition Survey because at the time of your original request these
documents had not completed the City Council’s internal process in that
they had not been viewed by Elected Members.

 

The City Council were not in the position to release the Private Sector
Housing Stock Survey or the HRA Stock Condition Survey until the Council’s
internal process of the surveys being viewed and discussed by Senior
Officers and Elected Members was complete. To do so would adversely affect
the process of decision making that needed to take place internally to
allow the Council to consider and respond to the requirements highlighted
in the surveys. The information you requested was created as part of the
process of formulating and developing policy, while particular documents
were complete the process was not complete. Exception 12(4)(d) recognises
the importance of Local Authorities in having a “thinking space” for
policy development. This is an opportunity for Senior Officers and Elected
Members to consider the information in private prior to public scrutiny.

 

As you are aware the Private Sector Housing Stock Condition Survey is now
available online at the following link:
[1]https://www.stoke.gov.uk/directory/27/da...

This link also provides access to the reports and appendices for the
Selective Licensing Scheme including the Headline Survey Report.  For the
selective licensing business case please follow this link:
[2]https://www.stoke.gov.uk/downloads/file/...

 

Although the Private Sector Housing Stock Condition Survey has now been
released into the public domain, the HRA Stock Condition Survey at this
time has not. The Council continues to consider that Regulation 12(4)(d)
of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 applies to this
information. This is because although the document is complete the
internal process and financial considerations that this survey instigates
are not. To explain in more detail, the completed survey highlights the
investment requirements for council housing stock over a 30 year period
and is used to financially remodel the business plan which in turn
determines our investment renewal programmes for such items as kitchens,
bathroom, and roofs etc.  To ensure Elected Members and Senior officers
have the opportunity to fully consider the information regarding the long
term investment requirements the Council’s aim is to publish the survey
during 2019.

 

The public interest in withholding the information for both the Private
Sector Housing Stock Condition Survey and the HRA Stock Condition Survey
at the time of your request outweighed the public interest in releasing
the information. This was because it is not in the public interest to
release information into the public domain that has not yet been viewed by
Senior Officers and Elected Members, this is part of the City Council’s
formal democratic process. It means that Elected Member and Senior
officers have the opportunity to raise queries about the information prior
to public release, and be part of the decision making process in relation
to the surveys. The City Council requires a “safe space” in order for it
to complete its decision making process away from public scrutiny in order
to protect the integrity of the decision making process. The information
on the Private Sector Housing Stock Condition Survey was due to be
published once the City Council had completed this process, and Members
had been given the opportunity to have sight of the information, this is
now available. The HRA Stock Condition Survey will be published once the
process described above is completed.

 

Although we have given consideration to your view that the information
should have been made available at the time of the consultation, as this
would have informed public debate around the Selective Licensing Scheme,
the City Council does not believe this argument outweighs the public
interest in allowing the information to first complete the City Council’s
internal process. The report and other documents relating to the Selective
licensing Scheme were published as soon as possible once the Council’s
internal process had been completed. The Housing Stock Condition Surveys
are not directly linked to the Selective licensing Scheme as they were
created as separate documents to meet the City Council’s statutory
obligations.  Although parts of the Private Sector Housing Condition
Survey were used to inform the Selective Licensing Scheme Business Case,
it was a supporting document rather than a principal document for the
scheme.

 

Documents that were publically available to inform public debate at the
time of the consultation were as follows:

 

·         All consultation documents

·         Business Case

·         Prospectus

·         Proposed Streets

·         Fee structure

·         License conditions

·         Fit and Proper Person criteria

 

I apologise for the delay in responding to your request for an Internal
Review and for not making you aware sooner that the Private Sector Housing
Stock Condition Survey had been published. I hope this has not caused you
undue inconvenience. As a result of this delay I have partially upheld
your Internal Review.

 

If you have any queries about this email, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

 

The information supplied may be used for domestic or journalistic
purposes. Its use for commercial gain including issuing to the public may
be subject to the issue of a licence under the Reuse of Public Sector
Information Regulations 2015.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of this internal review you can
make a complaint to the Information Commissioner.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF, Tel: 0303 123 1113 or you can visit their website at
[3]www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx.

 

You can find details of how we handle your personal information by
visiting [4]www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Alice Hide / Louise Kelly

Information Rights Managers

Information Rights Team

City of Stoke-on-Trent

Housing and Customer Services Directorate

Civic Centre Glebe Street Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

Phone: 01782 233732, 235965

Email: [5][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

 
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Save time, go online; pay your council tax, manage your benefits, book a
housing repair and report a pothole at a time and place that’s convenient
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show quoted sections

 

References

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