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Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Local Implementation Plan 3 for Kingston Council

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Dear Transport for London,

Please can you send me:

1. The Strategic Environmental Assessment that was submitted to TfL in 2019 as part of Kingston Council's LIP3 (the "SEA") with evidence of the date of submission of the SEA?
2. Any correspondence between TfL and Kingston Council, in whatsoever form it may exist, regarding the SEA between 12 February 2019 and today's date?
3. Any internal correspondence between employees of TfL, in whatsoever form it may exist, regarding the SEA between 12 February 2019 and today's date?

Yours faithfully,

Caroline Scott

FOI, Transport for London

Dear C Scott

TfL Ref: FOI-3816-1920

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 8 March 2020 asking for information about Local Implementation Plans.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy.

A response will be sent to you by 6 April 2020. We publish a substantial range of information on our website on subjects including operational performance, contracts, expenditure, journey data, governance and our financial performance. This includes data which is frequently asked for in FOI requests or other public queries. Please check http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar... to see if this helps you.

We will publish anonymised versions of requests and responses on the www.tfl.gov.uk website. We will not publish your name and we will send a copy of the response to you before it is published on our website.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Melissa Nichols
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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FOI, Transport for London

Dear C Scott

TfL Ref: FOI-3816-1920

Thank you again for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 8 March 2020 asking for information about the Local Implementation Plans.

Your request is being considered under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).

To enable us to fully consider your request in accordance with the EIR, we have had to extend the deadline for providing a response to 40 working days from the date we received your request. The amended date for a final response is now 6 May 2020. We are working hard to ensure that you receive a response before this date.

I apologise for the delay and any inconvenience this may cause you. If you have any queries or would like to discuss your request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Melissa Nichols
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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Dear Transport for London,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Transport for London's handling of my FOI request 'Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Local Implementation Plan 3 for Kingston Council'.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment ("the SEA") for the Local Implementation Plan 3 for Kingston Council ("LIP3") is a public document that should have been completed in early 2019 and submitted to Transport for London immediately at that time. The SEA was eventually completed very late by Kingston Council after the LIP3 in early summer 2019, after a short public consultation that was not publicised and the results of the consultation were never shared with Kingston Council's stakeholders, including residents.

I am requesting an internal review because there can be absolutely no reason for delaying a response to my request because:

1.the SEA is a completed statutorily-required document that should now have been published alongside the Kingston LIP3 on Kingston Council's website as a Local Development Scheme document in early 2019;
2. It is a document that will form part of the new Local Plan in which Kingston residents and other stakeholders have a direct public interest;
3. Residents of Kingston and beyond have the legal right read the conclusions of the SEA - particularly as it had not been written when the LIP3 was approved, a breach the council's statutory duties;
4. TfL and Kingston Council have a duty to make their communications, deliberations and conclusions in relation to the SEA public, especially given the fact that the SEA was completed in a delayed fashion, avoiding the ability of the public to scrutinise its contents alongside the LIP3 of which it forms a critical and legal part
5. It is in the interests of transparency and accountability and to promote public awareness and understanding and to safeguard democratic processes that communications relating to the delayed SEA should be published
6. The whole of the population of Kingston is affected by development and transport infrastructure proposals being pursued by Kingston Council, and there is an overriding public interest that all Kingston Council stakeholders should have access to deliberations that will affect us
7. The reason why Kingston Council failed to meet its statutory duty to complete a SEA alongside the LIP3 is unclear, despite my challenge of the decision to approve the LIP3; the Council ignored my explicit challenge on this matter. Reasonable suspicion therefore exists that there may have been some wrong-doing in the failure to complete the SEA on time and to publish the report or that a conflict of interests may be driving TFL and/or Kingston Council in its decision-making. There is a strong argument that communications need to be published in order to ensure and contribute to good decision-making by public authorities on the public's behalf in the future
8. A public authority shall always apply a presumption in favour of disclosure of information.

I await full disclosure of the requested information at your earliest convenience.

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,

Caroline Scott

FOI, Transport for London

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received on 6 April 2020.

You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance with TfL’s Internal Review Procedure, which is available via the following URL:

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/internal-revie...

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 6 May 2020. However, if the review will not be completed by this date, we will contact you and notify you of the revised response date as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Emma Flint
Principal Information Access Advisor
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel

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Dear FOI,

I would like to make you aware that TfL has a legal duty to respond promptly to a FOI Act request and I see no reason why my request should have been delayed.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Scott

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Ms Scott

I am contacting you regarding your internal review request concerning the extension of a further 20 working days under the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR). This review has been carried out following your email of 6 April.

The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) allows that where a request is made under regulation 5 of the EIR and where a public authority reasonably believes that the complexity and volume of the information requested means that it is impracticable to comply with the request within the 20 working day timeframe, they may extend the period of 20 working days to 40 working days as referred to in the provisions in paragraph (2) of the regulations.

Whilst the panel understand that individuals are keen to receive the information they request as soon as possible, in this instance it was necessary to apply the referred to extension due to the complexity in identifying and locating the information required to answer your request in full. The situation was reviewed and it was agreed by senior team member that an extension under the provisions of the EIR was appropriate. This was communicated to you in our email of 6 April with a new advised response date of 6 May.

The Panel agree that as a full response has yet to be provided to you, we do not consider that this review necessarily represents the end of the internal review process. We consider it would be appropriate in the context of this request to offer you a further internal review of the content of the response to FOI-3816-1920 if you choose, even though you have already exercised your right to a review in view of our time extension.

Therefore, once received, if you are not satisfied with the final response provided to FOI-3816-1920 please contact [TfL request email]. Alternatively if you are dissatisfied with the internal review actions to date you can refer the matter to the independent authority responsible for enforcing the Freedom of Information Act, at the following address:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF

A complaint form is also available on the ICO’s website (www.ico.org.uk).

Yours sincerely

Emma Flint
Principal Information Access Adviser
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London
[TfL request email]

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your message. I hope you are staying safe and well.

I do not accept this statement to be factually correct: "it was necessary to apply the referred to extension due to the complexity in identifying and locating the information required to answer your request in full"

I simply asked for the SEA of the LIP3, a single document that should have been submitted by Kingston Council last year to you, as well as internal correspondence relating to the LIP3, and correspondence about the LIP3 between yourselves and Kingston Council.

I would appreciate receipt of the information at your earliest convenience.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Scott

FOI, Transport for London

7 Attachments

Dear Ms Scott

 

Our Ref:         FOI-3816-1920

 

Thank you for your request received on 8 March 2020 asking for information
about the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Local
Implementation Plan 3 for Kingston Council.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Environmental Information Regulations and our information access
policy. I can confirm we hold some of the information you require.

 

Please find the requested information attached. The attached SEA is marked
as draft, we cannot confirm that this is the Council’s final version,
however it is the latest version that we hold. Please contact Kingston
Council directly if you still require the final version.

 

In accordance with our obligations under Data Protection legislation some
personal data has been removed, as required by regulation 13 of the EIR.
This is because disclosure of this personal data would be a breach of the
legislation, specifically the first principle of Article 5 of the General
Data Protection Regulation which requires all processing of personal data
to be fair and lawful. It would not be fair to disclose this personal
information when the individuals have no expectation it would be disclosed
and TfL has not satisfied one of the conditions which would make the
processing ‘fair’.

 

This exemption to the right of access to information is an absolute
exemption and not subject to an assessment of whether the public interest
favours use of the exemption.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please feel free to contact me.

 

Please note, the Government has announced a series of measures to tackle
the coronavirus. It is essential for London, and in particular for all
critical workers, that we continue to provide a safe transport network
that enables them to make the journeys they need to.

 

In current circumstances, we are not able to answer requests readily and
we ask that you please do not make a request to us at present.

 

Answering requests will require the use of limited resources and the
attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. In
any event, please note that our response time will be affected by the
current situation.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would
like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

Senior FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

 

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