Street Cleaning - how much, how often and where

The request was successful.

Dear Thanet District Council,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I would like the following information, please:

1. The number of full time staff (or equivalents) working in street cleaning (ie those staff working sweeping the streets on foot) in a) Ramsgate b) Margate and c) Broadstairs for each year over the last five years.

2. The routes that the sweeping staff take in Ramsgate, including the roads covered and (if known) the regularity that the roads are covered.

Thank you for your time

Regards

Joe Turner

Amanda Buckingham, Thanet District Council

Ref No:54912 / 2515477
 
Dear Mr Turner
 
Thank you for your communication of 21/10/2013 requesting information
about street cleaning since 2008.
 
Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days. 
 
If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
Amanda Buckingham
Information Request Assessor
 

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Graeme Lawes, Thanet District Council

Ref No: 54912 / 2515477
 
Dear Mr Turner
 
Thank you for your communication received on 21/10/2013 where you
requested information about Street Cleansing
 
The information you requested is as follows:
 
1.      The total number of staff employed by the Council for Street
Cleansing is 45
        of which
        Ramsgate have 10 dedicated staff
        Margate have 8 dedicated staff
        Broadstairs have 4 dedicated staff
 
2.      Ramsgate has a early morning clean Monday - Friday in the main
shopping  and harbour areas.
        After which, There are a number of cleansing route which are
cleansed on a       regularity  to meet the Code of Practice under section
89(7) of the              Environmental Protection Act 1990.
 
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original letter and should be addressed to: Information Request Assessor,
Thanet District Council, P O Box 9 Cecil Street, Margate Kent CT9 1XZ, or
send an email to [email address].
 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
 
Graeme Lawes
Interim Manager Frontline Services
 

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Dear Thanet District Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Thanet District Council's handling of my FOI request 'Street Cleaning - how much, how often and where'.

I asked for very specific information - namely the number of full time staff or equivalents. Giving a number of staff is not an answer to the question.

I also asked for details of the routes in Ramsgate, which you have not even attempted to answer.

Please now reply with the information I have asked for.

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,

Joe Turner

Amanda Buckingham, Thanet District Council

 
4 November 2013
 
Ref No:54912/2515477
 
Dear Mr Turner
 
I can confirm receipt on 04/11/2013 of your request for an internal review
of our response to your FOI request.  This review will be conducted by
Harvey Patterson, Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager.  You can
expect to hear the outcome of the review, in writing, within 40 working
days.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
Amanda Buckingham
Business Support Officer
 
 
 

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Dear Amanda Buckingham,

I would like an immediate response to my request for an internal review, please.

If I do not hear from you by the end of this week, I will be asking the Information Commissioner to rule on the case - and also your system for conducting internal reviews.

I would remind you that the Information Commissioner considers an acceptable amount of time for conducting internal reviews to be 20 working days unless you provide overwhelming reasons for it taking longer. Information Commissioner's Good Practice Guidance 5.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Turner

Harvey Patterson, Thanet District Council

 
Ref No:54912 / 2515477
Subject:Street Cleaning Since 2008
 
Dear Mr Turner
 
Thank you for your communication received on  4 November 2013 where you
requested an internal review of  the  Council's response to your 
information request dated  21 November 2013.
 
In particular, you complained that the information communicated to you in
respect of the number of street cleaners working in Margate, Ramsgate and
Broadstairs was not not broken down into Full Time Equivalents (FTE's ). I
am  advised by my Cleansing Manager that the number provided in the
original response were FTE's    
and I aplogise that this was not made clear.
 
As for the details of the routes, my Cleansing Manager has provided the
following additional information:-
 
The main shopping and harbour areas that are cleansed using a mechanical
sweeper and a minimum of 4 manual (on foot) sweepers between 06:30 > 09:00
Monday > Friday. Saturday and Sunday these roads are manually swept.
 
The roads in question are:
 

* Queen Street from Waitrose to the centre
* King Street from the Plains of Waterloo to the centre
* Harbour Street
* The High Street from George Street to the centre
* York Street
* Leopold Street
* Harbour Parade
* Charlotte Court and Albert Court

 
From 09:00 the manual sweepers then individually cover areas to maintain
to the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. These areas
are:
 

* Town Centre
* Centre West
* Centre East
* East Cliff
* Newington Area
* St Luke's Area
* Westcliff

 
These rounds are to maintain the streets to standards of cleanliness that
accord with the requirements of the Code of Practice made under section
89(7) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Each road is checked
weekly by the Area Supervisor, the cleansing frequency being determined in
accordance with the Code of Practice by a combination of location,
footfall, usage and profile .
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
Harvey Patterson
   Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager
 

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Graeme Lawes, Thanet District Council

Dear Mr Turner

 

Further to my original response detailing the Full Time Equivalents  as
you requested I detail a further response below:

 

"1.      The total number of staff employed by the Council for Street
Cleansing is 45 of which

        Ramsgate have 10 dedicated staff

        Margate have 8 dedicated staff

        Broadstairs have 4 dedicated staff"

I may of not made it clear that the dedicated staff are those "on foot"
cleansing FTE's

 

"2.      Ramsgate has an early morning clean Monday - Friday in the main
shopping  and harbour areas. After which, there are a number of cleansing
routes which are cleansed on a regularity to meet the Code of Practice
under section 89(7) of the  Environmental Protection Act 1990."

 

With regard to the second question the main shopping and harbour areas
that are cleansed using a mechanical sweeper and a minimum of 4 manual 
(on foot) sweepers between 06:30 > 09:00 Monday > Friday. Saturday and
Sunday these roads are manually swept.

The roads in question are:

o Queen Street from Waitrose to the centre
o King Street from the Plains of Waterloo to the centre
o Harbour Street
o The High Street from George Street to the centre
o York Street
o Leopold Street
o Harbour Parade
o Charlotte Court and Albert Court

From 09:00 the manual sweeper then individual cover areas to maintain to
the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. These areas
are:

o Town Centre
o Centre West
o Centre East
o East Cliff
o Newington Area
o St Luke's Area
o Westcliff
o Rapid x3

These rounds are to maintain the streets to that specified in the above
mentioned act , which are checked and directed by the Area Supervisor,
each road is checked weekly. Although there are designated roads, the
frequency is determined by the footfall, usage and profile to compile with
the code of practice.

 

 

Best Regards

Graeme Lawes

 

Interim Head of Operational Services

For Thanet District Council

 

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Dear Graeme Lawes,

You are not only late in replying to the decision notice of the Information Commissioner of 16 April 2014, you have not actually addressed the issues as directed by the Information Commissioner in paragraph 8.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Turner

Graeme Lawes, Thanet District Council

I'm out of the office until Monday 2nd Junel. If it is urgent please
contact jane. [email address] or [email address]

Amanda Buckingham, Thanet District Council

1 Attachment

 
 
Ref No: 54912 / 2515477
Subject:Street Cleaning Since 2008
 
Dear Mr Turner
 
I am writing to you in response to the complaint you made to the
Information Commissioner and the resulting decision notice which was
received by Thanet District Council  on 17th April requiring the authority
to issue a fresh response under the Freedom of Information Act in respect
of the information described in paragraph 8 of the decision notice. 
 
Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding to you. 
The information you requested was not held by Thanet District Council in
the format that you requested it and it has taken some considerable time
to manually gather this information together, in order that we could fully
comply with your request.
 
Set out below is Thanet District Council's full response to your
questions:
 
1. The total equivalent number of full time staff employed by the council
undertaking the street cleaning service (including mechanical sweeping and
hit squad/ response work) and below this the numbers of those staff within
this total working on sweeping the streets on foot in Ramsgate, Margate
and Broadstairs for each year over the last five years:
 

Street Cleansing – Number of full time staff (or equivalent)

Year 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14
Overall Staff no 63 67 58 55 49 43
 a. Ramsgate 13 13 12 12 9 10
 b. Margate 14 14 13 13 11 9
 c. Broadstairs 4 5 4 4 2 2

 
 
2.The routes that the sweeping staff take in Ramsgate, including roads
covered and (if known) the regularity that the roads are covered.
 
Ramsgate has an early morning clean Monday - Friday in the main shopping
and harbour areas. After which, there are a number of cleansing routes
which are cleansed on a regularity to meet the Code of Practice under
section 89(7) of the  Environmental Protection Act 1990.
 
With regard to your second question, the main shopping and harbour areas
are cleansed using a mechanical sweeper and a minimum of 4 manual  (on
foot) sweepers between 06:30 > 09:00 Monday > Friday. Saturday and Sunday
these roads are manually swept.
 
The roads in question are:
Queen Street from Waitrose to the centre
King Street from the Plains of Waterloo to the centre
Harbour Street
The High Street from George Street to the centre
York Street
Leopold Street
Harbour Parade
Charlotte Court and Albert Court
 
 
 
 
From 09:00 the manual sweeper then provides individual cover to areas to
maintain the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
 
 
These areas are:
Town Centre
Centre West
Centre East
East Cliff
Newington Area
St Luke's Area
Westcliff
Rapid x3
 
These rounds are to maintain the streets to the standard specified in the
above mentioned Act, which are checked and directed by the Area
Supervisor.  Each road is checked weekly.  Although there are designated
roads, the frequency is determined by the footfall, usage and profile to
comply with the code of practice.
 
I have attached a spreadsheet of the Ramsgate Area Zones 1 to 5.  This
lists the cleaning method for each street in the zone and which area they
are located in.
 
I hope that this response now fully answers your questions.  If you are
still unsatisfied you have the right to contact the Information
Commissioner again.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
Amanda Buckingham
Customer Contact Officer
 
 

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Dear Amanda Buckingham,

Thankyou for your reply.

As you are fully aware, the Freedom of Information Act gives Thanet District Council the option to issue refusal notices - which include for reasons of cost of collecting data and that the data was not held.

The Information Commissioner has not told you that you must release this data, but that you must address the issues in the decision notice of 17 April paragraph 8 - which included the option to issue a valid refusal notice under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I accept that you have now done this, but I dispute the idea from your email that I have taken up a 'considerable amount of time' - and the implication of a considerable amount of cost.

In fact, answering Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests is a legal duty and statutory responsibility of all public bodies within the time limits of the Act of Parliament - 20 working days.

To answer this simple request took you more than 160 working days, a complaint to the Information Commissioner, a decision by the Information Commissioner and two letters from the Information Commissioner telling you that you had not addressed parts of my intial request. As I said above, the Act gives a limit to the amount of expense that local authorities can reasonably spend on responding to a Freedom of Information request, so in fact if any time has been wasted it has been mine.

I do not expect you to reply to this email but it will remain with the request on whatdotheyknow.com and will be a public record of TDC's inability to read and respond to a valid request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or even a decision notice of the Information Commissioner - a very serious matter as ignoring the Information Commissioner can lead to a charge of contempt of court.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Turner

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