Street Lighting Switch Off - Was any consultation undertaken?

The request was partially successful.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please follow this link, which refers to Wirral Council's decision to turn off a number of street lights:

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/108161...

Given that the detailed information on:

1 Boundaries of area affected. Boundaries of future areas proposed for "switch off"
2 List of roads affected. List of future roads proposed for "switch off"
3 Planned duration of "switch off" in months / weeks / days
4 Length of outage per 24 hour period e.g. midnight to 5 am
5 Reasons for "switch off" e.g. economic / environmental
6 Date of internal consultation undertaken e.g. engagement with Street Lighting Section for professional advice, remit / report and date report delivered
7 Date of public consultation undertaken, remit, report and date report delivered
8 Final list of roads selected for potential "switch off" following Councillor / Cabinet input (which may differ from list of roads recommended in any consultation report, internal or external)
9 Current size of Wirral Council's Street Lighting CMS (Central Management System)
10 Any alternatives to "switching off" considered

...does not appear to have been made available publicly, although public safety is threatened, but there is no sign of any public oversight, I am forced into making a FoI request in order to gain access to this information.

Please provide all the information listed within the 10 items above within 20 working days.

With regard to number 9, please state the current number of lighting column/luminaire positions modernised to comply with the requirements of the CMS prior and subsequent to permission to roll out globally - granted in Autumn 2011, regardless of whether they are currently operational within the CMS.

Although there is no statutory requirement for Councils to provide a street lighting network, and the provision of lighting is a power and not a duty, please note, it would be unreasonable, not to say dangerous, for councillors not to consult prior to switching off street lights and may breach the duty of care the council has for the safety of the travelling public and pedestrians.

Deliberately switching off street lights in a primarily urban area may increase the likelihood of serious road accidents and give rise to well-founded legal approaches from members of the public.

Like all my previous Freedom of Information requests to a wide range of councils, on a wide range of subjects, this is not a vexatious or obsessive request.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Dave rimmer left an annotation ()

PAUL,Havnt they already admitted they never even consulted with the emergency services so it is even less likely they consulted with the public

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Confusion reigns Dave. On last Friday's Roger Phillips' phone in, the leader claimed he'd consulted with the police. This is an attempt to get chapter & verse and to see what actually happened.

As the council are still firmly entrenched in denial and manipulation, nothing's been put out to the public, and accountability does not exist, it could take a long time.

Stefan Ellis left an annotation ()

All of this has left me in the dark!

Dave rimmer left an annotation ()

Paul, I am absolutely certain that someone in the council admitted that NO consultation had been undertaken with any of the emergency services so either that person was lying or the leader is lying....any bets on who is the liar.....perhaps a FOI request to the police to ask them if they were consulted.....on second thoughts, dont waste your time you wont get an answer out of them....they all roll up the same trouser leg together

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

2 Attachments

Good Afternoon

 

Thank you for your request, please see responses alongside your queries
below and attached.

 

I trust you find this information of assistance.

 

kind regards 

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to
use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge.

 

 

 

1 Boundaries of area affected. Boundaries of future areas proposed for
"switch off"

 

A1        The review of streets affected covered the entire borough and
which would also apply for any future proposals for switching off
lighting, should that budget option for 2014/15 be approved by Council.

 

 

2 List of roads affected. List of future roads proposed for "switch off"

 

A2        The list of streets affected in 2013/14 is provided on the
Council’s website, please use the link on this webpage:

 

           
[1]http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/tra...

 

            The attached spreadsheet provides an up-to-date status of all
that affected lighting, having been reviewed since that list was
published.

 

            There are yet no firm proposals for the locations of switching
off lights in 2014/15, should that budget option for 2014/15 be approved
by Council.

 

 

3 Planned duration of "switch off" in months / weeks / days

 

A3        All of the lights affected in A2 above are switched off all of
the time, except where it is proposed to change to part night switch off
at the locations identified in the attached spreadsheet.

 

 

4 Length of outage per 24 hour period e.g. midnight to 5 am

 

A4        All of the lights affected in A2 above are switched off all of
the time, except where it is proposed to change to part night switch off
at the locations identified in the attached spreadsheet.

 

 

5 Reasons for "switch off" e.g. economic / environmental

 

A5        Economic, as part of the Council’s budget savings option for
2013/14.

 

 

6 Date of internal consultation undertaken e.g. engagement with Street
Lighting Section for professional advice, remit / report and date report
delivered

 

A6        Internal consultation for the street lighting budget option was
carried out over the period September 2012, regarding the broad
principles, to February 2013, finalising the list of streets which were to
be affected. Oversight of the first stage of consultation on budget
savings options was provided by the then Sustainable Communities Overview
and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 6^th November 2012, and the
relevant papers can be found on the Council’s website at:

 

           
[2]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...
with the relevant minute being item 28.

 

            Oversight of the second stage of the consultation feedback and
the resulting budget options, including that for street lighting, was
provided by the then Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny
Committee at its meeting on 4^th December 2012 and the relevant papers can
be found on the Council’s website at:

 

           
 [3]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...
with the relevant minute being item 44.

 

 

For the 2014/15 budget options consultation and reviewing the
implementation of the 2013/14 budget options, including street lighting,
oversight has been provided through the Regeneration and Environment
Policy and Performance Committee at its meeting on 5^th November 2013, the
relevant papers can be found on the Council’s website at:

 

[4]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx... with the
relevant minutes being items 26 and 27.

 

 

7 Date of public consultation undertaken, remit, report and date report
delivered

 

A7        Public consultation was carried out as part of the What Really
Matters consultation

carried out in two stages, firstly in September/October 2012, then the
second stage in November 2012 to January 2013

a report on the second stage of that consultation was received by Cabinet
on 7 February 2013, the link below provides the minutes of that meeting on
the Council’s website. The relevant minute is 184:

 

           
[5]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...

 

            Appendix 2 covering Regeneration and Environment provides the
relevant detail for street lighting.

 

            For the 2014/15 budget, consultation has recently closed, the
details can be found on the Council’s website at:

 

[6]http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/cou...
and street lighting is in the Regeneration and Environment Budget Options.

 

 

8 Final list of roads selected for potential "switch off" following
Councillor / Cabinet input (which may differ from list of roads
recommended in any consultation report, internal or external)

 

A8      Answer as A2 above.

 

 

9 Current size of Wirral Council's Street Lighting CMS (Central Management
System)

 

A9        Please find attached a full schedule of those streets for which
CMS capability has been fitted and implemented. To date, these locations
(other than those now switched off [As A2 above] through the CMS) have
been dimmed all night rather than set for timed dimming or timed switch
off.

 

Further roll out of CMS capability to a further 575 units is planned
within the Capital Programme; either in 2014/15 or 2015/16, the timing
dependant on other competing Invest to Save priorities within the Council.

 

The CMS arrangements are primarily intended as an environmental
improvement.

 

10 Any alternatives to "switching off" considered

 

A10      For the budget option for 2013/14, alternatives to switching off
lighting were not considered.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Street Lighting Switch Off - Was any consultation undertaken?'.

Thank you for your response, which shows an improvement on responses in the past, however there are areas of the request which have not been correctly addressed. I will list these under the numbers given in the original request:

3. Planned duration of "switch off" in months / weeks / days

This hasn't been answered properly. I was asking "For how long into the future will the lights be switched off?"

6. Date of internal consultation undertaken e.g. engagement with Street Lighting Section for professional advice, remit / report and date report delivered

Within the information you gave, there was no sign of any "professional advice, remit / report / date report delivered".

The information you provided did NOT refer in detail to any internal consultation, but was a broad reference to the What Really Matters external public "consultation".

Please provide the information gleaned when you consulted the Interim Director of Technical Services, who in turn should have consulted the Group Leader of the Street Lighting Section and provided their written professional advice.

For assistance, here is a comment from the Group Leader of the Street Lighting Section, which does NOT appear to have been included within ANY of the scrutiny information provided to Councillors:

"Switching off lights was not considered to be an appropriate course of action for a predominately urban borough. There would also be the risk of litigation in the event of an accident at a site where the lights had been switched off."

For ease of reference, this comment was drawn from the Street Lighting CMS document dated December 2011, which appears at the following link:

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents...

There is no reason to suggest that this important professional opinion will have altered in the interim period between December 2011 and December 2012, the time of the scrutiny meeting.

Please ask a senior officer to carry out an internal review in full accordance with the FOIA.

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,

Paul Cardin

ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

Just for information, the post of Director of Technical Services hasn't existed for a good while since the senior management restructure.

The person who was Interim Director of Technical Services has as far as I know left Wirral Council and as far as I know was only working as Interim Director of Technical Services for Wirral Council during the period Dave Green was suspended.

The responsibilities previously held by the Director of Technical Services are now held by the Head of Environment and Regulation (the former Deputy Director of Technical Services) Mark Smith.

Hope that helps!

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Good Morning,

Thank you for your email below.  Your Internal Review has been carried out
by a Senior Officer in conjunction with a Head of Service, please find
further information below.  

 

 3. Planned duration of "switch off" in months / weeks / days.  This
hasn't been answered properly.  I was asking "For how long into the future
will the lights be switched off?"

 

Answer - Apologies for the misinterpretation – this was intended as
permanently switching off the affected lighting.

 

 

6. Date of internal consultation undertaken e.g. engagement with Street
Lighting Section for professional advice, remit / report and date report
delivered.  Within the information you gave, there was no sign of any
"professional advice, remit / report / date report delivered".

The information you provided did NOT refer in detail to any internal
consultation, but was a broad reference to the What Really Matters
external public "consultation".  Please provide the information gleaned
when you consulted the Interim Director of Technical Services, who in turn
should have consulted the Group Leader of the Street Lighting Section and
provided their written professional advice.

 

Answer - Following internal discussions and feedback received, the Street
Lighting Manager provided the Deputy Director with professional advice in
the form of a Briefing Note on 5th February - see attached. The budget
option approved by Cabinet/ Council was implemented on this basis.

 

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, if you are
dissatisfied with the outcome of this internal review, to do this please
contact [1]https://www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us

 

 

I trust you find this information useful.

 Kind Regards

Jane Corrin

Information and Central Services Manager

Wirral Council

 

Website: [2]www.wirral.gov.uk

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted to Wirral Council and
continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial
research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other
reuse, for example commercial publication, would require our specific
permission, may involve licensing and the application of a charge.

 

 

show quoted sections

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Email sent to new Head of Street Lighting at Wirral Council:

From: Paul C
Sent: 22 January 2014 12:50
To: 'paulgraves@wirral.gov.uk'
Subject: Lighting Report

Dear Paul,

I rang earlier and your colleague in Streetscene kindly provided me with your email address.

The subject of my query is a very straightforward one. The FoI section have very kindly answered the following request, which was placed recently:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

I don’t know whether you're familiar with this request, but the first response omitted to mention the lighting report, which had been clearly requested. However, an internal review has subsequently been undertaken and the report was provided this morning, but without the identity of the author.

My question is: who wrote the report? Was it Kevin, yourself, a combination of the two or some other party?

Many thanks and congratulations on getting the manager’s job at Wirral. Of course it goes without saying, I hope to be in touch again in the future,

Best regards,

Paul Cardin

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Link to blog where some of these matters are discussed:

http://wirralinittogether.wordpress.com/...

Currently, the council is refusing to release the name of the public servant who wrote the report which appeared to wave through the switching off of 100s of street lights.

This appears to be in direct contravention of earlier advice from Kevin Ellis, Wirral Council's now retired Head of Street Lighting.

Currently it looks like the council is trying to close down public oversight - which will be difficult given that in the past, they've published hundreds of officer names in thousands of documents, yet for this report, a VERY crucial one, they're claiming it will damage the person's privacy.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

To help the ICO, here is further correspondence, in date order, exchanged between the council and me, with the aim of trying to identify who wrote the "briefing note" referred to above.

LINK TO BLOG CONTAINING FURTHER DETAIL:

http://wirralinittogether.wordpress.com/...

EMAIL SENT>>>

From: Paul C
Sent: 22 January 2014 12:50
To: Graves, Paul G.
Subject: Lighting Report

Dear Paul,

I rang earlier and your colleague in Streetscene kindly provided me with your email address.

The subject of my query is a very straightforward one. The FoI section have very kindly answered the following request, which was placed recently:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

I don’t know whether you’re familiar with this request, but the first response omitted to mention the lighting report, which had been clearly requested. However, an internal review has subsequently been undertaken and the report was provided this morning, but without the identity of the author.

My question is: who wrote the report? Was it Kevin, yourself, a combination of the two or some other party?

Many thanks and congratulations on getting the manager’s job at Wirral. Of course it goes without saying, I hope to be in touch again in the future,

Best regards,

Paul Cardin

EMAIL RECEIVED>>>

From: Graves, Paul G.
Sent: 22 January 2014 13:14
To: Paul C
Subject: RE: Lighting Report

Good afternoon Paul

Thank you for your email, although the congratulations are pre-empted; unfortunately I am not the lighting manager, as that position has been made redundant.

I have not had any involvement in the reply you received or in the production of any associated reports. I will however look in to the information you have been given and attempt to have the answer passed to you ASAP.

Kind regards

Paul

EMAIL SENT>>>

From: Paul C
Sent: 22 January 2014 13:28
To: ‘Graves, Paul G.’
Subject: RE: Lighting Report

Thanks Paul,

Great to have such a rapid response. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the identity of the report’s author,

Best wishes,

Paul

NOTHING RECEIVED. EMAIL SENT>>>

From: Paul C
Sent: 30 January 2014 13:55
To: ‘Graves, Paul G.’
Subject: RE: Lighting Report

Hello Paul,

Do you have any news?

Many thanks,

Paul Cardin

EMAIL RECEIVED FROM JANE CORRIN>>>

From: Corrin, Jane [mailto:janecorrin@wirral.gov.uk]
Sent: 30 January 2014 16:08
To: Paul C
Cc: Graves, Paul G.; InfoMgr, FinDMT
Subject: FOI 736116 – Paul Cardin – Street Lighting Switch Off – Was any consultation undertaken?

Good Afternoon

Thank you for your email below, which has been passed to me to respond to. Please refer to the answer provided in Council’s Internal Review of 22nd January 2014 which provided the Briefing Note.

In respect of your further query:

“My question is: who wrote the report? Was it Kevin, yourself, a combination of the two or some other party?”

The Council is refusing to disclose the name/s of the author/s as they consider the information to be exempt information under Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. To clarify, you are asking for information which includes information about an individual/s, i.e. personal data, in respect of which you are not the data subject.

The disclosure of the requested information would contravene the first data protection principle, that personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully, and shall not be processed unless at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998 is met. The Council does not consider that any of the conditions in Schedule 2 would be met. This is an absolute exemption and not subject to the public interest test.

Definition of Schedule 2 – SCHEDULE 2E+W+S+N.I. Conditions relevant for purposes of the first principle: processing of any personal data

1 The data subject has given his consent to the processing.E+W+S+N.I.

2 The processing is necessary—E+W+S+N.I.

(a) for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party, or

(b) for the taking of steps at the request of the data subject with a view to entering into a contract.

3 The processing is necessary for compliance with any legal obligation to which the data controller is subject, other than an obligation imposed by contract.E+W+S+N.I.

4 The processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject.E+W+S+N.I.

5 The processing is necessary—E+W+S+N.I.

(a) for the administration of justice,

Your request is therefore refused for the reasons outlined above; the Council has relied on the exemption contained within Section 40 (2).

You have the right to request an internal review, which should be addressed to the Information and Central Services Manager, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey, CH44 8ED, email, http://www.ico.gov.uk

Kind Regards
Jane Corrin
Information and Central Services Manager
Wirral Council
Website: www.wirral.gov.uk

^

UPDATE 9th February 2013>>>

I will be appealing to the ICO to suggest that the council are wrong to apply the above exemption. I will suggest this cannot be personal data and will ask them to compel Wirral Council to supply the identity of the "briefing note" author.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Appealed to the ICO on 9th February 2014:

Dear ICO,

Please find my complaint form attached. The following link holds all the information you require:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Importantly, and to assist you, I made a subsequent request on 22nd January 2014, which is reproduced at the above link. This asked for the name of the author of the report or “briefing note”.
The author will be a public servant, accustomed to writing reports, having his name published before councillors, and possibly on a much broader basis on the Wirral Council website.

My position is that in its response to the above request, the council should not be permitted to remove the name of the author, then engage a Section 40(2) personal data exemption.

Crucially, the subject matter is extremely important, given that 100s of street lights have now been switched off in Wirral and that this decision appears to have been made without due regard to cautionary advice which had been provided previously to councillors. Further detail is accessible on this blog:

http://wirralinittogether.wordpress.com/...

In a previous incarnation, I was a Street Lighting Design Engineer. Please contact me if you need any assistance with the finer details on this,

yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Street Lighting Switch Off - Was any consultation undertaken?'.

Please ask a senior officer to internally review your decision not to release the information requested, i.e. the identity of the author of the lighting report / briefing note referred to.

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,

Paul Cardin

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your email below.  You have already requested and received
an Internal Review for your enquiry regarding the identity of the author
of the report/briefing note.  For your convenience I have copied and
pasted the pertinent part of the text below.

As mentioned below, you have the right to complain to the ICO.

Kind Regards

Jane Corrin

Information and Central services Manager

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

[1][email address]

 

 

Internal Review Response 3rd February 2014

 

“…..As explained to you in response to your request, the information you
ask for is personal data. The Council applied and relied on s.40 of the
FOIA.

 

The Council can place reliance on this section where the information
requested is personal data of a third party and processing the data – in
this case by sharing it with you and the general public  would be a breach
of the Data Protection Act 1998 principles that relates to personal data
and how that should be handled.

 

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”) the Council have to comply with
data protection principles. These include the first principle which is set
out in Schedule 1 of the DPA that the Council must only process data where
it is fair and lawful to do so and where one of the conditions set out in
Schedule 2 are satisfied.

 

The reviewing officer has taken into account the  guidance of the
Information Commissioner “Requests for personal data about public sector
employees” and are not satisfied that processing of such data as you have
requested would be fair in that context. Even if it was considered to be
“fair” the Council do not consider that any of the conditions set out in
Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998 are met Data Protection
principles apply. The Council has had particular regard to principle 6 of
schedule 2 and whether disclosure is necessary to meet your legitimate
interests. The Council does not consider disclosure necessary.

 

This response is a refusal notice under s.17 of the FOIA If you wish to
complain further about the handling of your request then you have the
right to  refer the matter to the

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF”

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Corrin, Jane,

Re: the Lighting Report / Briefing Note.

I did not specify the author's name in my initial request. Therefore your first internal review did not cover this.

When I realised you'd either redacted it without telling anybody, or deliberately / inadvertently failed to include the author's name, I came back and asked for the author's name in a separate request.

You are therefore in the wrong to state that I can't have another internal review. This is my first internal review on this *specific* request.

If you're not convinced of the error of your ways, here is an email from Mr Dunn at the ICO:

---------------------------------------------

PROTECT

24th February 2014

Case Reference Number FS50530341

Dear Mr Cardin

Your ref:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Your information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Thank you for your correspondence of 09/02/14 in which you make a complaint about the above public authority’s handling of your request for information.

There are two requests for information contained within the correspondence you have provided. The first request is contained within the main body of the whatdotheyknow reference you have provided above. You have exhausted the internal review process of the public authority but do not confirm whether or not you are satisfied at the outcome of the review. I have assumed that you are satisfied with the outcome so no further action will be taken in respect of this request for information.

If I have misread your intentions please let me know and I will progress your complaint accordingly.

The second request for information is contained within the annotations on the whatdotheyknow reference you have provided above. The public authority has responded and refused to release the information you are seeking, namely the name of the author of the lighting report provided as a part of your first request for information.

From the details you have provided, it appears that you have not yet exhausted the public authority’s internal review procedure in respect of this second request.

Before accepting complaints, the Commissioner requires public authorities to be allowed the opportunity to respond to any complaints the requester may have about the way in which their request was dealt with.

You should therefore contact the public authority again, asking it to review its handling of your request.

When doing so, it may be helpful if you give specific reasons why you are dissatisfied, such as challenging any reasons used to withhold information.

When you have exhausted the internal review procedure, please provide copies of your request for review and the outcome. Once these are received we will proceed with your complaint.

If you have any queries about this process, I can be contacted on 01625 545673.

Yours sincerely

Jim Dunn
Case Officer
Information Commissioner's Office

-------------------------------------------------

I hope this information assists you in your deliberations. I have followed Mr Dunn's advice, contacted you to ask for an internal review as requested, and would be extremely grateful if you could now proceed with the internal review that was originally requested some time ago,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Morning,

With regard to your email below, I have taken a short extract from an
enquiry which you submitted and copied it below.   

 

Extract starts

"........The public interest in knowing who wrote this crucial report is
compelling, and outweighs the public interest in withholding the
author(s)’ name.  Please ask a senior officer to carry out an internal
review........"

Extract ends

 

The Council responded to your request for an Internal Review, the course
of action now open to you, is to contact the ICO, if you wish to do so.

Kind Regards

Jane Corrin

Information and Central Services Manager

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

 

 

show quoted sections

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

 

Case references FS50533485 and FS50535453

 

I refer to your two requests for information concerning street lighting,
in respect of which you complained to the Information Commissioner’s
Office (ICO). The Council has decided to amend its response to the two
requests for information as provided below. This response has been
copied to the ICO
 

Request 1- FS50533485
 

On 22 January 2013, you requested the following information:-

 

“… the report was provided this morning, but without the identity of the
author.  My question is: who wrote the report? Was it (Redacted)
yourself, a combination of the two or some other party?”
 

The Council sought to rely on the exemption contained in Section 40 (2)
of the Freedom of Information Act  2000, ( FOIA). However as the report
referred to in the request related to activities and measures  affecting
the elements, namely, highways, I consider that your request for
information should have been dealt with under the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004, being environmental information, the
author of the report providing advice in respect of street lighting on
highways.

 

The Council has a duty to make environmental information available on
request unless one or more of the exceptions in the Regulations apply.

 I consider that your request for information concerning the author of
the report  is exempt information under  Regulation 13 of the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 to the extent that the
information requested includes personal data, of which you as applicant
are not the data subject and as respects which the first condition in
Regulation 13 (2) is satisfied. Regulation 13 (2) (a) provides that the
first condition is satisfied

 

 

(a)    in a case where the information falls within any of the
paragraphs (a) to (e) of the Data Protection Act 1998, that the
disclosure of the information to a member of the public otherwise than
under the Regulations would contravene any of the data protection
principles.

.           I consider that the disclosure of the requested information
would contravene the first data protection principle, that personal data
shall be processed fairly and lawfully, and shall not be processed
unless at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 of the Data
Protection Act 1998 is met. The only potentially relevant condition in
Schedule 2  is  Condition 6 (1), namely:-“The processing is necessary
for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller
or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed, except
where the processing is unwarranted in any particular case by reason of
prejudice to the rights and freedoms of legitimate interests of the data
subject “

 

I consider that the disclosure of this information would be processing
of personal data which processing would be unwarranted by reason of
prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the data
subject, namely the officer, who prepared the report, a former employee
of the Council. I do not consider that such processing would be
necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by yourself
as a third party, being a member of the public. I consider that your
legitimate interest has been met by the Council providing you with a
copy of the report referred to in your request for information. I have
had regard to the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Edem and the
Information Commissioner and The Financial Services Authority {2014,
EWCA Civ 92) . The issue in that  appeal was whether disclosure of the
names of three officials could be withheld on the grounds that it was
personal data and that disclosure of that information would contravene
the first principle of the Data Protection Act 1998 “Personal data is
data which relates to a living individual “who can be identified””.(Lord
Justice Moses-Paragraph 40 of the decision). I consider that
supplying information  as to the identity of officer concerned with
preparing the report   amounts to supplying personal data. As a former
employee, the officer would  have a reasonable expectation that their
personal data would not be disclosed to a member of the public, nor were
they of sufficient seniority that their personal data should be
disclosed.  

 

I am therefore refusing your request for information under Regulation 14
of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, relying on Regulation
13 of the 2004 Regulations.

 

 

Request 2 - FS50535453

On 11 February 2014, you requested the following information:-

 

As part of the council’s Street Lighting maintenance regime, please
indicate how much the council has spent on bulk lamp changes over the
last FIVE years. 
 
Please break this down into annual totals for financial years
ENDING (paid to any contractor) as follows:

year ending 2009
year ending 2010
year ending 2011
year ending 2012
year ending 2013
(part) year ending 2014

For each financial period, please break totals down further into cost of
works / materials for:

labour
lamps
lantern cleaning
traffic management
photocells
all other applicable / relevant cost codes”
 

I consider that your request for information should have been dealt with
under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, being
environmental information, the request relating to bulk lamp changes
being activities affecting the element of land, namely highways. I have
set out below the information given by the Council in its original
response on 17 February 2014, this information now being provided under
the 2004 Regulations.

 

 

year ending 2009        2008/09 - No bulk lighting changes took place

year ending 2010      2009/10 - £102,996.70

year ending 2011      2010/11 - £125,317.22

year ending 2012      2011/12 - £128,233.83

year ending 2013      2012/13 - £61,472.79

(part) year ending 2014    2013/14 - £86,959.73 (to date)

 

 

I refer to your request for information in respect of the following.

 

For each financial period, please break totals down further into cost of
works / materials for:

labour
lamps
lantern cleaning
traffic management
photocells
all other applicable / relevant cost codes

 

Regulation 12 (4) of the 2004 Regulations provides that a public
authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that it does
not hold that information when an applicant’s request is received.  The
contractual arrangements entered into by the Council provided that the
rates and prices entered in the Schedule of Rates were deemed to be the
full inclusive value of the work which included a range of detailed
components.  The figures set out above include the individual items or
components you have referred to in your request and the Council does not
hold separately the information you have requested.

 

I am therefore refusing part of your request for information under
Regulation 14 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, relying
on the exception contained in Regulation 12(4) (a) of the 2004
Regulations.

 

Yours sincerely and sent on behalf of

 

Surjit Tour

Head of Legal & Member Services

and Monitoring Officer

Department of Transformation and Resources

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Town Hall

Brighton Street

Wallasey

Wirral

CH44 8ED

 

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]