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Tony Reeves has done more damage to Liverpool than Covid-19

Sue Cox made this Freedom of Information request to Liverpool City Council

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Dear Liverpool City Council,

Please provide all email communications from 2018-2019 between Mark Kitts, Tony Reeves and Claire Slinger?

Please disclose the minutes of all meetings between Tony Reeves, the chief constable of Merseyside Police and Claire Slinger?

Please disclose all meetings between Andrew Williams of Hill Dickinson, Tony Reeves and Claire Slinger?

How many meetings has Mark Kitts had with Tony Reeves, Claire Slinger and Nick Flanagan between 2018-2019 regarding colluding with the local police force to bring down Elliot Lawless and Nick Kavanagh?

Can the mayor of Liverpool confirm if he was made aware by his officers of the plot to bring down Elliot Lawless?

Mr Reeves has put nearly 500 local Liverpudlians out of work , damaging the economy way more than the coronavirus crisis. Can the mayor of Liverpool please confirm if he will launch an independent inquiry into Claire Slinger, Mark Kitts and Tony Reeves regarding the so called dossier passed to the police?

Yours faithfully,
Sue Cox

Liverpool City Council

 
Dear Sue Cox
 
Please note:

We would at this time advise that Liverpool City Council in common with
other public authorities is presently dealing with, responding to and
affected by the current public health emergency arising from Coronavirus.

When we have sufficient personnel to be able to deal with, and respond to,
your request we will do so in due course.

We thank you for your patience at this time whilst staff are diverted to
maintaining essential services for the residents of Liverpool during this
current public health emergency.

 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 1 August
2020 concerning Dear Liverpool City Council,

Please provide all email communications from 2018-2019 between Mark Kitts,
Tony Reeves and Claire Slinger?

Please disclose the minutes of all meetings between Tony Reeves, the chief
constable of Merseyside Police and Claire Slinger?

Please disclose all meetings between Andrew Williams of Hill Dickinson,
Tony Reeves and Claire Slinger?

How many meetings has Mark Kitts had with Tony Reeves, Claire Slinger and
Nick Flanagan between 2018-2019 regarding colluding with the local police
force to bring down Elliot Lawless and Nick Kavanagh?

Can the mayor of Liverpool confirm if he was made aware by his officers of
the plot to bring down Elliot Lawless?

Mr Reeves has put nearly 500 local Liverpudlians out of work , damaging
the economy way more than the coronavirus crisis. Can the mayor of
Liverpool please confirm if he will launch an independent inquiry into
Claire Slinger, Mark Kitts and Tony Reeves regarding the so called dossier
passed to the police?

Yours faithfully,
Sue Cox...
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 and we aim to send a response by 28 August 2020.
 
In some case, a fee may be payable. If we decide a fee is payable, we will
send you a fee notice and we will require you to pay the fee before
proceeding with your request.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 may restrict the release of some or
all of the information you have requested. We will carry out an assessment
and if any exemptions apply to some or all of the information then we
might not provide that information to you. We will inform you if this is
the case and advise you of your rights to request an internal review and
to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.
 
We will also advise you if we cannot provide you with the information
requested for any other reason together with the reason(s) why and details
of how you may appeal (if appropriate).
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Information Team
Liverpool City Council
 
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Information Requests, Liverpool City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Sue Cox

 

Dealing firstly with the final two questions of your request –

 

Notice of Application of Section 14 (1) – Vexatious Request – applied to
this request and subsequent requests of the same or similar nature –
Questions 5 & 6

 

With regard to the final two “questions” of your request – numbered 5 & 6,
Liverpool City Council would advise that Section 14 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 allows a Local Authority to refuse what is deemed to
be a vexatious request with reference to the worthiness of the request as
placed against the impact it would have on the Local Authority.

 

Consequently the City Council feels that the application of Section 14 of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is appropriate in these circumstances
and would refer you to Information Commissioner vs Devon County Council &
Dransfield [2012] UKUT 440 (AAC), (28 January 2013) in which the Upper
Tribunal took the view that the ordinary dictionary definition of the word
vexatious is only of limited use, because the question of whether a
request is vexatious ultimately depends upon the circumstances surrounding
that request.

 

In further exploring the role played by circumstances, the Tribunal placed
particular emphasis on the issue of whether the request has adequate or
proper justification. They also cited two previous section 14(1) decisions
where the lack of proportionality in the requester’s previous dealings
with the authority was deemed to be a relevant consideration by the First
Tier Tribunal.

 

After taking these factors into account, the Tribunal concluded that
‘vexatious’ could be defined as the “…manifestly unjustified,
inappropriate or improper use of a formal procedure.’ (paragraph 27).

 

Officers within the City Council, while always adhering to their
responsibilities and obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
should not be expected to be subject to such levels of public scrutiny of
their performance and the City Council considers this type of request to
be bordering upon an abuse of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and
there is no justification for officers to, in practice, cease their
everyday activities and review all records in a manner disruptive to the
conduct of operational legislative duties solely to satisfy a request such
as this.

 

The City Council considers this is a request specifically designed to
cause disruption to the relevant Officers and Service Areas identified by
generated additional administrative and bureaucratic work and,
consequently, it will not be providing the information asked for in this
element of your request.

 

While the Act can, indirectly, ensure officers are held to public account
the City Council already has such processes in place and there is no
requirement for members of the public to feel they need to assume this
role, either on behalf of the City Council or other members of the public.
It is on this basis that the City Council considers that the application
of Section 14 (1) is entirely appropriate to the requests concerned.

 

The City Council would further advise that any requests of the same or
similar nature received will again be viewed in the context of a Section
14 (1) exemption and no responses provided.

 

Warning – Submission of Information Requests with potentially Defamatory
Content

 

We turn now to the content and substance of the final “question”, number 6
in your request, which we have not reproduced within this response for the
reasons stated below.

 

It is our assessment that the content of your statement within this
element of your request are in whole or part defamatory in nature, that
these identify or refer to individuals and are being published by yourself
through the use of a public website forum to third parties.

 

We would further advise you that the defamatory statements made by
yourself either directly or through recognised aliases and contained
within the information requests referenced above fall within the meaning
of Article 14(1)(a) of the E-Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC). Under the
law of England and Wales, a defamatory statement is one which tends to
lower the claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of society
generally (Sim v Stretch [1936] 2 All ER 1237).

 

We would further advise that a defamatory statement is published at the
place where it is read, heard or seen, and is not where the material was
first placed on the internet. In internet cases, therefore, provided a
small number of people have access to the material on the internet in
England, the English courts will have jurisdiction to hear the claim
against a foreign defendant (Spiliada Maritime Corp v Cansulex Ltd [1987]
A.C. 460).

 

We would therefore advise that you take prompt action to remove or
disabled access to the Offending Webpages.

 

In the event that this confirmation is not received, the individuals named
directly or by implication within the above referenced information
requests and publicly displayed on the Offending Websites shall reserve
the right to issue proceedings against you seeking relief for defamation.

 

The remedies that may be available to the these individuals include an
injunction restraining further publication of the Offending Statement
[pending trial], damages, legal costs and interest.

_______

 

With regard to the remaining elements of your request, our responses are
as follows –

 

1.          With regard to this element of your request, the City Council
has assessed this in light of 3 separate exemptions, details of which are
as follows –

 

Section 12 – Over 18 Hours

 

As you will appreciate, the Officers to which your request refers work
closely as part of the Senior Management Team of Liverpool City Council
and as such substantial  volumes of email exchanges exist between these
Officers.

 

To clarify, in order to retrieve the required data from all records held
by each of these Officers the City Council relevant to the terms of your
request, a total of 3 email accounts, personal folders and retained paper
copy files would have to be accessed and checked to extract the requested
data.

 

In assessing the time taken to respond to your request, we have initiated
an initial search which has shown that to examine each day of
correspondence would require not less than 4 minutes per individual day
(date search) and folder search in order to retrieve the requested data.

 

In light of the above, we have then calculated how long it would take to
examine all relevant records. Based on the total number of days for the
specified period (730) and allowing 4 minutes review to identify the
specific information required, we estimate the time taken to comply with
this request as follows –

 

730 @ 4 mins per review = 48.6 hours for the period requested.

 

Under the provisions of Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
a public Authority such as Liverpool City Council may decline to provide
information in circumstances where to locate and retrieve the requested
information would require in excess of 18 hours of Officer time (excluding
redaction and printing costs).

 

In this instance as it is estimated that in excess of 47.6 hours would be
required to comply with the terms of your request, the City Council
considers the application of a Section 12 Exemption to be appropriate and
therefore declines to provide the requested information.

 

 

Section 42 – Legal Advice Privilege

 

As indicated above, the time taken to comply with this request would
substantially exceed the 18 hours prescribed within the legislation.
Notwithstanding the above we have further considered the nature and
potential content of such exchanges and assessed these in the light of
further exemptions.

 

In addition and in the alternative to the application of exemptions under
Section 12 and 43 (2), such correspondence of its nature and reflecting
the seniority and responsibilities of the Officers concerned may include
the provision of legal advice. An exemption to disclosure of such
correspondence is set out at Section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000.

 

Inherent within this correspondence and supporting documentation is advice
offered from the City Council’s legal representatives setting on a range
of key operational matters relating to the City Council. With this in mind
the City Council, notwithstanding having applied Section 12, has then
assessed public interest considerations relating to this request.

 

Section 42 – Public Interest Test

 

In considering the public interest test and its application in the context
of the information retrieved, as is standard practice when dealing with
all such issues, the City Council has carefully considered the factors
both for and against disclosure of the information held.

 

The City Council does not consider that generic public interest arguments
are relevant in the majority of cases as indeed this one – rather, the
specific circumstances and nature of the information enable this to be
focused and therefore more refined.

 

Factors in favour of disclosing the information –

 

(i)             transparency of the operational management structures of
the City Council; and

 

(ii)           the level of public interest in disclosure and
understanding how public authorities such as the City Council operate.

 

Factors against disclosure of the information –

 

(i)             inherent within the exchanges of emails requested is legal
and technical advice setting out a range of legal options and potential
implications arising thereof. The disclosure of this legal advice would
compromise the City Council’s ability to effectively conduct its business
as a public authority;

 

(ii)           the overriding principle within the English Legal System of
confidentiality and privilege in respect of exchanges of legal advice
between solicitor and client; and

 

(iii)          the level of public interest – limited.

 

A key factor in the application of the Exemption was that of the ability
of an organisation such as Liverpool City Council to request and receive
legal advice for current and ongoing matters and to be able to continue
and conclude such negotiations in a manner which is not prejudicial to the
legal interests of either itself or a third party.

 

It is with this in mind that the City Council considers that the factors
against disclosure of such information outweigh those in favour of
publication. On this basis the City Council applies Section 42 FOIA to the
information held insofar as Legal Advice Privilege is considered to be
engaged.

 

Section 43 (2) – Prejudice to Commercial Interests

 

As indicated above, the time taken to comply with this request would
substantially exceed the 18 hours prescribed within the legislation.
Notwithstanding the above we have further considered the nature and
potential content of such exchanges and assessed these in the light of
further exemptions.

 

In addition and in the alternative to the application of exemptions under
Section 12 and 42, such correspondence of its nature and reflecting the
seniority and responsibilities of the Officers concerned similarly if
disclosed has the potential to prejudice the commercial interests of
either the City Council or the third parties.

 

Given the nature of the information relates to the commercial and
financial nature of such exchanges, the City Council considers that a
Section 43 (2) Exemption may be engaged. With this in mind the City
Council has then assessed public interest considerations relating to this
request.

 

Section 43 (2) – Public Interest Test

 

In considering the public interest test and its application in the context
of the information retrieved, as is standard practice when dealing with
all such issues, the City Council has carefully considered the factors
both for and against disclosure of the information held.

 

The City Council does not consider that generic public interest arguments
are relevant in the majority of cases as indeed this one – rather, the
specific circumstances and nature of the information enable this to be
focused and therefore more refined.

 

Factors in favour of disclosing the information –

 

(i)         transparency of the process with which the City Council
considers commercial and financial proposals relating to the
administration of its assets and services; and

 

(ii)        the level of public interest in understanding the operations
of public authorities

 

Factors against disclosure of the information –

 

(i)         inherent within such communications are exchanges relating to
business planning, commercial and financial consideration. The disclosure
of information of this type relating to either party would compromise the
City Council’s ability to effectively conduct negotiations and could give
rise to an actionable breach of confidence as well as inhibiting the
effectiveness of the City Council’s negotiations on future commercial
projects;

 

(ii)        such processes are already subject to scrutiny and held to
account through the Scrutiny Process as discharged through public meetings
of the City Council’s Select Committees; and

 

(iii)       the level of public interest – limited (this request).

 

A key factor in the application of the Exemption was that of the ability
of an organisation such as Liverpool City Council to undertake and
ultimately complete commercial negotiations on an extensive range of
operational matters. Were information of this nature to be routinely
disclosed the ability of the City Council to achieve the best possible
commercial and financial outcomes for the use of public funds as well as
supporting regeneration and wider activities under its general powers of
competence, and to be able to continue and conclude such negotiations
would be significantly prejudiced. 

 

Taking into consideration all of the above factors, Section 43 (2) is
therefore applied to the extent that any information contained within
email exchanges to which your request relate include information of a
commercial and financial nature.

 

2.          No meetings have taken place between the three named parties
in your question.

 

3.          No such meetings have taken place.

 

4.          No such meetings have taken place. We further note that the
majority of this question comprises, comment, speculation and leading
opinion which is not valid as a request under Freedom of Information
legislation.

 

This concludes our response.

 

In accordance with the application of Sections 12, 14, 42 and 43 (2) of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we have not provided all of the
information requested. As such this letter serves as a Section 17 Notice
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

The City Council will consider appeals, referrals or complaints in
respect of your Freedom of Information Act 2000 and you must submit
these in writing to [1][email address] within 28
days of receiving your response. The matter will be dealt with by an
officer who was not previously involved with the response and we
will look to provide a response within 40 days.

 

If you remain dissatisfied you may also apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision about whether the request for information
has been dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information
Act 2000. The Information Commissioner’s website is  [2]www.ico.gov.uk
and the postal address and telephone numbers are:- Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK95AF.  Telephone 0303 123 1113.  Email – [3][email address] (they
advise that their email is not secure)

 

We trust this information satisfies your enquiry.

 

Regards

 

Information Team

 

Information Requests

Liverpool City Council

[4][email address]

 

[5]LCC autosig wellbeing_Safe summer

 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.loveyourliverpool.com/

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