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Tooting Common Heritage Project

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Dear Wandsworth Borough Council,

This request is in relation to the Tooting Common Heritage Project, including the replacement of Chestnut Avenue. I request that you disclose copies of the following:

1. records, minutes or correspondence arising out of the preliminary discussions that were conducted with stakeholders (such as but not limited to Tooting Commons MAC, Friends of Tooting Common);
3. correspondence and other communications with Enable LC relating to the project;
4. accounts and budgets for the project;
5. all other correspondence and internal communications in relation to the proposal/grant.

Yours faithfully,

Alexandra Sykes

Freedom Of Information, Wandsworth Borough Council

Request for Information - 2017/15969 - Tooting Common Heritage Project

Thank you for your request for information received on 21/11/2017.

This will be processed in accordance with the appropriate access to
information regime.

Regards

FOI and DPA Officer
[1][Wandsworth Borough Council request email]

IMPORTANT:
This email and any of its attachments are intended solely for the use of
the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received
this message in error you must not print, copy, use or disclose the
contents to anyone. Please also delete it from your system and inform the
sender of the error immediately. Emails sent and received by Richmond and
Wandsworth Councils are monitored and may be subsequently disclosed to
authorised third parties, in accordance with relevant legislation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Wandsworth Borough Council request email]

Palmer, Jeanine, Wandsworth Borough Council

Wandsworth Request for Information – 2017/15969 - Tooting Common Heritage
Project

 

I refer to your request for information received on 21/11/17.  Please find
our response below.

 

Your request

 

This request is in relation to the Tooting Common Heritage Project,
including the replacement of Chestnut Avenue. I request that you disclose
copies of the following:

1.    records, minutes or correspondence arising out of the preliminary
discussions that were conducted with stakeholders (such as but not limited
to Tooting Commons MAC, Friends of Tooting Common);

2.    correspondence and other communications with Enable LC relating to
the project;

3.    accounts and budgets for the project;

4.    all other correspondence and internal communications in relation to
the proposal/grant.

 

Our response

 

We are unable to provide you with the information you have requested. 
Please see our detailed legal reasoning for refusal in Appendix 1 below.

Appendix 1

Detailed legal reasoning for refusal

In accordance with recent Information Commissioner’s Office decisions, we
are treating this as an environmental information request under the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) and this letter acts as
a Public Interest Refusal Notice.

 

We believe the information requested is covered by the exception
Regulation12 (4) (b): manifestly unreasonable.

 

The ICO confirm in their guidance on this exception that it can be used
when:

o the request is vexatious;
o or the cost of compliance with the request would be too great.

 

We consider that your request engages the second part of this exception. 
When considering whether a request is manifestly unreasonable and whether
the cost of compliance would be too great, there is no specified costs
limit and public authorities can take into account whether the request
would divert resources.

 

In this case, the information requested is especially broad and asks for
all records, minutes or correspondence arising out of the preliminary
discussions; correspondence and other communications with Enable LC
relating to the project; accounts and budgets for the project; and all
other correspondence and internal communications in relation to the
proposal/grant.

 

To comply with this part of your request all officers involved with this
project would need to review their emails and files to ascertain what
information held fell within the scope of your request. These documents
would then need to be redacted to remove any commercially sensitive
information or personal data of third parties and junior members of staff.
This would be an excessive task.  

 

We have therefore gone on to consider the public interest test.

 

Public Interest in favour of disclosure

 

Regulation 12 (2) states there is a presumption in favour of disclosure
with all environmental information. As well as the general principles of
transparency and accountability we appreciate that providing this
information would give the public a better understanding of Tooting Common
Heritage Project.

 

Public interest in favour of maintaining the exemption

 

We are mindful that there is an increased pressure on Council resources at
a time when we are trying to make significant efficiencies, with reduced
government funding. Although this would not have not been your intention,
to comply with the request would distract staff from their core functions
and further add to the pressure on these services.

 

As the entire project goes back several years and includes the development
phase there will be a huge amount of information and correspondence.  You
may wish to refine your request to make it more manageable and less of a
strain on resources.  Dependent on what information you are seeking, we
suggest that you might wish to refine your request for example to a single
area such as Chestnut Avenue.  You could also consider refining your
request by limiting it to a specific limited time period of the project.

 

You have the right of appeal against this decision.  If you wish to appeal
please set out in writing your grounds of appeal and send to:  

 

FOI & DPA Manager - Room 149, Wandsworth Town Hall, Wandsworth High
Street, London, SW18 2PU

 

E-mail: [1][Wandsworth Borough Council request email]  

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal appeal you may
appeal further to the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

 

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

 

[2]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

J. Palmer
FOI & DPA Officer

Serving Richmond and Wandsworth Council

Tel.: 020 8871 7202

[3][Wandsworth Borough Council request email] 

[4]www.richmond.gov.uk / [5]www.wandsworth.gov.uk

 

 

IMPORTANT:
This email and any of its attachments are intended solely for the use of
the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received
this message in error you must not print, copy, use or disclose the
contents to anyone. Please also delete it from your system and inform the
sender of the error immediately. Emails sent and received by Richmond and
Wandsworth Councils are monitored and may be subsequently disclosed to
authorised third parties, in accordance with relevant legislation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Wandsworth Borough Council request email]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[Wandsworth Borough Council request email]
4. http://www.richmond.gov.uk/
5. http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/

Dear Palmer, Jeanine,

Thank you for your response.

It is a little disappointing, given that a similar request I made to the Heritage lottery fund for their internal documents regarding the project over the same period was complied with.

However, in order to avoid the delay of an appeal, I will reduce the scope of my request as you require.

Please provide the information I have requested up until the HLF grant was made in December 2015.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Alexandra Sykes

Freedom Of Information, Wandsworth Borough Council

Request for Information - 2017/16088 - Tooting common - follow-up 15969

Thank you for your request for information received on 13/12/2017.

This will be processed in accordance with the appropriate access to
information regime.

Regards

FOI and DPA Officer
[1][Wandsworth Borough Council request email]

IMPORTANT:
This email and any of its attachments are intended solely for the use of
the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received
this message in error you must not print, copy, use or disclose the
contents to anyone. Please also delete it from your system and inform the
sender of the error immediately. Emails sent and received by Richmond and
Wandsworth Councils are monitored and may be subsequently disclosed to
authorised third parties, in accordance with relevant legislation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Wandsworth Borough Council request email]

Freedom Of Information, Wandsworth Borough Council

Dear Requestor,

 

The team dealing with your request have asked me to seek clarification
from you.

 

They have asked if you could please clarify if you mean the whole project,
or just the HC Ave element? If it’s the award of the HLF grant in 2015 it
does not narrow it down much. If you do still mean the whole project, that
will cover the majority of documents for the whole of the development
phase, which is extensive. 

 

Please let us know by Friday, 05 January 2018.  If we do not hear from you
by this time we will consider that you no longer require the information
and your request will be closed.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

J. Palmer
FOI & DPA Officer

Serving Richmond and Wandsworth Council

Tel.: 020 8871 7202

[1][Wandsworth Borough Council request email] 

[2]www.richmond.gov.uk / [3]www.wandsworth.gov.uk

 

show quoted sections

Dear Freedom Of Information,

Thank you for your message. Please could I have the information requested for the whole project.

Yours sincerely,

Alexandra Sykes

Freedom Of Information,

Request for Information - 2017/16088 - Tooting common - follow-up 15969

 

I refer to your request for information received on 13/12/2017. Please see
the information below in response to your request: -

Please provide the information I have requested up until the HLF grant was
made in December 2015.

 

We are unable to provide the information requested as we believe it would
be manifestly to do so. Please see below for our detailed reasoning.

 

In accordance with recent Information Commissioners Office decisions, I am
treating this as an environmental information request under the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) and this letter acts as
a Public Interest Refusal Notice.

 

We believe the information requested is covered by the exception R.12 (4)
(b) manifestly unreasonable.

 

The ICO confirm in their guidance on this exception that it can be used
when:

 

o the request is vexatious;
o or the cost of compliance with the request would be too great.

 

We believe that your request engages the second limb of this exception. In
this context the exception is broadly equivalent to the Section 12
exemption of the FOIA.

 

However the exception of regulation 12 (4) (b) has a wider scope; when
considering whether a request is manifestly unreasonable there is no
appropriate costs limit and public authorities can also take into account
whether the request would divert resources.

 

Although the scope of your previous request has been narrowed it is still
quite wide and would still certainly exceed1 8 hours of dedicated officer
time to locate and extract the relevant information. There is over 9GB of
information in respect of the narrowed request and this would require one
officer to work in excess of 1 week to review the material held for the
response

 

I have therefore gone on to consider the public interest test.

 

Public Interest in favour of disclosure

 

Regulation 12 (2) states there is a presumption in favour of disclosure
with all environmental information. As well as the general principles of
transparency and accountability we appreciate that providing this
information would give the public a better understanding of the project. 

 

Public interest in favour of maintaining the exemption

 

We are mindful that there is an increased pressure on Council resources at
a time when we are trying to make significant efficiencies, with reduced
government funding. Although this may have not been your intention, to
comply with the request would distract staff from their core functions and
further add to the pressure on these services.

 

Weighing up these considerations, we judge that it would be
disproportionate to comply with your request.

 

However, the relevant officers have advised that they could provide some
information if the request was narrowed down to focus solely on Chestnut
Avenue. Alternatively the requester would be welcome to contact Jerry
Birtles, Chief Parks Officer (Operations) on 020 8871 7022
[1][email address] to discuss what information is held and what they
may be interested in.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the information provided in relation to your
request you may make representations to the Chief Executive.
Correspondence should be addressed to: 

 

Room 149, Wandsworth Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street, London, SW18 2PU

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

 

Regards

 

 

Liam Cooper
FOI & DPA Officer
Serving Richmond and Wandsworth Council

020 8871 8800
+ [2][email address]

[3]www.richmond.gov.uk / [4]www.wandsworth.gov.uk

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