Visit by the Leader of Thanet District Council to Wynyard Park, July 2015

Andrew McCulloch made this Freedom of Information request to Stockton on Tees Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Stockton on Tees Council,

On either 1st or 2nd July 2015, whilst in the north of England attending the AGM of the Local Government Association, Cllr Christopher T Wells, Leader of Thanet District Council, paid a visit to Wynyard Park in Co Durham. During this visit he met with;

Cllr Ray Wells (Wynyard's Ward Councillor)
Cllr Christopher Akers-Belcher (Leader, Hartlepool Borough Council)
Neil Schneider Chief Executive, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

As he has stated that this was in the interests of impartiality regarding the pending CPO on the Manston Airport site, it must therefore be considered as official Council business and therefore subject to scrutiny under the FoIA. In view of this, I would be grateful for answers to the following questions.

1. Apart from the officials named above, were any other officers or councillors from either Thanet District Council, Hartlepool Borough Council or Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council present?
2. Were representatives of the owners of Wynyard Park, or indeed the owners themselves, present at any time during Cllr Well's visit?
3. Were discussions minuted or were contemporaneous notes taken?
4. Accepting that some aspects of any such minutes or notes may be commercially sensitive, please include copies of such documents, redacted to the minimum necessary to maintain confidentiality.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch

FOI Requests, Stockton on Tees Council

Dear Andrew McCulloch

Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004 – Ref: 0727/1516

Thank you for your correspondence received on 18 October 2015.

Your request is being considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (whichever is most appropriate). You will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days.

However, please note the Acts define a number of exemptions that may prevent release of the requested information. There will therefore be an assessment of your request to determine if any exemptions apply to the information requested. If the information cannot be released, or only released in part you will be informed of the reasons why, together with any rights of appeal.

If the information requested refers to a third party, they may be consulted before deciding whether it can be released.

Yours sincerely,

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1LD
(01642) 527455
[Stockton on Tees Council request email]
www.stockton.gov.uk

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FOI Requests, Stockton on Tees Council

1 Attachment

Dear Andrew McCulloch

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Ref: 0727/1516

 

Thank you for your correspondence received on 18 October 2015. In response
to your request I can now provide the following information. 

 

1. Apart from the officials named in the request, were any other officers
or councillors from Thanet District Council, Hartlepool Borough Council or
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council present?

 

The only officer or elected member representing Stockton on Tees Borough
Council was Mr  Neil Schneider, Chief Executive.  Thanet District Council
and Hartlepool Borough Council may hold recorded information with respect
to their own organisations.  

 

2. Were representatives of the owners of Wynyard Park, or indeed the
owners themselves, present at any time during Cllr Well's visit?

 

Thanet District Council may hold information with respect to the visit and
those in attendance.

 

3. Were discussions minuted  or were contemporaneous  notes taken? 

 

No

 

4. Accepting that some aspects of any such minutes or notes may be
commercially sensitive,   please include copies of such documents,
redacted to the minimum necessary to maintain confidentiality.

 

Not applicable.

 

If you have any queries or concerns please contact me in the first
instance.

 

However, if you are unhappy with the way your request for information has
been handled, you can submit a complaint by writing to:

 

Customer Comments Department, Customer Services, Stockton-on-Tees Borough
Council, PO BOX 117, Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees,
TS18 1BR

Or by completing the form at
[1]http://www.stockton.gov.uk/stocktoncounc...

 

If, after your complaint has been determined, you remain dissatisfied with
the handling of your request or complaint, you have a right to appeal to
the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  Telephone: 0303 123 1113  Website:
[2]www.ico.gov.uk. 

The ICO does not make a charge for an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Kate Fulton

Business Support and Improvement Officer

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1LD

(01642) 527455

[3][Stockton on Tees Council request email]

[4]www.stockton.gov.uk

 

[5]CSE LOGO NEW

 

 

 

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Dear FOI Requests,

Thank you for your responses. I would be grateful if you would revisit your reply to my question 2

2. Were representatives of the owners of Wynyard Park, or indeed the owners themselves, present at any time during Cllr Well's visit?

Thanet District Council may hold information with respect to the visit and those in attendance.

I have no doubt that TDC do hold this information but I wasn't asking them. Your Chief Executive was at this meeting so I ask again, were representatives of the owners of Wynyard Park, or indeed the owners themselves, present at any time during Cllr Wells's visit?

Yours sincerely,

Andrew McCulloch

Fulton, Kate, Stockton on Tees Council

In response to your subsequent question our response is no.
As suggested in our initial response Thanet District Council may hold information with respect to the visit and those in attendance .

FOI Team
Tel 01642 526089
Internal Ext 6089

E Mail - [Stockton on Tees Council request email]
Fax 01642 526166

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Dear Stockton on Tees Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Stockton on Tees Council's handling of my FOI request 'Visit by the Leader of Thanet District Council to Wynyard Park, July 2015'.

The Chief Executive of Stockton on Tees Council was present at this meeting. Question 2 of my request stated "Were representatives of the owners of Wynyard Park, or indeed the owners themselves, present at any time during Cllr Well's visit?"
On two occasions Stockton on Tees Borough Council have refused to answer this question and referred me to Thanet District Council. If I wanted a response from Thanet District Council I would ask, and for all you know I already have. However I was asking Stockton on Tees Borough Council and I expect a proper response from them, rather than a one word brush off. Mr Schneider must surely remember if others than those named in the original request were present.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/v...

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch

Dear Fulton, Kate,

My sincere apologies. Going back through this FoI I note that you did indeed answer my follow up question and that there was therefore no need for an internal review. I'm sorry for any inconvenience

Yours sincerely,

Andrew McCulloch

Fulton, Kate, Stockton on Tees Council

This email was classified as : OFFICIAL

No problem, thank you for coming back to me.
Regards
Kate.

Kate Fulton
Policy, Governance and Improvement Manager.
Business Services and Information
Municipal Buildings
Church Road
Stockton on Tees
TS18 1YD

Tel 01642 526089
Internal Ext 6089

E Mail - [email address]

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