Whitechapel Life Sciences Development
Dear Queen Mary University of London,
I'm writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act. I wanted to request the following information:
1. All existing 'mock-up' images of the proposed Life Sciences Development.
2. Any architectural drawings or specifications of the proposed Life Sciences Development.
3. Minutes and attendees of the relevant sections of meetings held discussing provision of replacing the Student Union building currently on the Whitechapel campus.
4. Details of any student consultation that has taken place or plans for consultations going forwards.
Do let me know if any of these requests seem unreasonable and I'll try to find a suitable solution!
Dear Harris Nageswaran,
Thank you for your email of 3rd November.
We are pleased to provide the following responses.
1. We are afraid that this part is refused under s.21 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, since this information is available to all at
2. This information is not held.
3. We can provide the names of attendees. These were: Mark Caulfield,
Karen Kroger, Sharon Ellis, Irene Leigh, Ian McManus, Philippa Lloyd,
Tony Croudass, Ricardo Saroyan-James, Maggie Leggett, Richard
Stenning, Hannah Bentley. The minutes of any meetings are refused
under s.43(2) of the FOIA. We believe disclosure of this information
would be likely to prejudice our commercial interests. The minutes
contain information about advice provided on preferred options. If
this were disclosed to the world at large, this could impact on how
much we might have to pay for alternative sites/buildings. This
exemption is subject to the public interest test. We recognise that on
the one hand there is always a public interest in the transparency of
an authority and releasing such information may allow for a greater
understanding of the plans around our Whitechapel campus. This would
be in favour of the public interest and releasing.
However, Queen Mary operates in highly competitive markets both nationally
and internationally. The pandemic has arguably intensified this.
Disclosure of details about this development is commercially sensitive at
this time. In financially tough times and while receiving less and less
from the public purse, it is critical that Queen Mary does not imperil its
competitive position in ways that are detrimental to its finances. We
contend that it would not be in the public interest if this were to occur.
On balance we therefore believe that the public interest in maintaining
the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
4. The University is currently in discussion with the Students’ Union
about this matter.
If you are dissatisfied with this response, you may ask QMUL to conduct a
review of this decision. To do this, please contact the College in
writing (including by fax, letter or email), describe the original
request, explain your grounds for dissatisfaction, and include an address
for correspondence. You have 40 working days from receipt of this
communication to submit a review request. When the review process has
been completed, if you are still dissatisfied, you may ask the Information
Commissioner to intervene. Please see www.ico.org.uk for details.
Records & Information Compliance Manager
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