Without Walls partnership and boards - disclosure of agendas, minutes and papers

Colin Hall made this Freedom of Information request to City of York Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear City of York Council,

Would you please make publicly available all agendas, minutes and associated papers for all WOW partnership boards and meetings?

Yours faithfully,
Colin Hall

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Thank you for your enquiry. We will ensure it is passed to the relevant service(s) and you will receive a response within 20 working days. We will contact you if we have any queries, need clarification or to let you know if we need more time to answer your enquiry in full.

However, if you are contacting us to ask for a review of a previous FOI response from us, we will pass your request to Veritau/Information Governance who will contact you about this.

Please note this is an automatically generated receipt to let you know we have received your email.

Regards
Customer Feedback Team

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Dear [email address],

Your reply to my FOI request is overdue. You were legally required to respond by 16 January.

Please contact me with an explanation for the delay. And please confirm that no documents are being or have been edited or in any way altered prior to publication.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hall

Dear City of York Council,

I am writing to request an internal review of City of York Council's handling of my FOI request 'Without Walls partnership and boards - disclosure of agendas, minutes and papers'.

I should have received a response by 16 January.

On 17 January I requested an explanation for the delay, but have had no reply.

I also asked for assurances that the papers for which I am requesting disclosure were not in the process of being amended in any way. Again no reply, which leads me to draw adverse conclusions about the probity of this process.

I should be grateful if you would investigate.

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

Yours faithfully,

Colin Hall

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Thank you for your enquiry. We will ensure it is passed to the relevant service(s) and you will receive a response within 20 working days. We will contact you if we have any queries, need clarification or to let you know if we need more time to answer your enquiry in full.

However, if you are contacting us to ask for a review of a previous FOI response from us, we will pass your request to Veritau/Information Governance who will contact you about this.

Please note this is an automatically generated receipt to let you know we have received your email.

Regards
Customer Feedback Team

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information.governance@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Dear Mr Hall,
 
Thank you for your email which we acknowledge.
 
We will respond to you in due course.
 
Kind regards
 
Paul Atkinson, for
 
 
Information Governance Officer
City of York Council
Telephone 01904 552933
[City of York Council request email]
 
 

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Dear [email address],

You have indicated that you wish to reply to this FOI by post. I do not agree to this, and wish all our correspondence to remain in the public domain via What Do They Know.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hall

information.governance@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Dear Mr Hall
Thank you for your email, which we have passed on to the department sending a reply to your request.
Kind regards
Miriam

Miriam Townsend
Data Management Assistant
Veritau Ltd
Assurance Services for the Public Sector
Telephone 01609 536985
For further information about us visit our website - www.veritau.co.uk

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information.governance@veritau.co.uk,

Dear Mr Hall
Please see below, from Robert Beane.
Kind regards
Miriam
 
Miriam Townsend
Data Management Assistant
Veritau Ltd
Assurance Services for the Public Sector
Telephone 01609 536985
For further information about us visit our website - [1]www.veritau.co.uk
 

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Beane, Robert,

Dear Mr Hall
we seem to be having trouble getting this reply delivered. This is what I
sent last week:
 
 
Dear Mr Hall
 
Some time ago you asked as follows:
Would you please make publicly available all agendas, minutes and
associated papers for all WOW partnership boards and meetings?
 
These have been published at the internet address below for some time. I
understand that others have already informed you of this but just to be
sure, agendas minutes and papers can be found at
[1]http://www.yorkwow.org.uk/meetings/ . If no-one has then I’m sorry it
has taken so long to provide such a simple reply.
 
You have also asked for confirmation that no documents have been edited or
altered. If you believe there may be errors in the published record please
indicate what they are so that they can be corrected. Meanwhile I have no
reason to suppose that any improper changes have been made.
 
I hope this is satisfactory.
Yours sincerely
Robert Beane
 
Robert Beane
Information Governance Officer
Veritau Ltd
Assurance services for the public sector
telephone 01609 533219 (NYCC) or 01904 552933 (CYC)
For further information about us visit our website [2]www.veritau.co.uk
 
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Dear Mr Beane

Thank you for referring me to the WOW website, with which I am already familiar.

Although agendas and minutes of the WOW Partnership are given, no agendas, minutes and associated papers for the WOW boards earlier than mid-2012 are available (for instance the CultureWOW meeting of June 2011).

I would be grateful if you would pursue this foi as quickly as possible. It was submitted on 13 December 2013.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hall

Gwen Swinburn left an annotation ()

Mr hall

It is good that the council has finally uploaded what they seem to think is enough to satisfy what seemed a very simple request from you. Shocking that it took since Early December to send you one web link.

You will have noticed I am sure that there is no way of checking if all the agendas are uploaded as there is no calendar for all the Boards.

You might want to check the Business wow section where there is no evidence of any agendas just odd reports and minutes- this is not transparent. I have been asking for years for the agendas to be uploaded like the main council meetings, and that once uploaded they are not taken off, which they are- leaving selective reports that the council wants us all to see.

I have accordingly after years of trying to get this partnership to act transparently submitted an FOI on the legal status of the partnership, tors etc. If the council continues to treat it as a side show, though there much vaunted REWIRING initiative, it shows exactly what their commitment is to democracy and citizens first. We should then plan to outsource the secretariat to a provider that has a commitment to democracy.

Dear Mr Beane

Would you be kind enough to update me as soon as possible on the progress of your review, please?

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hall

Beane, Robert,

Dear Mr Hall
 
May I apologise for the time taken to provide this reply. Your request was
made on 17 December 2013 as follows:
 
Would you please make publicly available all agendas, minutes and
associated papers for all WOW partnership boards and meetings?
 
After I drew your attention to records published on the Without Walls web
pages you pointed out that they did not include any prior to mid 2012. I
understand that these have been removed as there is no legal obligation to
publish them. However in the context I have understood your observation as
a request for the agendas, minutes and associated papers for the WOW
boards earlier than mid-2012 and have recommended that the council should
immediately issue in writing: 
 
•       a denial that it now holds that information, or
•       a refusal to disclose it, or
•       disclosure of those records, or
•       some combination of the above
 
Yours sincerely
Robert Beane
 
Robert Beane
Information Governance Manager
Veritau Ltd
Assurance services for the public sector
telephone 01609 533219 (NYCC) or 01904 552933 (CYC)
For further information about us visit our website [1]www.veritau.co.uk
 
 
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Veritau Limited (6794890) and Veritau North Yorkshire Limited (7931990)
are companies registered in England and Wales. The registered office for
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References

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Dear Mr Beane

Thank you for this update.

If the Council is serious about openness and transparency, I would expect immediate publication of the agendas, papers and minutes of all WOW boards.

In view of the length of time that this request has taken, I shall contact the Information Commissioner if I have heard nothing from you by Friday 25 April.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hall

information.governance@veritau.co.uk,

Dear Mr Hall

Thankyou. I have forwarded your message to council colleagues.

May I remind readers of these pages that messages to City of York Council are better addressed to [City of York Council request email] , rather than to individual officers

Yours sincerely
Robert Beane

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Dear [email address],

This request has been forwarded today to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hall

information.governance@veritau.co.uk,

18 Attachments

 
 
Dear Mr Hall
Further to your emails dated 13 December 2013, 17 January 2014 and 26
February 2014, which have been logged under reference number CF6799. 
Please find below and attached the information which the Council holds in
relation to your requests.
13 December 2013:
Would you please make publicly available all agendas, minutes and
associated papers for all WOW partnership boards and meetings? 
Recent papers have already been published. To backdate this work and
publish all papers on the website would be a huge task, which would take
many hours. The large amount of work involved would bring the cost of
answering the request over the amount to which we are legally required to
respond, ie the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds
the 'appropriate limit' as stated in the Freedom Of Information (Fees and
Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004. 
17 January 2014:
Who took the decision to exclude Mr Kelly’s declaration of interest from
the published minutes of the December 2012 meeting? 
The Council holds no information with regard to there having been any
exclusion from the published minutes.
Why was that decision taken?
The Council holds no information with regard to there having been any
exclusion from the published minutes.
Were any other declarations of interest made by Mr Kelly? 
The Council holds no information with regard to any declarations of
interest.
Please disclose all emails and other correspondence concerning the
nomination and appointment of Mr Kelly as chair of [1]York@Large  and
concerning FOI request CF6274.
The Council holds no emails or correspondence relating to the nomination
or appointment of Mr Kelly. Please find attached the correspondence which
the Council holds relating to FOI request CF6274. Personal details have
been removed from these documents. We are withholding this information
under section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which exempts
personal information from disclosure if disclosure would breach one or
more principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. In this case we consider
that disclosure would breach the first principle, namely that personal
information must be fairly and lawfully processed and must meet one of the
conditions for processing as provided by schedule 2 of the Act. In this
case we consider that the disclosure would be unfair and unlawful and none
of the conditions for processing would be met.
 
26 February 2014:
When did Mr Kelly join [2]york@large?
The first mention of him being present as a member is in the minutes of 2
October 2008 (attached).
When should he have resigned from [3]york@large?
The only information held by the Council pertaining to Mr Kelly’s
retirement date is i) the constitution of York@Large (attached), ii)
membership review documents for 2012 and 2103 (attached), and the minutes
of the meetings of September and December 2012 (attached). 
How, if Mr Kelly should have left in 2012, was he allowed to assume the
chair in June 2013?
The circumstances surrounding Mr Kelly’s election as chair are set out in
the minutes on 4 December 2012 (attached).
 
Please accept the Council’s apologies for the delay in sending this reply.
 
If you are dissatisfied with our response you have the right to ask for a
review of how your enquiry was handled and responded to.   This can be
done by contacting us through [4][City of York Council request email] stating your reason(s)
why you are dissatisfied.  If after the investigation, you still remain
dissatisfied, you can contact the Information Commissioner, contact
details below:
 
 
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 08456 306060 or 01625 545745
Email: [5][email address]
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Miriam Townsend
 
 
Miriam Townsend
Information Governance Officer
Veritau Ltd
Assurance Services for the Public Sector
Telephone 01609 536985
For further information about us visit our website - [6]www.veritau.co.uk
 
 
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The information contained within, and in any attachment(s), is
confidential and legally privileged. It is for the exclusive use of the
intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), please
note that any form of distribution, copying or use of this communication,
or the information within, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.
Equally, you must not disclose all, or part, of its contents to any other
person.

If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender
at the above address, then delete and destroy all copies of it.

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Although we have endeavoured to ensure that this e-mail and any
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content of this communication.

Veritau Limited (6794890) and Veritau North Yorkshire Limited (7931990)
are companies registered in England and Wales. The registered office for
both companies is West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA.

Please visit the Veritau website [7]www.veritau.co.uk for details of each
company’s ownership.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:York@large
2. mailto:york@large
3. mailto:york@large
4. mailto:[City of York Council request email]
5. mailto:[email address]
6. http://www.veritau.co.uk/
7. http://www.veritau.co.uk/

Dear [email address]

Thank you for your response.

The agendas, minutes etc of WOW partnership boards belong in the public domain.

I shall seek advice on this from the ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hall

information.governance@veritau.co.uk,

Dear Mr Hall

Thank you for your email, of which we acknowledge receipt. We will await the ICO decision.

Kind regards

Miriam Townsend

Miriam Townsend
Information Governance Officer
Veritau Ltd
Assurance Services for the Public Sector
Telephone 01609 536985
For further information about us visit our website - www.veritau.co.uk

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Dear City of York Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of City of York Council's handling of my FOI request 'Without Walls partnership and boards - disclosure of agendas, minutes and papers'.

The response I have had says 'The large amount of work involved would bring the cost of answering the request over the amount to which we are legally required to
respond, ie the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the 'appropriate limit' as stated in the Freedom Of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004'. However no details on how this assesment has been made have been provided.

Irrespective of that issue, it is unacceptable that the agendas, minutes and papers of the constituent boards of an organisation as influential and significant as York Without Walls should be withheld from the public domain. There is here an important issue of public interest, and of democratic and open scrutiny of the activities of the boards and their members.

Residents have a right to expect openness from public bodies. WOW York@Large, for instance, has in its terms of reference the following: 'Minutes and papers shall be made freely available to the public unless specifically excluded for reasons of confidentiality'. WOW should put into practice that commitment to openness.

If the Council and the Labour administration are serious about democractic accountability, openness and transparency, they should make available all WOW board papers immediately.

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

Yours faithfully,

Colin Hall

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Thank you for your enquiry. We will ensure it is passed to the relevant service(s) and you will receive a response within 20 working days. We will contact you if we have any queries, need clarification or to let you know if we need more time to answer your enquiry in full.

However, if you are contacting us to ask for a review of a previous FOI response from us, we will pass your request to Veritau/Information Governance who will contact you about this.

Please note this is an automatically generated receipt to let you know we have received your email.

Regards
Customer Feedback Team

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Gwen Swinburn left an annotation ()

Mr Hall

Can you update the community on this of please

Thank you \Gwen

Dear [email address],

What has happened to this request?

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hall

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Thank you for your enquiry. We will ensure it is passed to the relevant service(s) and you will receive a response within 20 working days. We will contact you if we have any queries, need clarification or to let you know if we need more time to answer your enquiry in full.

However, if you are contacting us to ask for a review of a previous FOI response from us, we will pass your request to Veritau/Information Governance who will contact you about this.

Please note this is an automatically generated receipt to let you know we have received your email.

Regards
Customer Feedback Team

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information.governance@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Dear Mr Hall
 
Further to your email of 4 February 2015 please accept my sincere
apologies for the delay in replying to your request for internal review.
This was an oversight.
 
In response to your request for internal review I consider that section 12
was appropriately applied. The scale of the task makes it difficult make
time estimates however I have provided an explanation below.
 
There is no single repository for this information and the first task
would be to establish what information is, or might be held. To do this it
would be necessary to establish the history of the board. The WoW board
itself goes back 10 years. Some of the constituent partnerships go back
longer such as York@Large. Over this period partnerships under WoW have
come and gone, had sub-groups, task groups, special events, etc. Therefore
to establish what information might be held would require research across
the Council to establish all the meetings that took place and those
involved. This task alone has been estimated to take in excess of 18
hours, and more likely double, or triple that figure.
 
This task alone would exceed the 18 hours time limit however the larger
part of the task would be to then locate all of the agendas, minutes and
associated papers as requested. Again there is no single repository and so
this information would have to be retrieved from locations all across the
Council. It is difficult to estimate how long this might take however an
estimate has been made of an average of 20 groups meeting an average of 4
times a year over an average period of 10 years, so in the region of 800
meetings. I would also point out that much of the material may no longer
even be held by the Council, but the Council would still have to search
extensively to ascertain this fact.
 
I apologise that the Council is not able to help in this instance, however
if you can narrow your search then it will consider whether it would be
possible to response to a revised request within the parameters of the
Act.
 
If you remain dissatisfied you have the right to seek an independent
review from the Information Commissioner. Requests for a review by the
Information Commissioner should be made in writing directly to:
 
The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
[1][email address]
Tel: 01625 545 700
Fax: 01625 545 510
 
Yours sincerely
 
Louise
 
Louise Jackson
Senior Information Governance Officer
Telephone: 01609 798233
 
 
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Dear [email address],

Thank you for your reply.

You suggest I narrow my request to reduce the time it would take to satisfy it. So would it be possible to disclose agendas and minutes only from May 2011?

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hall

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Dear Mr Hall,
Thank you for your email of the 27th July regarding a Freedom of Information request. Your request is being processed and you should receive a response within 20 working days of the receipt of your request. If we require any clarification from you, the timescale will be frozen and recommenced on receipt of your clarification.
The reference number for your request is CFT/1511 (logged on our new database); please quote this number in future emails and other methods of communication.
Many thanks,
Customer Feedback Team

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Witcherley, Phil, City of York Council

Dear Mr Hall

Please see below the response to your enquiry under the Freedom of Information Act received on 27/07/2015, reference number CFT/1511.

Following your request that the Council make available the WoW minutes and agendas from May 2011 onwards, the WoW website has been updated, and the available documents can be found here http://www.yorkwow.org.uk/

However, you should be aware of the following points:

• The Health and Wellbeing Board is a statutory board, and so a full set of its minutes and agendas can be found on City of York Council’s democratic services website via the following link http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListMeeti...
• The Fairness and Equalities Board was set up in September 2013 and so minutes are only available from this date onwards
• The Council’s records of the York Economic Partnership only go back as far as July 2012. We do not hold any record of meetings before that time. All the minutes that are on record can be found on the WoW website
• York @ Large is an external board which is not run or controlled by the Council, and so we do not have control over the publication its papers, although we continue to remind the board of the need to publish meeting agendas and papers and they have been doing so for a number of years.

If you are dissatisfied with our response you have the right to ask for a review of how your enquiry was handled and responded to. This can be done by contacting us through [City of York Council request email] stating your reason(s) why you are dissatisfied, and we will pass this to the information governance team who deal with all reviews of how we have dealt with FOI enquiries. If after they complete their investigation and reply to you with their findings, you still remain dissatisfied you can contact the Information Commissioner, contact details below:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 08456 306060 or 01625 545745
Email: [email address]

Yours Sincerely,

Phil Witcherley

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