Council tax arrears spans political divide

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YP Comment: Council tax and a right to know. Name non-payment councillors IF it was not for the Freedom of Information Act, and the successful campaign to compel public bodies to release matters of public interest which would previously have … Continue reading

FOI Chris Longley – Day 30 Refusal Finally Arrives!

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Day 30 of my FOI Request to RMBC and the refusal has arrived. Here is the full text: RMBC letter reads thus: “Dear Mr Longley, I refer to your recent request for information regarding all the agendas, minutes and reports … Continue reading

Firsby Reservoir – Concerns

This fresh in from Rob Foulds, latest first:

Dear Sirs

I submitted the information request below ten days ago and have not received an acknowledgement.

Can you please confirm by return, that you will be providing the information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and within the time allocated by the Act.

Yours faithfully

Robert Foulds

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Rob Foulds
Date: 8 January 2013 13:44
Subject: Firsby Reservoir – Freedom of Information Act
To: RMBC FOI <freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk>

Dear Sirs

The text quoted below is contained within a report, 15th Oct 2012, to Cabinet member and Advisers for Regeneration and Development – see this link

http://moderngov.rotherham.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=48867

“Firsby Reservoir has been under special observation since concerns over the dam’s integrity were raised earlier this year in the section 10 inspection. On Monday 8th
October subsidence was found in the dam crest.”

Under The Freedom of Information Act, could you please arrange to forward a copy of the report which ensued from the aforementioned “section 10 inspection”

Please arrange to send the information by email.

Yours faithfully

Robert Foulds

Freedom of Information request 397

Dear “FreedomofInformation” <Freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk>

Thank you for your e-mail.

However your organisation wishes to deal with my communication is a matter for your own established systems, protocols and processes.

I do however wish to receive all of the information that I have requested on this matter and look forward to timely receipt of the same.

Yours Sincerely,
Donald H. Buxton

On Tue, 4/9/12, FreedomofInformation <Freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk> wrote:

From: FreedomofInformation <Freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk>
Subject: Freedom of Information Request Ref 397
To: Don Buxton
Date: Tuesday, 4 September, 2012, 14:35

Dear Mr Buxton

I acknowledge receipt of your email dated 3 September 2012 addressed to Nigel Hancock.  The last point in your email relating to communication between RMBC and the Manager at MySpace will be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We will process this as soon as possible and let you have our response within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely

Christine Hotson
Access to Information Officer
Information Governance Unit
Legal Services
Resources Directorate
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

See previous on this issue as FOI 247, click here.

FOI Request 106

Dear “FreedomofInformation” <Freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk>

Thank you for your breakdown of the spurious notional costs you attach to my legitimate FOI enquiry.

I am struck at the marked difference in RMBC’s approach to FOIs in comparison to Leeds City Council who attach no such spurious notional costs to FOIs regardless of where and from whom they originate.

I would like to offer the following advice to RMBC in relation to its attachment of spurious notional costs to FOIs. If you had attached your itemised breakdown along with the FOI response this would have saved £15.37 and also further informed the customer as to the financial methodology used by RMBC.

The above comments and customer advice are offered in a constructive context as a Critical Friend of RMBC, and I make no charge whatsoever for the provision of the comments and advice as it falls within my remit as an active and empowered citizen with an interest in the workings of local democracy and the costs and activities of RMBC Elected Members and Officers.

Yours Sincerely,
Donald H. Buxton

On Mon, 30/7/12,<Freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk> wrote:
From: FreedomofInformation <Freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk>
Subject: FOI Request 216
To: DON BUXTON
Date: Monday, 30 July, 2012, 15:20

Dear Mr Buxton,

I refer to your request for information for an itemised breakdown of the costs for FOI request 166.  I can provide the following information:

Post

Task

Salary Band

Time (Hours)

Cost

Information Governance Assistant Administration and logging request

D

0.33

£5.58

Solicitor Provision of Advice

L

0.16

£6.87

Information Governance Manager Draft Response

K

0.25

£9.78

Business Manager Safeguarding Advice

PO16

0.16

£7.85

 In accordance with the procedures of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC), I am advising you that the cost to the authority in responding to this request has been £15.37 which reflects the staff time and administration costs involved. RMBC however does not currently make any charge to customers for processing Freedom of Information Act requests.

If you are not satisfied with this response you have the right to an internal review by the Council.  Please contact us via the above email address or by post to Sarah Corbett, Information Governance Manager, Legal Services, Riverside House, Main Street , Rotherham , S60 1AE .

If you are not satisfied with the internal review, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner.  Contact details are: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane , Wilmslow, Cheshire . SK9 5AF. Telephone 01625 545700. Alternatively go to http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Corbett
Information Governance Manager
Information Governance Unit
Legal Services
Resources Directorate
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

FOI’s too expensive? The eternal complaint, even in the land of the free!

Well spotted by Don Buxton. Thanks to him, we can bring you this story from across the pond.

From the Bangor Daily News, Maine, USA:

Democracy or a burden? Towns inundated with information requests.

Scrutiny of democracy is alive and flourishing in my beloved Maine, and those same jobsworths in Town Hall Towers here in Rotherham have cousins in Maine towns and believe that townspeople just shouldn’t be asking them so many questions and demanding answers, cos it takes them away from their core task – of serving the public, ROFLOL O:-) angel

Don Buxton