News From Crystal Palace took a look at Freedom of Information requests made to the other four boroughs covering the Crystal Palace area to see what people there were asking and how they contrasted with FOI questions put to Lambeth. Here are the results::
BROMLEY LOST £1 MILLION IN PARKING FINES – AND SPENT ALMOST £200,000 IN DEALING WITH FLY TIPPING INCIDENTS IN JUST ONE YEAR
Unpaid parking fines: “One – I am curious about the grand total amount of money generated by parking fines in the past 5 years. Two – I also would like to know how much money was lost in unpaid fines”.
** The above figures are classified as written off, (unpaid), which means that they were issued and processed correctly but for various reasons payment was not made against them and by the time they had reached the end of their lifecycle (or earlier), they were written off as unrecoverable.
The system was reconfigured in 13/14 and as such, it is no longer possible to extract write off data only. All categories for closure of a penalty charge were linked together from this point onwards and therefore figures held relate to penalty charges written off, but also ones closed because of challenge / representation or any other factors that led to closure of the penalty charge case file. Accordingly, figures held do not reflect your specific request and as such, I have not disclosed them.
Flytipping: 1) How many incidents of fly tipping have been reported in the borough of Bromley over the last 12 months?
Reply: 5,016 reports of flytipping received from 01/03/17 to 28/02/18
2) How much money in total has been spent dealing with incidents of flytipping in the borough of Bromley over the last 12 months?
We do not have an associated measured spend as we do not pay our contractor per clearance. However using DEFRA’s (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) estimated spend based on the number of flytips and associated sizes the figure for that period would be approximately £199k
Dear Bromley Borough Council,
Please can you provide me with the latest secondary school agency spend for Bromley.?
Please can I have this in a spreadsheet. (Refused – no reason given on whatdotheyknow – Ed.)
Dear Bromley borough council,
Can you please confirm where if online and which newspaper(s) you advertise all your public notices, including planning Traffic regulation orders,Rights of way Path Diversion to name a few.
If your Traffic regulation orders are available online and if not do you have a list of consultees-is it possible to be sent copies of schedule and plan when they are advertised.
Dear Bromley borough council,
I would like to be provided with a link to the content (videos / speaker biographies and conference brochure etc.) related to the BSAB conference of October 2015 which is no longer available on the LBB website – https://bromley.mylifeportal.co.uk/bsab/
Other subjects included: Number of properties investigated/ fined for violating Section 44 of the Deregulation Act during the 2016/2017 year; Use of agency social workers; Voter ID and street cleansing records for Baston Road, Hayes.
Our Ref: F/CRT/10009021 Date: 09 March 2018
Dear Mr Creighton
Freedom of Information Request
Your request has been considered under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to you. For ease of reference, I will answer each question in turn:
Now that the Library Service is back under Council management:
1. Is it possible to move a percentage of stock between Libraries so that titles that have been on display at one Library for some time can be on display at another which has not got those titles?
We are reviewing the stock provision at the libraries, including asking customers for their priorities for their local library, and consideration of whether any stock should be moved around to different branches will be part of this process.
2. Given the problems of funding expanded book etc buying would the Council consider the idea of asking members of the public to donate books etc to the Libraries?
We do currently accept donations of books to the libraries from customers, and add them to stock when appropriate. We are not currently planning an initiative whereby we actively ask for donations to stock.
3. What plans are there to improve the activities programmes in the Libraries so that they become improved community education, leisure and information hubs?
Now that libraries have come back in-house, the council is taking the opportunity to ask residents, customers and staff for their ideas about priorities for the library service and about how we can improve the library service. We will be seeking ideas online, in our libraries and through targeted focus groups (with non-users as well as current users) and will use the results of this engagement to inform future plans for the libraries.
4. Given the diversity of Croydon’s local population what plans are there to reach out and to help ensure that the library service reflects not only the needs of current users but potential use by the local population, particularly given the centrality of the local library service that as part of Croydon’s bid for Year of Culture?
Response is as for question 3 above. We are also working closely with the team responsible for Croydon’s bid for Borough of Culture to ensure that libraries are an integral part of the borough’s cultural offer.
In Lewisham the subjects of FOI requests included:
Licensing of Ice Cream Vans
How many applications for listed building consent have involved the installation of CCTV cameras?
Cost of Installing Staff Toilets on 209 Bus Route Termini with no Staff Toilets or No Toilets at all
Skin bleaching products
Internal leaks on the Ledbury estate
Danielle Gregory 4 April 2018
Specifically, and only in regards to the four tower blocks on the Ledbury Estate (Bromyard, Sarnsfield, Skenfrith and Peterchurch houses) could you provide the following information: 1) In total, since January 2012, how many recorded reports have there been of internal leaks? 2) In total, since January 2012, how many individual works have been raised and undertaken related to leaks? 3) Please provide any documents including assessments, reports or correspondence relating to leaks in the Ledbury tower blocks.
Having considered your request in relation to this query we have estimated that it will cost more than the appropriate limit to consider your request as it is currently worded. Your request would breach the appropriate limit to answer as we do not hold this information as statistical data and in order to collate this data we would need to manually interrogate over 2000 case files at a minimum of ten minutes per file.
The appropriate limit is specified in regulations and for local government is set at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether we
hold the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Consequently, we are not obliged by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to your request (see section 12(1)).
We are conscious of our duty to advise and assist under section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act and should you wish to narrow the scope of your request, for example by refining the time period to specific months you are interested in, we would be happy to consider this as a fresh request.
Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay. I understand that the matter was further complicated by the fact that we could not send the response to Whatdotheyknow.com due to the size of the file. The documentation was subsequently sent to your personal email address.
Danielle Gregory 13 May 2018
Dear Southwark Borough Council,
I am writing to request information that I am entitled to under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
How much, in cash terms, has Southwark Council spent on the Ledbury Estate since 29th June 2017 to the current date?
In particular, what, in cash terms, has been spent, to date, on the following:
– The commissioning of Arup and other organisations to carry out structural investigations and report their findings;
– Installation, labour and maintenance costs of new fire alarm systems;
– Installation, labour, maintenance and removal costs of new immersion heaters;
– Installation, labour and maintenance costs of a new district heating system;
– Installation, labour and maintenance costs of external boiler houses;
– Costs of works to remove gas from the four towers;
– Forced entry locksmith costs;
– Overall costs for contractors, including staff costs
– Fire risk assessment costs;
– Cracks sealing works;
– Staffing costs for fire marshals;
– Staffing costs for the Ledbury TRA hall;
– Rent on the Ledbury TRA hall;
– The installation of internet at the Ledbury TRA hall;
– Additional staff costs & councillor expenses for meetings and surgeries;
– Legal fees and costs;
– PR fees and costs;
– Removals costs;
– The acquisition of 80 properties at the Hyde Housing Sylvan Grove development;
– Other costs incurred related to Sylvan Grove development where Ledbury residents are being decanted
– Home loss payments;
– Compensation for disturbance;
– Compensation for lack of heating;
– Electricity compensation;
– All and any other additional costs not described above.
Please may I receive this data in table form.
If the decision is made to withhold some of this data using exemptions in the Data Protection Act, please inform me of that fact and cite the exemptions used.
I would be grateful if you could confirm receipt of my request and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Our response dated June 12 2018: Please see the attached document for the costs that the Council has paid out since 29 June 2017 on the Ledbury Estate. (They amount to £35 million – Ed.)
And finally: For Southwark council, other questions included: Who is SOUTHWARK COUNCIL and what does it do and for who and why? (Source: WhatDoTheyKnow website)