Lambeth council are refusing to answer Freedom of Information questions put to them by News From Crystal Palace.
Their refusal comes in nine emails from ‘the FOI team’ in response to questions hand-delivered to Lambeth town hall, all of which give the same response:
We consider that this request is vexatious in accordance with Section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act.
We note the following factors when reaching this decision:
Submitting several requests on the same day creates a significant burden both on the team responding to your requests and the team logging and acknowledging the requests. We note that you have access to email and can contact the council via this method; we consider therefore that the only reason for submitting multiple requests in paperform must be to cause inconvenience.
We also note that providing a response will be likely to lead to further questions in future; meaning there is an ongoing burden to our officers and a significant distraction of resources. We consider that that this is the case following our experience in responding to previous requests of a similar nature.
We have noted various impolite comments made to our staff when you have previously disagreed with a response; we consider this relevant when considering this request as vexatious.
The email then goes on to explain that there is a right to review.
For the benefit of new readers (Welcome) News From Crystal Palace currently have two appeals lodged with the Government watchdog the Information Commissioners Office regarding previous refusals by the FOI team to answer SOME of our questions – although they did answer our previous three questions. In full.
The latest nine questions Lambeth’s Labour-dominated council are refusing to answer are:
- Please supply emails / correspondence dated 28 July 2015 between (name redacted) of GLL or (name redacted) of Phoenix House stating “I would like to meet with you to begin discussions around detailed proposals for the library sites which have been identified as potential healthy living centres. (Amended request).
- Please supply any further correspondence between Lambeth Council from July 2015 regarding using library sites as potential living centres.
- At the full meeting of Lambeth Council on October 10th 18 Cllr Sonia Winifred said “The implementation of the Culture 2020 programme is well advanced and has been highly successful to date”. Please could Lambeth Council state how, and in what way, it has been successful?”
- On October 08 2018 Lambeth council on its Twitter account stated : “a whooping 91 percent of library users think we’re a good library service”. Please state when + in what places this survey was conducted, over what period (dates and times) it was conducted, who conducted it, how many people responded, on whose instructions the server was undertaken and at what cost, if any.
- On October 08 2018 Lambeth council on its Twitter account stated: “A whooping 91 percent of library users think we’re a good library service”. Please provided a copy of the questionnaire (or list of questions) on which this survey is based.
- On October 08 2018 Lambeth Council on Twitter account: “a whooping 91 percent of library users think we’re a good library service”. Please state when + in what places this survey was conducted, who conducted it, how many people responded, on whose instructions the server was undertaken and at what cost, if any.
- In the wake of the death of Cllr Matt Parr, member of Coldharbour Ward, two individuals signed the necessary papers to call a by-election. Please state the names of the two individuals.
- Please state of cost of hiring National Theatre on October 10 2018 or thereabouts to launch Lambeth council’s new “creative and digital industries strategy for growth”. Please state any further costs incurred (e.g hire of artistes etc) for this event.
- Please supply list of all media organisations (TV stations, newspapers, magazine, news websites, news blogs) invited to this launch of “creative and digital industries strategy for growth” at National Theatre on October 11 2018 or thereabouts.
- At the full meeting of Lambeth Council on October 10 2018 Cllr Sonia Winifred, in response to question 9 from Cllr Becca Thackray (supplementary questions), said “We have changed the way we operate the Culture 2020 programme to make them more sustainable”. Please could Lambeth council state in what way they have changed the 2020 programme.
Further reading: MOCK THE WEEK: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAMBETH-STYLE 24th February 2017 (*and lots more. Please search ‘FOI’ – Ed.).