FOOD MARKET: COME EARLY FOR THE MEAT AND FISH – AND JUMP TO THE BEET! (and if you like fudge….)

Saturday 29th June It’s going to be an absolute scorcher, so if you’re looking to get MEAT or FISH please come early as they may have to leave early.  We’ve got three new stalls starting this week, Jump to the Beet – Mexican inspired street food;  Fiona’s Fudge (handmade in West Norwood) and Ghadah Vintage Store, Middle Eastern wares … Continue reading FOOD MARKET: COME EARLY FOR THE MEAT AND FISH – AND JUMP TO THE BEET! (and if you like fudge….)

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WHY IS YOUR COUNCIL SCARED OF ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION? A News From Crystal Palace special

A report by the Campaign for Freedom of Information on FOI requests made to London councils has found two-thirds of London councils don’t publish any of their disclosed information (although it would reduce their own workload if they did) - and that some councils have special procedures for handling requests likely to attract unwelcome publicity. … Continue reading WHY IS YOUR COUNCIL SCARED OF ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION? A News From Crystal Palace special

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “Some councils have special procedures for handling requests likely to attract unwelcome publicity”

The new report by the Campaign for Freedom of Information reveals some London councils are failing to comply with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act’s time limits in as many as 40 per cent of the requests they receive, causing long delays before information is released. On the other hand some are close to answering … Continue reading FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “Some councils have special procedures for handling requests likely to attract unwelcome publicity”

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “BROMLEY’S REFERENCE TO ‘REPUTATION MANAGEMENT’ IS POTENTIALLY TROUBLING”

The Campaign for Freedom of Information's comments on Bromley contained in the report are as follows: page 9 A request to Bromley for information about the Adult Social Care Precept was answered after 112 working days.21 21 Decision Notice FS50761605, London Borough of Bromley, 30 July 2018. page 11 Bromley’s performance slid from 77pc in … Continue reading FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “BROMLEY’S REFERENCE TO ‘REPUTATION MANAGEMENT’ IS POTENTIALLY TROUBLING”

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “As of December 2018 Croydon had not added anything to its disclosure log for 17 months”

The Campaign for Freedom of Information's comments on Croydon contained in the report are as follows: Page Nine Two requests to Croydon for information about planning applications were outstanding after 104 and 64 working days respectively. The council later explained that it had changed its FOI email address but that its old mailbox, which was … Continue reading FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “As of December 2018 Croydon had not added anything to its disclosure log for 17 months”

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “Some London councils (including Lambeth) have not only significantly improved their compliance with statutory time limits, but done so despite an increasing volume of requests”

The Campaign for Freedom of Information's comments on Lambeth contained in the report are as follows: Page 10 An internal review by Islington and one by Lambeth each took 109 working days. 33 33 Decision Notice FS50619532, London Borough of Lambeth, 3 May 2017. Page 14 Lambeth reported that a dip in its performance coincided … Continue reading FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “Some London councils (including Lambeth) have not only significantly improved their compliance with statutory time limits, but done so despite an increasing volume of requests”

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “A request to Lewisham was unanswered after 231 working days” / “A request to Southwark had not been answered after 121 working days”

The Campaign for Freedom of Information's comments on Lewisham contained in the report are as follows: Page 8 of report A request to Lewisham was unanswered after 231 working days (more than 11 calendar months). The request asked for policies on the provision of accommodation and financial support to families whose immigration status barred them … Continue reading FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “A request to Lewisham was unanswered after 231 working days” / “A request to Southwark had not been answered after 121 working days”

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL – THE REPORT’S RECOMMENDATIONS: “Authorities should ensure that their request handling procedures do not lead to less favourable treatment of journalists or requesters likely to publicise disclosures…”

THE REPORT'S 14 RECOMMENDATIONS: Recommendation 1: authorities should report publicly every quarter on the number of requests not answered within the required time scale, setting out the causes of the delay and the steps being taken to address them. Recommendation 2: the IC should make clear that authorities which fail to respond to or even … Continue reading FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL – THE REPORT’S RECOMMENDATIONS: “Authorities should ensure that their request handling procedures do not lead to less favourable treatment of journalists or requesters likely to publicise disclosures…”

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “It must have been obvious that failure to answer would be conspicuous evidence of poor practice”

The Campaign for Freedom of Information's research covers London’s 32 borough councils plus the City of London Corporation and Greater London Authority. They say: We started by carefully searching each authority’s website for its published information on FOI. We then made FOI requests to each, tailored to exclude the publicly available information. The request asked … Continue reading FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “It must have been obvious that failure to answer would be conspicuous evidence of poor practice”

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “Anyone receiving information under FOI is entitled to publicise it…there is no reason for authorities to differentiate between journalists or campaigners and anyone else. The outcome should be the same whether the requester is a tireless activist or a reserved recluse.”

PUBLICATION OF FOI STATISTICS Some of the FOI statistics presented in their report were found in publicly available committee papers or published datasets  but some councils publish no statistics at all and we had to make FOI requests to obtain them, say the Campaign. "In some cases we had to wait many months for the … Continue reading FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: “Anyone receiving information under FOI is entitled to publicise it…there is no reason for authorities to differentiate between journalists or campaigners and anyone else. The outcome should be the same whether the requester is a tireless activist or a reserved recluse.”