LAMBETHWATCH: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT – “ARGUMENTS BASED ON THE REQUESTER’S IDENTITY OR MOTIVES ARE GENERALLY IRRELEVANT”….  THE REQUESTER’S IDENTITY OR THEIR MOTIVES IN SEEKING THE INFORMATION ARE NOT RELEVANT TO THE PUBLIC INTEREST TEST….”

News From Crystal Palace has been looking at some of the issues and rulings relating to the Freedom of Information Act. The following extracts are  from a House of Commons briefing paper titled 'Freedom of information requests' published Wednesday, November 14, 2018 which gives an overview of freedom of information requests. Here are some extracts from … Continue reading LAMBETHWATCH: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT – “ARGUMENTS BASED ON THE REQUESTER’S IDENTITY OR MOTIVES ARE GENERALLY IRRELEVANT”….  THE REQUESTER’S IDENTITY OR THEIR MOTIVES IN SEEKING THE INFORMATION ARE NOT RELEVANT TO THE PUBLIC INTEREST TEST….”

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LAMBETH COUNCIL REFUSE TO ANSWER FOI QUESTIONS MADE BY NEWS FROM CRYSTAL PALACE

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 … Continue reading LAMBETH COUNCIL REFUSE TO ANSWER FOI QUESTIONS MADE BY NEWS FROM CRYSTAL PALACE

LAMBETH COUNCIL AND THE BORROWED £19.7 MILLION – A MYSTERY SOLVED (and another Freedom of Information question by News From Crystal Palace answered)

Lambeth council have answered the mystery of where they had borrowed £19.7 million from for buyback funding for estate regeneration under their hugely controversial 'Homes for Lambeth' plans. Er - they haven't actually borrowed the money YET. A Freedom of Information request by News From Crystal Palace asked: In a council report headed estate regeneration. … Continue reading LAMBETH COUNCIL AND THE BORROWED £19.7 MILLION – A MYSTERY SOLVED (and another Freedom of Information question by News From Crystal Palace answered)

LAMBETHWATCH: ARE LAMBETH COUNCIL OFFICERS PULLING THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF LABOUR COUNCILLORS?

Last week's meeting of Lambeth council's corporate committee contained a report covering the Freedom of Information Act and related issues. The council's corporate committee is (very ably) chaired by Cllr Adrian Garden. It's not politicallly partisan, it just deals with what the committee wants to know. Basically it's the council's watchdog for a whole raft … Continue reading LAMBETHWATCH: ARE LAMBETH COUNCIL OFFICERS PULLING THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF LABOUR COUNCILLORS?

“IS LAMBETH STILL A CO-OPERATIVE COUNCIL?” – and other new Freedom of Information requests to Lambeth council

Latest FOI requests to Lambeth council include the following: Jason Cobb 2 August 2018 Dear Lambeth Borough Council, I would like to know if Lambeth Council is still a Co-operative Council.   If so, please can you give examples of recent policy in the past six months that reflects this model. Thank you. Yours faithfully, … Continue reading “IS LAMBETH STILL A CO-OPERATIVE COUNCIL?” – and other new Freedom of Information requests to Lambeth council

LAMBETH’S LATEST FREEDOM OF INFORMATION WHEEZE: “WE DON’T HAVE THIS INFORMATION”

...which is rather strange because...   On May 3 2018 News From Crystal Palace ran a short piece headlined: LAMBETHWATCH: HEALTHY LIVING CENTRES MOVE AGREED ‘IN PRINCIPLE’ MONTHS BEFORE CULTURE 2020 SAY PEOPLE’S AUDIT The story, which accompanied the image above, read: Peoples Audit‏ @PeoplesAudit Tweeted: Case study in the importance of #transparency: former Lambeth … Continue reading LAMBETH’S LATEST FREEDOM OF INFORMATION WHEEZE: “WE DON’T HAVE THIS INFORMATION”

LAMBETH COUNCIL’S SHOCK ADMISSION: WE GOT IT WRONG ON LEASEHOLDERS – TWICE!

More than 800 leaseholders living on Lambeth estates were sent payment requests totalling almost £540,000 for works which were never carried out, Lambeth council have admitted. Five leaseholders ended up forking out more than £5,450.80 The admission comes in response to a follow-up answer from Lambeth council’s Freedom of Information team which initially admitted 350 … Continue reading LAMBETH COUNCIL’S SHOCK ADMISSION: WE GOT IT WRONG ON LEASEHOLDERS – TWICE!

LAMBETHWATCH SPECIAL: HOW TO AVOID ANSWERING A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT QUESTION – ONE “The public interest means what is in the best interests of the public not what is of interest to the public.”  

These are some of the questions put to Lambeth council's Freedom of Information team in recent months. FOI rules state the council must answer an FOI question within 20 working days. If you're planning on asking an FOI question, you may find the following helpful. NB: Some responses may have been received from Lambeth's FOI … Continue reading LAMBETHWATCH SPECIAL: HOW TO AVOID ANSWERING A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT QUESTION – ONE “The public interest means what is in the best interests of the public not what is of interest to the public.”  

LAMBETHWATCH FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL TWO: HOW TO AVOID ANSWERING AN FOI QUESTION TWO – JOB DESCRIPTIONS OF OUR TOP 68 WAGE EARNERS? WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO ANSWER THAT

Indar Picton-Howell 13 February 2018 Dear Lambeth Borough Council, The draft accounts for 2016/17 show that another 40 staff were paid over £80,000 p.a., compared to the previous year. Please could you supply the job description for each of these persons. Yours faithfully, Indar Picton-Howell Lambeth’s response I can confirm that we have reviewed your … Continue reading LAMBETHWATCH FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL TWO: HOW TO AVOID ANSWERING AN FOI QUESTION TWO – JOB DESCRIPTIONS OF OUR TOP 68 WAGE EARNERS? WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO ANSWER THAT

LAMBETHWATCH FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: THREE – SOMETIMES LAMBETH COUNCIL LET THE PROVERBIAL CAT OUT OF THE BAG……

Peter Lennard 4 February 2018 Dear Lambeth Borough Council, Please could you advise me how many of the 350 Lambeth Council leaseholders that received payment request letters in 2017, as referred to in the answer to Freedom of Information request number IR225666, were living in properties that had no Major Works carried out on them … Continue reading LAMBETHWATCH FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SPECIAL: THREE – SOMETIMES LAMBETH COUNCIL LET THE PROVERBIAL CAT OUT OF THE BAG……