Freedom of information response

A13 Widening

Publication date: 
Tuesday 24 March 2020
Request: 

1. Can you tell me when Councillor Mark Coxshall, the guy in charge of the a13, Councillor Ben Maney the other guy in charge of roads and councillor Rob Gledhill the guy in charge of Thurrock last looked at their emails.
2. I want to know how much the a13 Orsett cock up has cost me but no one will answer the questions

Response: 

1. Councillors have a number of roles. When they represent residents of their ward, for example, in dealing with complaints, any information held is not covered by the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. In this case the accessing of their emails to deal with your enquiries is considered out of scope of the FOI Act.

2. The current position is that the Council has to report to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) Accountability Board in relation to the progress of this scheme.  At the SELEP Accountability Board meeting on 14 February 2020, a paper was considered by the Board and a commitment was provided that an update with regard to the programme and the budget would be submitted for the next meeting on 15 May 2020. The review of the programme and the budget will be completed at that time and the information subject to the FOI request will be published at that time.

Based on the above, in issuing our response the council have applied Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act. This means that the council does hold this information and it is intended for publication at a future date. You are advised to refer to the council’s website where this information will be published. We hope to publish this information in May 2020, however if you are unable to locate the information on the website, then please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

Section 22:

Section 22 provides an exemption for information that is intended to be published in the future. Information is exempt if, at the time when the public authority receives a request for it:

  • the public authority holds the requested information; 

  • the public authority intends the information to be published at some future date, whether that date is determined or not; and 

  • in all the circumstances it is reasonable to withhold the information until its planned publication. 

Section 22 is a qualified exemption and subject to a public interest test, details of this test can be seen below.

Public Interest Test:

The council have considered the public interest test in relation to section 22 in releasing the information in scope of your request. The outcome of this is below.

  • Public interest in disclosure:

    • Accountability for spending of public money. There is a public interest in this generally.

    • Where a public authority is purchasing goods/services there is a public interest in ensuring value for money is achieved.

  • Public interest to maintain the exemption:

    • The data being requested is currently under review and work is in progress to re-baseline and reforecast the scheme – the data currently held is out of date and not accurate.

    • To release data that is in draft form would give the public an incorrect picture of the progress of the scheme.

    • If draft data is released the public may contact the council to complain or request explanations, this will result in the council responding to additional correspondence that could be an unnecessary use of resources.

Based on the above, it is the council’s view that there is a stronger public interest to maintain the use of the exemption for Section 22.

You are free to use any information supplied to you for your own use, including non-commercial research purposes. However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner.

Where the copyright is owned by Thurrock Council, you must apply to the Council to re-use the information. Please email information.matters@thurrock.gov.uk if you wish to re-use the information you have been supplied. For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission.

Request reference:
FOI 9877