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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50204499
  • Date: 17 February 2009
  • Public Authority: Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
  • Summary: The complainant requested information from Cleveland and Redcar Borough Council relating to the construction of sea defences in Coatham. The Council disclosed some information about the project, but did not fully meet the information request. In addition, it did not confirm or deny that it held any other information in respect of this case and did not state any exemption. It did, however, provide information on the Council’s complaints procedure. A second reply was sent by the Council, which in the opinion of the complainant still did not fully comply with the request, and, finally, the Council refused to disclose the requested information on the basis of the exemptions contained in section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act”). Following further email exchanges, the Council finally wrote on 21 January 2008, informing the complainant that it had provided him with all the available information held by the Council at that time. The complainant wrote to the Information Commissioner in the belief that further information was held by the Council. Following a review by the Information Commissioner, it became clear that the public authority had not considered the request in the correct manner, namely by applying the relevant Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (the “EIR”). At the request of the Commissioner, the Council reconsidered the request and confirmed that the pertinent consultant’s report, relating to any required sea defences, has not yet been completed, and that any decision in respect of the sea defences will not be made by the Council until it has been. Having considered the relevant provisions of the EIR, and the submission of both parties, the Commissioner is satisfied that the public authority does not hold any further information relevant to the request. Information Tribunal appeal number EA/2009/0019 dismissed.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]