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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50241186
  • Date: 26 April 2010
  • Public Authority: St Neots Town Council
  • Summary: The complainant requested a copy of a report held by St Neots Town Council (“the Council”) concerning an incident in November 2007 in St Neots involving the Christmas light display. The Council provided a copy of the report with redactions and it also withheld all the appendices to the report. It stated that it wished to rely on the exemption under section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the FOIA”) and it also referred to section 7(5) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the DPA”). During its internal review, the Council also cited section 41(1). It did not explain why any of the exemptions applied and it did not address the public interest test relevant to section 43(2). During the Information Commissioner’s (“the Commissioner”) investigation, the Council sought to rely on section 42(1) and section 43(2) of the FOIA. The Commissioner investigated and agreed that the withheld information was exempt under section 42(1) because it was covered by Legal Professional Privilege. He found that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information in all the circumstances of the case. He also found that the Council breached section 17(1), 17(1)(b), 17(1)(c) and 17(3)(b).
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]