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Village Green

Dodgy LibDems Toxic School

A Registration Authority has to demonstrate that it has acted in accordance with the principles of natural justice and proper administration, especially in circumstances where the Registration Authority has an interest in the Application, as in this case.

Whilst I was collecting evidence to put my case (and I felt I was being very rushed and given no time to prepare a proper case as I mentioned at the time), I was illegally refused access to information which I had a right to see under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.  There are no exemptions for vexatiousness, aggregation or cost under this law and those
are  the grounds they refused me on. I needed to see documents to build my case, and I was refused access to them illegally.  It was said at that time that I was a vexatious  questioner, yet the Council was fully aware that I have used the Freedom of Information legislation to excellent effect in the past – exposing in the national media what went on regarding Tesco at Portwood, finding information which led to the Audit Commission Inquiry which exposed waste of £3 billion of taxpayers’ money at the Highways Agency and getting 22 lorry loads of toxic waste removed from the Trident Foams site at Offerton where houses were already being constructed.  The Council knew at that time my excellent track record.  Their refusal to let me see documents was a deliberate act to sabotage my village green application.  I complained bitterly to everyone before the public inquiry, but no-one except our excellent local press listened.  Mr. Hill certainly did not.


We put an excellent case before the Inspector and would have won were it not for the dirty tricks played against us, and the Inspector, Mr Price Lewis's, refusal to comply with my reasonable request that a new pair of ears should hear the second village green application.

When I claimed a village green they demanded a map which would have cost me £388, although they could have obtained the same from their own colleagues as a cost of circa £5 which I would have gladly refunded. This was the work of the largest department at Stockport Council - the Department of Dirty Tricks.

The link opposite gives details of the village green inspector.



I complained bitterly that they refused to let me speak to anyone or have any information.  How can one claim a village green successfully under such circumstances?



Please see above, this corrupt council made me fight my village green application with one hand tied behind my back.




Mrs Oliver,

I understand that it has been agreed that although the report will not be considered until the meeting of the Licensing, Environment and Safety Committee on 13 June, 2007, in the meantime the Inspector's report will be made public. Arrangements are in hand to ensure that happens and the report is being issued today.

Regrettably, the Council is not in possession of an e copy of the report and it is therefore being issued in hard copy.

I will be happy to hand a copy to you at the Executive Meeting tonight if it is your intention to be present. Please advise me further on this.

In Mr Hill's absence I must refute your suggestion that he, or indeed any other officer of this Council has in any way contributed to any delay on this issue.

Regards,

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: sheila.oliver@tiscali.co.uk
[mailto:sheila.oliver@tiscali.co.uk]
Sent: 23 May 2007 12:13
To: Mike Iveson
Cc: John Schultz
Subject: Ditry tricks again

Dear Mr Iveson

Mr Hill was supposed to let me see the village green inspector's report today. He has gone on holiday. It is going in the post to me today but has left the post tray already, despite my having asked him to email it to me to save council taxpayers' money in postage and waste of paper. I presume the Council will have put a 2nd class stamp on it
- or not bothered with a stamp at all, as I have had happened in the past. So, I might not get it for a week - or maybe not at all.

Given all the other dirty tricks the council has used against me, this isn't just the usual incompetence.

Mr Barrie Khan has a copy of the inspector's report and I presume Mr.
Hill's recommendations. Please could you arrange to have his copy emailed to me today. I am going to take this up with Cllr Goddard at the Exec. I hope you will help me with this. There is no excuse whatsoever for this further delay and Mr Hill should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.

Kind regards
Sheila








Dear Mrs Oliver,

In response to your E-mail enquiry below under the Freedom of
Information Act.

The Council is in its separate capacity as landowner of part of the land
contained within the green Application and separately as the local
Education Authority under the auspices of the Children & Young People's
Directorate in wishing to build a new School is of course entitled to
object to the green Application and to seek whatever assistance is
considered appropriate to challenge it.

I am happy to confirm that as the preparatory work for the objections
was carried out on behalf of the Council there is no duplication of
fees.

Mike Lee
Conveyancing Manager

-----Original Message-----
From: sheila.oliver@tiscali.co.uk
[mailto:sheila.oliver@tiscali.co.uk]
Sent: 19 December 2006 22:47
To: John Hill; Penkethman David/Patricia
Subject: Consultants - bless 'em

Dear Mr Hill

I picked up the files and thank you for that - very illuminating.

I should like to know under the FOIA whether I, as a council taxpayer,
have paid consultants twice for that - once for the Council as Landowner
evidence and once for the Children and Young People's Directorate
evidence. It is the same. I will be extremely annoyed if I have paid
twice for the same information.

I look forward to your reply with interest. Consultants eh, dontcha
just love 'em?

Kind regards

Sheila



___________________________________________________________







Email received 12th January 2007 at 12.37

Dear Mrs Oliver,

I refer to the requests in your E-mails of the 20th December 2006 and of the 8th January 2007 under freedom of information legislation for sight of the internal working documents relied upon by Cobbetts LLP in the preparation of the two objections.
I have consulted Cobbetts who have confirmed that the working documents they relied upon in formulating and preparing the objections were those attached to the objections as appendices.

You are therefore referred to the appendices which you have.

It is premature to provide an estimate of the full costs that may need to be expended as a result of your green Application.

Mike Lee Conveyancing Services Manager

Stockport Legal Services
Business Services Directorate
0161 474 3235

This E-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and solely for the use of the intended recipient. They may contain information protected by solicitor-client privilege. If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this communication in error and that any use is strictly prohibited. If you have received the E-mail in error please notify Stockport Legal Services Business Development Unit by telephone on 0161 474 3263.






**********************************************************************
This email, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
are addressed. As a public body, the Council may be required to disclose this email, or any response to it, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, unless the information in it is covered by one of the exemptions in the Act.

If you receive this email in error please notify Stockport e-Services via email.query@stockport.gov.uk and then permanently remove it from your system.

Thank you.

http://www.stockport.gov.uk
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Email received 01/02/2007 at 15.27

Dear Mrs Oliver

I refer to your e-mails of 12 th and 14 th January requesting information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs). The information you have requested is not environmental information as defined by section 2 of the EIRs, therefore we have dealt with your requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

In your e-mail dated 12 January 2007 you requested:

$B!H(B..the barristers advice to Cobbetts..$B!I(B in the preparation of objections.
This information is not held by the Council as the preparation of the objections by Cobbetts on behalf of the Council was undertaken without instructing a barrister.

In your e-mail dated 14 th January 2007 you express disbelief at the fact the Council does not hold the information you requested. To further clarify the Council does not hold any:

$B!|(B briefs from Stockport Council
$B!|(B Briefs to a barrister
$B!|(B Handwritten notes of telephone conversations
$B!|(B Memos
$B!|(B Minutes of meetings – The Council did hold meetings with Cobbetts, but minutes were not taken.

The Council does however hold e-mails which may fall under the scoope of your request however, the Council believes these e-mails are legally privileged and are therefore exempt under section 42 of the FOIA. Section 42 states:

$B!H(BInformation in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege or, in Scotland, to confidentiality of communications could be maintained in legal proceedings is exempt information.$B!I(B

As the e-mails were communications between legal adviser (Cobbetts) and client (SMBC), the Council maintains that these e-mails fall under section 42. Section 42 is a qualified exemption so the Council must apply a public interest test and having applied such test the Council is of the view that disclosure of this information is not in the public interest.

Please see attached note on Legal Professional Privilege – Public Interest Test:
If you are dissatisfied with this decision you may apply for an internal review, information on to do this by following the link below:
http://www.stockport.gov.uk/content/councildemoc/council/contacts/complaintsaboutservices/formalcomplaint/
If you remain dissatisfied after an internal review, you may complain to the Information Commissioner$B!G(Bs Office@
Information Commissioner$B!G(Bs Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
SK9 5AF
Mike Lee Conveyancing Services Manager
Stockport Legal Services
Business Services Directorate
0161 474 3235

This E-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and solely for the use of the intended recipient. They may contain information protected by solicitor-client privilege. If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this communication in error and that any use is strictly prohibited. If you have received the E-mail in error please notify Stockport Legal Services Business Development Unit by telephone on 0161 474 3263.


**********************************************************************
This email, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
are addressed. As a public body, the Council may be required to disclose this email, or any response to it, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, unless the information in it is covered by one of the exemptions in the Act.

If you receive this email in error please notify Stockport e-Services via email.query@stockport.gov.uk and then permanently remove it from your system.

Thank you.

http://www.stockport.gov.uk
**********************************************************************


Legal Professional Privilege – Public Interest Test:

In Favour of disclosure:

There is an inherent public interest in the Council being transparent in its decision to promote accountability as this leads to improved decision making

It would enable the public to see that the Council is acting appropriately

It would allow the public a deeper understanding enabling the community to participate more fully in the debate, which in turn enables the public to better understand the Councils decisions

In Favour of withholding

As outlined by both the Information Commissioner and the Information Tribunal there is a very strong public interest in protecting the principle of privilege and confidentiality between lawyer and client.  This confidentiality breeds respect for the law and encourages free and frank exchanges between lawyer and client, without which the English legal system would not function.

There must be reasonable certainty that there will be no disclosure of such information, if this is not present, the quality of legal advice the council receives will suffer as it may not be as free and frank as it ought to be.

It is vital that the Council can obtain clear and frank legal advice so it can comply with the full remit of its legal obligations and conduct its business accordingly.  By definition legal advice will highlight strengths and weaknesses of a particular course of action.  If legal advice was disclosed on a regular basis, it would lead to the Council becoming reluctant to seek such advice as its release may damage the Councils position.  If the Council were to become reluctant to seek legal advice it would have a detrimental effect on the Councils ability to carry of its public functions.

In view of these factors the Council believes that the public interest is in withholding the information.

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Email received 26/02/2007 at 17.04

Dear Ms Oliver,

I can confirm that a copy of the Witness Statement is now available for your collection at the Town Hall (Edward Street) reception which will be open until 20:30 this evening.The only omission from the statement is Appendix 3 (Documentary Records in respect of Erection of signs) This Appendix will be available for your collection tomorrow or if you wish I can send this to you first class in tomorrow nights post.
Kind regards,
Mike Lee Conveyancing Services Manager
Stockport Legal Services
Business Services Directorate
0161 474 3235

This E-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and solely for the use of the intended recipient. They may contain information protected by solicitor-client privilege. If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this communication in error and that any use is strictly prohibited. If you have received the E-mail in error please notify Stockport Legal Services Business Development Unit by telephone on 0161 474 3263.


**********************************************************************
This email, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
are addressed. As a public body, the Council may be required to disclose this email, or any response to it, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, unless the information in it is covered by one of the exemptions in the Act.

If you receive this email in error please notify Stockport e-Services via email.query@stockport.gov.uk and then permanently remove it from your system.

Thank you.

http://www.stockport.gov.uk
**********************************************************************

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.11/944 - Release Date: 09/08/2007 14:44


From: sheila.oliver@tiscali.co.uk [mailto:sheila.oliver@tiscali.co.uk]
Sent: 20 April 2007 19:54
To: FOI Officer
Subject: Money

Dear FOI Officer

Please may I know how much Stockport Council paid to the legal firm Cobbetts, or any of their subsiduary companies, during the financial years 1) 2005/2006 and 2) 2006/2007.

Many thanks

Sheila

Dear Mrs Oliver,

In answer to your request under the Freedom of Information, the amount of legal costs and disbursements the Council has paid to Cobbetts during the financial years 2005/06 and 2006/07 is as follows:-

2005/06 £124,349.81
2006/07 £69,030.24

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you are entitled to ask us to conduct an internal review. This will be carried out by a senior member of staff who was not involved with your original request. To request an internal review, please contact foi.officer@stockport.gov.uk in the first instance.
If you are unhappy with the way any internal review is carried out, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner. To do so, contact:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
www.ico.gov.uk
Mike Lee Conveyancing Services Manager
Stockport Legal Services
Business Services Directorate
0161 474 3235

This E-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and solely for the use of the intended recipient. They may contain information protected by solicitor-client privilege. If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this communication in error and that any use is strictly prohibited. If you have received the E-mail in error please notify Stockport Legal Services Business Development Unit by telephone on 0161 474 3263.


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