FOI request (FOIR-122411575)
Correspondence between HBC and ESCC Rights of Way
Requested Mon 03 June 2019
Responded Fri 08 November 2019
I request the following information under EIR regulations:
Copies of all correspondence between the ESCC rights of way team and HBC concerning footpath closures , the landslip and land stability issues in Ecclesbourne Glen since 2011. Correspondence to include all forms of communication between ESCC and HBC and HBC and ESCC.
Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.
Please see attached correspondence as requested between Hastings Borough Council (HBC) and East Sussex County Council (ESCC) relating to footpath closures at Ecclesbourne Glen. Please note that parts of the attached document have been redacted fully as this correspondence is not between HBC and ESCC.
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
Under Environmental Information Regulations parts of the correspondence that is held by HBC is being refused under Exception 12(5)(b) 'The course of justice and inquiries'.
The course of justice has a wide meaning which includes material covered by Legal Professional Privilege. Legal Professional Privilege (LPP) exists to ensure complete fairness in legal proceedings. LLP protects advice given by a lawyer to a client and confidential communications between them about that advice.
Exception 12(5)(e) 'Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest'
These exceptions are subject to a Public Interest Test. This means that a public authority can refuse to disclose information under these exceptions if in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Factors for disclosure:
Transparency and accountability
Factors against disclosure:
Maintaining commercial confidences
Correspondence contains confidential information
The significance and sensitivity of the information
The age of the information, Coffey have produced a recent report regarding the Footpaths at Ecclesbourne Glen which you have been supplied a copy
Consideration of options and the exchange of views within a 'safe space'
Maintaining the confidentiality of discussions in the interest of good governance and the perceived threat to candour and boldness in the giving of advise
Freedom of Information