FOI request (FOIR-280985209)
Hastings Town Deal Bid
Requested Mon 07 December 2020
Responded Fri 22 January 2021
I should be grateful if you could progress the following requests under the Freedom of Information Act for information about the Town Deal Bid process.
The Town Deal prospectus requires publication of the Borough Council proposals for spending of the support funding allocation of £173,029. "2.23 The Lead Council should publish the Town Deal Board's governance structure and ways of working, such as a statement for how the board will engage stakeholders and agree decisions over time. Lead Councils should set out how capacity funding will be spent, and how that will support the process of developing a good Town Investment Plan." I could not find the information about capacity funding in the reports to or the minutes of the Town Deal Board. (Possibly I have overlooked it).
- I should be grateful to receive a copy of any report setting out how the capacity funding was to be spent. I should also be grateful to be advised on what the money has actually been spent (up to the meeting of the Board on 26 November).
I understand that by the deadline of 25 September a total of 150+ ideas from various sources had been collected and were passed to a working group for assessment and prioritisation. A report on these was made to the Board on 26 November in private session.
- I should be grateful to be provided with a list of the 150+ ideas, which organisations submitted the proposals, and the assessment of each made by the working group. I am happy that where individuals submitted ideas on their own behalf that this is indicated and their names are redacted.
Please accept my apologies for the slight delay in responding to your request.
The Town Deal webpage has recently been updated, this will be helpful to members of the public in understanding the processes - please see link below:
The original cabinet report provides details of what it will be spent on and can be found on our website via the following link:
Please also see the FAQ's on what the money will be spent on:
Question 2 - NOTICE OF REFUSAL
Under Environmental Information Regulations the information you have requested regarding the 150+ ideas from various sources is exempt under Section 12(5)(e) 'Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest'.
We have considered the following:
a. Is the information commercial or industrial?
b. Is the information subject to confidentiality provided by law?
c. Is the confidentiality protecting a legitimate economic interest?
d. Would disclosure adversely affect the confidentiality?
Section 12(5)(e) is 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:
a. Transparency and accountability
Factors against disclosure:
a. ensuring that companies are able to compete for business fairly
b. damage to reputation and/or financial interests
c. the information must have the necessary quality of confidence
d. must have been imparted in circumstances importing an obligation of confidence
In weighing the factors for and against disclosure we have concluded that the likely benefit to the wider public of disclosure is outweighed by the likely prejudice caused by such disclosure and that therefore the public interest is better served by non-disclosure.
For the reasons given above we will not be communicating to you the information you have requested.
For your information - I can advise that we have been informed by the instructing department that there will be information published on the council's website in due course, we hope this will be helpful in informing the public on this subject.
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