FOI request (FOIR-310581108)
Towns Fund FOI
Requested Wed 24 February 2021
Responded Wed 10 March 2021
1. How much of the total capacity funding allocation your town(s) has received under the Towns Fund?
2. How much your town(s) has already spent on developing its Town Deal Board and Town Investment plan, including:
a. Any amount spent out of its local budget.
b. Any amount financed with bonds, treasury or commercial loans, or any other form of local authority borrowing.
c. Any amount financed with private sector funds, including contributions, loans, co-financing or co-funding partnerships.
3. A breakdown of the amount spent on developing your town(s) Town Deal Board and Town Investment plan, including amounts spent on staffing, travel, IT development, external consultants, and any other expenditures.
4. A copy of any documentation that was submitted as part of the bid.
Q2a. We made use of existing staff resources in the Regeneration and Culture Team
Q3. See attached excel sheet
Q4. See link for Town Investment Plan Part 1:
The annex document to part 1 is attached.
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
Town Investment Plan Part 2 is commercially sensitive and falls under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act - Commercially Sensitive Information. Information prejudicing commercial interests - commercial interest relating to an organisations commercial activity and may include trading activity procurement and relationships with third parties.
The exemption afforded by Section 43 is subject to what is known as the 'public interest test'. When applying the test in a particular case a public authority is deciding whether the public interest is better served by non-disclosure than by disclosure.
Although the Freedom of Information Act does not define 'in the public interest', there is a presumption under Freedom of Information that openness is in the public interest. In applying the public interest test a public authority will take into account the distinction that has been often made by courts between things that are in the public interest, and things that merely interest the public. Where applicants have not identified public interest considerations succinctly or accurately, the public authority has a responsibility under the Act to make their own assessment of the public interest considerations in the particular case.
We have identified the following public interest factors that may be seen as encouraging the disclosure of information:
a) accountability of public spending
We consider these factors to be of limited relevance in relation to the information in question.
Public interest factors seen as encouraging non-disclosure are, generally, the exemptions themselves. In consideration of this matter we came to the following conclusions:
a) ensuring that companies are able to compete for business fairly
b) protect the financial interest of organisations involved in the Town Investment Plan
In weighing the factors for and against disclosure we have concluded that the likely benefit to the applicant and 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.
Freedom of Information