FOI request (FOIR-336180353)
In-house Ecological Expertise
Requested Wed 19 May 2021
Responded Fri 28 May 2021
I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations about the access your local authority has to ecological expertise in-house.
'In-house ecological expertise' is defined as those who are employed by the council on a part-time or full-time basis and who have Chartered Ecological status.
In March 2018, it was revealed that only 1 in 4 councils had access to some form of ecological expertise within their own teams. Would you please tell me how many chartered ecologists the council has employed over the last three years between May 2018 to May 2021?
Would you please provide this figure in terms of FTE equivalence. I would prefer to receive this information electronically, preferably as a data set in Excel and not as a PDF, to include the following information as set out below. If the information is not possible to put into a spreadsheet, please provide the information in its existing format, rather than rejecting this FOI request.
For example, if you have employed only one chartered ecologist 2.5 days a week over the past three years the FTE figure would be 0.5:
2018-2019 chartered - 0.5
2019-2020 chartered - 0.5
2020-2021 chartered - 0.5
As a second part to this request would you please also tell me how many 'other environmental experts' the council employs, who are either unchartered but hold a position as an environmentalist or hold chartered status in a related discipline, for example, someone who holds Chartered Environmentalist status. Would you please also provide this figure in terms of FTE equivalence.
For example, if you employed one chartered environmentalist and one unchartered environmental expert full-time between May 2018 and May 2020 but then lost one of these between May 2020 and May 2021 then the FTE figure would be as follows:
2018-2019 other expertise - 2
2019-2020 other expertise - 2
2020-2021 other expertise - 1
If the decision is made to withhold some of this data using exemptions in the Data Protection Act, please inform me of that fact and cite the exemptions used. If some parts of this request are easier to answer than others, I would ask that you release the available data as soon as possible.
Hastings Borough Council has employed one full time professional ecologist since 1995. The ecologist holds a degree qualification in Ecology and is a member of the Association of Local Government Ecologists. They do not hold Chartered Ecology status.
Second Part: Hastings Borough Council has employed a full time Arboriculture Officer with relevant qualifications since around 1990.
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