FOI request (FOI-92025747)
Requested Tue 16 October 2018
Responded Thu 18 October 2018
In an email Mr Hubbard refers to GVA documents
I request copies of all information held by HBC produced by GVA which relates to Rocklands or Ecclesbourne Glen.
Please note that this includes email correspondence, documents and any other information.
Please take this as a formal request under EIR.
I can confirm that Hastings Borough Council does hold correspondence with GVA relating to Rocklands and Ecclesbourne Glen however, is being refused - please see refusal notice below.
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
Under Environmental Information Regulations the information requested above 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:
- Is the information commercial or industrial
- Is the information subject to confidentiality provided by law
- Is the confidentiality protecting a legitimate economic interest
- 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:
- Transparency and accountability
Factors against disclosure:
- Maintaining commercial confidences.
- If the information is disclosed it could be used to seek harm on the owners commercial interests.
- Unfounded critical publicity (and defamatory) reviews and postings about their business via social media and press leading to a loss of trade by virtue of a long running campaign since 2013.
- The release of this information could lead to further harassment to the owners.
- Manifestly unreasonable use of council's resources in constant use of FOI/EIR. The council could have used refusal notices but in the spirit of the Act have tried to comply with providing as much information as possible. In doing so this has caused a backlog of work for the Information Officer as nearly every request is followed by an internal review or challenged in another way
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