Boyer Planning – Freedom of information Request – updated

July 9th, 2016

[August 2016 – I have an updated document from the borough council that has added some more emails and also redacted bits they have already sent me in full! ]

This is the response for information about the planning consultants who read the 2015 consultation replies to the Borough plan.


Dear Cllr Kondakor,

Thank you for your request for information about Environmental Information Request.

Your request for information has been considered and I hope the following will answer your query:

Please find attached a copy of emails between Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and Boyer Planning, relating to the Borough plan sent or received since 1am on 1st January 2016 and 21st June 2016. Some information has been redacted. The reasons why some of the information has been redacted are detailed below.

There is always a presumption in favour of disclosure. However Regulation 12 (4) (d) of the EIR states a public authority may refuse to disclose environmental information requested if

(d) the request relates to material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to incomplete data; or

And in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

In applying this exception, we have had to balance the public interest in withholding the information against the public interest in disclosure. The factors we considered in deciding where the public interest lie are:

For disclosure:

strong public interest in the Council being open and transparent in its activities, particularly those that have an impact on the environment in order to allow for effective public participation in decision making. The Council recognises the significant public interest in this issue

Against disclosure:

Public interest in the Council being able to have ‘a safe space’ in which to freely exchange views and deliberate on matters in the absence of external interference particularly when matters are still live and incomplete. The maintenance of “safe space” allows for documents to be finalised by relevant parties before disclosure. Placing documents which may be amended into the public domain can cause confusion or misinform debate.


If you are unhappy with the way the authority has handled your request, you may ask for an internal review, and we will arrange an internal review of your case. Under regulation 11(2), you must contact us for a review no later than 40 working days after the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

If you have any queries about this letter then please do not hesitate to contact Customer Services at the Town Hall, Coton Road, Nuneaton, CV11 5AA or by email at

Please be aware that copyright in original materials contained in the information supplied resides with Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council or another party.  The supply of documents under Freedom of Information does not give the person or organisation that receives them, an automatic right to re-use the documents in a way that would infringe copyright.  The information supplied is not to be copied, distributed, modified, reproduced, transmitted, published or otherwise made available in whole or in part without the prior written consent of the creating institution.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

From: David Coleman []
Sent: 14 April 2016 09:55
To: FORD Kelly <>
Subject: RE: NBBC


Thanks for your email and the tip-off. I presume that if we are contacted then we can explain the nature of our commission without providing any specific details?

Just to let you know that I am actually moving on from Boyer after next Friday. I am setting up my own business to concentrate on providing support to local authorities and communities in plan making.

If you need anything further in relation to our commission after next Friday, please contact Bethan Roscoe ( who assisted me with all stages of the work undertaken.

Kind regards


David Coleman MRTPI
Associate Director Boyer Colchestert: 01206 769 018 m: 07469084177

From: FORD Kelly []
Sent: 14 April 2016 08:39
To: David Coleman
Subject: NBBC

Hi David

I hope you are well. This is just to make you aware that a question was asked at a Council meeting last night on the work we commissioned you to undertake for us on the consultation responses. As a result you may be contacted about it (I’m not sure if they are a resident or represent an interest group). Can you please let us know if this happens? The work you did for us is not currently in the public domain so please do not release anything to them.



Kelly Ford

Head of Planning Policy & Economic Development

Tel: 024 7637 6335


Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council

Town Hall

Coton Road



CV11 5AA

Twitter: @NBBCouncil

Nuneaton and Bedworth: the place of choice to live, work & visit

From: David Coleman []
Sent: 16 February 2016 16:41
To: BALDWIN Ashley <>
Cc: FORD Kelly <>; Bethan Roscoe <>
Subject: Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Plan – Review of Consultation responses
Importance: High

Dear Ashley

I am pleased to provide you with the outputs from our processing and analysis of the Submission Plan consultation responses.

I attach:

  • The Excel spreadsheet which includes the relevant details for each of the representations received – including: contact details; summary of comments; proposed draft response from NBBC; and proposed actions for NBBC.
  • A summary note which includes: details of the methodology we have used; overview of key issues raised by respondents; and a summary of key recommendations arising.

Please note that the Excel spreadsheet includes a number of representations highlighted in yellow, where clarification is required from NBBC. In addition, the final column of the spreadsheet has been coloured as follows:

  • Red recommendation – actions arising for NBBC
  • Amber recommendation – potential actions for NBBC to consider
  • Blue recommendation – NBBC to note – site promoted for development
  • Green recommendation – no actions for NBBC

I look forward to meeting with you and Kelly tomorrow at 11am to discuss further. I will bring along hard copies of the attached for us.

Kind regards


(Attachments redacted)

From: David Coleman []
Sent: 29 February 2016 09:47
To: FORD Kelly <>
Subject: RE: NBBC Consultation Responses

Morning Kelly

Thanks for this. Yes that’s absolutely fine.

Kind regards


David Coleman MRTPI
Associate Director Boyer Colchestert: 01206 769 018 m: 07469084177

From: FORD Kelly []
Sent: 26 February 2016 18:51
To: David Coleman
Subject: NBBC Consultation Responses

Hi David,

This is just to let you know that we have reviewed the spreadsheet you sent us and are happy for the invoice for the work to be issued. As we work through them in more detail I hope you don’t mind if we contact you if any clarification is required.

Thank you very much for the work you and your team have done.




Kelly Ford

Head of Planning Policy & Economic Development

Tel: 024 7637 6335


Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council

Town Hall

Coton Road



CV11 5AA

Twitter: @NBBCouncil

Nuneaton and Bedworth: the place of choice to live, work & visit

—–Original Message—–
From: David Coleman []
Sent: 28 January 2016 09:24
To: BALDWIN Ashley <>
Cc: Matt Clarke <>; James Bailey <>
Subject: Consultation responses award notification

Dear Ashley

Many thanks for your letter confirming our appointment to the project. We are delighted to be working with you on this.

I am out of the office this morning but could I give you a call either late afternoon today or tomorrow morning?

(text redacted)

I look forward to working with you

Kind regards


Sent from my iPhone

The Borough plan secret 2016 contracts

July 9th, 2016

The Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough plan development has gone into bunker mode for the whole of 2016. The crazy plan was consulted on at the end of 2015 and the next consultation is not now due till the start of 2017. The plan was originally supposed to be adopted by July 2010.

The prosperity of the borough is deteriorating sharply with the working age population dropping by around 2,000 over the last 4 years. Overall population growth between 2014 and 2015 was just 145 people. The plans for around 14,000 extra homes in the borough over 20 years are indefensible but also unchangeable while the council hides planning policy from due process. The process is corrupt.

The only way we can see what is going on is by asking questions, putting in freedom of information requests and studying the accounts. The council is being as obstructive as possible, even for councillors to know what is going on.

First secret contract – to read responses

We found out the council hired Boyer Planning to process the responses from the borough plan for £9,680. The contract seems to have stared on 1st Feb and seems it took them just over 2 weeks to process every comment. They will not let me see the spreadsheet of processed replies. See my request

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC) is in the process of preparing a Borough Plan to replace a Local Plan which was adopted in 2006. The Council plans to re-consult on the Submission version of the Plan in 2016 incorporating feedback from an informal meeting with the Planning Inspectorate and feedback from the last round of consultation which ended in December 2015.

They redact quite a lot when I start digging. nuneaton_connection

Second secret contract – to select the sites

I now have found out they also tended for consultants to go though all the proposed housing sites from 1st to 29th February. That contract was won for £9,843 by DLP

In preparing a revised version of the submission Borough Plan the Council is seeking a critical review of the housing site selection process that has been used to identify the housing allocations. The work will require an appraisal of the approach that has been adopted the identification of any weaknesses/ flaws along with a proposed approach to bridging any gaps in a defendable way. This work is required my mid March 2016.

This clearly shows how rotten the process is. 10 years into process but doing site selection before even reading comments from last consultation. Both sets of consultants are also closely connected to development industry.

Nuneaton and Bedworth dishonest 5 year housing supply assessment

December 31st, 2015

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough council is currently claiming that we do not have 5 years of deliverable new housing in the borough. As a result they are permitting almost every planning application for new housing on countryside (but strangely rejecting some on brown field sites). Their document can be found here:-

In response I have done a note to include with planning objections.

Note on dishonest 5 year housing supply.

The 5-year housing supply position is grossly unfair and dishonest. It is considerably out of date, estimates of deliverability have been made on wildly different basis to the assumptions made to calculate requirement.

 Site with outline permission

These seem to have deliverability based on an incredibly depressed housing market.

·        Smarts Road, Bedworth (app no 031398) could be built out faster than 30 homes within 5 years given a good demand.

·        Camp Hill Phase 3 is delivering 92 homes a year in 2014/5 as apartments and small homes can be built out quickly. In the ridiculous scenario where we have under provided a market for 502 homes a year backdated to 2011, building out fully is clearly possible (see Note 1).

·        Church lane, Weddington, (app no. 30775) had outline permission for 326 and a full application for phase 1. Clearly phase 2 would deliver far more than 84, an application has been approved to build 160.

·        Land at Lower Farm Weddington (app 32336) is already under construction and being sold. Clearly the estimate of only 30 being competed in 5 years is dishonest. The site is being marketed as 2 developments to increase the rate of sales. Each selling 120 over 5 years in a good market is plausible.

·        The two applications at the north end of the Long Shoot would take 2 years to get to first sales but could each then delver 120 homes in s good market over 3 years.


Sites with Outline Planning Permission at April 2015
Council Application Number Address Locality Settlement Total Capacity (Gross) Remaining Capacity within five years Remaining Capacity after five years developable within 5 years in relatively   optimistic market
1296 32220 Astley Lane Arbury and Stockingford Bedworth 1 1 0
1337 31398 Smarts Road Bede and Poplar Bedworth 92 30 62 62
1347 31685 2 Royal Oak Lane & 347 Goodyers End Lane Bedworth North and West Bedworth 12 12 0
1335 31698 Alice Close Bedworth North and West Bedworth 8 8 0
1338 32395 Smorrall Lane ( between Breach Oak Cottage & Inglewood Bedworth North and West Bedworth 1 1 0
1342 32869 Land rear of 61 -67, Mavor Drive Bedworth North and West Bedworth 5 5 0
1341 32609 92 Bedworth Road, Bulkington Whitestone and Bulkington 1 1 0
1221 31108 Bedworth Rd, 48 Whitestone and Bulkington Bulkington 4 4 0
1334 30803 Midland Road/Jodrell Street Abbey and Wem Brook Nuneaton 84 84 0
1340 32266 P & C Coils Ltd, Anker Street Abbey and Wem Brook Nuneaton 7 7 0
1343 33031 83 Stanley Road Abbey and Wem Brook Nuneaton 4 4 0
1226 31109 Haunchwood Rd,116-120 Arbury and Stockingford Nuneaton 14 14 0
1339 32712 Land adj No 8, Fair Isle Drive Arbury and Stockingford Nuneaton 1 1 0
675 29715 Camp Hill Ph 3 Camp Hill and Galley Common Nuneaton 317 50 207 207
1336 31210 Rear of 31 Plough Hill Road Camp Hill and Galley Common Nuneaton 12 12 0
1278 32083 Chesterton Drive Camp Hill and Galley Common Nuneaton 4 4 0
1224 30775 Church Ln, land off Weddington and St Nicolas Nuneaton 84 70 14 76
1203 30895 “Crossing Gates”, 102 Oaston Road Weddington and St Nicolas Nuneaton 11 11 0
1346 32336 Land at Lower Farm, Weddington Road Weddington and St Nicolas Nuneaton 400 30 370 210
1345 32438 Land rear of 194-262, The Long Shoot Weddington and St Nicolas Nuneaton 120 30 90 70
1344 32578 Cresswells Farm, The Long Shoot Weddington and St Nicolas Nuneaton 150 25 125 75
1151 31878 Lutterworth Rd, 99 Whitestone and Bulkington Nuneaton 1 1 0
Outline Planning Permission Totals   1333 405 868 700

Considerable capacity for housing has been passed by planning committee or inspectors.
The demographic demand for housing is being well serviced so developers are not racing to sign legal agreements. There is a hidden capacity for over 1100 homes that is not including in the list date April 2015. This list needs updating to 1st January and developers told their applications will be reviewed if not signed off.


Recent Permissions & ones pending signing agreements
date application Location
9th JUNE, 2015 32992 Site 31B007 Land off, The Long Shoot (Bellway Phase 2), Nuneaton 254
21st July 2015 33157 Site 42C019 – Land Corner of, Eastboro Way, & The Long Shoot 330
9th JUNE, 2015 33230 Site 103B009 – Land off, Astley Lane 180
10th March, 2015 33156 Land at Hill Farm (Site 36C002), Plough Hill Road, 262
10th March, 2015 33152 Erection of 6 no. additional dwellings (C3) to approval 032399 bellway phase 1 6
31th March, 2015 33133 24 Charles Street, 7
21st July 2015 33160 The Lodge, Bramcote Hospital Lutterworth Road 28
9th December 2014 33031 83 Stanley Road, 4
31th March, 2015 33219 Rear of 61-67 Mavor Drive, Bedworth 4
11TH AUGUST, 2015 32815 Site 106a014 – King Street Bedworth King Street 28
1st SEPTEMBER, 2015 33507 Site 39D035 – Land/Garage adj 5 Jodrell Street. Nuneaton 1
33127 72 Coventry Road, Exhall Erection of 8 assisted living units 8
15TH DECEMBER, 2015 33505 Site 108D009 – Land rear of 6-12 Coventry Road, Bulkington 9

Full supply available and deliverable

Taking into account all the sites from the NBBC five year housing supply report, adding in my estimates enhanced delivery, site that have planning permission agreed subject to signing agreements etc give a total of almost 4,200 homes. This is over twice the council’s deliverable supply. I am claiming for any plausible scenario the borough today has a 5-year housing supply plus 20% for market flexibility.

Demography based scenario

This is based on the latest ONS mid-year 2014 population and updated demographic demand of 328 dwellings a year taken from figure 31 of Updated Assessment of Housing Need: Coventry-Warwickshire HMA dated September 2015 by GL Hearn.  This population-based projection clearly should have taken account of sluggish population growth in the borough since 2011.  The only adjustment to supply is including 200 more in supply from outline permissions to reflect reasonable numbers for Weddington sites.


a Borough Housing Requirement 2011 -2031 6560
b Completions (1 April 2011 – 31 March 2015) 1073
c Completions required since the start of the Plan Period (1 April 2011 – 31 March 2015) (328 dwellings per annum x 4 years) 1312
d Shortfall for the period 1 April 2011 – March 2015 (c-b) -239
e Deliverable housing supply required over next 16 years (1 April 2015 – 31 March 2031) ( 328 x 16)+239 shortfall) 5487
f Deliverable housing supply required for plan period with additional 20% buffer (20% of annual requirement of 328 dwellings = 99 dwellings) 2057.625
g Housing supply 2100
h Shortfall/ Overprovision (g-f) 42
i Number of years supply (g/e) dwellings per annum deliverable in 5 years 6.124

Clearly assuming policy off conditions we have more than 5 years +20% supply.

Economic based scenario

I estimate there are 700 more dwellings with outline planning permission that are deliverable given the levels of economic and employment growth used by GL Hearn to produce their SHMA. I consider these levels of growth to be unlikely in the short-term and clearly have not occurred here since 2011. We have clearly had enough applications approved since April to clear the 73 shortfall even accounting for moving on timeframe.


a Borough Housing Requirement 2011 -2031 8200
b Completions (1 April 2011 – 31 March 2015) 1073
c Completions required since the start of the Plan Period (1 April 2011 – 31 March 2015) (410 dwellings per annum x 4 years) 1640
d Shortfall for the period 1 April 2011 – March 2015 (c-b) -567
e Deliverable housing supply required over next 16 years (1 April 2015 – 31 March 2031) ( 410 x 16)+239 shortfall) 7127
f Deliverable housing supply required for plan period with additional 20% buffer (20% of annual requirement of 410 dwellings = dwellings) 2673
g Housing supply 2600
h Shortfall/ Overprovision (g-f) -73
i Number of years supply (g/(e/16)) dwellings per annum deliverable in 5 years 5.837

Unrealistic prosperity scenario

In this scenario I assume all the implausible assumptions made by GL Hearn in arriving at their 496 homes per year come true including a net population rise of 910 per year. It is unreasonable to backdate this requirement before 2015 as the updated SHMA was done on the basis of needs at the point of the update. Any claimed under delivery is already built into the requirement. New assessment is in effect a reset of the plans trajectory, the average population rise in the borough since 2011 is 255 a year. With a population rising at 510 a year we could delver from a 5 year supply assuming 20% market flexibility of around 3000 of the homes with permission, allocated or just waiting for legal agreements to be signed from the 4,200 that the council or myself have identified.


d Shortfall for the period 1 April 2011 – March 2015 (c-b) 0
e Deliverable housing supply required over next 16 years (1 April 2015 – 31 March 2031) ( 496 x 16)) 7936
f Deliverable housing supply required for plan period with additional 20% buffer 2976
g Housing supply 3000
h Shortfall/ Overprovision (g-f) 24
i Number of years supply (g/651) dwellings per annum deliverable in 5 years 6.048

Updating 5-year supply to 1 st January 2016.

Moving the 5-year period forward to start on 1st January 2016 should show an improved position. Clearly the required delivery would need to increase by ¾ of either 328, 410 or 496. On the supply side more of the 969 homes in table A, which were outside the 5-year window would now be viable. This includes the full 400 at lower farm. Also many of the recent applications in Table B should be finalised. Clearly the developers and the council should not be dragging feet on signing agreements if there was really a significant backlog.

The reality is the working age population of the Borough is declining and the level of housing demand is fictitious.


Keith Kondakor 27th December 2015



Pride in Camp Hill update to HHC OSC 17 dec 2015-12-20 1.2 Project Achievements

The schemes key achievements in 2013/14 and 2014/15 were:

Phase 2 – Village Centre

· Lovells started building the remaining 59 properties as part of its Eton View development. They are looking at approximately 2 years to complete this final build programme.

Phase 3 – Barratt Mercia

· There were a total of 79 completions from Barratts for April 2013 to March 2014. This rose to a total of 92 completed sales for April 2014 to March 2015



Email to councillors over corrupt NBBC housing targets

December 23rd, 2015

Dear Councillors,

On the 15th December I emailed you to alert you to my concerns about the soundness of the evidence for councils 10,040 housing target.

I have put in a pair of Freedom of information request to NBBC to search for evidence to support or contradict the objectivity of the objectively assessed housing need. I requested copies of all correspondence to Oxford economics and GL Hearn

I also requested correspondence about the NBBC target in a Freedom of information request to Coventry City Council.

In the CCC information I found shocking emails that confirmed that 9,900 housing target (that is 496/year) from GL Hearn projection had been used to calculate the corresponding 0.7% employment growth per year in the Oxford Economics model. But the 9,900 housing target was now being based on the OE projection. There was now evidence to support either figure other than the other figure. It was all a “circular”.


I had said that these mails had not been supplied to be by NBBC but they have been found in the 200 pages of repetitive emails sent as PDFs from NBBC. Some of the other emails have been repeated up to 10 times in those files and I had just 2 days to respond to consultation.

The next grey area is if GL Hearn has pushed back the housing target when changing the employment growth rate to a claimed 0.59%. The councils seem to have concealed the drafts of the update to the SHMA before the emails of the 24th August proposing to pull back of the housing target. This was to base target on realistic employment targets. Back in February 2015 the 0.7% employment growth per year generated a need for 496 homes, if the figures have been pushed back it seem that now 0.59% employment growth per year generates a identical need for 496 homes per year (before adding 6 for affordability)!


The day that the housing target was left unchanged even though many jobs vanished we have the head of planning policy offer GL Hearn so work directly from NBBC. It is a very suspicious time to do that.

And strangely the modelling for new work seems to assume we gain around 410 households per year to fill that 502 they plan to build!

Next I have searched for evidence for the 0.59% growth being a sound baseline by Oxford Economics. There is no note to justify this figure in any communication released. Also the OE modelling of baseline from January 2015 shows some strange things happening to numbers of dwellings, occupied households and the difference as empty homes in baseline projection. Empty homes rocket to 3,300. It clearly does not show a need for 9,900 extra homes. Also the baseline-modelled population is already 1,900 higher than reality in 2014.


Finally it seems that GL Hearn have been moving jobs around between Coventry and Warwickshire districts when modelling each councils housing requirement. The point of modelling the whole housing market area as a single system is to get an objective assessment of housing need. It seems that in modelling Coventry Housing need is based on the assumption was that employment growth in NBBC was 3000. When NBBC housing need was modelled we had 5,800 extra jobs. The impact of the extra 2,800 jobs is in effect double counted. It seems likely that there are other inconsistencies used to inflate the housing requirement.


The Objective housing target for Nuneaton and Bedworth should have been set lower and claiming it is based on evidence is dishonest. Employment data is being manipulated to increase the housing targets.

The whole process stinks and process is grossly corrupt.

Keith Kondakor

Greens take 2nd Seat on Nuneaton Council

May 25th, 2014

Congratulations to Ian Bonner who has become the 2nd Green Councillor on Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council.

The greens have also taken a seat in Nuneaton so that we are now a group of 2 at the Borough council. Weddington ward now has 2 green borough councillors and the county councillor. The Tories have yet again sacrificed other seats to save Weddington resulting in the Tories being reduced to just 3 on the council.

We had targeted two wards to spread the Tory fire and try the impossible.

In Nuneaton St Nicolas
Con 995
Green 602
UKIP 347
Lab 334

in Nuneaton Weddington
Green 982
Con 800
UKIP 432
Lab 317

Keith Kondakor.
Nuneaton Green Party

The full results are on the Coventry Telegraph website  

Green Councillor Call for help

January 24th, 2014

I need the public’s help for witnesses of last years snow clearing farce.

· Green Councillor is to be tried by standards sub committee on 11th February
· Council deletes or never kept records of vast emergency snow clearing operation
· Council blocks access to evidence in standards hearing
· Council wants to gag a campaigning councillor from being critical of officer no matter what the circumstances.

A year ago I embarrassed the Borough Council into clearing the Nuneaton town centre snow on 5th day of inaction, which had led to the cancellation of the Wednesday Market and impacted on many local businesses as well as the safety of the public.

For the last year I have been subject to a conduct complaint about a facebook comment I made on the afternoon of the snow clearing. The council has wasted time & money on this investigation instead of investigating the snow clearing farce.

The standard hearing is due to take place at 2PM on the 11th of February. I have requested information about the council clearing the snow, cancelling the market and any complaints it received using the Freedom of Information act. The council replied that it had no information on the snow clearing as it was not responsible for clearing the snow! It clearly did so but will not allow me to know who was responsible for the farce.

It is also refusing to allow the councils snow clearing to be part of the investigation & hearing. This in effect is blocking off evidence of the farce from being used in my defence. The reply from the council states, “The Monitoring Officer considers that snow clearing events are of no relevance to the fundamental issue of whether your action was acceptable.”

If anyone was impacted by the councils refusal to clear snow or has records of the events of that week please email or call 76 344 079. I am very keen to know about people who were injured in the town centre or had emails from the council.

Both Nuneaton News & Coventry Telegraph reporters witnessed the snow clearing farce. The councils actions came after an Interview on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Breakfast show on 23rd January.

Part of council workforce that did great snow clear on 23rd Jan 2013

Letter from ICO about facked PCD report

November 29th, 2012

I have had a reply from the information commissioner 16 months after I first made a request to see the PCT report on Hallams proposed heath centre on the Weddington development.

It seems the ICO can do nothing about the PCT supplying a possibly faked document.

27 November 2012

Your complaints to Warwickshire PCT

Dear Mr Kondakor
As you may recall I have been investigating your complaints about Warwickshire PCTs responses to your FOI requests.

I wrote to the PCT and asked it to confirm its position and provide further arguments to support its decision to withhold the requested information if it maintained that no information was held or that information could not be disclosed. I have now received further submissions from the PCT.

FOI971 – Request of 8 July 2011

This request was for:

  1. “Please supply details of which 4 of the 12 GPs in Nuneaton are likely to be closed or need upgrading.
  2. Please supply details that have been provided to Hallam.
  3. Please also supply details of expenses claimed by your non-exec board members during the last 2 years.”

The PCTs response was that an estates strategy was in the process of being completed and would be published in the Autumn, it provided an explanation with regards to (2) and a spreadsheet with total expenses paid to non-executive directors in response to (3). Any information not provided was being withheld on the basis of section 43 of the FOIA. I explained that I would be focusing on the PCTs response to (1) and (2) as it appeared information had been provided with respect (3).

FOI1176 – Request of 25 January 2012

This request was for:

“1) the rapid health assessment related to Hallam land proposed development at Weddington in Nuneaton
2) any related correspondence regarding proposal with regards to the impact of the Development on NHS provision in Nuneaton.
3) any documents relating the changes to the GP provision in Nuneaton.”

In this case the PCT provided information in response to (1) but stated no information was held in response to (2) and (3). I explained that I would be focusing on the PCTs statement that no information was held and whether the laptop it mentioned it was retrieving had now been searched.

PCT response

The PCT has explained that it had applied the section 43 (commercial interests) exemption in relation to the first request but had not at the time identified any specific information which this would relate to. It applied section 43 as it considered that any information which may exist within the scope of the request would be likely to be commercially sensitive.

The PCT further explained that the statement about the 4 GPs likely to need upgrading or be closed was not based on fact and that GPs enter into their own business arrangements in relation to the development of their practice premises, often investing their own funds. A request is then made to the PCT for rent reimbursement charges which are considered as part of a business case process and discussed in part 2 of the PCT Board meetings as the cases include commercially sensitive. For this reason the PCT had concluded that should information it would be exempt under section 43 of the FOIA as it would relate to commercial discussions between GPs, developers and/or funders.

However, following the investigation by the ICO the PCT has conducted searches for information within the scope of this part of the request and confirmed that no information is held. Therefore the PCT is withdrawing its reliance on section 43 and instead states there is no information it can provide.

With regards to your request of 8 July, and to the searches conducted by the PCT to determine no information was held in relation to your earlier request, the PCT provided the Commissioner with further details of the searches it carried out to determine no information was held.

As part of its searches the PCT has confirmed it did retrieve the laptop that had been issued to a former employee and all of its folders and email accounts were searched with the following search terms – Weddington, Hallam, 106 (for section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act). I would consider that these search terms were broad enough that any information within the scope of the request would have been identified from these searches. The PCT did identify some files from these searches and examined each one individually to see if they related to the development in question.

This resulted in two files being found that were within the scope of your request, both of which the PCT states had already been provided to you:

  • Letter to Peter Glazebrook (30 November 2011)
  • Desktop Health Impact Assessment

In addition to this the PCT has informed the Commissioner that when this employee left an exit interview was conducted and all paper records were handed to the Director of Estates. These files have also been examined and no information within the scope of the request was found.

When responding to my initial email to you, you raised concerns about what you described as “a seemingly faked RHIA” dated 19 August 2011. Unfortunately this is outside the remit of what the Commissioner can investigate, our role is to determine whether information within the scope of a request has been provided but does not extend to commenting on the accuracy of information or making determinations on the authenticity of documents that are provided.

In conclusion, taking into account all of the above, my view is that the PCT has carried out adequate searches and does not hold any further information in relation to your requests.

Next steps

The Commissioner can issue a decision notice in this case, setting out his findings as to whether the PCT has correctly applied the FOIA and specifying any steps he requires them to take. However, the Commissioner prefers complaints to be resolved by informal means and my initial view is that it would not be of any benefit to proceed to a formal decision notice as my conclusions in this matter, as detailed above, would simply be mirrored in any decision notice drafted.

As I am satisfied the PCT carried out adequate searches to conclude that no information was held if you do wish to add any further arguments to support your view that information is held then please focus on why you think more information would be held and let me have your views by 11 December. If I do not hear back from you by this date I will assume you are satisfied with my conclusions and close the case.

If you would like to discuss this any further then please feel free to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Jill Hulley
Senior Case Officer

Martin Heatley expenses hearing

December 20th, 2009

At last Warwickshire county council have released the minutes for the Hearing about Martin Heatley’s excessive expenses claims. I have set up a website just about the expenses scandal in Warwickshire.

Please read the officers report and minutes of the standards hearing were he was partly let off!

Councillor Martin Heatley to face heat over expenses

November 30th, 2009

On Monday the 7th December a Warwickshire County Council Standards sub committee meeting will take place. It is expect to discuss my formal complaint about apparently excessive travel expenses made by the last environment portfolio holder, Councillor Martin Heatley. I consider it as vital that this meeting is well publicised and that all the evidence is presented in open session.

I have been told that I cannot reveal what the investigation found out until it is disclosed at the meeting. First the meeting will discuss if any evidence needs to be kept secret. The basic complaint had been based on facts obtained using the freedom of information act. I have also obtained details of expenses claimed using the Audit Commission act. I can legally put that the information on the Internet and cannot see any need for holding the main part of meeting in private.

I can disclose that I complained based on the councillors £8,672 of travel & Substance allowances claimed in 2008/9. Mt First information request was for travel expenses on a couple of selected dates. It seemed councillor had been claiming first class train travel above what was allowed. He also seemed to claim for far greater mileages than I expected. I followed this up with a more extensive request and used my rights under the audit commission act to get a full copy of his mileage claims for 2008/9.

The councillor makes around 200 return trips at the council taxpayers expense. In my view almost all of them are for excessive distance or first class rail travel in excess of that permitted. The most remarkable claims include

Every trip from is farm to Shire Hall is 52 miles round trip.
Every trip from is farm to Nuneaton is 10 miles round trip
16 May 2008 – Bermuda village 20 miles round trip
12th August 2008 – Coventry 40 miles round trip
15th September 2008 – Water Orton – 60 miles round trip
15th Jan 09 – George Eliot Hospital – 10 miles round trip

If effect Councillor Heatley steels a few extra pounds from the taxpayer every time he goes to a meeting. This is worrying as the councillor is in charge of the resources department at the county council that manages the council’s wealth.

It is vital that the standards committee meet in public given the background. The councillor has many powerful connections and manages a massive budget at the county council. The validity of his travel claims needs explaining in public, so that the public an judge if he is fit to govern a major department of our county council.”

My investigation also show many councillors claim very little in travel expenses and it is sad that one councillor seems to have let them down so badly. I am very keen that travel expense system does not encourage excessive mileage and will fight plans to introduce a mileage rate of around 82p/mi.le at Nuneaton & Bedworth borough Council.

His farm is 16 miles from Shire Hall, 2.5 miles from Nuneaton and just the other side of the A444 from Bermuda village

The link shows the mileage claims for 2008/9

The meeting is at 9:30AM at Shire Hall in Warwick


Country Council cuts mileage at last

February 5th, 2009

Warwickshire County Council has just passed its budget for next year. Some of the cuts seem very silly such as reducing spending on winter roads. One good change is they have started to cut the mileage allowance for staff and councillors. They were getting around 56p a mile for the majority of cars with only the greener cars getting a lower rate. Now they said they would pay everyone 40 pence per mile. This still will cost too much as they drive 9,1 million miles per year.

link to cuts at WCC