Friday, 17 July 2015

Pleasurama update

I have had a reply from TDC to my FOI request relating to Pleasurama, here it is:

From: Edwina Crowley <Edwina.Crowley@THANET.GOV.UK> 
To: 'MichaelChild@aol.com' <MichaelChild@aol.com> 
Sent: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 9:57 
Subject: Thanet District Council - Information request response 


Ref No:  77909 / 3007884
Subject:  Pleasurama Update
Dear Mr Child,
Thank you for your communication received on 17/06/2015  where you requested information about documents received since my previous email to you of the 20th January 2015.
The matter of the plot of land subject to the Royal Sands development agreement has been a longstanding one of many years, the council does not hold a record of all documentation in connection with this matter and will not expend the money cataloguing the documents as that would cost a significant amount of money and is therefore not cost effective for the Council.
Additionally, having reviewed the latest FOI guidance and a recent Court of Appeal ruling we believe that emails that ask for all correspondence on a certain matter, are now interpreted as vexatious requests and we will now apply an exception based upon S 14(1) on these requests.
Reports of recent cliff surveys and the contract for repairing works will be disclosed in the near future so this information is exempt under section(s) 22 of the Freedom of Information Act and is therefore being withheld.
The contractual negotiations in relation to the site form part of a legal dispute resolution process which will conclude when the contracts complete and therefore this information is exempt under S31 of the Freedom of Information Act and is therefore being withheld.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: Information Request Assessor, Thanet District Council, P O Box 9 Cecil Street, Margate Kent CT9 1XZ, or send an email to foi@thanet.gov.uk.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
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
Yours sincerely,
Edwina Crowley
Head of Economic Development & Asset Management

I responded to it thus:

To: Edwina.Crowley ; cllr-Chris.Wells ; casework ; Customer.Services ; FOI ; Cllr-Helen.Smith ; Cllr-John.Townend ; Cllr-Suzanne.Brimm ; Cllr-Hunter.Stummer-Schmertzing ; Cllr-Lin.Fairbrass ; mstannard ; lgo ; a-mack
Sent: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:47
Subject: Re: Pleasurama update


Hi Edwina, thank you for your response to my foi request, in the first instance can I please ask for an internal review, and by return, the amount of time that this review will take, so as to determine the date that I can appeal to the information commissioner.
With regard to the plot of land pertaining to the Royal Sands development, I am asking for a list of the document that the council does hold and not those it doesn’t, the considerable time that this plot of council owned land has been vacant, is the matter of considerable public interest. 

It would be unfortunate were the council to withhold the list of documents as I am sure you will appreciate, that the public may draw inferences that by doing so the council is seeking to conceal the reasons, why this prime council owned site has been derelict for about twenty years. Not the least of which is that the council being situate in Margate, has deliberately sought to dilapidate the main tourist site in Ramsgate, to encourage tourists coming to Thanet to visit Margate instead, where the council has made considerable investment to the prime tourist area infrastructure. 
On the subject of "A certain Matter" this was reported on The Isle of Thanet Gazette website, which is where I obtained the information from. I would think the cost of a solicitors letter and several phone calls from me to the council's solicitor, who lacked the ITC abilities to direct me to what he wanted deleted, could be seen as excessive in terms of asking me to delete a link to the local paper's website. Particularly as no one from the council thought to just ask me to delete the link, without paying for a solicitor to ask me. Could it be that the council wished to intimidate me, by saying that I could become involved in a costly legal action that could have resulted in my imprisonment or a substantial fine, sic your solicitor's letter.  
Obviously as the information was published on the internet, by and accredited news source, picked up by international news feeds and cached by the search engines, it is still published on the internet and available to those with rudimentary itc abilities, which does beg questions about the council prosecuting one of it's own councillors over the matter.
However in this instance I am not requesting information pertaining to "A certain Matter" but will request this via the district auditor, who is not subject to the restrictions of commercial confidentiality that the council is. I will therefore leave the matter of disclosure in the hands of Andy Mack.
Obviously my main concerns are is matters of public safety and the council's responsibilities relating to "due care", so my primary interest is in documents related to the council owned cliff, cliff façade, the existing foundations, the condition of the council owned sea defence that holds the sand in place that the development foundations rest upon, any fra that occurred as a result of the EA's letter to the council recommending one, any notification of a future vehicle weight limit for the cliff top (as recommended by Alex Haniewicz Jacob's senior geotechnician who wrote the Principle Condition Report 2005), any details of high curbing to the road adjacent to Augusta stairs (a vehicle went of the road there and through he cliff railings a few years ago) and most of all list of the documents that the council hold but haven't supplied me with, so that I can request those that I consider to be important.        

Best regards Michael 

Websites 

http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/   

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/

http://www.thanetonline.com/

For anyone who hasn't been following this, the rest of the emails are below, read in order from the bottom up.

-----Original Message----- 
From: michaelchild <michaelchild@aol.com
To: Edwina.Crowley <Edwina.Crowley@THANET.GOV.UK>; cllr-Chris.Wells <cllr-Chris.Wells@THANET.GOV.UK>; casework <casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk>; Customer.Services <Customer.Services@THANET.GOV.UK>; FOI <FOI@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Helen.Smith <Cllr-Helen.Smith@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-John.Townend <Cllr-John.Townend@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Suzanne.Brimm <Cllr-Suzanne.Brimm@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Hunter.Stummer-Schmertzing <Cllr-Hunter.Stummer-Schmertzing@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Lin.Fairbrass <Cllr-Lin.Fairbrass@THANET.GOV.UK>; mstannard <mstannard@cardygroup.co.uk>; lgo <lgo@thanet.gov.uk
Sent: Thu, 2 Jul 2015 16:44 
Subject: Re: Pleasurama update 


Thank you Edwina, I look forward to reading the press release, latest doing the rounds on Facebook sic, we love Ramsgate – was friends of Ramsgate seafront, is. “The overage payment of £3.000.000 is being paid to TDC minus the cost of Cardy doing the work on the Cliff Face. As this point of payment the Freehold then changes hands and becomes Cardy's as simultaneously they will have bought out SFP. So SFP will not be a Company Registered at Companies House in the very near future..........or so we hope.”
Accurate rumour, something you have already published, something leaked from the council, I don’t know, you may wish to send mw any corrections so I can quash any unfounded rumours there.
On the foi front, I should like to stress here that the complete list of the documents (part of my request) is important to me, so I can draw a line at this point and not request documents that I have already got, it also makes it much easier for me to review documents I have been refused. I should like also to stress that I will not accept the refusal of information based on the grounds that I am asking for an opinion, which isn’t available under foi and should have been supplied as customer feedback.
Where this puts me in a difficult situation is that your opinions on the Pleasurama situation that you haven’t supplied within the 10 working days customer feedback best practice, has now been shifted to a 20 working days foi response, and in view of you previous email promising me you would deal with the customer feedback aspect in a timely manner, I am now asking for a further review of the customer feedback part of the request, as I will need this to take any issues up with the LGO.  



-----Original Message-----
From: Edwina Crowley < Edwina.Crowley@THANET.GOV.UK>
To: ' michaelchild@aol.com' < michaelchild@aol.com>; cllr-Chris Wells < cllr-Chris.Wells@THANET.GOV.UK>; casework < casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk>; TDC Customer Services <Customer.Services@THANET.GOV.UK>; TDC FOI < FOI@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Helen Smith < Cllr-Helen.Smith@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-John Townend < Cllr-John.Townend@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Suzanne Brimm < Cllr-Suzanne.Brimm@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Hunter Stummer-Schmertzing < Cllr-Hunter.Stummer-Schmertzing@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Lin Fairbrass < Cllr-Lin.Fairbrass@THANET.GOV.UK>
Sent: Thu, 2 Jul 2015 11:32
Subject: RE: Pleasurama update

Dear Mr Childs
We are preparing a press release to be published so that we can keep members of the public fully informed of the current situation, this will give details of the project timeline, contact information,  an estimate of the business rates and council tax income that will be received once it is developed and confirm again the positive effect this development will have on the local economy.  This should be on our web site early next week and will give you more information.  In the meantime I answer your customer feedback questions below.
We will deal with all other requests through the FOI system which will be returned to you direct, although I note that you have received significant information before, so it will only be updates.
Regards
Edwina
From: michaelchild@aol.com [mailto:michaelchild@aol.com]
Sent: 30 June 2015 13:06
To: Edwina Crowley; cllr-Chris Wells; casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk; TDC Customer Services; TDC FOI; Cllr-Helen Smith; Cllr-John Townend; Cllr-Suzanne Brimm; Cllr-Hunter Stummer-Schmertzing; Cllr-Lin Fairbrass
Subject: Re: Pleasurama update
Hi Edwina I think the 10 working days for the customer feedback response must be up about now, sorry to be a pain but a reply would be nice. 
-----Original Message-----
From: Edwina Crowley <Edwina.Crowley@THANET.GOV.UK>
To: 'michaelchild@aol.com' <michaelchild@aol.com>; cllr-Chris Wells <cllr-Chris.Wells@THANET.GOV.UK>; casework <casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk>; TDC Customer Services <Customer.Services@THANET.GOV.UK>; TDC FOI <FOI@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Helen Smith <Cllr-Helen.Smith@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-John Townend <Cllr-John.Townend@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Suzanne Brimm <Cllr-Suzanne.Brimm@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Hunter Stummer-Schmertzing <Cllr-Hunter.Stummer-Schmertzing@THANET.GOV.UK>; Cllr-Lin Fairbrass <Cllr-Lin.Fairbrass@THANET.GOV.UK>
Sent: Wed, 17 Jun 2015 14:05
Subject: RE: Pleasurama update
Dear Mr Childs,
We confirm receipt of your email.
This request will be considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and uploaded through our system to deal with this, we will provide a response through this system to you within the 20 day period.
Im caught up most of this week but will  respond on the other matters early next week.
Regards
Edwina
Edwina Crowley MRICS
Head of Economic Development and Asset Management
Thanet District Council
PO Box 9, Cecil Street
Margate
Kent   CT9 1XZ
Tel:  01843 577646
Mob:  07810 507140
From: michaelchild@aol.com [mailto:michaelchild@aol.com]
Sent: 17 June 2015 13:52
To: Edwina Crowley; cllr-Chris Wells; casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk; TDC Customer Services; TDC FOI; Cllr-Helen Smith; Cllr-John Townend; Cllr-Suzanne Brimm; Cllr-Hunter Stummer-Schmertzing; Cllr-Lin Fairbrass
Subject: Pleasurama update
Hi Edwina, please ensure I receive conformation of your receipt of this email today. 
This email is a request for an update on the situation with the Pleasurama development in Ramsgate, as I don’t know what the current situation is apart from there having been no activity on the site, when I guess activity was expected, it will have to be a fairly general request.
Under foi legislation:
1 Could you please send me any documents relating to the Pleasurama development that have become available since you last email below?
2 As I don’t know what documents have been withheld from me and why and what documents would be available to me if I knew what to ask for, could you please send me a complete list of the Pleasurama Royal Sands documents that the council have on file? 
As a customer feedback request:
1 Could you please explain to me the councils opinion as to where we stand with this project, especially: a Is it perceived as being on schedule, b Is it perceived as deliverable, c Is it perceived as economically and environmentally viable.   The Council has received considerable advice on this matter as you are aware including assessing viability and deliverability. The Cliff works will be starting soon, programme to be published, and will last up to three months.  Cardys have planned their programme to begin after the school holidays to keep disruption to a minimum, again details will be published.  The Council will proactively monitor the works in a collaborative way with the developer to ensure it is delivered.
2 With reference to your statement in the email below, relating to ongoing cliff façade maintenance for the life of the development "and the access is considered satisfactory for maintenance purposes." Is this based on any concrete information e.g. survey or engineers report? I am particularly concerned here about the council's liability to maintain this structure for what is likely to a period of around 100 years i.e. the life of the development and whether the council would have some form of redress if it proved impossible or prohibitively expensive to maintain the cliff façade from the three metre gap below. As we know from the 2005 engineers report a tower crane can't be used from above. I believe you have queried this a number of times and again we  confirm that it was considered at the planning permission stage and permission was granted.  Our technical engineer confirms that there is adequate space for ongoing maintenance. 
3 With reference to your statement in the email below: "We are currently considering the recent report, and are planning other investigations but have not completed these yet which is why you have no information on them." Is there any progress and have there been other investigations?    The engineer did undertake more surveys, this information will be released as part of the FOI.
-----Original Message----- 
From: Edwina Crowley <Edwina.Crowley@THANET.GOV.UK> 
To: 'Michael Child' <michaelchild@aol.com>; iris.johnston <iris.johnston@btinternet.com>; cllr-Elizabeth Green <cllr-Elizabeth.Green@THANET.GOV.UK> 
CC: TDC Customer Services <Customer.Services@THANET.GOV.UK>; cllr-David Green <cllr-David.Green@THANET.GOV.UK>; cllr-Simon Moores <cllr-Simon.Moores@THANET.GOV.UK>; cllr-Richard Everitt <cllr-Richard.Everitt@THANET.GOV.UK>; cllr-Mike Harrison <cllr-Mike.Harrison@THANET.GOV.UK>; Paul Cook <Paul.Cook@THANET.GOV.UK>; Ged Lucas <Ged.Lucas@THANET.GOV.UK>; Steven Boyle <Steven.Boyle@THANET.GOV.UK> 
Sent: Fri, 6 Feb 2015 16:45 
Subject: RE: customer feedback request 
Dear Mr Childs,
I understand I missed your call but understand that you are asking for a response in connection with your email below.
We have sent you all the reports we have in connection with the cliff wall.  We are currently considering the recent report, and are planning other investigations but have not completed these yet which is why you have no information on them.
I don’t have anything further to add at this stage, it is all work in progress and there really is nothing new to report. 
Regards
Edwina
Edwina Crowley MRICS
Head of Economic Development and Asset Management
Thanet District Council
PO Box 9, Cecil Street
Margate
Kent   CT9 1XZ
Tel:  01843 577646
Mob:  07810 507140
From:   Michael Child [mailto:michaelchild@aol.com] 
Sent: 26 January 2015 14:36
To: Edwina Crowley; iris.johnston@btinternet.com; cllr-Elizabeth Green
Cc: TDC Customer Services; cllr-David Green; cllr-Simon Moores; cllr-Richard Everitt; cllr-Mike Harrison; Paul Cook; Ged Lucas
Subject: Re: customer feedback request
Hi Edwina
Thank you for the report you sent me.
I am sorry to say I am not entirely happy with your response and am therefore seeking a further review.
With respect to the flood risk, three factors have occurred since planning consent, one is that Ramsgate sands have become significantly denuded greatly reducing the protection to the 1860 sea defence fronting the site, the second being the change from pile bored foundations to the development to pad foundations on sand held in place by the sea defence and third the EA letterhttp://www.michaelsbookshop.com/ea/id2.htm
I does occur to me that I could make economic sense for the council to have an independent fra made of the area as it is the council and not the developer that liable for maintaining the sea defence. The company usually used by local authorities for this is http://www.hrwallingford.com/ they did the fra for Turner Contemporary.
When I spoke to you on the telephone you told me that there would be a seismic survey and I haven’t received the results of this from you.
You also said that this would be an independent survey, however what you sent me is a survey by East Kent Engineering Partnership, essentially the same council officers who signed off the main repair contract that has proved to have been faulty. [Coating badly applied, significant panel failure within a couple of months of the contract ending]
I also note that the report you have sent me seems to be saying by omission, inasmuch as it describes the condition of the foundations for the arched part of the façade, that the foundations for the portal part of the façade shown on the design drawings do not in fact exist in reality and this would appear to need underpinning.
There are several other significant and observable issues that the report has omitted covering, these include the surface of the cliff top above the brick and render part of the façade, the foundation of the centre balustrade the brick and render part of the façade which has been exposed and appears to be on made ground and in need of underpinning. 
Can you please confirm the position regarding an independent structural engineers report on the condition of the cliff façade?    
My understanding is that Cardy Construction commissioned an independent report when they started work on the foundations back in 2009/10 and that this report resulted in site workers examining the façade for movement prior to starting work each day for signs of movement, can you please send me a copy of this report and any other reports on the cliff that I haven’t got?
All of the reports I have got are published here in a series of linked pages links at the top http://thanetonline.com/cliff/ 
Your point that the gap between the development of the cliff façade (4 metres) is sufficient to allow for maintained of the cliff façade for the life of the development is “considered satisfactory” requires further clarification.
Can you please send me the report stating how much space is need between the development and the cliff to allow for future maintenance of the cliff façade? 
Obviously during the expected life of the development [80 to 100 years] parts of the façade will have to be removed and replaced and the cost of doing so is most likely to fall on the local authority. I assume that the viability and cost of these repairs are a matter of public interest. 
Your point on the withholding information for legal reasons, can you please confirm that this would cover issues relating to the civil engineering of the site infrastructure and the structural integrity of the cliff façade?  


Regards Michael.
On 20/01/2015 07:47, Edwina Crowley wrote:
Dear Michael,
Thank you for this, we have only just received the final report back and it is attached for your information.  Our Engineers are reviewing and will be taking action as necessary. 
The scheme has full planning permission to be built out, there is no legal requirement to do a flood risk assessment, and the access is considered satisfactory for maintenance purposes.
At present we are still undertaking a mediation process the details cannot be shared due to legal reasons, however please rest assured that we have informed the HSE of our negotiations and they will be kept informed and asked to visit should the legal’s complete satisfactorily.  We would also ensure a rigorous programme of works that would take into account access and egress limitations and work with the developer to ensure adequate flood risk protection.
I trust this answers your questions.
Regards
Edwina
Edwina Crowley MRICS
Head of Economic Development and Asset Management
Thanet District Council
PO Box 9, Cecil Street
Margate
Kent   CT9 1XZ
Tel:  01843 577646
Mob:  07810 507140
From:   michaelchild@aol.com [mailto:michaelchild@aol.com] 
Sent: 19 January 2015 19:33
To: iris.johnston@btinternet.com; cllr-Elizabeth Green
Cc: TDC Customer Services; Edwina Crowley; cllr-David Green; cllr-Simon Moores; cllr-Richard Everitt; cllr-Mike Harrison; Paul Cook
Subject: Re: customer feedback request
Thanks Iris, I think the questions were simple, relevant and as most of the cost of maintaining the infrastructure surrounding the development is likely to fall to the council after is built need answering.    
-----Original Message-----
From: Iris johnston 
To: cllr-Elizabeth Green 
CC: michaelchild ; TDC Customer Services ; Edwina Crowley ; cllr-David Green ; cllr-Simon Moores ; cllr-Richard Everitt ; cllr-Mike Harrison ; Paul Cook 
Sent: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 18:17
Subject: Re: customer feedback request
Thank you and sincere apologies Michael, 
Liz thank you also for following up.
Please let me know why the delay.
Regards,
Iris


Sent from my iPad

On 19 Jan 2015, at 15:36, cllr-Elizabeth Green <cllr-Elizabeth.Green@THANET.GOV.UK> wrote:
Hi Michael 
Thanks for your email and I can promise you I will look into this immediately and get back to you. 
Kind regards
Liz

Sent from my iPad

On 19 Jan 2015, at 14:40, "michaelchild@aol.com" <michaelchild@aol.com> wrote:
Ok chaps my patience has run out on this one, as you can see the initial email on 15 th December 2014 was ccd to the information commissioners office who confirmed they had received it.
Frankly now it doesn’t matter if you are treating it as a foi request or the customer feedback request I originally asked for the time has run out.  
I am expecting confirmation of your receipt of this email and some sort of definite time scale as to when a reply will be forthcoming by return.  
The alternative is the adverse publicity, which I know you can do without and my taking up the request with the information commissioner which wastes both your time and mine.  
-----Original Message-----
From: TDC Customer Services <Customer.Services@THANET.GOV.UK>
To: michaelchild <michaelchild@aol.com>
Sent: Thu, 8 Jan 2015 11:03
Subject: RE: customer feedback request
Good morning
Thank you for your email. I have passed the details through to Edwina Crowley for you today who will respond to you directly.
Kind regards
Customer Services
Thanet District Council
Telephone : 01843 577000
Fax: 01843 577593
From:   michaelchild@aol.com [mailto:michaelchild@aol.com] 
Sent: 07 January 2015 14:39
To: TDC Customer Services
Subject: Fwd: customer feedback request
-----Original Message-----
From: michaelchild <michaelchild@aol.com>
To: customer.services <customer.services@thanet.gov.uk>; casework <casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk>
Sent: Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:37
Subject: customer feedback request
 I am writing to you for an update on the Pleasurama site, mainly as there is a certain amount of rumour circulating on the internet.
There are four main areas of interest relating to the civil engineering infrastructure of the project and updates on any of them would be useful at this time.
1 The cliff façade condition survey; is there any progress on this? And if there are any reports that are in the public domain can you please send them to me by email?
2 The flood risk and structural integrity of the sea defence, has any investigation been made into this? The latest information I have on this that the EA strongly recommended a flood risk assessment. Mike Humber emailed me telling me that the sea defence dated from 1860 and the council while being responsible for the maintenance of the sea defence hold no plans or maintenance record for it. This is particularly important now the construction method has been changed from bored piles to pad foundations sitting on sand held in place by the sea defence.
3 Cliff maintenance access, has any assessment been made to ascertain if there is enough space between the proposed development and the cliff façade to maintain the cliff façade for the life of the development? Important as the various surveys of the façade describe it as having a short serviceable life.
4 Road access, has any investigation been made into the psv and hgv access for the development? Mostly this relates to the Marina Road inclined viaduct, which as far as I can see from the plans is to be used for psv and hgv access for the development, once the development is built, despite KCC signing it as unsuitable for construction hgvs.     
Please note I have also sent the above directly to Edwina Crowley.   


This email and any files transmitted with it may contain privileged or confidential information. It is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy or delete the content of this message immediately and notify the sender by reply email. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that does not relate to the official business of Thanet District Council shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by the council.                 


This email and any files transmitted with it may contain privileged or confidential information. It is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy or delete the content of this message immediately and notify the sender by reply email. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that does not relate to the official business of Thanet District Council shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by the council.


This email and any files transmitted with it may contain privileged or confidential information. It is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy or delete the content of this message immediately and notify the sender by reply email. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that does not relate to the official business of Thanet District Council shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by the council.


This email and any files transmitted with it may contain privileged or confidential information. It is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy or delete the content of this message immediately and notify the sender by reply email. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that does not relate to the official business of Thanet District Council shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by the council. 
-- 
Best regards Michael
Websites
http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/
http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/
http://www.thanetonline.com/

1 comment:

  1. Press release concerning work starting on Cliff face on the 27th July and its being paid for from monies "received" from the royal sand site has appeared on TDC web site. So get down to the Royal Sands next week to see the action.

    ReplyDelete

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