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CONTAMINATED-LAND-STRATEGIES  May 2018

CONTAMINATED-LAND-STRATEGIES May 2018

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Subject:

Re: Commercial charges Environmental Information Regulations 2014

From:

"WRIGHT, Martin" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

WRIGHT, Martin

Date:

Tue, 8 May 2018 17:32:14 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (1 lines)

We have a minimum charge of £65.50 no vat chargeable based on the overhead rate for officer time that we are told about each year by finance.  Strictly this is for an hour but in practice upto to 2 hours to get a response issued.  We retain some flexibility as we often learn something or improve our records within this. 
 
Complex enquiries are multiples of this amount estimated in advance. 
 
Stock email responses logged on GIS  have accumulated over the years and these are reissued free of charge if suitable mostly assisting single domestic property  requests.  Its not unusual to get the same commercial envi searches for similar or identical properties on a development  every few years.  The mechanisms the search companies have for noting our responses seems a bit iffy. 
 
We cant charge more than this hourly rate as it’s the only one we have finance data to support.  It seems high to me but is used for other purposes in the council so it is what it is. 
 
The advice given by the office of the information commissioner has  changed over the years regarding officer time  charging and rates. 
 
We don’t charge less for one group or another as we don’t have a policy basis for doing so and we feel we accommodate many simple requests using stock responses . 
 
When we did have differential charging for commercial vs householder we found solicitors / companies got  their clients to ask for information as homeowners at a lower rate which did not help clarity. 
 
 
 
 
Regards 
Martin Wright 
Senior Regulatory Services Officer 
Regulatory Services  Cheshire West and Chester Council 
Tel: 01606 288664 
Email: [log in to unmask] 
Location:  1st Floor, Wyvern House, The Drumber, Winsford, Cheshire, CW7 1AH 
Visit:  cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk 
 
Textphone (for hearing impaired, deaf and speech impaired customers) 01606 867 670 
Fax 01606 867885 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Contaminated Land Management Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Fabia Pollard 
Sent: 08 May 2018 16:56 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Commercial charges Environmental Information Regulations 2014 
 
Hi Liz 
 
We charge £60 (2 hours) for uncomplicated enquiries and £30 per hour for more detailed requests. Details on our webpage (due for update soon) https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/info/20138/contaminated_land/177/advice_for_home_buyers 
 
Best regards 
 
 
Fabia Pollard  RSoBRA 
Scientific Officer 
Environmental Quality 
Environment & Planning 
Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 
T   01553 616587 
E  [log in to unmask] 
 
 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Contaminated Land Management Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Liz Hamer 
Sent: 08 May 2018 10:37 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Commercial charges Environmental Information Regulations 2014 
 
Hello all, 
 
I sent this as an EHCNET message and obtained a couple of responses (thanks to my two responders!). Hoping that the  question via this forum will elicit more responses...... 
 
Is anyone willing to share their EIR charging schemes particularly in relation to differentiating for commercial charges which cover the consultants queries associated with due diligence/land transactions etc which we all get regularly. 
 
 
We currently charge £80/hour but are being asked to reduce this to half a days work for free and £24/hour thereafter. Makes no sense to me in this financial climate. 
 
I will collate circulate the responses to the group so we can benchmark against other LA's. 
 
 
 
ICO EIR Charging Guidance states: 
 
In general, a reasonable charge may include the actual costs of staff time taken to locate information and put it in an appropriate format for disclosure and the disbursement costs in transferring the information to the applicant. This is in contrast to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) where disbursements are the only charges permitted unless the appropriate cost limit is exceeded. 
 
Commercial charges are permitted in limited circumstances. 
 
The context of a request can affect the reasonableness of any charge. In the East Sussex case, the charge was for providing property search information that is a necessary part of a commercial property transaction. The CJEU noted that the charge for information was a very small part of the wider costs involved in the transaction. A reasonable charge in this commercial context may differ from a reasonable charge when a local residents’ group is seeking information about pollution, for example. 
 
Enjoy the fantastic weather! 
 
Kind Regards 
 
 
[log in to unmask]  Telephone 01724 297633 
 
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and 
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they 
are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify 
the system manager. 
 
https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/info/20147/about_our_website/470/disclaimer 
 
************************************************************************ 
 
Disclaimer: 
 
If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment), please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. Unauthorised access, use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. 
The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council. The Council cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and amended. You should perform your own virus checks. 
Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council may monitor emails and as a public sector organisation; the Council may disclose this email (or any response to it) under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Contracts cannot be concluded with the Council nor service effected by email, unless otherwise expressly agreed. The contents of this e-mail may be subject to privilege. 
************************************************************************ 

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