Calderdale Council PFI waste incinerator – financial & business info is exempt from public disclosure

On March 12th 2013 I sent a Freedom of Information request about the Private Finance Initiative-funded waste incinerator to Ian Hughes, Head of Democratic and Partnership Services at Calderdale Council. As of yesterday, I still hadn’t received a reply.

Public bodies are supposed to reply to Freedom of Information requests within 20 working days.

But since it turns out that, under the 1972 Local Government Act, local authorities are legally entitled to withhold crucial information from the public, what’s the point?

Today, after chasing up the FOI request yesterday with Calderdale Council, I have received the reply, along with an email saying that the Council originally sent it to me on June 4th.

The Council really needn’t have bothered – it turns out that for most of the questions I asked,

“disclosure…could affect the Council’s negotiations with PRR and similarly PRR’s negotiations with other potential lenders.”

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