Jo Coles - York and North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

Jo Coles - North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

14 December 2017 – 893.2017-18 – Fire service governance consultation


I write in connection with your request for information which was received by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 16 November 2017. I note you seek access to the following information:

  1. At the PCP meeting your staff said that the survey companies developed surveys, and also designed background materials. Please link to these, including the briefing/background documents for the survey staff. Please link  to the survey instruments, and each briefing note for the researchers. 
  1. At the same meeting you refused to respond to my, and others, requests, on how much staff time was spent in your lobbying effort to take over the fire brigade. 


Extent and Result of Searches to Locate Information

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part, by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.


I have today decided to disclose the located information to you.

  1. Please see attached documents as follows:

I have decided to redact third party names in the documents marked ‘Redacted’ and will explain the reason for this later in the response.

  1. There is no information held by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) in relation to a lobbying effort. In addition, time is not recorded for the OPCC’s staff members, therefore I am unfortunately unable to give you a breakdown of time spent on consultations for joint governance of North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Explanation of Exemption

I am required by law to identify the relevant parts (the exemptions) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) that I have considered when reaching this decision, and I must also explain why these exemptions apply.

Section 40 – Personal Information

The specific information you have requested is exempt by virtue of Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) because I consider it to be personal information to the people concerned. Information disclosed under the Act is considered released to the world and responses are published on our website.

Section 40(2)(b) is an absolute class based exemption, which does not require a public interest test, but requires the balancing of the legitimate interests of the public against the interests of the individual under the first Data Protection Principle (that of ‘fairness’.) Where an individual can be identified by such data, releasing it would clearly breach the first data protection principle of being ‘fair’ to the data subject. 

This exemption applies because the right given under the Act to request official information held by public authorities does not apply to the personal data of third parties where disclosure of that information would not be fair to the individual, and where there is no legitimate public interest in disclosure.

In all the circumstances of the case it has been determined that the duty to the individual under the Data Protection Act 1998, and the public interest in maintaining the exemption from disclosure of personal information held by the force in such instances, outweighs the public interest in disclosure.  In this instance, personal information can only be disclosed to the individual concerned.

Releasing personal details to a person other than the data subject would not only breach the data subject’s Data Protection rights it may also breach the obligations placed on an authority under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Pursuant to Section 17(1) of the Act this letter acts as a Refusal Notice in response to part of your request.

Please note that systems used for recording information are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  It should be noted therefore that the OPCC’s response to your questions should not be used for comparison purposes with any other responses you may receive.