Friday, 24 July 2009

Fib dems/Plaid bullshit on EIA

cardiff council...Your request for a review of the answer to your request which was issued on 23 July has been forwarded to me for attention.

You asked :

Why no EIA or sustainability assessment has been done on Bute Park? Re plans for Bute Park 1.4 bridge and road lorries and then rephrased what appears to be essentially the same question several times.

Although the service area has attempted to answer this in good faith (see below) it does not appear to me that this was a request for information which falls within EIR. The duty under regulation 5 is that "a public authority that holds environmental information shall make it available on request". However you have not asked for environmental information held by the Council but for an explanation of a course of action taken. Neither EIR nor FOIA places a statutory duty on the authority to give explanations or answer questions as such. Without clarification of what Environmental Information you believe you are requesting it seems impossible for me to carry out a review under Regulation 11.
Putting that aside however it seems to me that the service area has answered the request in full by saying "There was no Environmental Impact Assessment conducted for the new Bute Park Access Bridge because it is not considered a Schedule II development within the directive and therefore the development falls outside of the scope of EIA. Such an assessment was therefore unnecessary for this scheme."
I am not competent to assess whether the view taken was correct, and it appears from your question that you may disagree, but it appears to me to be a full answer to your question, and I am pleased to see that the Officers involved have attempted to answer the question even though it may strictly fall outside the requirements of EIR.
Could you therefore please clarify
(a) What Environmental Information held by the Council you are trying to obtain and /or
(b) Why you consider the answer given, as noted above, does not answer the question posed

Yours Sincerely

Phillip Bradshaw

Information Manager
Clerk to the Council

Room CY4B, County Hall

EMail: [email address]

Phone: 029 2087 3346
[mobile number]

Fax: 029 2087 3349

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