Monday, 20 February 2017

Air pollution secrecy at Maidstone Borough Council

Maidstone Greens have claimed that Maidstone Borough Council is hiding something after their refusal to provide documents relating to air pollution under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Greens requested the material after claims by the Lib Dems that they were meeting with council officers to tackle Maidstone air pollution.

Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: “Air pollution is responsible for around 130 people deaths each year in Maidstone and air pollution here is as bad as in central London so why are the council trying to cover up work that they promised to do to tackle it?

“They seem content to increase the number of cars driving through the town from the large housing developments on the periphery yet when it comes to tackling the appalling air pollution they are clearly not interested.

“And this is a Lib Dem led council and they are supposed to value freedom and transparency. I have to really question what they have to hide.”


  • FOI response below
  • FOI was requested in response to claims that Lib Dems were arrange a meeting to discuss the issue.
  • The exemption they are claiming is only to prevent draft documents being release whereas I have requested completed papers that are known to exist.
  • An appeal has been lodged.

From MBC:
Some of the information is enclosed in the format you requested. The remaining information is exempt under Regulation 12(4)(d) of the Environmental Information Regulations.

Regulation 12(4)(d) has been applied as the request relates to material that is still in the course of completion, unfinished documents or incomplete data.  The materials held by the working group are incomplete as they have yet to report findings and outcomes to committee, at which point the information will become publically available.  Regulation 12 (4)(d)  acknowledges that public authorities should have the necessary space to think in private. To this end, public authorities are entitled to refuse access if the request concerns material in the course of completion or internal communications. Having considered the public interest, the Department’s decision is therefore to withhold the information.


Rangjan said...

No attachment.

Stuart Jeffery said...

Sorry! I've amended the post to show their response