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Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society?
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TOPIC: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society?

Re: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society? 1 month, 1 week ago #91

  • RM64
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East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Limited
Contact: Anthony McReavy
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Date: 15 January 2021

Freedom of information Request: 101002392713

I am writing with regards to your Freedom of Information Request of 11th January 2021, regarding recording of ERCL Board Meetings.


The meetings are not recorded other than through minutes, and there are no plans to do so.

There is no information held by the Trust in relation to this.


I now regard this matter closed. However, if you should wish to apply for a review of how we have dealt with your enquiry, please apply in writing within 40 working days to:

Chief Officer (Legal and Procurement)
Council Headquarters
Rouken Glen Road
Giffnock
G46 6UG

marking your letter “Freedom of Information, request for review”, and stating the exact nature of the matter you wish to be reviewed.

The review will be carried out within 20 working days of receipt of your appeal. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you then have the right to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner who has extensive powers to investigate such matters. His address is:

Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
St. Andrews
Fife KY16 9DS

Yours sincerely
Anthony McReavy
Chief Executive,
St John’s Annex,
Ground Floor,
18 Commercial Road,
Barrhead,
East Renfrewshire,
G78 1AJ
Scottish Charity, number SC486489

Re: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society? 1 month, 1 week ago #92

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To: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Sent: Sunday, 17 Jan, 2021 At 11:00
Subject: Request for Freedom of Information(FOI) Review - 101002392713 - Recording/Publication of ERCLT Board Microsoft Teams Video Conference meetings

Chief Officer (Legal and Procurement)
Council Headquarters
Rouken Glen Road
Giffnock
G46 6UG

REQUEST FOR FOI REVIEW

As instructed by Anthony McReavy, CEO, East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Trust(ERCLT) in their attached response dated 15 January 2021 and

as Gerry Mahon, The Chief Officer Legal & Procurement, has previously stated that FoI is normally a 2 stage process -

'As you will be aware the Council's response to an FOI request does not merely revolve around the initial request but also the review process. It is hoped that any human error in relation to the 1st part of the process is properly remedied at the 2nd stage.'

and The Scottish Information Commissioner has written -

'The duty to advise and assist
Under FOI law, authorities have a duty to advise and assist people who want to access their information. The duty to advise and assist makes sure that customer service and customer engagement are central to FOI practice.
Taking a positive and proactive approach to the duty to advise and assist will strengthen relations with service users and help build trust. Offering help, support and guidance to people looking for information will also reduce the likelihood of more FOI requests.

Legal requirement
The FOI Act requires authorities to provide reasonable advice and assistance to people who have made, or are planning to make, a request for information (section 15).
The EIRs contain a similar provision for requests for environmental information (regulation 9). Both the FOI Act and the EIRs say that authorities which comply with the Scottish Ministers' FOI Code of Practice when providing advice and assistance are complying with the duty under FOI law.'

I wish to request said FOI review.


The Commissioner has written regarding the importance of openness, transparency and scrutiny during the Covid Pandemic.

However, the ERCLT CEO has given no reasons as to why the ERCLT Board meetings are not being recorded and there are no plans to do so.

This is not open and transparent and avoids scrutiny of an important decision.

The CEO says 'The meetings are not recorded other than through minutes, and there are no plans to do so.'

This would indicate that the recording of meetings has been considered and a decision has been made not to record previous/current or future ERCLT Board Meetings.

If so, there must be information available regarding this decision.

I would appreciate ERCLT's/your advice, help and assistance with clarification on

- Who made the decision not to record ERCLT Board meetings and future ERCLT Board meetings?

- How was this decision made?

- Where/when was this decision made?

Full Council and Council Committee meetings are recorded and made publicly available on the East Renfrewshire Council(ERC) YouTube channel.

- Why should ERCLT Board meetings be different?

The Trust Board meetings are held in private behind closed doors and East Renfreshire Residents/Council Tax Payers are denied access to attend.

People are embracing new video technology.

They now expect to see Public Bodies and representatives/officials via this video technology in action making the decisions on spending Council Tax Payers money.

Just producing minutes is no longer good enough.

ERCLT should be embracing this technology and demonstrating that indeed they are open and transparent.

In the current pandemic ERCLT is currently looking for ERC to give them an additional £1,065,000 (they are already given £7.5m) of Council Tax Payers money and it is important that there is scrutiny of the ERCLT Board.

Residents/Council Tax Payers want to and should be able to see how their Council Tax is being spent/used and in this modern age want to see such bodies as the ERCLT Board in action via Video making these decisions.

This is an opportunity for ERCLT to let Residents/Council Tax Payers see the Board in action and to allow them to form their own views.


I would request that ERCLT Board meetings are recorded.


How can the ERCLT Chair Professor Grant Jarvie and the ERCLT Board be approached to initiate an action to discuss/debate

- the merits of recording ERCLT Board Microsoft Teams Video Conference meetings

- whether ERCLT Board Microsoft Teams Video Conference meetings should be recorded

- the merits of making these recordings publicly available on the East Renfrewshire Council YouTube Channel or any equivalent ERCLT channel.

- timescale after a meeting for these recordings to be made publicly available on the East Renfrewshire Council YouTube Channel or any equivalent ERCLT channel.

Your advice, help and assistance with clarification on these important matters will be appreciated.

Thanks

Re: Leisure Trust - Charity or Secret Society? 1 week, 6 days ago #93

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------ Original Message ------
From: "Mahon, Gerry" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Friday, 12 Feb, 2021 At 11:42
Subject: RE: Request for Freedom of Information(FOI) Review - 101002392713 - Recording/Publication of ERCLT Board Microsoft Teams Video Conference meetings

As you are aware, I am not an employee of the Trust and my remit lies only in the handling of reviews of Trust decisions regarding the issue of information under the FOI and EIR regimes.

I therefore have no locus to provide explanations as to Trust policy or indeed to investigate their decisions regarding such.

As regards your desire that the policy is changed, I can only suggest that you write directly to the Trust in that regard.

I note that many of your queries are in fact requests for explanations as to why the Trust does not record Board meetings.

This is not a matter that falls under my remit inasmuch as it is not a request for recorded information

I disagree with your assertion that the Trust response indicates that the recording of meetings has been considered and a decision has been made not to record previous/current or future ERCLT Board Meetings.

The electronic recording of meetings is not the traditional norm such that the Trust would have required to make a conscious decision to depart from it.

Unless a Board member had specifically raised the issue I therefore see no logic in asserting that they must have had discussion regarding its adoption.

In any event, I have investigated whether any recorded information is held in this regard and have been unable to find any such records.

I would therefore indicate that no information is held in terms of s 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

As regards the duty to assist, it extends to providing assistance to requesters to clarify the information they seek.

It does not, to my mind, extend to providing explanations as to policy or practice which are not otherwise recorded.

I do not therefore find that the Trust failed in any such duty.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this review, you have the right to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner. His address is:

Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
St. Andrews

Yours sincerely
Gerry Mahon
Chief Officer – Legal and Procurement
East Renfrewshire Council
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