In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, and subject to section 40(2) on excluding personal data, could you please provide me with a complete and up-to-date list of all business (non-residential) property rates data for your local authority, and including the following fields:
- Billing Authority Reference Code (linking the property to the VOA database reference)
- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant)
- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town)
- Occupied / Vacant
- Date of Occupation / Vacancy
- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds)
If you are unable to provide an absolute “Occupation / Vacancy” status, please provide the Exemptions and / or Reliefs that a particular property may be receiving.
We recognise that you ordinarily refuse to release these data in terms of Regulation 31(1)(a). In November 2016, we appealed this class of refusal - specifically as it relates to this request - to the Information Commissioner’s Office and they issued a Decision Notice (FS50628943 - https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2017/2013577/fs50628943.pdf, and FS50628978 - https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2017/2013576/fs50628978.pdf) on 28 February 2017 finding that “it is not correct to withhold this information under Regulation 31(1)(a)”, and that “the public interest in the information being disclosed outweighs that in the exemption being maintained”.
Note that these Decision Notices supersede Voyias v Information Commissioner and London Borough of Camden Council (EA/2011/0007) and Decision Notice FS50538789 (related to Stoke on Trent Council).
Please provide this as machine-readable as either a CSV or Microsoft Excel file, capable of re-use, and under terms of the Open Government Licence.
I'm sure you get many requests for business rates and we intend to update this national series every three months. Could we request that - as more than 30% of local authorities already do - you update and release this dataset via a dedicated page on your local authority website or on an open data service. You should find that this reduces the time and cost of this request process.
Please find attached a spreadsheet outlining all the details of your request.
I trust this is sufficient.