Those governors of the most deprived borough in England, Oldham Council, are yet again using “not in the public interest” as an excuse to cover up their squandering of public sector monies on years of multiple feasability studies, multiple architectural designs and redesigns and intererior layouts, this time it relates to the Hotel Future project. Hotel Future was a Manchester Hoteliers Association development they are now conspicuous by their absence in any new documents produced. This development has clearly become an Oldham Council lone development that will once again be financed by the taxpayers of Oldham. People from Oldham already service huge levels of public debt and expense created over the last fifteen years that will take seventy years to repay and has been significantly expanded with the £60 million Princes Gate development, £28 million new sports centres and the £10 million Town Hall Cinema which will arrive two years later at a cost of £37 million. On Hotel Future Oldham Council have already stated that there is “no appetite for any brands to self-develop or take a direct lease” and that “the jobs created by the project are expected to be easily accessible to local residents (specifically in relation to skill level requirements).” and also “The higher-skilled training and primary income source would come from external trainees. The Hotel Future Team anticipate that the higher level training provision in particular will generate interest beyond the North West.” Oldham Councils response to deprivation is to expand the availability of jobs within the lowest skilled menial minimum wage employment sectors while immigration and birth rates alone in Oldham continue to outstrip permanent job creation at a rate of ten to one.
19 February 2016
Dear Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council,
I would like to make a request for the following information under
the Freedom of Information Act (2000).
How much has Oldham Council spent on the Hotel Future project from initial intention of interest up to and including money allocated to the latest MEOP Analysis published on the 17/02/2016.
In anticipation of your refusal to give the details citing “commercial sensitivity” and/or “by virtue of paragraph(s) 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.” Let me define that I am requesting a block sum total for all money spent or allocated to design, analysis, ground surveys, economic surveys, impact surveys, architectural designs, partner procurement, business meetings, accomodation etcetera. Requesting a sum total with no breakdown of cost or listing of partners and contractors removes any claims of protected disclosure issues.
RE: NOTICE OF REFUSAL. 18 March 2016
ISSUED UNDER SECTION 17, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, (2000).
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Oldham Council has a duty to supply any information on request, unless there is an exemption. It is the Council’s policy only to apply the exemptions where there is a genuine risk of harm or prejudice. In such cases, we will still provide information if it is in the public interest to do so. In this instance, we believe that it is not in the public interest to disclose the information to you. Information about the exemption is included here.
Section 43 – we cannot disclose the information because we believe it would prejudice the council’s ability to get good value for money when dealing with commercial companies.
Oldham Council is currently in negotiations with potential operators and funders of Hotel Future. To disclose the information you have requested could prejudice our position at this stage.