At the recent public meeting about the move of Islamia Primary School to Preston ward, Brent Council officers promised to be open and transparent about the move.
However, a Freedom of Information request, by a concerned Islamia parent, has been refused on the grounds that to comply would constitute an unreasonable amount of work.
This is unfortunate on such a controversial issue as it will suggest to some of those involved that the council, or other parties, have something to hide.
In this case the public interest demands a full answer from Brent Council.
The correspondence LINK
Dear Brent Borough Council,
Following the eviction of Islamia Primary school by the Yusuf Islam Foundation and the proposal by Brent Council to move the school to the Roe Green Strathcona site , l am writing to make a FOI request.
Copies of all emails exchanged relating to the matter:
-Between Brent Council, Council members and the The Yusuf Islam Foundation.
-Emails between Brent Council officers and members regarding proposal.
-Emails between Brent Council officers and members and the Islamia Governing Board, and minutes of any meetings held between these parties.
I would like these to go back to when the move was first suggested.
Dear J. Guled
RE: Brent Council's proposal to move Islamia Primary school to Roe Green Strathcona
Thank you for your FOI (Freedom of Information) received on 28/10/2022. Unfortunately, we are unable to deal with your enquiry for the following reason:
Regulation 12(4)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the request for information is manifestly unreasonable. In line with the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 this represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether the Council holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information. We estimate that it will take us in excess of 18 hours to locate all the emails requested, review all the emails and determine whether or not the information can be provided, giving due consideration to the data protection act and
excluding confidential information. Therefore, your request is refused.
Further information about the Councils procedures can be found on the Council's website: https://www.brent.gov.uk/your-council/
Alternatively, you may contact me using the contact details provided in
Director of Safeguarding, Partnerships and Strategy
Dear Brent Borough Council,
Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
I am writing to request an internal review of Brent Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Brent Council's proposal to move Islamia Primary school to Roe Green Strathcona'.
You have calculated that gathering this information will exceed the cost limit, but I believe that this is an overestimation of the resource required.
I also believe that it is not unreasonable to request clarifications on how a Local Authority has come to the conclusion that a school it maintains should move over 6 miles away from its current location making it nearly impossible for current children to continue attending. This decision contravenes in many ways the Equality Act and it clearly poses safeguarding risks for primary age children. The consultation process is still ongoing therefore it is vital that this information is disclosed. It is in the public interest to share these emails and foster a transparent approach in decision making processes that will affect so many lives.
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/brent_councils_proposal_to_move#incoming-2157180