Board of Trustees of the Recreation Ground, Bath
Wednesday, 9th April, 2008
Access to Information Arrangements
Exclusion of access by the public to Council meetings
Information Compliance Ref: LGA/08/004
Meeting: The Board of Trustees of the Recreation Ground, Bath
Date: 9th April 2008
Author: Jo Long
The appendix to the report constitute exempt information, according to the categories set out in the Local Government Act 1972 (amended Schedule 12A). The relevant exemption is set out below.
Stating the exemption:
3. Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)
The public interest test has been applied, and it is concluded that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure at this time. It is therefore recommended that the meeting move to exempt session, should the Appendix be discussed.
Factors for withholding:
- The appendix contains information which relates to the
financial and business affairs of the Trustees of the Bath
- The Appendix contains commercial information detailing the proposed terms of the lease of the temporary east stand (including the rent payable) with Bath Rugby PLC. It is important that the Trustees and Bath Rugby PLC are able to protect their commercial positions in this matter while the terms of the lease are being finalised.
- Negotiations regarding the lease have not yet been finalised. It would prejudice the Trustees' and Bath Rugby PLC's commercial position to make information about the ongoing negotiations available, until such time as those negotiations are complete.
Factors for disclosure:
The Council considers that most of the factors suggested by the Information Commissioner as being relevant to an assessment of public interest apply to this information. Disclosure would:-
- further public understanding of the issues involved;
B7 further public participation in the public debate of issues, in that disclosure would allow a more informed debate;
- promote accountability and transparency by the Council for the
decisions it takes;
- promote accountability and transparency in the spending of
- allow individuals and companies to understand decisions made by the Council affecting their lives and assist individuals to challenge those decisions;
Reasons why the public interest favours withholding the information:
- The Council considers that the public interest has been served
by the fact that the main report will be discussed in open
- It is important for public authorities to have some measure of
`private thinking space', and that they are able to confidentially
share sensitive information with the Trustees, who are tasked with
acting in the best interests of the Trust.
- The Trustees have a fiduciary duty to gain best consideration
in respect of the lease of the temporary east stand. Disclosure of
this information would prejudice the Trustees' commercial position
in respect of the lease, thereby introducing the possibility that
the Trustees may not gain best consideration. This is not in the
public interest, as the Trust relies on income from the lease to
further its charitable objectives and ensure the upkeep of the
Trust's land and buildings to ensure their ongoing use.
- Once the lease has been finalised, it is likely that this information will be less commercially sensitive than at the current time. Accordingly the Council will then be willing to consider disclosure of the information in response to any requests, and in line with its duties under Freedom of Information legislation.