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New boundaries for Local Authorities

FOI16653– Request for information


Thank you for your email of 8 March 16, requesting the following information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000:

The request is as follows:

In the last year, The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has created new boundaries for the following authorities:

  • Bristol
  • Cherwell
  • Colchester
  • Dorset County Council
  • Exeter
  • Gloucester
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • Knowsley
  • Lincoln
  • Peterborough
  • Rochford
  • Sheffield
  • Stroud
  • Warwickshire County Council
  • Winchester

However, they have not published the shapefile for these new boundaries, citing OS licensing as a reason for this. These boundaries will be included in Boundry-Line in the near future, along with OS issued Identifiers for the new shape

I would like the following:

  • The new IDs for each area, as will be assigned in Boundary-Line.
  • The Shapefiles for the new areas.
  • A clear and easy to understand statement verifying that The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is correct in asserting that they are not allowed to publish the data they have created (i.e., that it is not covered by 'Presumption to Publish').

Our response

I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information you have requested. Where the information is not held or is exempt from disclosure this is detailed.

  • This information is not held. However, under our duty to provide advice and assistance as stipulated in Section 16 of the FOIA, I can advise that there will be no change to the boundary IDs.
  • I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold this information. However, your request falls within the ‘Information accessible to applicant by other means’ exemption under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. We consider this exemption applies as the requested information is available to the public on our Boundary-Line product support web page.
  • Having reviewed the request for a statement, Ordnance Survey is unable to comply, as in this instance you ask us to create a statement for a specific case. The Freedom of Information Act is to make provision for the disclosure of information which is held in a recorded format by an organisation, and not as a mechanism to provide a response to specific questions – unless that information is already held by the authority in a recorded format.

We therefore consider your request does not constitute a valid request under Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

Public Interest
Section 21 is an absolute exemption and no public interest test is applicable.

I hope this helps with your enquiry.

Internal review

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them as follows:

FOI Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
SO16 0AS

Email: foi@os.uk

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

The FOI Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your enquiry.

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