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Freedom of Information Request

Contracts

Received: 4 October 2019

According to Barnet Council, the following is the case:

'The council has two major contracts with the private contractor Capita and this consultation is seeking your views on a review of these two contracts.

The first contract, known as the CSG (Customer and Support Group) contract, is for the delivery of the council's 'back office' functions, including finance, human resources, customer services and information technology. The CSG contract is between the council and Capita.

The second contract, known as the RE (Regional Enterprise) contract, relates to the provision of development and regulatory services. These include planning, regeneration, highways, environmental health and cemeteries/crematorium. This contract is between the council and a joint venture company that is jointly owned by Capita and the council, known as Regional Enterprise Limited, or RE.

The contracts started in 2013 and are both due to run for 10 years.'

The above quote is from: https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/strategic-contract-review

In this context, and in relation to planning, the following are the questions I ask:

Question 1:
When a planning application is submitted to Barnet Council, who considers and determines the application, Barnet Council or RE?

Question 2:
Applicants for planning permission or permitted development are led to believe that they submit their applications to Barnet Council. However, it is not Barnet Council that considers and determines the applications. It is RE that considers and determines the planning applications, in line with contractual agreement. Is this correct?

Question 3:
If the answer to question 2 is 'yes', does Barnet Council inform the applicants that information relating to their planning applications would be passed to RE? In other words, is there any way in which applicants could be aware that their application would not be considered by Barnet (the body to which they have, in accordance with law, submitted the application)?

Question 4:
If RE holds a contract to assess the planning applications that applicants submit to Barnet Council, does it mean that Barnet Council (in line with the contract) passes all the information (which in some cases includes personal details) to RE?

Question 5:
Are applicants for planning permission informed of the fact that their applications are not considered by Barnet Council but instead by RE anywhere or at any point of the application process?

Question 6:
Are Planning Officers who are listed as officers in charge of planning applications employees or RE or employees or Barnet Council?

Question 7:
What role does Barnet Council play in respect of planning applications? It appears that it plays no role as it passes the function of consideration and determination of applications to RE: is this correct?

Outcome / Documents

  • Response (all information to be supplied) - application/pdf - Download

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