The complainant has requested information about the sale of Blackpool Airport and adjacent land. The Council considered the request under the EIR, answering one question but refusing the remainder under various regulations. Upon completion of the review, the Council released some information. By the end of the Commissioner’s investigation the Council was still relying on regulations 12(4)(e) – internal communications, 12(5)(e) -confidentiality of commercial or industrial information, 13 – third party personal data and 12(5)(b) – the course of justice. The Commissioner’s decision is that Blackpool Council has correctly engaged regulation 12(4)(e), with the exception of one email, but that the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exception. The Council has not adequately demonstrated that regulation 12(5)(e) is engaged with the exception of one email and has not adequately demonstrated regulation 12(5)(b) is engaged. The Council is entitled to rely on regulation 13 for some of the personal data but not the names of Senior Officers in the withheld information. The Council also breached regulation 5(2) by failing to respond to the request within 20 working days and regulation 11(4) by failing to undertake the review within 40 working days. To comply with the legislation the Commissioner requires the public authority to disclose the withheld information as indicated in Appendix A.
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