Publication - FOI/EIR release

Questions concerning the enforcement of the Ragwort Control Act: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Published:
10 Nov 2020
Questions concerning the enforcement of the Ragwort Control Act: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000096207
Date received: 6 Oct 2020
Date responded: 23 Oct 2020
Information requested

1) a copy of the instruction set which DEFRA has agreed with the RPID for handling complaints raised under the Ragwort Control Act.in Scotland (in England such a document is called 'The Combined Instructions').

2) for every complaint raised under this process in 2019 and 2020, the following information

a) case reference
b) start date
c) close date
d) all case files (all documents held - case logs, maps, complaint forms, letters/emails sent and received, inspection reports, etc)

3) agenda and minutes of meetings held between DEFRA and RPID on this process (in England there is an annual 'wash-up meeting every November)

Response

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

1. The handling of complaints under the Weeds Act 1959 is a devolved matter within the jurisdiction of Scottish Minsters. There has been no correspondence with DEFRA regarding the control of Ragwort, an injurious native weed species and there is no agreement between DEFRA and RPID. The Scottish Government's published guidance on Ragwort control management in Scotland is contained in the following link from The Scottish Government website: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-government-guidance-prevent-spread-ragwort/

2. A summary of the information held regarding complaints in 2019 and 2020 is attached in Annex A, in tabular format.

3. As per 1 above, Ragwort control is an entirely devolved matter and there has been no correspondence with DEFRA

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI 202000096207 - Annex A

4 page PDF
52.9 kB

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG