Publication - FOI/EIR release

Discussions with Pladis and trade unions regarding closure of McVities Tollcross: FOI release

Published: 1 Nov 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
1 Nov 2021
Discussions with Pladis and trade unions regarding closure of McVities Tollcross: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100230472
Date received: 12 Aug 2021
Date responded: 10 Sep 2021
Information requested

I am seeking the following information from the Scottish Government, if it can be provided, regarding the closure of the Tollcross McVitie’s factory.

1. Written correspondence by way of emails or letters exchanged between the Scottish Government and pladis April 30, 2021 to the present date (August 12, 2021) regarding the closure of the Tollcross McVitie’s plant.

2. Correspondence by way of emails or letters exchanged between the Scottish Government and trade unions, GMB and Unite regarding the closure of the Tollcross McVitie’s plant from April 30, 2021 to the present date (August 12, 2021)

3. Agendas, minutes and handouts relating to any meetings held between pladis management and the action group formed of Scottish Government ministers, politicians and trade unions from April 30, 2021 to the present date (August 12, 2021).

Response

Attached is a copy of most of the information requested. 

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained in the Annex. We are also unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections 33(1)(b) (substantial prejudice to commercial interests) and 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why those exemptions apply are also explained in the Annex.

ANNEX
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

The Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have asked for because no meetings between pladis management and the action group formed of Scottish Government ministers, politicians and trade unions took place. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to a small amount of the information you have requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names/contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Section 33(1)(b) applies when disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person. Some of the information you requested contains cost data, manufacturing capability, production volumes, and operational metrics relating to pladis’ UK business, the release of which could give its competitors an advantage and prejudice the commercial interests of pladis.

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.

While we recognise that there is a general public interest in a high profile potential factory closure such as this, there is a greater public interest in protecting the integrity of the closure process and the commercial interests of the company while that process remains ongoing.

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.

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