1. Please can I get all emails or any other correspondence between Scottish Forestry and FLS over this matter or in relation to this private water supply.
2. Please can I get information on what repercussions there are for FLS for not following the relevant guidance as the report proves.
3. Please can I get information on the repercussions there are for FLS not following their own processes and procedures, especially in relation to buffer zones and physical barriers. I can say as a witness, with photographic evidence that at no point during works did FLS put any physical barriers in place when working adjacent to our water tanks, and were fully aware of the location of the lade, tanks and the historic spring source and did nothing to protect any of it. I also have an email inferring it was their intention to stop the use of the lade before works began and feel FLS never had any intention to protect any of our supply.
In addition, please can you advise the following where possible?
4. Why FLS continue to deny any damage was caused or best practice not followed? The report clearly states this.
5. Why FLS were not required to fully investigate the water supply and hydrology to ensure sub-surface siltation before works were carried out, knowing that there was a secondary source in the woods themselves - this was evident by.
6. What FLS have never mentioned this investigation was done, despite a FOI request for all correspondence in relation to this matter.
7. Why FLS are now offering to pay for the new connection but giving us conditions for this which include giving up our current water rights? The CONFOR guidance does not cover this, only that this should have been done, and this is bordering on blackmail.
8. Is there anything else, Scottish Forestry can please do to assist us with this?
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.
Response to your request
In relation to Q1 we have attached copies of the information we hold. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exceptions under the following regulations: An exception under the regulation 11(2) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested; Reg 11(2) (Personal data relating to third party).
In relation to the questions Q 2-3, you ask what repercussions there are for Forestry and Land Scotland. The local Conservancy considered the issues raised by FLS’s activities and the report, and discussed this with the Head of Operational Delivery (the organisation’s senior lead for the Conservancies), and concluded that there whilst the issues identified were failings, it was felt they did not provide enough justification to impose a UKFS non-compliance/breech ( Scottish Forestry - Support & Regulations) on FLS.
In relation to the questions (Q 4-7) these questions relate to information held by Forestry and Land Scotland and Scottish Forestry does not hold this information. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), The Scottish Government does not hold the data you have requested.
The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained in Annex A to this letter.
In relation to Q8, it is clear that much of the information you are seeking or an explanation of the actions sits with Forestry and Land Scotland. In addition to requests (i.e. making an FOI) it is possible to make a formal complaint to FLS; this allows you to make a complaint over their handling of an issue, service, not following their processes or lack of response on a point (noting this is not a guarantee of resolution). FLS’s complaints can be found here: Make a complaint - Forestry and Land Scotland
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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