Email to me from a very clever council taxpayer, now sadly deceased.


To me your answer referred to in your letter 10th April is perfectly clear. The buffoon got a taxable benefit from SMBC (or more precisely from Council Tax Payers of £4885.02).

Very standard and acceptable and quite normal. It could be for extra Pension Rights or just an bunce on his Pension entitlement because he’s been there for such a long time. You were right to ask the precise reason for it.

Incidentally why does Scullion get exactly the same telephone allowance; no travel or mileage allowance (does she never go anywhere; unlike Ainsworth who has just returned from a goodwill visit to Dodge City US of A) and especially why is her Taxable benefit half and why does she even have a leased car when she patently does not go anywhere and thus doesn’t need a “company” car.

How can the fool not know whether he gets this benefit or not and he has to check his paypacket! That is unbelievable. Doesn’t everyone know EXACTLY what they earn. And how can it now be explained away as a mistake.

I’m surprised Syd is not making something of this.

I was thinking why the accounts of SK Solutions have not been put on the website. There’s another company isn’t there. I assume that when we learn the remuneration of Cllrs and Officers it does not include the Directors pay People like Alexander gets and is there payment/fees made to others for obscure services rended (fiddled)?

Yet again you’ve unearthed another can of worms Sheila well done.

But the question remains why aren’t Cllrs willing to ask the same questions.

LOL and respect



Dear Mrs Oliver,

I am writing further to your request for information below.

Stockport Council does hold the information you have requested; however the information will not be provided to you as we consider it to be exempt under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Section 40(1) states that:

‘Any information to which a request for information relates is exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject.’

Section 40(2) states that:

‘Any information to which a request for information relates is also exempt information if-

(a) it constitutes personal data which do not fall within subsection (1), and

(b) either the first or the second condition below is satisfied.’

Section 40(3) states that:

‘The first condition is –

(a) in a case where the information falls within any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of the definition of ‘data’ in section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998, that the disclosure of the information to a member of the public otherwise than under this Act would contravene –

(i) any of the data protection principles, or

(ii) section 10 of that Act (right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress)…’

This means that if the information requested is the personal data of an individual other than the applicant (i.e. you, in this case) it is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA if releasing it would contravene one of the data protection principles. With this in mind, it is the Council’s opinion that the information you have requested constitutes personal data as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and to disclose it to the public would contravene the first data protection principle. I will explain further below:

Section 1 of the DPA defines personal data as data which relate to a living individual who can be identified either from those data alone or from those data and other information which is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the data controller (Stockport Council, in this case). The information you have requested is clearly personal data as it consists of a further detailed breakdown of named individuals’ salary and benefits.

The first data protection principle requires data controllers such as Stockport Council to ensure personal data are processed fairly and lawfully. As you are aware, salary details of senior staff are often not considered to have the same protection under the DPA as other types of personal data. This is because there is an expectation that these details will be made public in the spirit of openness and transparency and so that members of the public have access to information about the efficient and proper use of public money. We have previously provided you with a detailed breakdown of salary and benefit details which has enabled you to see how public money has been spent in relation to this matter. A further detailed breakdown of these figures is unlikely to add anything of significance but will undoubtedly infringe on the individuals’ legitimate right to privacy. With this in mind, releasing these personal data into the public domain would be unfair; therefore to do so would contravene the first data protection principle.

As you may be aware, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has recently issued a decision notice in relation to a similar request. This has the reference FS50163927 and can be viewed in full on the ICO’s website. In this case, the ICO considered the release of exact salary details of senior staff to be exempt information under s.40 FOIA. As you are aware, Stockport Council has already gone beyond what was required in view of this and released this type of information – and indeed more – to you in your previous requests.