220328 To Birmingham City Council Double Standards

FoIA requests to Birmingham City Council

28/03/2022 Commercial Sensitivity Exchanges

Currently waiting for a response from Birmingham City Council, they should respond promptly and normally no later than 

Your references:

With regard to the above, please provide:

1. your council’s exchanges with Kier Highways and their legal representatives on the subject of ‘commercial interest’ or ‘commercial sensitivity’ and
2. all and any information sought & supplied regarding the above FoIA requests

I note, about 21724385, 19/04/2021 you engaged with your service provider (Kier) i.e., it appears the contractor held information on your behalf.

28/03/2022  Disclosure of Third-Party Claims Return & Prejudice

Freedom of Information request to Birmingham City Council

Currently waiting for a response from Birmingham City Council, they should respond promptly and normally no later than 

01/09/2021 you disclosed claim and settlement values.

1. Please provide your consideration of the commercially sensitive exemption and reasons for not relying upon this

2. How has this disclosure enabled other parties to consider similar claims against the council or potentially encouraged them to do so.

The disclosure provided details of the commercially assessed value of existing claims.

3. How has this disclosure undermined the commercial settlement of claims, what prejudice has arisen from the disclosure

About Kier claim ref. 44922 the claimed value is given as £3379.52. However, the claim was presented as £3455.07:

(a) Diminution in Value £3379.52
(b) Legal Costs TBA
(c) Interest from 19/07/2020 to 29/10/2020 £75.55

4. Please advise the basis upon which you have agreed legal costs and interest to be sought by Kier

I refer you to your FoIA response of 25/11/2020 (18993085), you appear to be unaware Kier are utilising lawyers Shakespeare Martineau LLP (SHMA) to progress claims. SHMA cite Coles v Hetherton in support of their demands a judgement about which they had written:

‘All of a sudden recovering such [inflated] losses has become palatable. While the priority for fleet managers will obviously be getting vehicles back on the road as quickly as possible, the losses incurred as a result of non-fault accidents now represents a commercial opportunity, which they can take advantage of if they wish.

There is a moral issue here too as clearly adding costs into the recovery process could cause insurance costs to escalate and eventually all users of commercial vehicle insurance would end up paying for this through higher premiums.

However, others will take the view that while the commercial opportunity exists they would be foolish not to take advantage of it.’


5. How is there ‘not an opportunity for Kier to generate a profit from claims.’

6. please explain the duplication of claim references, date of loss, and payment sums on the provided spreadsheet 21724385; have there been multiple payments of the same claim?


Appendix 1

Council reference: 21724385
Your reference: [FOI #729747 email]

  • 19/02/2021 Request:

Dear Birmingham City Council,
Damage claims :
Recovered amount
Date of recovery
Open claims
in Excel please.
1 January 2018 to present
the incident date?
The value of each claim in the date range above.
Those costs where known.
If cost and recovery are shown against the claim the date of recovery will be less important.
The amount recovered for each claim in an Area within the period.

19/04/2021 Council Response: 

We are now considering the request but we need more time to process it.  This is because we are awaiting data from our service provider, Kier Highways. We will now try to respond to you by 26 April 2021. Please be assured we are pursuing this matter and apologise sincerely for the delay in replying.

  • 26/04/2021 from the Council

Thank you for your request for information received on 19 February 2021.  Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying.

  • 24/05/2021 from the requestor

Thanks but can you give me the date of incident and the references for the claims and explain why some have no settlement.

  • 01/09/2021 council response

Provided a new spreadsheet with Kier references