Demolition of old Sobell Leisure Centre Aberdare Construction of new Athletics Stadium.
Following a freedom of information request by AberdareOnline regarding the old Michael Sobell Sports Centre in an attempt to apply some sort of timescale cost of asbestos removal and construction of new Track and Field facility.
From the response we received Rhondda Cynon Taf Council were reluctant to provide answers to all our questions, I would seem there is a major problem with asbestos in the old building and RCTC were not prepared to divulge the original cost of removal of asbestos from the old Sobell Centre nether would they disclose the or original cost for demolition of the centre.
The original completion date for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre 20th March 2015, the Aberdare Community School also on the Ynys site was around 12 months behind its original completion date.
We believe Aberdare Valley Amateur Athletics Club just want a firm answer as to when the construction of new Track and Field facility will take place and a firm completion date. RCTC should have some indication of when this is scheduled or is it just an open checkbook for the contractor and consultants with no timescales provided?
Below is the response for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council
We refer to your Freedom of Information Request in respect of the demolition of the Sobell Leisure Centre, Aberdare. The Authority’s response is set out below:
The original start date for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?
22 September 2014.
The original completion date for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?
20 March 2015.
The start date for construction of new Athletics Stadium?
This will take place immediately following demolition of the Sports Centre.
The revised completion date for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?
The original cost for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?
The final cost for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?
The original cost of removal of asbestos from the old Sobell Leisure Centre?
The final cost of removal of asbestos from the old Sobell Leisure Centre?
The completion date of the new Athletics Stadium?
With regard to the six queries above, unfortunately we are unable to provide this information as we believe the information to be commercially sensitive and is exempt information under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which deals with prejudice to commercial interests.
This is a qualified exemption and we have therefore applied the public interest test. In making this decision we have weighed such factors as the Council's desire to be open and transparent in all its dealings against the need to ensure that it is able to contract openly in the market place and also to protect the commercial interests of those companies and bodies it deals with.
Financial negotiations are still ongoing, therefore the Authority feels that if it were to disclose the cost of demolition and removal of asbestos and the expected time frames at this moment in time, this could harm the commercial interests of the third party company and undermine current negotiations.
Accordingly, insofar as this element of your request is concerned and in accordance with Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act ("the Act") this email acts as a Refusal Notice.
As you may be aware, you have a right of appeal against this decision. If you wish to exercise this right please set out in writing your grounds and send your appeal to the Council's Corporate Feedback Co-ordinator. Her name is Mrs Christine Macey and she may be reached at Chris.Macey@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk or on 01443 424076.
Additionally you may, if you wish, find out more about the Act from the Information Commissioner at http://www.ico.gov.uk/
Corporate Governance Team