Freedom of information response

Council investments in Just Loans Group PLC

Publication date: 
Tuesday 25 April 2023
Request: 

A list of all investments made by the council into or related to Just Loans Group PLC (including, for example, Just Cash Flow PLC)

I would like the data in a spreadsheet including the following information for each transaction:

- Date of transaction

- Amount in GBP

- Specific recipient (e.g. Just Loans Group PLC, Just Cash Flow PLC)

- Maturity date

Response: 

In issuing our response the Council has applied S43 of the Freedom of Information Act.  Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it).  A commercial interest relates to a person’s ability to successfully participate in a commercial activity, i.e. the purchase and the sale of goods or services.  The reasons for this have been captured below under the public interest test section.

Public Interest Test:

The council have considered the public interest test in relation to section 43 (2) in releasing the information in scope of your request. The outcome of this is below.

  • Public interest in disclosure:
    • Disclosure will help people understand and participate in public debate about current issues
    • Given the wider issues around these investments it is considered that disclosure will give the public information about the personal probity (or otherwise) of elected members or council staff
  • Public interest to maintain the exemption:
    • The fact that assets are held in Administration and the Council has revealed that they will be disposed of means any such notification may compromise the Council’s position.
    • Companies in the JLG group may be adversely affected by further enquiries attached to disclosure
    • There is a potential for further impacts on the value of recoveries received by the Council in administration.

Based on the above, it is the Council’s view that there is a stronger public interest to maintain the use of the exemption for section 43 (2).

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the council have managed your FOI request you can pursue an Internal Review by contacting us using the above email address. Your request will be considered by a senior member of the Information Management Team who will update you with the outcome of the review. 

If you remain unhappy following the outcome of your Internal Review you may wish to refer your case to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and details of this organisation can be found at www.ico.org.uk . Please be advised that the ICO will not consider your case until they have confirmation that you have already been through the Internal Review stage with the council.

Request reference:
FOI 12672