Freedom of information response

Investment related reports

Publication date: 
Monday 4 September 2023

In response to a previous FOI response, 'Top ups in Miramar portfolio', a response for which the council provided on 19 December 2022, you confirmed the council increased its investment related to these solar farms on three separate occasions: 

A 11 November 2018 - £40m
B 8 February 2019 - £50m
C 27 January 2020 - £40m 

My request for information relates to these top ups and is as follows: 

1) For each of these occasions, who proposed the opportunity to increase the investment - Thurrock Council or Rockfire Capital (or associated company)? Please answer in relation to A, B and C individually 

2) For each of these occasions, was the council provided with a valuation report relating to the Magnetar portfolio produced on behalf of Rockfire Capital by the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE)? Please answer in relation to A, B and C individually 

3) For each of these occasions, please tell me which organisations undertook due diligence process to check, on behalf of the council, the accuracy of the valuation provided by APSE? Please answer in relation to A, B and C individually 

4) For each of these occasions, please provide me a copy of any APSE report provided to the council. Please answer in relation to A, B and C individually.

5) The S151 officer was required by Council's 'investment and treasury management strategy' in October 2017 to provide the Council Spending Review (CSR) with an overview of all investment over £10m and for longer than one year before a commitment was made. 

For each of the top ups listed above (A, B and C), was CSR provided with such an overview?


The Council is presently implementing its investment recovery strategy. Disclosure of the requested information could at this stage be detrimental to that strategy and to the Council`s commercial interest. Therefore unfortunately  the Council will not be releasing the requested information at this stage. However  the position will be kept under review and when it hoped that most or all of the requested information can be disclosed at a future date

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 . 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 13026