Mendip District Council unable to reveal the number of housing benefit applicants
When asked how many people had applied for housing benefit from Street, Glastonbury, Wells and Shepton Mallet since 2007 Mendip District Council could not provide the information.
A Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to find out how many of applications were made and of these how many were successful, lost or withdrawn was refused.
The council was also unable to reveal the average time taken to process an application and make a decision. Apparently the council holds the information requested but does not have it readily available.
The reason given for the refusal of the request was that it would require a bespoke software programme to be written at a cost of £550.
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The appropriate limit is set at £450. Therefore the council is not obliged to process the request.
Mendip District Council said it may be able to give a response if the scope of the request was narrowed and a fresh FOI made, although it said there was no guarantee it would be able to provide the information.