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Occupation of 53 Gordon Square

Disclosure date: 24 January 2012

Reference: FOI2011/107

Request

1) The total cost of the eviction of the occupiers of 53 Gordon Square on 22nd December 2011, particularly the cost of hiring bailiffs.

2) The details and content of any meetings or deliberations regarding the occupation and subsequent eviction of 53 Gordon Square.

3) The details and content of any contacts between SOAS management and the occupiers of 53 Gordon Square.

4) Any information confirming the claim, made in a letter from SOAS management to the occupiers, that the cost of the continued occupation of 53 Gordon Square to SOAS was £4000 a week.

Response

1) The total cost of repossession was £10,015.80 including enforcement costs (bailiffs) of £7,245.

2) The only relevant information held in relation to meetings is the record of the School’s weekly Executive Board meetings and the relevant minutes are attached (EB minutes.pdf).

The attached draft witness statement describes the deliberations regarding the occupation (draft-witness-statement.pdf).

3) Much of this is described in the draft witness statement referred to above. In addition, I am attaching:

A) Letters to the occupiers from Mr Donald Beaton, Registrar & Secretary (DBL 23-11-12.pdf and DBL 08-12-11.pdf)

B) Letters to the occupiers from Mills & Reeve LLP, the School’s solicitors (letter to occupiers 11-12-12.pdf and 11-12-14-letter-from-mr-to-bsc.pdf)

C) Notes taken by Dr Chris Ince, Deputy Secretary, of meetings with the occupiers (meetings-with-bsc.pdf); in this document the individuals referred to as representing the Student Union at one of the meetings were the Co-Presidents for Finance & Communications and Welfare & Education.
   
D) Account of the start of the occupation by Mr Richard Poulson, Director of Estates & Facilities (53GS-RP-23-11-11-redact.pdf)
   
E) The Order for Possession for 53 Gordon Square (Order for Possession.pdf).

Please note that names/suspected names of occupiers have been redacted from the account of the start of the occupation. This information is exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) of the Freedom of the Information Act. Disclosure of this information would breach the first Data Protection Principle as those alleged to be involved in the occupation would not expect their names to be made public, and where there is doubt about an individual’s identity this might lead to someone not involved in the occupation being associated with it. It would therefore be unfair to disclose these names under the Freedom of Information Act.

4) Please see the attached spreadsheet (occupation-costs.pdf) outlining the costs associated with the occupation and a letter from the contractors Parkeray dated 9 December 2011 (Parker Ray Ltd letter 9.12.11.pdf).