A Fermanagh and Omagh District Councillor has expressed surprise at having his Freedom of Information request about the relocation of Forest Service headquarters to Enniskillen turned down as he was told it would cost over £9,000.

Sinn fein Councillor Sheamus Greene made the request because he was “very unhappy with how the relocation of the Forest Service HQ had been dealt with."

“The fact that the CEO and some senior staff have remained in Belfast goes against the entire policy set out by the Minister in relocating top civil service jobs to locations other than Belfast," he said.

READ: Minister opens new Forest Service HQ at Inishkeen House, Enniskillen

"The CEO of Forest Service has stated that he can’t relocate for ‘business reasons’. I have yet to hear what these ‘business reasons’ are." 
Mr. Greene had asked for all internal documentation in relation to the relocation of the Forest Service HQ to Fermanagh.

The reply from Forest Service this week stated that the Department was not obliged to comply with a request for information, where the cost of compliance is estimated to exceed a set limit. 
Mr Greene was told that: “The cost to comply with your request is estimated at £9,395.75.”

Commenting on the matter, he said: “The price quoted of over £9,000 for the information I requested seem ridiculous and if I had a suspicious nature I’d think I was being give the run around.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Greene has welcomed the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affair's decision to conduct a review of the equality and human rights implications of ending the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme.
“The decision to cut this scheme adversely affected 70 per cent of one community,” he said. He added that  the move comes in response to concerns raised by himself and other Sinn Féin representatives. He has called for DAERA to protect and enhance the scheme.