So, today was the first day that I could expect any information back from any of the Councils that I've contacted so far. I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting anything back yet at all.
I've had a number of acknowledgement letters, and one refusal. It's the refusal that disappoints me. Any Housing Benefits system is going to be based on a database. That database, if its up tot he job, should be searchable. Ashford Council have told me that their system cannot provide the information that I have requested. The have said that this is because a "new program" would need to be written to get the information, and the cost of this would exceed the £450 limit. I very much doubt that this is the case. It should be a fairly simple database query, See http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/information_regarding_housing_be_10/new for my request, and their response. Before I request an internal review of this decision, I've asked them who their Benefits assessment software is provided by. There are only a handful of firms that provide this software, and I know of most of them. I would be hugely surprised if any of them can't provide this data.
I shall be watching this request quite closely.