Steve Burns (of the planning department) is constantly quoted in these minutes but he wasn’t at the meeting – customary SMBC incompetence. The meeting was held at Bredbury Library because Mr Parnell was not allowed into the town centre despite being a completely innocent man. And despite all the high profile attendees at this meeting, no help was subsequently offered to the Parnell family, even though their legal obligation was to help.

Thursday, 15 July, 2010 20:43


Khan” <>

Dear Mr Parnell

Please find attached the draft minutes of
the meeting of our meeting. If you wish to make any changes to the minutes
before they are agreed, please let me know.

Kind regards


Barry Khan

Service Director (Legal and Property)

Council Solicitor

Business Services Directorate

Stockport Council

0161 4743202


Minutes of Meeting at Bredbury Library
Community Room

5th July 11:00 am

Duration: Approximately 2 hours.

In attendance:

Mr and Mrs Parnell

Alison Roberts Adult Social Worker

Barry Khan Service Director, Legal &

Terry Dafter Service Director, Adult
Social Care

Steve Brown Head of Community Safety

Colin Masters Benefits Processing Manager

Peter Jones Recovery Team Manager,
Revenues & Benefits

Robert Jenkins Welfare Rights Central Team

Dominic Tumelty. Head of Children’s Social

Mr and Mrs Parnell

Barry Khan chaired the meeting and took
the minutes.

Everybody introduced themselves.

A brief history of the claim record was
described regarding benefits and the issues with regard to the receipt of the
adoption allowance. A previous claim for benefits had been rejected on the
grounds that the income to the family was higher than the rate set for support
and this decision was appealed by Mr Parnell in 2006. The decision of the
Council not to give the benefit was upheld by the Commissioner who agreed with
the Council’s interpretation of how the adoption allowance should be treated.

Subsequent to that, a meeting was arranged
with the Service Director of Finance and Mr Parnell to discuss the issues. The
Council then contacted the Department of Works and Pensions to ensure that they
had treated the income into the family appropriate and the DWP confirmed that
the Council had given the correct interpretation on the regulations.

A further claim was received in February
2010, with a request for backdating the claim. This claim was discussed.

In addition Robert Jenkins discussed the
situation with regard to Jobseekers Allowance for Mr and Mrs Parnell’s
children. It was stated that they could be entitled to “sign on” but it was
recognised that any income that this was bringing into the family was not be
used to support the family – redacted by Sheila – . This did not address the greater issues with regard to the
behaviour of the daughters to Mr and Mrs Parnell. However if they were signing
on, then this would mean that the Child Benefit and Child tax credit should not
be paid and it could be recovered.

An issue was discussed about whether child
benefit and child tax credit was still being claimed and whether this was
actually allowed under the benefits scheme. It was discussed that if child tax
credit and child benefit are still being paid when the daughters were ‘signing
on’ then this could be an overpayment and that money may have to be paid back.

Redacted by Sheila – and Mr Parnell stated that he considered that historically
the family should be entitled to Council Tax Benefit when he was receiving the
adoption allowance.

Mr and Mrs Parnell explained the issues
that they were having with the daughters whilst they still stayed in the house – redacted by Sheila

Redacted by Sheila

Steve Burns stated that he would try and
discuss getting someone to look at the benefits issues and arrange for someone
to talk to the Daughters, from example someone from MOSIAC.

Redacted by Sheila

Mr Parnell stated that he was just a
normal dad but that he had been put in a situation whereby he was having to
find out more about the rules regarding benefits and adoption than the average
dad. There were complicated issues and it was recognised that sometimes things
might not be right.

They recognised the problems now caused
with the daughters living in the same house and that they had started filling
in forms with Stockport Homes for separate accommodation for the daughters.

Steve Brown stated that they would try and
get MOSIAC involved

Mr and Mrs Parnell made it clear that they
have never given up on the girls and that the girls had been through a lot by
going through the care system and suffered before they were placed with them.
They stated that they have been very open with their daughters and have told
them all the information they were given. When the daughters were 18, they only
had a letter and photograph. They considered that there should have been more
information and more involvement with the Social worker.

They discussed the birth mother who had
the age of 36 had 9 children who were taken into care.

Mr and Mrs Parnell had been keen to adopt
when they unfortunately discovered that they could not have children
themselves. They had spent a certain sum of money on fertility treatment. Mrs
Parnell was told that she would have to give up her job and Mrs Parnell agreed
to do this as they were keen to have a family. They had two children placed
with them when they were young.

Mr Parnell stated that the issue regarding
the funding and benefits was very confusing. It was suggested to him that we
needed to concentrate on current benefits and not issues that were a number of
years old when the children were very young.

It was noted that the daughters’
behavioural problems increased when they got older, with a noticeable increase
in behavioural problems when they were about 10 years old. Mr Parnell had
previously been told by the police to give his daughter a ‘good hiding’ but he
did not consider that this was an acceptable course of action, nor that a
police officer should give this kind of advice.

Redacted by Sheila

The details of the amounts of money going
into the household were discussed.

Dominic Tumelty clarified that once the
children are adopted they are not classed as “Looked after Children”. Once the
children were adopted, they are considered to be the children of the adopted

Mr and Mrs Parnell clearly explained that
they considered that there issue was that they had asked for help and that the
buck was passed and nobody took overall responsibility for dealing with their
issues. For example they claimed that that the Early Intervention Team was
going to do a CAMS assessment but this was denied as the case was passed on to
the YOTS team due to an incident with the daughter on a bus.

They had issues in the fact that due to
the destruction caused by their daughters, the house had been repaired too many
times to keep getting it repaired.

Alison Roberts stated that she is an Adult
Social Worker that has been involved with the family. She stated that she had
concerns about the safety of the household. She stated that it was hard for the
parents to set boundaries with the daughters – redacted by Sheila

Steve Burns stated that if that behaviour continues then the police may become
involved. It was recognised by Mr and Mrs Parnell that they did not want to get
their daughters into trouble and that they have always been supportive of their
children. They did not feel it was their daughters’ fault that they were
behaving in this way but that they had reached their limits in having to deal
with the obviously difficult situation at home.

Steve Burns stated that the Council would
look into the benefits issue and get somebody to engage with the family to try
and assist with the issue regarding housing and behavioural issues of their

Barry Khan thanked everybody for being in attendance
and stated that the meeting was beneficial for all those concerned. Mr and Mrs
Parnell had conducted themselves in a civil and dignified manner at this
meeting and that the consistent attendance at the town hall was not the best
way of resolving the matter.

Alison Roberts stated that when there were incidents with the children, Mr
Parnell would then displace the frustrations he feels by obsessively attending
the town hall. The real issue was not with the Town Hall but with the issues at

It was agreed by everyone that the meeting
was useful and that the Council would explore ways in assisting the family.

Meeting Ended.