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Stockport Council News

No real answers to serious issues

Freedom of Information Posted on Sun, October 06, 2013 07:47:05

Did Stockport Council lie to a court in order to get a lower fine? Who knows.

Email sent – 13 October 2009 17:50

Dear Ms Naven

Again, no reply. Please may I have one.

Yours

Mrs S J Oliver

Working towards a less corrupt council
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Email sent – 28 August 2009 17:59 to FoI Officer

Dear Ms Naven

I think this is an example of the stalling tactics which force further questions which then lead to the questioner being branded vexatious and worse.

I originally asked a question after a pensioner died as a result of maintenance not being carried out at 62 council owned premises, ostensibly because money had suddenly been diverted to deal with the asbestos in schools issue, although this problem had been known about for some time. The Council said in court that they had budget difficulties and as a result they were given a considerably reduced fine. This was the first I had heard about a budget deficit and indeed Goddard said they had put £5 million away for a rainy day. The court case was only this April, so within living memory. The totally inadequate reply came back that there was no budget deficit. How very odd, I thought, so I wrote back telling you Andrew Webb would know all about it and you should ask him. I heard nothing. Then I mentioned to Weldon in a meeting and he went off on one of his offensive rants again at me. I want to get to the bottom of this issue, so I asked the question below as to a written explanation of why the maintenance at the 62 buildings wasn’t carried out, which may have led to the death of the pensioner. I assume someone somewhere was asked to write an explanation of what had happened.

So you write back today – asking which maintenance – which means I have to write back again with this totally unnecessary explanation, you can stall a bit longer and you can brand me vexatious for asking yet another question.

Yours

Mrs S J Oliver

Stockport’s Freedom of Information Campaigner

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August 28, 2009 11:59 AM

Dear Mrs Oliver,

I am writing in response to your request for information below (ref 2132).

Please clarify which maintenance you refer to so that we can proceed with your request.

Yours sincerely,

Clare Naven
Freedom of Information Officer
Stockport Council

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Email sent – 28 August 2009 17:59

Dear Ms Naven

£5.6 million black hole – asbestos in schools issue – Ref 1920 – Response

Does this exist? If so, may I see it?

Yours sincerely

Sheila

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Email sent June 29, 2009 5:44 PM

Dear Ms Naven

I assume there exists somewhere at the Council a written explanation of why the maintenance wasn’t carried out, which may have led to the death of the pensioner in Reddish, due to the absestos in schools issue. Please may I have a copy.

Kind regards

Sheila
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 5:20 PM

Dear Mrs Oliver,

I am writing in response to your request for information below (ref 1920).

I understand that there is no such deficit; therefore no notification was needed.

Clare Naven
Freedom of Information Officer
SMBC
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Email sent 06 June 2009 08:37

Dear FoI Officer

£5.6 million black hole – asbestos in schools issue

I note from the Council’s own Financial Management document that: “Corporate Directors shall notify the Corporate Director, Business Services, as soon as possible of any matter within their area of responsibility which may affect the financial position of the Council.”

At what point was the Corporate Director, Business Services, notified of the £5.6 million deficit in the CYPD budget for dealing with asbestos in schools, which may have indirectly led to the death of a pensioner? I certainly noticed no mention of it in any council meeting I have attended.

I am concerned there has been a cover-up over anomalies of several millions of pounds within this same CYPD on another matter, so these are serious issues.

I am also concerned that Mr. Andrew Webb has so many other professional irons in the fire that he is not dedicating the time he should (or that I pay him a lot of money to do) to his primary employment.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Sheila



Michael Warburton, ICO

Freedom of Information Posted on Sat, October 05, 2013 19:43:13

Email sent 27 January 2012 11:33

Ref. RCC0429756

Dear Mr Warburton

I am sorry if I have maligned you and will correct the statement if I have.

I have had no information regarding the toxic waste dump school for years, despite the site being toxic as I said, despite them suddenly having to borrow £5 million as I said, despite the police having complained about the dangerous traffic situation as I said, despite local people being denied access to the rear of their own properties as I said, despite the school not being finished in six months, as I said.

Perhaps you could clear up that misunderstanding for me. What information did you persuade them to disclose?

Kind regards

Sheila

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 3:00 PM

Dear Ms Oliver

I refer to the recent emails you have exchanged with Rachael Cragg and the ICO.

To avoid any confusion, I would like to point out that the only case I dealt with for you was under reference FS50205853 where I was successful in persuading the council to disclose the requested information.

Yours sincerely

Michael Warburton, Senior Complaints Officer
ICO

FS5020585

Email sent by me 03 January 2012 20:41

Dear Mr Warburton

I write to you in the hope that you can help me clear this matter up. I have already taken this matter to the Information Commissioner and every member of the ICO Board and shall do so again with more up to date worrying developments.

Regarding the toxic waste dump school where you inexplicably said I was vexatious, even though I provided you with evidence that the site was contaminated with deadly brown asbestos, lead and arsenic and Stockport Council, who you found to be cleaner than clean, lied about this.

What has happened now is that despite the school only having been open since September 2011 – large numbers of parents have taken their children from the school due to bullying issues. I raised the matter of bullying in such a huge primary school – you declared me vexatious. The school ceiling collapsed – mercifully no child was hurt this time. The council is still refusing to disclose any details to me about this because you declared me vexatious. I mentioned the fact that the school was being thrown up – because of your branding of me as vexatious, Stockport Council was able to ignore this. |More danger to kids!

The police have expressed serious concerns to the Council about the traffic arrangements around the school – I raised these concerns at a time when something could have been done about it – you declared me vexatious. There is no doubt that children will die as a result of this school – either a slow and painful disablement followed by an early death from mesothelioma (I pointed out they were failing to remove the brown asbestos – you declared me vexatious, so that gave them carte blanche to carry on and not do the job properly). Children are likely to die in road accidents around the school. You will have a lot on your conscience. I have at all times tried my best. You have publicly defamed me when I provided rock solid evidence of wrongdoing. Even the fact that they lied about the contamination was enough to prove me to be not vexatious.

I hope we can now re-open this matter. If you fail to respond in a helpful manner, I shall have no option but to expose your inexplicable decision in fine detail on the Internet. You wrongly defamed me. I shall correctly simply identify the action you took, failed to take and the ridiculous length of time you took to come to such a dangerous decision.

There must be an option to re-examine cases when evidence of wrongdoing – in this case by Stockport Council – comes to light.

I hope in future you take your duties more seriously. Kids’ lives are precious you know.

Sheila



Michael Warburton, ICO

Freedom of Information Posted on Sat, October 05, 2013 19:41:06

FS50205853

15 July 2009

Dear Mrs Oliver

Your complaint about Stockport MBC (the council)

Thank you for your email dated 14 July 2009, the contents of which I have noted.

I confirm that I have received the withheld information from the council. However, I have also asked it to reconsider your original request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (as opposed to the Freedom of Information Act 2000) which I believe is the appropriate legislation.

I am currently asking the council to clarify a number of issues and will write to you again as soon as I have received its response, which I anticipate will be quite soon.

Yours sincerely

Michael Warburton
Senior Complaints Officer
ICO



Michael Warburton, ICO

Freedom of Information Posted on Sat, October 05, 2013 18:18:35

FS50234602/FS50205853

18 May 2009

Dear Ms Oliver,

Your complaint about Stockport MBC (the council)

Thank you for your email dated 15 May 2009 together with the attached Newspaper article from the Daily Mirror, the contents of which I have noted.

Once I have heard from Ms Naven at the council and had an opportunity to consider her response I will write to you again.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Warburton
Senior Complaints Officer
ICO



Michael Warburton, ICO

Freedom of Information Posted on Sat, October 05, 2013 18:15:18

FS50205853

01 June 2009

Dear Ms Oliver,

Your complaint about Stockport MBC (the council)

Our reference: FS50205853

Thank you for your copy emails dated 22 and 24 May 2009 (regarding other FOI requests you have submitted to the council) the contents of which I have noted.

I will write to you again once I have heard from the council regarding Harcourt Street, which is the case I am investigating.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Warburton
Senior Complaints Officer
ICO



Michael Warburton, ICO

Freedom of Information Posted on Sat, October 05, 2013 18:12:37

FS50205853

19 May 2009

Dear Ms Oliver,

Your complaint about Stockport MBC (the council)

Thank you for your email dated 18 May 2009 together with attached land adverts from NPS Property Services’ website, the contents of which I have noted.

I will write to you again once I have heard from the council.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Warburton
Senior Complaints Officer
ICO



Michael Warburton, ICO

Freedom of Information Posted on Sat, October 05, 2013 18:05:44

Re; FS50205853

15 May 2009

Dear Ms Oliver,

Your complaint about Stockport MBC (the council)
Thank you for your letter dated 12 May 2009 together with the attached Newspaper article, the contents of which I have noted.

I will write to you again once I have heard from Ms Naven at the council and had an opportunity to consider her response.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Warburton
Senior Complaints Officer
ICO



FOI Issues

Freedom of Information Posted on Sun, September 22, 2013 18:33:15

Email sent to the ICO – 24 August 2009 17:03

Dear Mr Dunn

Many thanks for your response. I will get back to you should it be necessary. I really don’t want to waste any of your time – I appreciate all that the ICO does.

Regarding Harcourt Street, because of financial irregularities, in line with the Council’s Fraud and Irregularity Policy, apparently they shouldn’t have hidden any documents regarding Harcourt Street – certainly not all the financial ones – so they have completely wasted the ICO’s time again on that topic. I am going to the Audit Commission – one financial irregularity of many would appear to include a miscalculation of a quarter of a million pounds. Only in Stockport, eh!

Kind regards

Sheila

24th August 2009

Case Reference Number FS50247042

Dear Mrs Oliver

I have returned from annual leave and there are 6 pieces of correspondence appended to the above case reference, on a variety of subjects. I have itemised below each piece of correspondence and provided an update as to how it is being treated.

Case reference FS50247042 deals with your request to ‘see complaints made by Alison Davies against SMBC’. You requested an internal review of the SMBC response in your email of 15/07/09 (after some clarification had been provided).

Item 1 – email from you to SMBC dated 09/08/09 is a reminder requesting the outcome of the internal review.

Item 2 – SMBC confirmed the outcome of the internal review on 18/08/09 and you responded with an email questioning the independence of the individual who carried out the review.

Item 3 – SMBC confirmed the outcome of the internal review on 18/08/09 and you responded by asking why the request was deemed vexatious.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal review you can ask us to look into the matter further. In the absence of such a request I have no option to assume that the response from SMBC has satisfied your request for information and the case will remain closed.

Item 3 above also contains a reference to a Serious Case Review and a request by you to see any documents prepared by SMBC following that review. In line with other instances where you have confirmed a course of action you have taken, this information will be held on file for information only.

Item 4 – email from you to SMBC regarding the Harcourt Site, this has been copied into case reference FS50205853 which deals with Harcourt Site issues.

Item 5 – email from you to SMBC in connection with the treatment of ‘Mr Parnell’. In line with my previous correspondence dated 20/07/09 this information will be held on file for information only.

Item 6 – email from you to SMBC regarding a request for a report presented to SMBC concerning MS Davies. SMBC have confirmed they ‘do not hold’ the information you requested and in line with other such instances the information will be retained on file for information only.

Please confirm how you wish to proceed in respect of the outcome of the internal review conducted in connection with case reference number FS50247042.

Yours sincerely

Jim Dunn

FoI Case Officer



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