UK Family Law Reform

Free information index

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: Tasadiq.Naveed@bolton.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: RFI 4503

Dear Tasadiq Naveed,

Please will you kindly confirm if you are aware there is no legislation or regulations which specifically requires local authorities to collect & hold information on child abuse perpetrators or for them to use that information to formulate their child protection policies. Nor is this information available for Government to use that information to formulate their child protection policies.

Best regards Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: Tasadiq.Naveed@bolton.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 11:26 AM
Subject: RFI 4503

Dear David Mortimer

I am writing further to your request for information received at this office on 25.03.2014 to advise you that the information you requested is being refused under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”). Under the Act, Bolton Council has a duty to supply any information it holds on request, unless there is an exemption.

You requested:

(A) what information the legislation & regulations require Bolton Council to collect & hold on child abuse perpetrators &

(B) who your child protection policies are designed to protect children from if they are not based on this information?

Bolton Council’s response:

(A) The legislation which governs the operation of the Council and gives specific powers can be found online via the National Archives’ Legislation website at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/

(B) Bolton Councils Policies are prescribed by statute and are in line with (a).

We believe that the information you are seeking is “reasonably accessible” elsewhere and is therefore, exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by virtue of Section 21(1). The legislation which governs the operation of the Council and gives specific powers can be found online via the National Archives’ Legislation website at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/, therefore the application of Section 21(1) is appropriate in this instance. In accordance with the Act, this email constitutes a Refusal Notice under section 17 FOIA for this request

Should you have any queries, please contact me.

Yours sincerely

Tasadiq Naveed
Information Officer
http://www.bolton.gov.uk

----- Original Message -----
From: Tasadiq.Naveed@bolton.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 2:57 PM
Subject: RFI 4429

Dear David Mortimer

In response to your request for information received at this office on 25.02.2014, Bolton Council is happy to supply the information as requested.

Q1
Please will you kindly tell me who set the criteria for what types of child abuse information is collected & held by Bolton Council?

A1
Bolton Council collects data in accordance with the Requirements of Working Together to Safeguard Children.

Q2
Please will you also tell me if Margaret Asquith has made a formal complaint about the way in which child abuse perpetrator information is collected & held by Bolton Council in the last 12 months or not?

A2
No

Should you have any queries regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Tasadiq Naveed

----- Original Message -----
From: Tasadiq.Naveed@bolton.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 10:02 AM
Subject: RFI 4217

Dear David Mortimer

In response to your request for information received at this office on 27.01.2014, Bolton Council is happy to supply the information as requested.

Q1
The council authority, council officer and the name of that officer, who decides on what information on child neglect and abuse is collected & held by your council;

A1
As Director of Children’s and Adult Services, Margaret Asquith is responsible for ensuring that the department complies with its legal responsibilities and public functions, and that relevant supporting information and statistics are available to ensure that informed decisions are made.

Q2
The means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

A2
The contract of employment of a Director of a department sets out their duties and responsibilities. A Director is accountable to, and will be subject to scrutiny from, the Chief Executive, the council members and the Scrutiny Committee, as well as the Cabinet member with executive responsibility for Children’s Services, Councillor Linda Thomas.

In addition, a Director must also comply with the council’s code of conduct, for which they are accountable to the Monitoring Officer.

Various functions of the department are subject to scrutiny by external bodies, such as Ofsted and the Bolton Safeguarding Children Board. The latter is a separate legal entity from the council that is charged with functions as set out under the Children Act 2004.

The Board‘s function is:-

(a) to co-ordinate what is done by each person or body represented on the Board [F1by virtue of section 13(2), (4) or (5)] for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority by which it is established; and

(b) to ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each such person or body for those purposes.

Further details about the board can be found on the website linked below:

http://boltonsafeguardingchildren.org.uk/about/

Should a member of the public wish to challenge the council or any of its officers, the first step would be to engage with the complaints procedure. Details of this process, including information specific to children’s social care complaints can be found on the link below:

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/website/Pages/Complaints.aspx

In addition to this, decisions made by a local authority can be challenged by judicial review. A judicial review is a way of challenging the process of how a decision has been made, rather than the decision itself. Any person who wishes to apply for judicial review must be seen to have a ‘sufficient interest' in the case.

Q3
The council authority, the council officer and the name of that officer, responsible for your child protection policies;

A3
As Director of Children’s and Adult Services, Margaret Asquith is the person ultimately responsible for ensuring that departmental policies meet any legal requirements placed upon the authority, and that these policies adequately support the needs of service users and provide the correct guidance to employees.

The town’s elected councillors are responsible for the ratification of council policies. Further information about the functions and duties of councillors can be found on the council’s website, and in particular on the link below:

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/website/pages/Cabinetandcommitteemeetings.aspx

Q4
The means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

A4
As per the answer to question (b), the contract of employment of a Director of a department sets out their duties and responsibilities. A Director is accountable to and will be subject to scrutiny from the Chief Executive, the council members and the Scrutiny Committee, as well as the Cabinet member with executive responsibility for Children’s Services, Councillor Linda Thomas.

In addition a Director must also comply with the council’s code of conduct, for which they are accountable to the Monitoring Officer.

Various functions of the department are subject to scrutiny by external bodies, such as Ofsted and the Bolton Safeguarding Children Board. The latter is a separate legal entity from the council that is charged with functions as set out under the Children Act 2004.

The Board‘s function is:-

(a) to co-ordinate what is done by each person or body represented on the Board [F1 by virtue of section 13(2), (4) or (5)] for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority by which it is established; and

(b) to ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each such person or body for those purposes. Further details about the board can be found on the website linked below:

http://boltonsafeguardingchildren.org.uk/about/

Should a member of the public wish to challenge the council or any of its officers, the first step would be to engage with its complaints procedure. Details of this process, including information specific to Children’s’ Social Care can be found on the link below:

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/website/Pages/Complaints.aspx

In addition to this, decisions made by a local authority can be challenged by judicial review. As stated earlier, a judicial review is a way of challenging the process of how a decision has been made, rather the decision itself.

Q5
How the function in (c) is properly discharged and held accountable for policies which would best effectively protect children from abuse if the person referred to in (a) does not collect any information on child abuse perpetration?"

A5
The authority collects information of this nature and formulates policies in the context of this and other appropriate data. Therefore the function in (c) is properly discharged. The process of accountability relating to the Director is detailed in answers (b) and (d).

Should you have any queries regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Tasadiq Naveed

Information Officer

----- Original Message -----
From: Tasadiq.Naveed@bolton.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 3:08 PM
Subject: RFI 4060

Dear David Mortimer

I write further to your request for information received at this office on 28.12.2013.

We estimate that the cost of supplying the information you have requested would exceed the statutory limit of £450, which is equivalent to 18 hours work. The Act does not oblige us to comply with requests that exceed this amount.

You requested:

Please will you kindly tell me what the

(a) gender and

(b) familial relationship

was to the child victim of offenders in substantiated child abuse cases in the area which you have a duty to protect children from abuse for the last full year which figures are available, broken down by

(i) physical abuse,

(ii) emotional abuse,

(iii) sexual abuse and

(iv) cases of neglect.

This information is kept in a paper files and in the notes fields of the electronic database. In order to retrieve this information we would have to manually go through several case files for each child. As there is no requirement to report on the details of the offenders from Children’s Services, there is no systematic procedure to extract the requested information from records.

The information that is provided to Children’s Services comes from Bolton Probation Service. You may wish to contact Bolton Probation Service as they may have a system to extract the requested information from their records. Should you wish to contact them, their contact details are:

Bolton Probation Office

St Helena Mill

St Helena Road

Bolton

BL1 2JS

Should you disagree with our decision, you may appeal to:

The Director of Legal & Democratic Services, Bolton Council, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

Email: freedomofinfo@bolton.gov.uk

Should you further disagree with the decision following the appeal you may wish to contact the Information Commissioner:

http://www.ico.gov.uk

Should you have any queries, please contact me.

Yours sincerely

Tasadiq Naveed
Information Officer
Children’s Services, Bolton Council

Who do local authorities protect children from? 28th December 2013

http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/abuse.htm