Details:

Reference Number: 5695
Request Date: 01/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1  Please confirm the manufacturer of the telephone equipment installed within the organisation (e.g. Avaya, Cisco, Mitel)

A.1  Unify

Q.2  When was the telephone equipment installed? (Month, year)

A.2   April 2012

Q.3  When will the equipment reach end of life/end of contract? (Month, year)

A.3   April 2020

Q.4  Given the ISDN switch off in 2025 and the end of associated upgrades/new sales by 2021, when will your current ISDN service be replaced/be out of contract? (Month, year)  

A.4   No ISDN services, all SIP

Q.5  If you currently have SIP or VOIP contracts in place - when are they up for renewal? 

A.5   April 2023

Q.6  What cloud-based office software solutions does your organisation use? (e.g. Microsoft Office 365, G Suite)

A.6   G Suite

Q.7  Who is responsible for telephony projects? (Name, job title)

A.7  Chief Information Officer
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5696
Request Date: 01/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   For applicant households accommodated by your authority in bed and breakfast hotels (e.g. privately managed, meal(s) provided, shared facilities) or other nightly paid, privately managed accommodation with shared facilities, as of December 31, 2018
Q.1a   the total number of households in such accommodation
Q.1b   the total number of households in such accommodation for more than 6 weeks but less than 13 weeks
Q.1c   the total number of households in such accommodation for more than 13 weeks but less than 26 weeks
Q.1d   the total number of households in such accommodation for more than 26 weeks but less than 52 weeks
Q.1e   the total number in such accommodation for more than 52 weeks 
Q.1f    For applicant households accommodated by your authority in bed and breakfast hotels (e.g. privately managed, meal(s) provided, shared facilities) or other nightly paid, privately managed accommodation with shared facilities, as of December 31, 2018
Q.1g   the total number of households with dependent children and / or pregnant woman with no other dependants in such accommodation
Q.1h   the total number of households with dependent children and / or pregnant woman with no other dependants in such accommodation for more than 6 weeks but less than 13 weeks
Q.1i   the total number in such accommodation with dependent children and / or pregnant woman with no other dependants for more than 13 weeks but less than 26 weeks
Q.1j   the total number in such accommodation with dependent children and / or pregnant woman with no other dependants for more than 26 weeks but less than 52 weeks
Q.1k   the total number in such accommodation with dependent children and / or pregnant woman with no other dependants for more than 52 weeks
Q.1l   For applicant households accommodated by your authority in bed and breakfast hotels (e.g. privately managed, meal(s) provided, shared facilities) or other nightly paid, privately managed accommodation with shared facilities, as of December 31, 2018
Q.1m   the total number of children in such accommodation
Q.1n   the total number of children in such accommodation for more than 6 weeks but less than 13 weeks
Q.1o   the total number of children in such accommodation for more than 13 weeks but less than 26 weeks
Q.1p   the total number of children in such accommodation for more than 26 weeks but less than 52 weeks
Q. q   the total number of children in such accommodation for more than 52 weeks 

A.1   We did not have anyone in B&B on 31st December 2018.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5697
Request Date: 04/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Adoption - For each of the past 3 years: 

Q.1     How many couples/individuals applied to adopt?
A.1      16/17 = 24; 17/18 = 15; April - Nov 2018 = 6
  
Q.2     How many LGBT couples/individuals applied to adopt?
A.2      Less than 5 for each year

Q.3     How many couples/individuals were approved for adoption?
A.3      16/17 = 24; 17/18 = 14; April - Nov 2018 = 15

Q.4     How many LGBT couples/individuals were approved for adoption?
A.4      Less than 5 for each year
 
Q.5     How many couples/individuals went on to adopt a child?
A.5     ​​It is unclear if this is in relation to the above cohort of adopters approved in questions 1 & 2 therefore the info is based on the number of children adopted in the specified timeframe - the number given is families and not children adopted.

This is when the adoption order has been granted  as per the question - not when the child is placed for adoption.
​16/17 = 26; 17/18 = 16; April - Feb 2018 = 20

Q.6     How many LGBT couples/individuals went on to adopt a child? 
A.6     Less than 6 for each year
 
Q.7   What was the average wait time for approved applicants to have a child placed with them?
A.7      16/17 = 182; 17/18 = 88; April - Nov 2018 = 46

​These figures do not reflect an accurate overview due to having no context to it.  Due to it being such a small cohort, it only takes 1 or 2 applicants to have taken longer to progress through the process for individual reasons, it then impacts negatively on the average time.  
 
Q.8      What was the average wait time for approved LGBT applicants to have a child placed with them?
A.8      16/17 = 284; 17/18 = 66; April - Nov 2018 = 70

​These figures do not reflect an accurate overview due to having no context to it.  Due to it being such a small cohort, it only takes 1 or 2 applicants to have taken longer to progress through the process for individual reasons, it then impacts negatively on the average time.  
 
Q.9     What was the average age of approved applicants who had a child placed with them?
A.9      16/17 = 41; 17/18 = 41; April - Nov 2018 = 37

Q.10   What was the average age of approved LGBT applicants who had a child placed with them?
A.10    16/17 = 35; 17/18 = 36; April - Nov 2018 = 36
 
Q.11   Fostering - For each of the past 3 years: 
A.11    16/17 = 98; 17/18 = 112; April - to 19/03/19 = 64

Q.12   How many couples/individuals applied to foster?
​​​​A.12    Less than 5 for each year

Q.13   How many LGBT couples/individuals applied to foster?
A.13    ​16/17 = 42; 17/18 = 33; April - 19/03/19 = 35

Q.14   How many couples/individuals were approved to foster?
A.14    ​Less than 5 for each year

Q.15   How many LGBT couples/individuals were approved to foster?
A.15    All approved carers have progressed to having a child placed with them
 
Q.16   How many couples/individuals went on to foster a child?
A.16    All approved carers have progressed to having a child placed with them
 
Q.17   How many LGBT couples/individuals went on to foster a child? 
A.17    All approved carers have progressed to having a child placed with them

Q.18   What was the average wait time for approved applicants to have a child placed with them?
A.18    16/17 = 11; 17/18 = 10; April - 19/03/19 = 6

Q.19   What was the average wait time for approved LGBT applicants to have a child placed with them?
A.19    16/17 = 9; 17/18 = 8; April - 19/03/19 = 8

Q.20  What was the average age of approved applicants who had a child placed with them?
A.20    16/17 = 48; 17/18 = 51; April - 19/03/19  = 4

Q.21   What was the average age of approved LGBT applicants who had a child placed with them?
A.21    16/17 = 35; 17/18 = 35; April - 19/03/19  = 34
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5700
Request Date: 04/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1      Please could you provide a copy of the local authority’s most recent sufficiency statement for looked after children services?

A.1      See attached

Q.2      Please could you let me know when the local authority plans to publish the next update to its sufficiency statement for looked after children services.

A.2      April/May 2019 

Q.3      Please could you provide information on the following:
-  In 2018, of all of the foster carer de-registrations which were initiated by the carer, how many were offered exit interviews?

A.3     All foster carers have the option of an exit interview when they resign.  This process has been developed further since November 2018 to ensure this offer is more robust and to encourage take up of the offer.  

-  In 2018, of all of the foster carer de-registrations which were initiated by the carer, please provide a summary of the reasons for deregistering

A.3      18 de-registered
3 for health 
9 for age/retired 
6 other including - new job, relationship breakdown, adoption

-  What current estimate do you have of children who will need to be fostered as part of a sibling group both now and in future years?

A.3   Placement demand changes on a day to day basis and predicting future years is not answerable without undertaking detailed analysis of children accessing services at all levels. 

-  How many foster carers are currently able to accommodate sibling groups?

A.3   49
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5701
Request Date: 04/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    Is there an appeals process* in place for when a service user (or their representative) disagrees with an assessment of their care and support needs or changes made to a package of care?
 
* We are defining an appeals process as including the best practice set out in the Care Act 2014 under section 72: Part 1 appeals:
(a) Who may (and may not) bring an appeal;
(b) Grounds on which an appeal may be brought;
(c) pre-conditions for bringing an appeal;
(d) How an appeal is to be brought and dealt with (including time limits);
(e) Who is to consider an appeal;
(f) Matters to be taken into account (and disregarded) by the person or body considering an appeal;
(g) Powers of the person or body deciding an appeal;
(h) What action is to be taken by a local authority as a result of an appeal decision;
(i) Providing information about the right to bring an appeal, appeal procedures and other sources of information and advice;
(j) Representation and support for an individual bringing or otherwise involved in an appeal;
(k) Investigations into things done or not done by a person or body with power to consider an appeal.
 
Yes ☐   If “Yes” please answer questions 2 to 4
 
No ☐    If “No” please answer i to iii

A.1   No. Section 72 of the Care Act, which set out the framework for a proposed statutory scheme of appeals, the details of which would have been prescribed by regulations and statutory guidance, has not been implemented.  Our view, expressed during the consultations about the implementation of the Care Act, was that we were not convinced that the proposal to introduce an appeals system was a proportionate response to a real problem with current arrangements.  We would also have expected it to have significant costs, which have not been funded. It was our further view that the Government’s consultation proposals for the appeals process failed to address a number of significant issues, including the question of whether appeals would be about whether the local authority had followed a lawful and rational process, or would lead to a second opinion from a different professional about the decision which the authority had made.

Given that our answer to question 1 was “no”, you then asked these questions:

Q.i.            What is the total number of occasions where a service user (or their representative) disagreed with an assessment of their care and support needs or changes made to their package of care? Please provide information from the most recent complete year of data you have

A.i.        We do not hold this information in a form which would enable us to produce statistics.  We expect needs assessors to document disagreements and the attempts which they have made to resolve them, but we have not so far taken the view that collecting structured data about this often complicated set of discussions would produce meaningful information.

Q.ii.            What proportion of these disagreements were accepted by your Local Authority? Please provide information from the most recent complete year of data you have

A.ii.       See previous response.

Q.iii.            How do you respond to disagreements that have been raised by service users (or their representatives) when they have disagreed with an assessment of their needs or changes made to a package of care?

A.iii.      We expect needs assessors and their managers to take all reasonable steps to seek to reach agreement, in line with the spirit of the Care Act.  What steps are required will depend on the details of the situation – appropriate steps may, for instance, include seeking specialist professional advice about disputed issues, involving an advocate (including in situations where this is not a Care Act requirement), or arranging a management review of whether the assessment has properly addressed all of the issues which it should have done.  If there are unresolved issues, we expect service users or their representatives to be given information about our complaints process, and following the investigation of any complaint we provide information about how to contact the Local Government Ombudsman if not satisfied with our response

Q.2    What other sources of national guidance or legislation helped inform and define your appeals process? Please provide sources for this information, such as links or copies

Q.3    What time limit do you set to resolve appeals?
 
Should answering question 4 exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ under the FOI Act please prioritise questions 1 to 3 with regards to a response.

Q.4i.    What is the total number of occasions where a service user (or their representative) appealed an assessment of their care and support needs or changes made to their package of care? Please provide information from the most recent complete year of data you have

Q.4ii.   What proportion of these disagreements were accepted by your Local Authority? Please provide information from the most recent complete year of data you have.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5703
Request Date: 04/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am writing to make a formal Freedom of Information request regarding Greenhead Primary School. Northumberland County Council recently announced it had agreed a funding package to secure the future of the school, which was in deficit due to historic payroll issues.

Q.1   I would like to know how much this funding package consisted off, and what were the historic payroll issues?

Right of Access 

Section 1(1) of the Act provides any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled. 

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request (which Section 1(6) of the Act designates as the "duty to confirm or deny"), and 

(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him. 

The right is to obtain access to the information itself and not to the document or record which contains it. 

The Act creates a general right of access to information held by public authorities subject to various exemptions. 

Duty to confirm or deny 

Northumberland County Council confirms that we holds certain information relating to your request. 

Funds were provided to the school by the County Council in relation to a historic sum owed to the school. No money has been "gifted" to Greenhead Primary School by the County Council. The details of the funds provided to the school are considered commercially confidential. 

Exemptions 

The Freedom of Information Act sets out various exemptions to the right of access. 

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information is exempt under section 43 on the basis that it is commercially sensitive. In this case the Authority relies on section 43(2). 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 43(2): Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it). 

Public Interest Test Considerations 

Section 43 is a qualified exemption which means that the information falling within the exemption still has to be released unless the public interest in disclosure is outweighed by the public interest in maintaining the exemption. 

The public interest test has been applied and although it is recognised that there is an element of public interest in transparency of spending in relation to public funds, revealing the detail of any such funds would have an overriding detrimental impact of the local authority's commercial interests in this instance. Therefore the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure


Details:

Reference Number: 5704
Request Date: 04/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How many "In-Year School Admission Application Forms" (the form may have a slightly different name depending on the local authority) did the local authority receive in the academic year 2017/2018 (or the most recent year the LA has records for - please specify)?

A.1   1433 forms

Q.2    Do parents/carers give a reason on the form for the need for a change of school? 

A.2   Yes 

Q.3    Please supply a breakdown of the reasons for requesting a transfer that parents/carers have given on the forms received by the LA in the last academic year (or the most recent year the LA has records for - please specify).

A.3   We do not record reason for transfer unless it relates to pupils moving into the area. 6% of the 1433 applications were for children moving into Northumberland.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5705
Request Date: 04/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 I am aware that all Billing Authorities hold records of businesses that have or have not applied for small business rates relief. We would like would like to obtain a list of businesses who are not receiving small business rates relief. If this information relating to unclaimed small business rates relief is available on the website then please also indicate when the requested information (spreadsheet or website) has been updated. I therefore request a breakdown of businesses who are not receiving small business rates relief with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 since 2017, including the following information:

A) The name of each business in respect of which non-domestic rates are payable.
B) The Rateable value of the property
C) The address of the business in respect of which non-domestic rates apply

A.1 The Freedom of Information Act sets out various exemptions to the right of access. In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information relating to your request is exempt under the following provisions; Section 21 of the Act states that a public Authority does not need to provide information under section 1 of the Act if that information is reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means. The information is available by accessing the following link: http://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/
 
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5706
Request Date: 04/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I write to you as a separate legal entity.  We have a serious problem which is endemic in Nottingham of yellow/clinical waste bags of vulnerable people being deliberately interfered with (worst areas being Wollaton/next Carlton).  Thereby causing Environmental Health hazards and serious distress (involving the policy and city council). I wish to check on the prevalence of this systemic problem nationwide and charge you to help and support this endeavour.

Q.1   Please send a copy of your complete file on the above including but not exclusively
i)      records/reports/analysis/remedy of interference of bags (ripped/pulled/slit etc).
ii)     Policy and procedures of scheme (authorisation/analysis or recipients etc).

Without exceptions or omissions (any omissions are to be detailed, with reasons)

A.1   Northumberland does not currently deliver these services so unfortunately we do not hold the information you require. We are in dialogue with colleagues in the NHS about a current proposal for the County Council to start undertaking domestic collections of clinical waste but have not yet concluded those discussions.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5707
Request Date: 05/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am writing with a freedom of information request for data relating to the content and outcome of Return Home Interviews (RHIs) provided for runaway or missing children by your authority.  

Please can you send over answers to the following: 
Q.1    How many recorded instances of missing then returned children did you have in your authority per year between Jan 1st 2014-Jan 1st 2019? If you can provide a per month break down please do. 

Please see attached spreadsheet
 
Q.2   How many of these instances were children who had runaway more than once? If possible can you send a break down which shows a numbered list to indicate individual children and a second column with how many times they ran away? This would of course not include their name or any details. 

Please see attached spreadsheet
 
Q.3   A summary of the recorded outcomes or actions taken for all completed Return Home Interviews (for example a safeguarding referral, report to the police or to another service). I would like a breakdown of these for Jan 2014-Jan 2019.  Ideally this would be laid out by outcome, beside a number of times this was taken. This would sit along side a number of how many RHIs were carried out in total per year. Excel or PDF formats are fine.

Please see attached spreadsheet
 
Q.4   How many of these return interviews contained content about child exploitation?

Please see attached spreadsheet
 
Q.5   How many times were the police notified of potential child exploitation, following a RHI?  

A.5   All completed RHI's are shared with the Police. 

Q.6   Can you send me the hiring requirements for staff employed in-house to carry out RHIs? If you outsource this service please respond with who does this for you.

A.6   Currently have a secondment arrangement with Barnardo's who complete RHI's.  

Q.7   If you do not outsource and complete RHIs yourself - could you please provide the aide memoire/guidelines/checklist that you use when completing Return Home Interviews?

A.7   N/A


Details:

Reference Number: 5708
Request Date: 05/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   In the last ten years how many stage 2 complaints against the council have been ruled to be in favour of the person making the complaint.  Just a simple number please.

A.1  We do not hold this level of detail, but we can provide you with the following information which may be of interest:

2015
Number of stage 1 complaints received: 57
Number of stage 2 complaints received: 31
Number of complaints referred to the Ombudsman: 14
Number of complaints upheld by the Ombudsman: 6

2016
Number of stage 1 complaints received: 68
Number of stage 2 complaints received: 30
Number of complaints referred to the Ombudsman: 9
Number of complaints upheld by the Ombudsman: 0

2017
Number of stage 1 complaints received: 56
Number of stage 2 complaints received: 18
Number of complaints referred to the Ombudsman: 5
Number of complaints upheld by the Ombudsman: 2 partially upheld

2018
Number of stage 1 complaints received: 110
Number of stage 2 complaints received: 32
Number of complaints referred to the Ombudsman: 4
Number of complaints upheld by the Ombudsman: 0

2019 (as at 13 March 2019)
Number of stage 1 complaints received: 8
Number of stage 2 complaints received: 4
Number of complaints referred to the Ombudsman: 0
Number of complaints upheld by the Ombudsman: N/A
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5709
Request Date: 05/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How do you reconcile the council’s policy “the council wishes to be more transparent” when 2 requests have been made over a period of 120 days and the senior executive and Council members are aware of my requests and no responses are provided?

A.1 We unfortunately cannot comment on this question as it is not an FOI, if you would like to make a complaint please direct this to complaints@northumberland.gov.uk 

Q.2   Why have nearly 20% of registered caravan sites substantially been allowed to exceed the number of licensed pitches. On average by nearly 35%?

A.2 The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 (‘the Act’) gives a right of access to held information.  We are unable to provide an opinion as this would be the opinion of one person and not information held by Northumberland County Council.

Q.3   Which department and who within that department carries the responsibility of ensuring Caravan Sites meet the requirements of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 and the mobiles homes act 2013?

A.3 The Licensing Team are responsible for checks relating to suspected unlicensed sites and for compliance of the model conditions imposed on the site following the grant of planning permission. 

Q.3.1  Why has this monitoring not been carried out?

A.3.1 Monitoring has been carried out by the Licensing Team and a list of inspections recently carried out by the team is attached.

A.3.1 Planning only monitor compliance with Planning Permission

Q.4      Please provide a copy of the register of Caravan sites which the licensing authority is legally obliged to keep and make available to the public,

A.4 3 Licensing registers attached.

Q.5      Please provide details of what inspections have taken place,

A.5 Site visits are carried out if there is a report of a potential planning breach by Planning enforcement officers.  

Q.5.1   When the inspections have taken place in respect of caravan site legislation, and

A.5.1 Licensing inspections carried out for the period 1st April 2017 to date are attached as a PDF named ‘FOI 5709 - spreadsheet’

Q.5.2   details of the number of pitches for which the site is licensed and the number of pitches actually in use, and

A.5.2 The number of pitches would be included within the planning permission either by a set figure or 60 pitches per hectare.  

For sites established prior to 1960 there may be no restrictions.

Q.5.3   the title of the council officer responsible for carrying out such inspections to ensure planning permissions are complied with

A.5.3 Inspections are not carried out to check that the development is in accordance with approved plans unless it is reported to Planning Enforcement. There are 5 Planning Enforcement Officers so cases are allocated based on the area

Q.6     Please provide details about the planning permission granted to all caravan parks within the area controlled by Northumberland County Council or the local licensing authority if they are not the same entity.

A.6 Please see PDF attached named ‘5709 - Attachment 1’ which includes a list of applications that were approved on caravan sites.  If you wish to see more information you will be able to search for the applications on our public access system using the reference number.  If the associated documents are not there to view; a request to have them uploaded can be sent to the planningfilerequest@northumberland.gov.uk 

Q.6.1 Please provide details Specifically of the number of pitches the site is licensed for and any other constraints imposed, and

A.6.1 The caravan site licence restrictions only relate to the relevant model imposed which is dependent on the year it was approved and the area the site is situated in.   

There are 149 caravan sites licences and to extract the information relating to the number of pitches from the planning permission and to print off the relevant model conditions for each site would take approximately 10 minutes per site which would take in excess of 24 hours.

Q.6.2 Please provide details of what inspections have taken place to ensure planning permissions are complied with, and

A.6.2 Planning will investigate breaches of Planning Control.  Planning do not actively monitor permissions 

Q.6.3 Please provide details any planning applications for caravan sites made since January 1st, 2019 which have yet to be granted permission, and

A.6.3 We have not received any applications for caravans sites this year so far, so we have none pending or determined 

Q.6.4 Please provide details any planning applications for caravan sites made since January 1st, 2019 which have been granted permission, and

All details for this section must state the number of pitches, any constraints the applied when permission is granted. Of course other significant factors which would need to taken into account are the safety of site occupants (i.e. are the units sufficiently spaced to prevent fire spreading?). Are fire precautions adequate for the number of units? Is the waste disposal (sewage) capable of dealing with the excess effluent? What impact does the excess usage have on the socio-environmental impact of the sites, on schools, communications,(telephone and broadband access), policing, medical and council services. What of concerns about safety because of the significant increase in the use of private cars in otherwise quiet rural areas for activities from shopping to visiting tourist attractions. What would be the effect on the character and appearance of the countryside, particularly in areas of high landscape value, what would be the impact on areas of best and most versatile agricultural land, or on farm structures? What would be the impact on the local community, and where associated with a settlement? Is the increase in site pitches well related to local character in terms of scale and siting? What would be the impact on sites of heritage or nature conservation value?

A.6.4 We have not received any applications for caravans sites this year so far, so we have none pending or determined.


Details:

Reference Number: 5711
Request Date: 05/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Do your councillors have a privacy notice? If so please provide a link to this on your website.

A.1   I am writing to inform you that we have searched our records and the information you requested is not held by Northumberland County Council. Councillors are registered directly with the ICO as their own data controllers, and as such should have their own privacy notices. Please see the link below for individual councillor details:
http://committee.northumberland.gov.uk/CouncillorSearch.aspx
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5713
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the following data recorded with your authority between 29th November 2016 to 28th February 2019.

Q.1   How many children have been reported for child “peer on peer” sexual offences on a Secondary school premises (School premises includes everything within the school property boundaries and also extends to include other settings or any venue managed by the school at the time e.g. premises of a school trip or visit.)

Of that figure:

- How many of those children reported for and / or charged with “peer on peer” sexual offences have been temporarily excluded from school.
- How many those children convicted for “peer on peer” sexual offences have been permanently excluded from school.
- How many children victim to an alleged sexual assault have changed schools or been removed from school by a parent or guardian.
- How many child “peer on peer” sex offences reported to you were for rape.

A.1   We don't collect this information.

Q.2   How many children have been reported for “peer on peer” sexual offences on a Primary School premises. (School premises includes everything within the school property boundaries and also extends to include other settings or any venue managed by the school at the time e.g. premises of a school trip or visit.)

Of that figure:

- How many of those children reported for allegedly perpetrating “peer on peer” sexual offences have been temporarily excluded from school.
- How many those children convicted for allegedly perpetrating “peer on peer” sexual offences have been permanently excluded from school.
- How many children victim to an alleged sexual assault by a school peer have changed schools or been removed from school by a parent or guardian.
- How many child “peer on peer” sex offences reported to you were for rape.

A.2   We don't collect this information.

Q.3   How many child “peer on peer” sexual offences have been reported to your authority.

A.3   We don't collect this information.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5715
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How many days were lost to sickness in 2017/2018?

A.1   40,835.73 FTE Lost Days

Q.2   Please can you provide; the total number of days lost, the average days lost per employee and the amount lost as percentage of available hours / time?

A.2   40,835.73 FTE Lost Days, 11.00 Average Days Lost Per FTE, % of Days Lost for April 2017-March 2018 = 4.95%
 
Q.3   How many days were lost to sickness linked to mental health, including but not limited to: stress, depression and anxiety in 2017/18?

A.3   10,494.27

Q.4   Please can you provide; the total number of days lost, the average days lost per employee and the amount lost as percentage of available hours / time?

A.4   10,494.27, Average Days Lost Per FTE for Mental Health Reasons = 2.83, % Days Lost for Mental Health Reasons = 1.27% (Mental Health Reasons account for 25% of the total sickness)

Q.5   Does your organisation use the Bradford Factor and if what score do you use as the initial trigger for an intervention?  For example; once an employee has a Bradford Factor score of 100 or more, formal disciplinary action commences?

Q.5a   Please can you advise whether you use the Bradford Factor? Y/N

A.5a   No, we do not use the Bradford Factor

Q.5b   If you do, please can you advise at what score the initial intervention is triggered?

A.5b   N/A

Q.5c   If you do, please can you advise what the initial intervention is?

A.5c   N/A
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5716
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 I hereby request a list of unclaimed business rate credit balances. Please can you also include accounts where a 'write on' has been used to cancel an overpayment which has not since been reversed. Please can this information be provided to me in an Excel Spreadsheet, including the following fields:

• Ratepayer name 
• Property Address 
• Billing Authority Reference 
• Amount of credit/write on 
• The period or financial year of the credit/write on

I appreciate that properties where the ratepayer is an individual would be excluded from my request. In such cases, please provide the remaining information with the Ratepayer either blank or listed as 'individual'

A.1 We hold the information you requested. However we are withholding that information since we consider that the exemption under Section 31(1)(a) applies. 

31 Law enforcement.
(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—
(a) the prevention or detection of crime,

We consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5717
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please can you provide me with the name and contact details of the IT Decision Maker who is responsible for the implementation of software in the council.

A.1   Neil Arnold - Chief Information Officer
0345 600 6400


Details:

Reference Number: 5719
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   I am wondering whether you are able to supply me with some data for my review. I am looking for the following information for all Primary Fires involving Commercial Buildings Only that your Fire Service has attended over the last ten years or so:

Incident Number
Date Of Call
Time Of Call
Address Of Fire
Postcode Of Fire
Easting
Northing
Property Type
First Pump Arriving Attendance Time
Second Pump Arriving Attendance Time
Number Of Pumps Attending
Length Of Fire Brigade Attendance
Time Fire Started
Time Fire Put Out
Fire Alarms?
Sprinklers?
Floor Area Damaged
Main Cause Of Ignition

A.1   Please find attached a document detailing all of the primary fires involving commercial buildings only that Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has attended over the last ten years.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5720
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please send me copies of all briefing material presented to Councillors since 1 Jan 2018 which relates to the future of the local automotive sector and its suppliers

A.1   No briefing material has been presented to Councillors since 1 Jan 2018 which relates to the future of the local automotive sector and its suppliers.


Details:

Reference Number: 5721
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

For the purposes of this request for information, the following definitions should be applied:
Social worker - Employee in a post requiring a professional qualification where that qualification is recorded as social worker OR employee in a non-qualified post who holds a professional qualification recorded as social worker Mental health provision - A service or role where service user eligibility is based upon mental health need

Q.1   How many social workers employed directly by the Local Authority work within mental health
Provision?
A.1. 11 people; 9.58 whole-time equivalents.  Please note that most social workers funded by Northumberland County Council are employed by the NHS, and are not included in these figures.

Q.2   Does the number above include the Approved Mental Health Professional workforce? If yes, how many social work Approved Mental Health Professionals are employed by the local authority?
A.2 It includes some of them, but others work in settings which do not meet your definition, such as our out of hours emergency duty team.  In total we have 15 active (authorised and approved) AMHPs. 8 of these are included in the figure above, and work wholly as AMHPs; the other 7 work in our out of hours team.

Q.3    Are the mental health social workers employed directly by the local authority (please indicate
all which apply):
☐ Based in local authority teams
☐ Based in NHS teams under direct local authority line management
☐ Based in NHS teams without direct local authority line management
A.3 Since you have not supplied a definition of an “NHS team”, we have answered this question in prose.  All the staff listed are managed within a structure within a partnership with an NHS FT. Management arrangements are closely intertwined, with some senior posts employed by the Council and others by the FT.  At the most senior level, the services are the responsibility of a postholder who has a joint role as Chief Executive of the Council and an Executive Director of the FT. Formally, her managerial responsibility for these posts is part of her role in the FT.

Q.4    What formal or informal arrangements does the local authority have with local NHS providers for the provision of mental health services (please describe)?
A.4 At the request of the NHS FT with responsibility for mental health services, the Section 75 partnership arrangement which was previously in place, which included integrated teams with a single line management structure, was dissolved from 2013, and social workers working in mental health services are now managed within and in most cases employed by an FT responsible for acute and community services.  Some elements of our former partnership with the mental health trust have remained in place, including an automated overnight exchange of records about services users for whom we have shared responsibility.

Q.5  Does the local authority commission any mental health social work provision from a third party
provider? If yes, which services are externally commissioned?
Date information compiled:
Contact details for final report:
A.5 Our arrangements are based on a Section 75 partnership rather than being provided as a commissioned service. Date information compiled:  Data based on establishment as at November 2018. Contact details for final report:  Stephen.corlett@northumbria.nhs.uk
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5722
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Does Ponteland Community High School have official feeder schools and when did this arrangement commence?

A.1   Feeder schools have been used as an oversubscription criteria for allocating school places in Ponteland for many years (longer than 10) although it appears at number 6 on a list of 7 criteria.   All the primary schools within the Ponteland Partnership are listed as feeder schools for entry into the high school for September 2019. 
 
Q.2   How many children will be starting year 7 at Ponteland Community High School in September 2019?  How many form classes will there be in year 7?

A.2   240 (the school is responsible for organising form classes etc. we do not have that information.

Q.3   How many children have started at Ponteland Community High School in year 9 in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014?  How many form classes were there in each of these years?

A.3
2014 - 238
2015 - 273
2016 - 271
2017 - 268
2018 - 274

How the school organises its classes is at their own discretion, the Local Authority does not hold this information  

Q.4   How many admission appeals have there been to enter Ponteland Community High School for the years 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014?  How many of these appeals have been successful in each of these years?

A.4
2014 - 0
2015 - 0
2016 - 0
2017 - 0
2018 - 7 (3 were successful)
 
Q.5   What were the oversubscription criteria used for September 2019 entry to Ponteland Community High School?

A.5   The Council’s admissions policy and oversubscription criteria was applied for Sept 2019 entry a copy is available on the council's website via this link:
https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Education/Schools/Admissions.aspx#offersday
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5724
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am writing to request information relating to your local authority budget. Please provide the following information:
 
a) Please state the earmarked budget allocated (as opposed to out-turn or the estimated spend) by your local authority for 
i) financial year 2015/16 
ii) financial year 2016/17 
iii) financial year 2017/18 and 
iv) financial year 2018/19 for the below numbered spending areas (please give combined budget if within a block contract):
 
1.            Adult Learning Disabled Services
2.            Adult Social Care
3.            Elderly Residential Care
4.            Children’s Centres
5.            Outdoor Education
6.            Safeguarding Vulnerable Children
7.            Special Educational Needs
8.            Adoption Services
9.            Sports Facilities
10.          Street Lighting
11.          Subsidised Public Transport
12.          Winter Gritting
13.          School Crossing
14.          Road Maintenance

Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Attachments:

Details:

Reference Number: 5725
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I would like to make a request for information relating to the iNorthumberland Scheme.

Q.1      Could you please confirm how much money has been paid to Openreach by or through Northumberland County Council for the iNorthumberland Broadband scheme PHASE 2. Please also confirm how many cabinets have been installed for this payment and how many properties or business now have access to a Superfast Broadband connection as a result.

A.1      Total invoices claimed to date (Q.3 2018/19) = £8,222,660

Q.2      Please also confirm how many cabinets have been installed for this payment 

A.2      91x FTTC - cabinets, 

47x FTTP - PONs,

87x FTTC - copper rearrangement jobs. 

Q.3      how many properties or business now have access to a Superfast Broadband connection as a result.

A.3      BDUK verified, 4,210 superfast connections (greater than 24Mb).

Please note: For the above answer, we are unable to break down the number between properties and businesses as we do not hold this information.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5726
Request Date: 07/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 How many homeless applications were referred to Now Medical Ltd 

A.1   We have not referred anyone to Now Medical Ltd therefore have not made any decision based on any information that they have provided.

Q.2 How many homeless applications were not found to be in priority need after  they were referred to Now Medical Ltd

A.2   N/A
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5728
Request Date: 07/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Request for the ongoing Cost of gagging order payments issued by Northumberland County Council to employees and ex employees of Northumberland County Council from 2015 to 2019 and the estimated cost implication to council tax payers over this period.

A.1   Northumberland County Council does not use gagging orders for employees or ex-employees.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5729
Request Date: 07/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   For a complete breakdown of each Northumberland County Councillors’s attendance record  (official meetings) since the last elections in May 2017. To include the total number of meetings each Councillor has been due to attend since the elections, the number they actually attended and the percentage.

A.1   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.  

Please note: There will be occasions where due to meetings being scheduled at the same time, or conflicting council commitments, a member may be marked absent because they are attending to other council business/meetings.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5730
Request Date: 07/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please could you provide information on how much money is spent each year with agencies on the educational tuition of Looked After Children, itemizing which agencies are used, and how much is spent with each?

A.1   Tuition figures for Looked after Children for last academic year 2017/18 are as follows:

Teaching Personnel    £21,426.51
Supply Desk               £ 3,105.00
PK Education             £84,172.00

Making a total Spend of £108,703.51
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5731
Request Date: 07/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1  Do residents fund their own telecare/assistive technology or is this funded by the Local Authority? If it is funded by the Local Authority, is it available to all residents or is needs assessed?

A.1    The local authority no longer subsidises new users of telecare, except in the relatively rare case where the telecare is an integral part of their care and support plan.  The Council has an in-house telecare service, originally developed by one of the former district councils in our area, which is available to all residents, though the nature of the support offered varies depending on where the service user lives.  There is a group of service users of the Council’s service who are currently subsidised because of protection dating from the time when they qualified for Supporting People funding. 

Q.2   What percentage of your residents using Telecare/assistive technology are private pay, compared to the percentage that are funded by the Local Authority?

A.2    We do not have statistics for all residents.  Of the users of our in-house service, 230 are subsidised; the remaining 2845 pay charges intended to cover the full cost of their service

Q.3   How many residents do you currently have using your Telecare offer?

A.3   3075 people use our in-house telecare service

Q.4   How many of these connections are hard wired (scheme) and how many are dispersed?

A.4   159 of the people using our in-house service have hard-wired connections; 2916 are dispersed.

Q.5   How many staff do you have employed in connection with your Telecare provision?

A.5    29 staff (20.8 f.t.e.), and 6 workers on casual contracts.

Q.6   What platform is your Alarm Receiving Call Centre operating on? Is it PNC (which version), UMO, Jontek or Verklizan?

A.6   PNC 6.

Q.7   Do you have a Digital Switchover Plan for your Telecare offer in place?

A.7   We do not yet have a detailed plan for this, but will be developing one in tandem with our planned procurement of an upgrade to the PNC platform.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5732
Request Date: 07/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Customer was on hold a long time before he got an answer to renew his garden waste. He would like to know what (if any) commission or revenue the council get by having an 0345 number.

A.1   We do apologise that you were kept on hold. However, we receive no income or commission for our 0345 number.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5735
Request Date: 08/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   I would like a full list of businesses that have become liable for business rate between the 15th Feb to the 8th March 19 if possible please.

Please include the following

*  Full business name
*  Full property address
*  Date of liability
*  Property type

A.1   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Attachments:

Details:

Reference Number: 5736
Request Date: 08/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

From your allocated Public Health budget, how much do you propose to spend on the following areas of drug and alcohol treatment in 2019/20?

Q.1  Residential rehabilitation budget (tier4)

A.1    £0

Q.2  Residential detoxification budget (tier 4)

A.2   The residential detoxification budget has been transferred to the community substance misuse service, so the information is held by the service not ourselves.

Q.3   Community substance misuse services (tier 3)

A.3    £3,347,020

Q.4   Total substance misuse budget

A.4    See Q3


Details:

Reference Number: 5737
Request Date: 08/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

In your authority, what eggs ( shell and liquid) are purchased and/or used for catering:
 
Q.1   Please select the minimum accepted standard:

Free range
Barn (indoor exclusively, non-caged)
Caged
Don’t know

A.1   Free range eggs are used in all schools managed by Northumberland County Council, the County Kitchen (County Hall onsite restaurant) and our Country Park Cafes. 

Q.2   Is it possible for caged eggs to be used in public institutions under your authority? 

A.2   No
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5739
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am making a Freedom Of Information Act request to ask some questions about the ENCTS concession bus passes that are issued by your council to your residents.

Q.1   How many current valid ENCTS bus passes issued by your council are currently in circulation?

A.1     67,398

Q.2    Of these how many are the OAP version?

2.     59,499

Q.3   Of these how many are the ordinary Disabled (without any companion) version?

3.     5,937

Q.4   Of these how many are the Disabled plus Companion version?

4.      1,96
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5741
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Does the archive service provide free Wi-Fi for users?

A.1   Yes

Q.2   What is the percentage of modern foreign language items held at your archive service (if more than one office, please give the overall percentage)? If unknown, please could a realistic estimate be offered? E.g. less than 5%

A.2   Our collections are not catalogued in entirety but the total modern language holdings is very small – less than 1%.

Q.3   What modern foreign languages are present in your holdings (both catalogued and backlog if possible)? Please include the number of items in your holdings for each language if possible. This includes non-western scripts. If a language is unknown, please state ‘unidentified’. 

A.3   Because we have a number of uncatalogued collections it is not possible to answer this question in detail but we do hold MSS written in French, German Greek and Italian.

Q.4   Has the organisation advertised a job for an archivist with specific modern foreign language requirements in the last 5 years? If yes, which language? 

A.4   No

Q.5   Does your archive service have any written guidance or guidelines for staff on how to appropriately process modern foreign language donations or deposits?

A.5   No

Q.6   Has the archive service ever received or requested funding towards any projects involving modern foreign language archival material? If yes, please provide details.  

A.6   No

Q.7   Who else has dealt with modern foreign language material within your holdings on behalf of the archive service (e.g. volunteers, external institution, etc)? This includes functions such as cataloguing and outreach purposes.

A.7   Foreign language material has been dealt with mainly by members of core staff. In the past we had a volunteer who translated a German newspaper for us.

Q.8   What reference material do you provide for users/researchers who want to access archives that are in a foreign language?

A.8   French and German dictionaries.
 
To clarify, modern foreign languages exclude ‘dead’ languages, such as Latin and Anglo-Norman. While I understand accuracy in questions 2 and 3 may be difficult, I would be extremely grateful for an estimate if possible.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5743
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

The aim is to see if challenges to on-spot local council penalty charge notices (PCNs) for parking fines are impacted by the method of communication used between councils and drivers/vehicle-owners. In particular, I'm interested to see if challenges are resolved differently when challengers are in contact via post, or when challengers are in contact online and request to receive further information via post.

Q.1   The fields that I am looking for are:

Number of PCNs issued by your council in 2018 (or in the last twelve-month period for which data exists, since 2015)
Number of PCNs from the above category which were challenged
Number of the above challenges which were made online, by post, or by other means (itemised)
Number of the above challenged PCNs in each category which were upheld by the Council, and the number of the above challenged PCNs in which category which were not upheld/cancelled by the Council

A.1   There were 24,030 Penalty Charge Notices issued between 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018.

Of the PCNs issued between 1 January 2108 to 31 December 2018, 3655 PCNs were subject to a challenge.

Challenges are categorised type:
Informal representation; 
Formal representation; or
Appeal

We are unable to record how each challenge is received for instance by email, post, web, hand delivery and therefore cannot provide the itemised split as requested.

Of the 3655 PCNs which were challenged, 2673 PCNs were upheld, and 982 PCNs were cancelled as the result of a successful challenge. 

However as explained above, these cannot be itemised by email, post, web, hand delivery as we do not record this information.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5745
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Grants to Hadston House

Q.1   How much money does your council give to the above organisation?

A.1   We have searched our records back to 1st April 2017 and only one grant payment of £4000.00 has been made to Hadston House Youth and Community Projects Ltd.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5746
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The above is a well used company by Northumberland County Council HR consultant are the registered to handle personal data and if so at what level? 

A.1   The contract between Northumberland County Council and CROSLAND CONSULTING LIMITED (Company number 09001883) includes specific wording regarding confidentiality of information, including sensitive or personal data, that they will come into contact with in the performance of the contract.  The relevant section from the contract is attached for reference.

Due diligence checks have also been carried out with the Information Commissioner's Office to ensure that CROSLAND CONSULTING LIMITED is registered on their Data Protection Register (Registration number: ZA505438 / expires: 15 March 2020) and that no enforcement action has been taken against them for non-compliance of the Data Protection Act 2018.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5747
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 I'd like to make a Freedom of Information Request regarding the number of siblings who have been separated when in the care of your local authority over the last three years. How many siblings in the care system of your local authority have been separated since 1st January 2016 to present?  Please provide a breakdown of the numbers by year.

A.1   In 2015/16, 1 sibling group was separated where this wasn't the plan
         In 2016/17, no sibling groups were separated where this wasn't the plan
         In 2017/18, 2 sibling groups were separated where this wasn't the plan
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5748
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How many council staff work in the centre of each Northumberland Town

A.1    We have assigned a town to each building as at 31 March for this year and the last two years. - please see the attached document

Q.2    How has this changed over the past 2 years

A.2     Please see the response to Q.1

Q.3    What investment has been made in Northumberland high streets.

A.3     The County Council is committed to working with Town Forums and similar partnerships to make the most of the county's town centres, targeting interventions and support where it will have the greatest impact.

Partners in towns across Northumberland are being encouraged by the County Council to develop proposals as part of the council’s new Town Investment Programme.  The councils priorities for town centre growth and regeneration are set out in the Northumberland Economic Strategy 2019-2014 and we are working with regional partners including the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Borderlands Initiative to deliver.

The council’s offer to towns includes drawing in support and assistance from across the authority including Advance Northumberland to work with project sponsors to develop their plans.  

The council’s town investment programme already includes major development commitments to support town centres such as the new leisure centre in Morpeth, works on Bedlington Town Centre, Amble Enterprise Park, Lower Prudhoe, Manor Walks in Cramlington and the development of Portland Park in Ashington.  

This was recently added to following further decisions by council in March 2019 focused on encouraging town centre development, this includes announcements to: 

To submit an expression of interest by 22nd March 2019 seeking support from the national Future High Streets Fund to develop a new, deliverable vision for Blyth town centre.  
To support the development of the business case for the new Berwick Maltings Theatre and Conference Centre that has the potential to transform Berwick town centre.  
To support the development of a feasibility study to establish how Alnwick bus station and the surrounding area can be improved as a key gateway into the town.  
The council is continuing to talk to towns across the county to deliver what will be a comprehensive Town Investment Programme.  There will be more news later this year as we identify projects which give us the best chance of attracting investment.  

This involves local County Councillors, their Town Council colleagues and other strategic partners with the intention of together demonstrating through town forums that we can work together to deliver solutions to make our town centres fit for the future.

Q.4   What assessment has the council made on Northumberland High Streets in relation to the Grimsey Review?

A.4 The Grimsey review and the national Future High Streets Advisory Panel have both guided the county councils approach to establishing its town Investment Programme and the development of Town Forums and similar partnerships.

The Grimsey review pointed to a number of actions that Local Government can take forward including:
 
  • Establish an empowered organisation or Town Centre Commission under strong, established leadership 
  • Ensure that this vision is underpinned by a comprehensive business/place plan. 
  • Accept that there is already too much retail space in the UK and that bricks and mortar retailing can no longer be the anchor for thriving high streets and town centres. They need to be repopulated and re-fashioned as community hubs, including housing, health and leisure, entertainment, education, arts, business/office space and some shops. 
  • Embed libraries and public spaces at the heart of each community as digital and health hubs that embrace smart technology. 
  • Establish common key performance indicators to measure the economic and public health of each town. Link the reporting through a data dashboard to provide independent, objective and current data on performance. Data gathered by the town needs to be delivered in Open Format (Open Data) so it can be shared. 
  • Local authorities should establish events teams to manage a comprehensive programme of activities that complement the Town Centre Commission Plan by driving footfall to local high streets.

The council is responding to this agenda picking up on Grimseys findings particularly about the need for ‘town centre commissions’, ‘comprehensive business/place plans’ and ‘common key performance indicators’ by:
 
  1. Providing a comprehensive Town Regeneration Support package
  2. Establishing a network of Town Forums developing and enabling the delivery of economic development and regeneration projects for long term benefit. Each of the 7 main towns (larger centres) has a town forum or similar arrangement established for 2019 onwards.  The forums include a focus on utilising the Councils own assets as effectively as possible.
  3. Supporting the development of a Town Investment Programme to fully establish comprehensive business / place plans with a future pipeline of interventions to boost economic performance in town centres.
  4. Establishing support to monitor town performance through the new NCC town economy matrix

Further detail about the councils approach is set out below.

1. Town Regeneration Support

The council provides the following support:
 
  • Directly providing coordination support in the seven main towns (larger centres) with a dedicated town forum, forums established to date are supported by officers from the Economy and Regeneration Service and Strategic Estates.  Each forum / partnership arrangement is at a different stage in development as they become fully established
  • Providing a dedicated link officer within the Economy and Regeneration Service to support and regular liaise with smaller main towns.  
  • Support for all settlements - The service provides assistance to a wide range of communities in Northumberland to support regeneration projects and partnership development
  • Targeted assistance linked to the above, Advance Northumberland lead on a range of priority investment projects in localities.

2. Town Forums

The purpose and focus of town forums is on developing and enabling the delivery of economic development and regeneration projects for long term benefit.  They provide a place focused partnership and flexible grouping (not a formal decision making body) to: 
 
  • Develop joint initiatives and support action 
  • Engage the public in the work of organisations
Support for town forums from NCC is as follows:
  • Town Chairs: Each main town (larger centres) has support from a senior officer, in most cases as Chair of the relevant forum
  • Cross service support: The above arrangements provide the basis to identify what support may be required including planning and technical support, and involvement from other services and Advance Northumberland and Active Northumberland.
  • Corporate Focus: The Council’s town regeneration focus is supported by the corporate Regeneration Investment Group (RIG) structure providing a regular focus on the place based agenda to ensure effective provision of funding, strategy and cross service support
  • Project Pipeline: Each town’s key regeneration projects are included in the corporate Regeneration Investment Pipeline
  • Performance: the Council has produced a new Town Economy Matrix to assist partners in understanding performance in towns.  This matrix enclosed with this briefing provides a summary of headline data regarding performance in the main towns and is intended to act as an aid to partners in considering the baseline performance of their town. 

3. Town Investment Programme

The council has been encouraging partners to work together to develop a Northumberland Town Investment Programme.  This involves working with Town Forums and similar place based partnerships, Town Councils, commercial and community partners.
 
  • Project Pipeline - the purpose is to fully establish a future pipeline of interventions to boost economic performance in town centres.  
  • Work to date - this build on work to date in a number of towns, e.g. Town Forums 
  • New Ideas - The council has made available an expression of interest process - to identify new ideas and outline proposals which now need to be tested and potentially worked up into business cases
  • Further work - This is an ongoing process through which the council will work with partners. The council is offering to develop place based business plans with towns appropriate to each locality. 

4. Town Performance
 
  • Economy Matrix - The council has produced the new NCC Town Economy Matrix available to inform local plans and proposals.  This draws together for the first time available information across the Council, this has been sent to key stakeholders in each town centre and its use encouraged through the town forum network and a recent all member briefing with county councillors.
  • Business Cases - The intention is to provide evidence to help inform the identification and preparation of strong business cases which justify intervention.  It provides a starting point to understand the relative performance of town centres
  • Support for 12 main towns - the matrix covers the 12 main towns (large and small centres).  NCC staff are available to help stakeholders understand and investigate available data for any town / settlement in Northumberland.  There are plans going forward to potentially commission further work to inform this such as developing a new approach to footfall data.


Details:

Reference Number: 5749
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    The total number of child serious case reviews undertaken for each year since Regulation 5 of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006 came into effect. If these figures are not available, please provide the number of child serious case reviews for each year for which you have figures.

A.1    The total SCR's since 2006 for Northumberland LSCB is 8 

Q.2    The internet address where the child serious case review publications are uploaded.

A.2    https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Children/Safeguarding.aspx

Q.3    How long the authority keeps child serious case reviews uploaded before taking them off line and requiring people to ask for the publication on request.

A.3   14 months

Q.4    The number of downloads and requests for the publication of each child serious case review the authority has received.

A.4   We do not keep this data
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5750
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The total number of adult serious case reviews undertaken for each year since 2006. If these figures are not available, please provide the number of adult serious case reviews for each year for which you have figures.

A.1   We have carried out two Serious Case Reviews or equivalent Safeguarding Adults Reviews since 2006, one published in 2012 and one in 2018.

Q.2   The internet address where the adult serious case review publications are uploaded.

A.2   https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Care/Support/Safeguarding.aspx

Q.3   How long the authority keeps adult serious case reviews uploaded before taking them off line and requiring people to ask for the publication on request.

A.3   Our current practice is to keep all of these reports available online.

Q.4   The number of downloads and requests for the publication of each adult serious case review the authority has received.

A.4   We do not hold this information
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5751
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1      Does your organization presently use and/or endorse a (RPM) remote patient monitoring system to capture vital signs or other health related measurements whilst a patient is residing in their own home or being cared for in a non-acute environment such as community hospital/hospice/residential or care home - (Measurement examples being blood pressure/weight/ temperature/ Oxygen Saturation /EWS/ pulse/glucose etc.)?
 
If the answer is NO –
1.1.2    Is telemedicine/ RPM, something that the County Council would consider (within the next 2 years) as a way of either reducing hospital re-admissions, A&E attendance, saving district nursing time & cost, for patient convenience and/or recognizing and acting upon patient deterioration sooner?

1.1.3    If the CC is not considering RPM for suitable patients (able to take their own readings or have a carer who can do this for them) – is there a reason why this is not being considered?

1.2       If the answer is YES – RPM is presently used in the community - could you please detail –

1.2.1    the system type/name/supplier

1.2.2    Where do you send this data/measurements to – for instance…GP system

1.2.3    When this system came into use and when contract expires

1.2.4    How much does this costs the CC (approximately) per person or per year for multiple patients/residents

1.2.5    What data is captured & is there measurements you would like to capture but cannot achieve at the moment? (examples – blood pressure/temperature/Glucose/O2 saturation/ weight, pulse etc)

1.2.6    Has there been any analysis of this data to demonstrate that remote patient monitoring from home, (or community residence) has reduced patient admissions into hospital and/or improved care/medication needs etc?

Who is the main person(s)/ decision maker (s)or team – who would probably be responsible (or is responsible) for the decision to use remote patient monitoring in the community? Name/title…

A.1   Your information request has been addressed to the Council, but appears to be wholly concerned with health services, which the Council is not responsible for, though it works closely with the NHS bodies which are.  We suggest that it should be sent to one or both of Northumberland CCG or Northumbria Healthcare NHS FT.

We would also comment that some of your questions ask about the opinions of the organisation they are addressed to rather than about information held by it.  These questions appear to us to fall outside the scope of the FOI scheme.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5752
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 The total number of FTE equivalent child and separately, adult, social worker posts for each year for the last ten years. 

A.1   Please see the attached document.

Q.2 The percentage vacancy rate for each quarter for each of the last ten years for child and separately, adult, social workers posts. 

A.2 We do not hold this information

Q.3    The percentage of agency staff for each quarter for each of the last ten years for child and separately, adult, social worker posts.

A.3    Refused based on the time needed to get the data. Justification below:

In order to collate this information we would have to generate reports on a weekly basis. For the time period in question this would be 520 reports, which take approximately 5 minutes to prepare. This would therefore total over 43 hours of work to provide the information.

Q.4    The total number of staff for each of the last ten years that have been a) disciplined and b) dismissed for child and separately, adult, social workers posts qualified social care practitioners. 

A.4    Please see the attached document.

Please note the recording system for disciplinary issues was unavailable for large parts of 2014 and 2015. Under A) we have included those where there was a formal sanction under the Council's disciplinary policy. 

Q.5    The average caseload for a social worker for each quarter of the last ten years for child and separately, adult, social workers. 

A.5     We do not hold this data in a form which would permit the construction of a meaningful time series.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5753
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The number of registered Childrens Homes operated by the Local Authority as at 1st January 2019 and as at 1st January 2018;

A.1   5

Q.2   The number of registered Childrens Homes operated by an Independent (private or voluntary) provider within your Local Authority as at 1st January 2019 and as at 1st January 2018;

LAC Statistics

A.2   8

Q.3   The number of current looked after children (LAC);

A.3   366

Q.4   The number of LAC currently placed within Local Authority Childrens homes;

A.4   11

Q.5   The number of LAC currently placed within Independent Childrens homes;

 Framework & Non-Framework Providers & Fees
 
A.5   26

Q.6   In relation to any Frameworks you currently operate with Independent Childrens Home Providers, please provide the following information (including Provider name) about the number of LAC placed with Independent Childrens Homes, the average weekly fee paid for these placements, per type specified and whether the fees include any discounts agreed with said Provider. Please also advise the totals for all placements in each type specified i.e. total average weekly fee & total no of CYP in placement.  

A.6   Please see attached spreadsheet

Q.7   As per question 6, please provide the same information; however, this time in relation to Non-Framework Providers i.e. where the Local Authority (LA) has placed with Independent Childrens Home Providers using a Spot Purchase mechanism because the Provider is not on a Framework with the LA. Please also advise the totals for all placements in each type specified i.e. total average weekly fee & total no of CYP in placement.

A.7   Please see attached spreadsheet
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5754
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The total number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests the council has received for each of the last ten years. 

A.1
2019 - 492 as at 31/03/2019.
2018 - 1,313 
2017 - 1,315 
2016 - 1,371
2015 - 1,412  
2014 - 1,495  
2013 - 1337
2012 - 981 
2011 - 892 
2010 - 831 
2009 - 782

Q.2   The total number of WTE staff that have had to have been employed by the council with an FOIA remit for each of the last ten financial years.

A.2 Each area within the council has a link officer who deals with freedom of information requests as an addition to their employed role.  Due to the reorganisation of areas within the Council, the number officers who deal with requests is not static.

Q.3   The dedicated budget provided for the FOIA department for each of the last ten financial years

A.3 As per the previous answer, the Council utilises a number of staff across many service areas to carry out FOI processing however, this is not their full time role. As this is not static and we currently do not monitor the percentage of their time spent on FoI processing, this information is not held. 

Q.4   The total percentage and number of FOIA enquiries answered within the 20 working day timescale for each of the last ten years (or for which figures are available) up to the end of 2018.

A.4
2018 - 1280
2017 - 1217
2016 - 1223
2015 - 1324
2014 - 1451
2013 - 1297
2012 - 929
2011 - 805
2010 - 782
2009 - 667
 
The data provided in Q1 & Q4 can be manipulated to generate the percentage of requests answered within 20 working day timescale. 

Q.5   The total  percentage and number of FOIA enquiries answered within 20 - 40 working days of receipt for each of the last ten years (or for which figures are available) up to the end of 2018

A.5 We only monitor if it’s within timescales or if the request is overdue, we do not specify into categories of how many days overdue.
 
Q.6   The total percentage and number of FOIA enquiries that took longer than 40 working days of receipt to answer for each of the last ten years (or for which figures are available) up to the end of 2018

A.6 As we only monitor if it’s within timescales or if overdue, not specifically into categories of how many days overdue we do not the number or percentage over a 40 day period. 

Q.7   The total percentage and number of FOIA enquiries that were never answered for each of the last ten years (or for which figures are available) up to the end of 2018

A.7 2018 - 16 outstanding
There are no outstanding requests older than 2018 

Q.8   The total number of FOIA requests where the council has issued a charge for the information in the last ten years for which figures are available

A.8   We do not record this information centrally. In order to calculate this, we would have to look at each request to confirm if there was a charge issued.  We would only hold 7 years worth of financial information in line with our retention policy. With this in mind, the calculation to do this would be as follows:- 9716 requests (2012-2019 requests) *  2 minutes = 323.8 hours. 

Section 12 exemption applies to Q8.
 
Q.9   The total income received from FOIA charges imposed by the council for providing information for each of the last yen years. 

A.9 We do not record this information centrally. In order to calculate this, we would have to use the information from Q.7, identify the service area cost code and run individual transaction reports for each year. We would only hold 7 years worth of financial information in line with our retention policy.  9716 (2012-2019 requests) * 2 minutes = 323.8 hours. 

Section 12 exemption applies to Q.9. 

Exemptions 

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information relating to Q.8 and Q.9 of your request is exempt under the following provisions as the time and cost involved in extracting the requested information would exceed our statutory obligation to comply with the request e.g. 2.5 days. It would take 323.8 hours for Q.6 and 323.8 hours for Q.7 giving a total of 647.6 hours equivalent to 89.4 days.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5755
Request Date: 11/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   For the years 2016, 2017 and 2018, please may I have both:
  a) The number of Community Protection Notices (CPNs) issued,
  b) And the number of CPN warnings issued.

A.1 2016:
CPN - 7
CPW - 173

2017:
CPN - 16
CPW - 127

2018:
CPN - 60
CPW - 166

Q.2    Additionally for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018, please may I have either:

a) The full text of every CPN issued (along with the date) with any personal info redacted,

b)  Or a general description of the subject matter and cited justification for the CPN if 2a) is not possible.

A.2 Please see attachments 

A.2 2016 CPNs  2 x intimidation/harassment
                    1 x alcohol related ASB
                    1 x noise/alcohol 
                    3 x waste accumulation

2016 CPWs  11 x intimidation/harassment
                      1 x alcohol related ASB
                      1 x feral cats
                      1 x noise/alcohol
                      2 x not keeping dogs under control
                      1 x waste/bins
                      156 x waste accumulation
                       
2017 CPNs  1 x alcohol related ASB
                     1 x noise/alcohol
                     1 x feral cats
                     13 x waste accumulation

2017 CPWs   2 x alcohol related ASB
                      3 x alcohol/drugs/intimidation
                      2 x ASB on school premises
                      2 x condition of premises
                      8 x intimidation/harassment
                      2 x drug/alcohol ASB
                      1 x noise/harassing behaviour
                      4 x noise/alcohol
                      1 x premises in dilapidated condition
                      1 x noise/intimidation 
                       98 x waste accumulation

2018 CPNs   2 x intimidation/harassment
                      1 x noise/alcohol
                       56 x waste accumulation

2018 CPWs  2 x intimidation/harassment
                     6 x noise/alcohol
                     1 x noise/harassment
                     2 x noise/intimidation/harassment
                     1 x noise/visual representation/abusive behaviour
                     1 x revving car engine/music/intimidation 
                     153 x waste accumulation
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5758
Request Date: 12/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1     Whether Northumberland County Council has an elected Armed Forces Covenant Champion, and if so, how long they have been in the role?
 
A.1    Yes, Northumberland County Council have an Armed Forces Champion, A Veteran's Champion and Officer Champion in place since 2012 when the Covenant was signed.

Q.2    I would like to know whether Northumberland County Council has an action plan for implementing the Armed Forces Covenant at a local level.
 
A.2    There is not a specific action plan but we try to embed the aims of the Covenant in our day to day work and policies.

If yes: I would like to know the details of the plan, whether it is active, and if it is monitored and reviewed.
 
N/A

Q.3    Has Northumberland County Council established an armed forces covenant forum (which includes military representatives, charities and council members)? 
 
A.3    Yes we have an active forum which meets quarterly and involves all of those groups.

Q.4    I would also like to know whether Northumberland County Council has any support specifically aimed at the veteran community (e.g employment, healthcare & housing schemes).

A.4    Please see report attached, if you require any further information please contact: Jackie.Roll@northumberland.gov.uk
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5759
Request Date: 12/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

1.      How many Year 6 pupils in your local authority area applied for secondary school places in September 2019, and of those, how many had been told, by National Offer Day on March 1, 2019, which secondary school they will attend in September 2019? (please express information as both a number and a percentage of the total)

2.      Please supply the same information for 2018.

3.      How many Year 6 pupils have still not been told this year (2019) which secondary school they will be attending in September 2019? (Please express information as both a number and percentage of the total)?

Q.1   How many children in your area got their first choice of secondary school place for this September (2019)? 

A.1   2018 - 4,168 - 97.86% 
        2019 - 97.3%
 
Q.2   How many children got their second choice place for this September? 

A.2   2018 - 79 - 1.85% 
        2019 - 2.4%
 
Q.3   How many children for their third choice place for this September? 

A.3   2018 - 12 - 0.29% 
        2019 -  0.3 %
 
Q.4   How many children have not been allocated any place for this September? 

A.4   2018 - 0  
        2019 -  All on time applicants were allocated a place 
 
Q.5   How many applications IN TOTAL did you have for secondary school places this year? 
       
A.5   2018 - 4,259   
         2019 - 4327
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5760
Request Date: 12/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   I would like to submit a Freedom of Information request for information regarded compensation cases for accidents involving children on school premises.

Please could provide information for each of the following calendar years:
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • Jan 01 to Mar 01 2019
Please could you tell me, for each of the calendar years listed:

The total number of public liability cases settled (cases where payouts were made) following compensation claims for children injured or involved in accidents on school premises.

The total amount (in £) awarded in payouts to those involved or injured in accidents on school premises.

For the years 2018 and Jan 01 - Mar 01 2019 only, please provide details of each claim settled, including details of the accident, the amount awarded and if possible, a breakdown giving the amount awarded and spent on legal fees.

A.1   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5762
Request Date: 13/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    In the last three financial years (2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18) please provide me with (a) the number of settlements and (b) the total amount paid by the force as compensation to fire service personnel for injuries sustained while at work or as a result of their work duties. (c) Provide if possible a breakdown of the legal costs to the fire service associated with these claims.

A.1  Two claims
No compensation paid
Legal costs  £632.50

Q.2    For each payout that resulted in compensation of more than £5,000 being paid please provide me with (i) the amount of compensation, (ii) the costs associated with the claim and (iii) a one sentence summary of the nature of the successful claim against your service.

Note: The question relates to payments made in (2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18) regardless of when the incident took place or when the claim was lodged. If the settlement was made by your service's insurers it is still information "held" by your authority under the terms of the Act.

A.2   N/A
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5763
Request Date: 13/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   I request to be provided with a list of current licensed premises which are permitted to sell alcohol by retail

This data to include at least  License number, premises name and address and current Named DPS and most recent applicant

A.1   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5765
Request Date: 13/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please provide an electronic copy of all the correspondence between Northumberland County Council and the Schools Adjudicator in relation to:

a)  Bellingham Middle School and 

b)  its feeder First schools that are to become Primary schools in September 2019

A.1    03.1; 03.2 and 03.3 of this link http://committee.northumberland.gov.uk/Meeting.aspx?MeetID=9116  provides some of the response, the remainder will be sent via cryptshare as the document size is too large to be sent via email
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5766
Request Date: 13/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Can you provide answers to the following questions for each year from 2013 to the present:

Q.1   How many knives or similar offensive weapons have been seized in your schools in each year from 2013 to present?

Q.2   In your answer can you please provide figures for secondary schools and primary schools separately.

Q.3   Can you also specify whether the knife was found to be in the possession of a boy or girl and their age, or neither (ie discarded on school premises).

Q.4   How many injuries have been caused by knives or similar offensive weapons in secondary schools and primary schools in the same period. Can you specify the age of the victim and whether a pupil or a teacher, or visitor to the school.

Q.5   In how many of these has the victim required hospital treatment. Can you specify the age of the victim and whether a pupil or a teacher, or visitor to the school.

Q.6   How many pupils have been excluded for possession or use of a knife on school premises in each year from 2013 to present?

Q.7   How many times have police been called to schools to deal with incidents involving pupil behaviour in each year from 2013 to present?

A.1 - A.7   Information not held.  Schools may have some or all of the information.  

School information can be found on this link.


Details:

Reference Number: 5767
Request Date: 13/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1     Please provide a copy of the Council’s Enforcement Policy.

A.1.   See link https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/About-the-Council/Corporate-Enforcement-Policy-3-November-2015.pdf

Q.2     Please provide a copy of the Trading Standards Service Plan.

A.2.   Copy attached

Q.3    Please provide a copy of the Food Law Service Plan. 

A.3.   See link   http://committeedocs.northumberland.gov.uk/MeetingDocs/38640_M9117.pdf

Q.4     How many Primary Authority Partnerships do the Trading Standards Department have? 

A.4.    1

Q.5     How many Primary Authority Partnerships do the Trading Standards Department provide food standards cover?

A.5.    0

Q.6    Other than Primary Authority Partnerships, do the Trading Standards Department provide paid for food standards business advice (i.e. pay-as-you-go)?

A.6.    No

Q.7    If the Trading Standards Department provide paid for business advice (i.e. pay-as-you-go), what year did the Service start providing this option?

A.7.    See above

Q.8    If the Trading Standards Department are not currently providing paid for business advice (i.e. pay-as-you-go), is this a potential avenue in the future?

A.8.    Yes

Q.9    Do the Trading Standards Department conduct joint working with Environmental Health on food standards issues?

A.9.     Yes
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5768
Request Date: 14/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Sexual Harassment, racism and bullying
May you please provide the number of allegations of workplace bullying reported within the council by present and former staff from the start of 2000 to the end of 2018.

May you please provide the number of allegations of sexual harassment reported within the council by present and former staff from the start of 2000 to the end of 2018.

May you please provide the number of allegations of racial discrimination reported within the council by present and former staff from the start of 2000 to the end of 2018.

May you please provide the number of allegations of religious discrimination reported within the council by present and former staff from the start of 2000 to the end of 2018.
 
Within this same period, how many complaints of sexual harassment resulted in some form of disciplinary action?

How many complaints of workplace bullying resulted in some form of disciplinary action?

How many complaints of racial discrimination resulted in some form of disciplinary action?

How many complaints regarding religious discrimination resulted in some form of disciplinary action?

For any of the above, where disciplinary action was taken may you please detail what action was taken i.e written warning, fine, suspended without pay

NDAs

The number of Non Disclosure Agreements signed by former or current staff from the start of 2000 to the end of 2018

Within the same period, may you please specify the largest amount paid out to an individual who signed a NDA
If possible, may you please provide the number of  NDA agreements signed and paid out to alleged victims of
sexual harassment, workplace bullying, racial discrimination, religious discrimination
 
May you please specify the largest amount paid out to alleged victims of sexual harassment, workplace bullying, racial discrimination, religious discrimination. If you believe contents of any such files are exempt from disclosure, please provide summaries of any such exempt files.

A.   We hold the information from 2010 and we do not have the information prior to 2010. 

Between 2010 and 2014 there were 7 recorded allegations of workplace harassment. 
There has been one reported case of sexual harassment/bullying.
There have been no reported allegations of religious discrimination.  
There have been no reported allegations of religious discrimination.

1 case resulted in a formal disciplinary process. 
How many complaints of workplace bullying resulted in some form of disciplinary action?  3 allegations of bullying have a formal disciplinary process.   
There have been no reported allegations of religious discrimination.    
There have been no reported allegations of religious discrimination.  
There was one reported case of sexual harassment which resulted in a disciplinary investigation, there was insufficient evidence to substantiate allegation.  Of the 3 allegations of bullying which resulted in a formal disciplinary process, one resulted in a first written warning and two resulted in no formal sanction. 

Northumberland County Council does not use NDAs.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5770
Request Date: 14/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1      How many children went missing from children’s residential care ran by the local authority?

A.1      2015 - less than 5
2016 - less than 5
2017 - 9
2018 - 8
2019 - less than 5

Q.2      What is the youngest age of a child who went missing from residential care ran by the local authority, how long were they missing, what was the sex of the child?

A.2      2015 - 15 - female - 1 day
2016 - 13 - female - 1 day
2017 - 12 - male - 1 day
2018 - 10 - male - half an hour
2019 - 13 - male - 1 day

Q.3      What is the longest amount of time a child was missing from residential care ran by the local authority?
 
A.3       2015 - 1 day
2016 - 1 day
2017 - 1 day
2018 - 1 day
2019 - 2 days

 


Details:

Reference Number: 5771
Request Date: 14/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 We have been asked to carry out an audit of a portfolio of pubs where Hawthorn Leisure Limited is the Premises Licence Holder.  We attach their emailed consent to us carrying out such enquiries.  As part of this audit, we have been instructed to raise the following enquiries with you:
  •  EHO - Black Bull, Market Square, Haltwaite, NE49 0BL
 
Could you confirm whether or not there has been any enforcement action taken, whether formal or informal (by way of verbal or written warnings) in respect of any environmental health concerns around the premises including, but not limited to, any noise related issues, whether that be from music, customers or extraction equipment, or any other enforcement action taken by the Environmental Health Team within the last two years.
 
A.1   There is no enforcement action listed against the premises in the last 2 years
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5774
Request Date: 15/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How do you monitor attendance and assessment data collection for look after children in your care for both in and out of area?

A.1   Every LAC has an allocated education support worker who visits them in school.  Attainment and attendance are monitored by ESW's and Northumberland Virtual School for LAC Data Officer

Q.2   How many students are monitored?

A.2   At this time, 255

Q.3   Who provides this service for you?

A.3   Northumberland Virtual School Data Officer

Q.4   What is the contract value per annum?

A.4   N/A

Q.5   When is the contract due for renewal?

A.5   N/A
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5776
Request Date: 15/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

We’re looking to submit a freedom of information request to collect data around refunded parking charges in your area. Would you be able to provide the following statistics from the dates of 1st June 2017 – 31st December 2018.

Q.1  Number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) served for parking violations (ideally split out by not paying parking charges and parking in a disabled space without a badge)

A.1  please see the attached document

Q.2   Total amount (in pounds) received from PCNs

A.2   The total income received from PCNs issued between 01 June 2017 and 31 December 2018 was £1,040,127.50

Q.3   Number of PCNs appealed

A.3   Of the PCNs issued between 1 June 2017 and 31 December 2018 5,452 PCNs were subject to a challenge.

Q.4   Number of appeals upheld

A.4   Of the 5,452 PCNs which were challenged, 4,020 PCNs were upheld, and 1,432 PCNs were cancelled as the result of a successful challenge.

Q.5   Total amount (in pounds) refunded for upheld appeals

A.5   The Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA) allows for challenges at informal and formal stage, and for appeal to an independent adjudicator, however as prescribed by the TMA a PCN must remain unpaid to progress through the legal stages of challenge.  If a PCN has been paid and the registered keeper subsequently decides to continue to challenge the issue of the PCN, a refund would be issued in order for it to progress to the next stage. The refund is actioned regardless of whether the subsequent challenge is upheld or not.

No formal log of refunded PCNs is kept.

Q.6   Number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) served for driving in bus lanes

A.6   Northumberland County Council do not currently operate Bus Lanes.

Q.7   Total amount (in pounds) received from PCNs

A.7   Not applicable

Q.8   Number of PCNs appealed

A.8   Not applicable

Q.9   Number of appeals upheld

A.9   Not applicable

Q.10  Total amount (in pounds) refunded for upheld appeals

A.10   Not applicable
 
If possible, it would be great to get these figures broken down on a monthly basis, ideally in spreadsheet format.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5777
Request Date: 15/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   For a child under-5 with suspected autism in your local authority, what is the duration in weeks or months from receipt of referral to a diagnosis appointment?
 
Q.2    What was the number of children aged 0 - 5 receiving a formal diagnosis of autism in the local authority in the last full year for which records are available?
 
Q.3    What was the average age of these children at the point of formal diagnosis?
 
Q.4    Does your local authority have a local autism strategy group as recommended by the NICE guidelines (Autism spectrum disorder in under 19s: recognition, referral and diagnosis).

A.1 - A..4    Information is held by Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust and not Northumberland County Council.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5778
Request Date: 15/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    The viability study that was conducted by officers of Northumberland County Council for the consultations on education in the West of Northumberland, and which informed their decision to notify First schools in the Hexham and Haydon Bridge Partnerships, that to be viable for the future they should become Primary schools.

Q.2    Alternatively, If no viability was conducted, please provide the evidence that supports the officers' claim that small Primary schools in rural areas afford more viability for the future than small rural First schools.

A.1 & A.2   There was no viability study. All of the information that promulgated the consultation is available in the consultation documents and related committee papers that are available on the Council's website.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5779
Request Date: 18/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Any estimate of the total monetary cost to your authority of the introduction of Universal Credit since its inception in 2013 (ideally broken down by municipal year and including 2018/19 to date);

A.1   We don't record this information

Q.2    The total monetary value of any crisis loans funded by yourselves and given to Universal Credit claimants since January 1 2013;

A.2    We have only been isolating data in respect of UC awards since UC Full Service rolled out in Northumberland in November 2018. Since this date we have made 12 awards with a total value of £1228.66 

Q.3    The total funding given by yourselves to third-sector organisations for the purpose of supporting Universal Credit claimants since January 1 2013;

A.3    Nil

Q.4   The cost to yourselves of offering support or advice to Universal Credit claimants who are in financial difficulty or struggling with the process of claiming Universal Credit since January 1 2013

A.4   £ 3558.76
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5780
Request Date: 18/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1a) In £, the total amount of Council Tax which was unpaid, by municipal year from 2012/13 and including any arrears in 2018/19 to date);

A.1a)    First figure is arrears as at 31 March of the relevant year and the second figure is arrears for that year as at 31 March 2019

2012/13 - £3,605,342, £246,186
2013/14 - £4,232,419 - £362,388
2014/15 - £3,962,967 - £519,679
2015/16 - £3,805,064 - £689,353
2016/17 - £3,891,089 - £1,081,649
2017/18 - £3,809,307 - £1,758,864
2018/19 - £3,935,356

Q.1b) The total amount of Council Tax, in £, which was owed but never paid by Universal Credit claimants since 2012/13 (broken down by municipal year and including any arrears in 2018/19 to date);

A.1b)    information not available

Q.1c) The number of households in receipt of Universal Credit which are currently in arrears on their Council Tax;

A.1c)    information not available

Q.2) Since the national introduction of Universal Credit from 2013 onwards, has your authority had to reduce the number of housing officers dealing with benefits queries because of a reduction in government funding? If so, please provide figures for government funding (in £) and staffing numbers (in Full Time Equivalents) before and after these reductions.

A.2)   none
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5782
Request Date: 18/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   When was the NCC Depot in Allendale opened?

A.1   We do not have an exact depot opening date for the Allendale depot, but we believe that this would have been in the period between 1965 and 1970.

At the NCC Depot in Haltwhistle:

Q.2a   what is the design capacity of the salt dome (in tons of road salt); and

A.2a   4000 tonnes

A.2b   What is the diameter of the salt dome (in metres)?

A.2b   27m 
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5783
Request Date: 18/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How many pest control callouts did the council receive in 2018 for rat-related requests?

A.1    576 requests were received for rat related treatments.

Q.2   Can I have this data for rat-related callouts in 2018 broken down by postcode and listed below in descending order?

Q.3   Could you list in descending order the 10 streets which the council received the most rat-related call-outs for in 2018?

A.2 & A.3 Attached is a sheet listing all postcodes for that year relating to call outs for rats. We do not collate this information by street name.
 


Attachments:

Details:

Reference Number: 5784
Request Date: 18/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Regarding your usage of interpretation services, I would like to make the following requests under the Freedom of Information Act: 

Q.1   From 1st January 2017 – 31st December 2017 how much did the council spend of interpreting services?

A.1   £16,276.38

Q.2   Do you service interpreting requirements in-house or do you outsource to a third party company?

A.2   Outsource

Q.3   If you use a third party to service interpreting requirement

Q.3a   What is the name of the organisation you outsource to?

A.3a   Please see the attached spreadsheet

Q.3b   is the interpreting services provision contracted under a OJUE/Framework or is the service provided off contract?

A.3b  Call off from a regional framework.

Q.3c  if contracted what OJUE/Framework contract is the council accessing and when does the contract expire?

A.3c   31/03/2020

Q.3d   please provide both dates if telephone and face to face interpreting are contracted separately 

A.3d  N/A

Q.4   Who is the senior responsible officer for interpreting services at the council?

A.4   We don't have a designated interpretation officer.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5785
Request Date: 18/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

A. How many LOBO loans (number of loans and total principal) has the council restructured,  refinanced or for which the terms of the contracts have changed since 2015.

B. For such loans please provide a spreadsheet with the following information (a row for each loan and each parameter listed in a separate column):
1. Internal reference number
2. Principal of the original LOBO loan
3. Initial counter-party of the original LOBO loan
4. Drawdown date of the original LOBO loan
5. Maturity date of the original LOBO loan
6. Date when the LOBO loan was restructured/refinanced 
7. Breakage cost or fee paid to the counter-party for the refinancing/restructuring
8. How was the loan restructured/refinanced? (i.e. loan was transformed into fixed rate loan by removing the option, or loan was repaid with a new bank loan, or with a PWLB loan, or other - please specify)
9. Principal of new PWLB or bank loan used to refinance the LOBO loan (if applicable)
10. Maturity date of new PWLB or bank loan used to refinance the LOBO loan  (if applicable)
11. Interest rate of new PWLB or bank loan used to refinance the LOBO loan  (if applicable)
12. Fair value of new PWLB or bank loan used to refinance the LOBO loan  (if applicable)
13. Name of any third-party advisor used for the restructuring/refinancing
14. Fee paid to the advisor for the restructuring/refinancing
15. Name of broker who arranged the restructuring/refinancing
16. Fee paid to the broker for the restructuring/refinancing

C. Please provide copies of new contracts and any other official documents related to the restructuring/refinancing

D. Please provide invoices for the broker fees for the restructuring/refinancing

Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5787
Request Date: 18/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015

Q.1    How many microchip enforcement notices did you issue in 2018?

A.1    In 2018 we issued 24 notices within Northumberland

Q.2    How many of those notices resulted in full compliance by the keeper?

A.2    18 of the notices were updated by the owner with no further action

Q.3    How many of those notices resulted in a prosecution?

A.3    6 of the notices resulted in prosecution through Bedlington magistrates 

Q.4    How many of those prosecutions resulted in a conviction?

A.4    6 of the notices resulted in convictions 

Q.5    For those convictions, what penalties were imposed by the court?
A.5. 
2 conditional discharges and costs 
2 resulted in £350 fines 
2 resulted in £559 fines
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5788
Request Date: 19/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I would like to request the following information regarding hearing/sensory impairment care services. 
 
Q.1   Please could you supply the name, job title, email address and telephone number of the commissioner with responsibility for care for adults with sensory/hearing impairment.
 
For questions 2 through 8, please supply the following information for the financial years 2014/15 to 2017/18, and where possible, the budget or most up to date snapshot available for 2018/19.
 
Q.2   Please provide the total number of adults with a sensory impairment in care placements funded by the local authority
 
Q.3   Of the total number of adults with a sensory impairment in care placements funded by the local authority (Q2), please provide the total number of those with a hearing impairment
 
Q.4   Of the total number of adults with a hearing impairment in care placements funded by the local authority (Q3), please provide the total number of those with a hearing impairment and an additional care need or diagnosis (including but not limited to learning/physical disability, mental health, dementia, neuro-disability, challenging behaviour)
 
Q.5   Please provide the total number of adults with a hearing impairment in care placements funded by the local authority by
 
a)     In area, residential care
b)     Out of area, residential care
c)     In area, supported living
d)     Out of area, supported living
e)     Home/domiciliary care
 
Q.6   Please provide the local authority’s expenditure on care placements for adults with a hearing impairment by
 
a)     In area, residential care
b)     Out of area, residential care
c)     In area, supported living
d)     Out of area, supported living
e)     Home/domiciliary care
f)      Total expenditure on all placements for hearing impairment
 
Q.7   Please provide the highest, lowest and average fee paid to care providers for adults with a hearing impairment by
 
a)     Residential care (Weekly)
b)     Supported living (Hourly)
c)     Home/domiciliary care (Hourly)
 
Q.8   Please list all supported living and home/domiciliary care providers currently commissioned by the local authority to provide care services for people with a hearing impairment
 
Where data is not recorded for hearing impairment, please give answers for sensory impairment.
 
‘Hearing impairment’ refers to any individual with deafness, hearing loss/partial hearing and tinnitus. ‘Adults’ refers to those aged 18-65.
 
To clarify, supported living does not include sole providers of accommodation, such as housing associations; only registered providers of social care. Domiciliary care refers to care provided to people living in their own homes by visiting staff.
 
‘In area’ refers to any services commissioned within the local authority’s geographical boundaries, while ‘out of area’ refers to any services commissioned outside of the local authority boundaries

A.1 - A.8  We have not replied on your spreadsheet because we do not hold the requested information in a structured format which would permit us to supply these figures without manual examination of large numbers of case records, which would exceed both the statutory limit in FOI regulations and our available capacity.

We ensure that workers with specialist training in sensory impairment are available across the county to carry out or support assessments where there is a need to take special account of the impact of hearing or sight impairments.  We expect all specific needs arising from each individual’s health conditions and disabilities to be addressed in assessments, and where necessary in care and support plans, but we do not currently collect detailed coded information about diagnoses or disabilities.  We would be interested to hear of examples of authorities which have attempted systematically to collect this information about all users of care placements, home care and supported living services, and to learn how useful they have found this in planning services (as opposed to assessing individual needs, for which unstructured information is often better able to capture the nuances of people’s situation).

We do where necessary arrange additional care services specifically to meet needs arising from hearing impairment – for instance “enabling” services with care workers who have knowledge of BSL or lip-speaking; support during benefit claims for people with Usher Syndrome; and support for a deafblind person during short breaks in a care home provided by care workers who have supported the person at home and can assist them in communicating with staff.  However we are not able to provide comprehensive statistics.

The commissioner responsible is Alan Curry, Senior Manager (commissioning).  His email address is alan.curry@northumberland.gov.uk. He would prefer not to receive unsolicited contacts by phone
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5789
Request Date: 19/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1: I would like to request a copy of all policy and guidance documents that are available to council officers who are tasked with considering the question of whether a Penalty Charge Notice should be cancelled. For the avoidance of doubt, this request covers any policy that is published or otherwise publicly available, plus any internal council guidance or policy that is only available internally to council staff (such as any internal policy that outlines in what circumstances the council may exercise its discretionary powers to cancel a PCN).

Q.2 Please could you also disclose the training material that is used to train the council officers who make decisions regarding the cancellation of PCNs. This should cover only training material that is directly relevant to their role in deciding whether a council PCN should be cancelled, any other training material (such as generic council training, health and safety, GDPR or training related to other roles or functions) is not within the scope of this request.

Again for the avoidance of doubt, both queries above cover policies and training material available to council officers who deal with informal representations, formal representations and appeals to the tribunal.

A.1 & A.2   Northumberland County Council (NCC) have a document called “A Guide to the Penalty Charge Notice Appeals Process” which is published on our website in the Frequently Asked Questions section of Penalty charge notices (parking fines)  https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Highways/Parking.aspx

The Parking and Processing Assistants use this document in conjunction with the Department for Transport’s publication, Traffic Management Act 2004 Operational Guidance for Local Authorities: Parking Policy and Enforcement  (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/695793/operational-guidance.pdf)

The two documents above form the training material given to new team members.  New team members are buddied with an established colleague and given one-to-one on the job training in all aspects of the role.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5790
Request Date: 19/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Could you advise what the current number of clients using the Northstart service are? Could you please advise what capacity North Star have in the way of available placements. eg can the accommodate 50 clients?

A.1   The number of places available is 25 per day, 5 days a week, for 51 weeks in the year.  The number of booked places is currently 81 per week.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5791
Request Date: 19/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    How much money is held in the Councils Reserves?

A.1 The Councils "Usable reserves" were reported to County Council in February 2019 as part of the budget setting process for 2019/20.  The following link provides details of each reserve. Please exclude the provision section as this does not relate to reserves.  
http://committeedocs.northumberland.gov.uk/MeetingDocs/40832_M9130.pdf
 
The figures will be updated for the actual balance of reserves at 31.3.19 and published on the Councils web page within the annual statement of accounts on 31 July 19.  The latests statement of accounts for 2017-18 can be viewed through the following link. The value of usable reserves are detailed on page 47. 
 
https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/About-the-Council/Finance/Statement-of-Accounts-2017-18-FinalSC-26-07-18.pdf

Q.2      How much of the 2019/20 council tax will be added to the Council's Reserves

A.2 None
 
Q.3      From all the new houses being built in Northumberland what is the % increase in Council Tax take? 

A.3 It is not possible to quantify this figure as it is subject to a number of variables.   The type of house built dictates the council tax band and therefore the value of council tax payable.  It is also not possible to estimate the value of council tax discounts that will be granted. This depends on the tenant's personal situation (ie single person discount etc)
 
Q.4     How much is it estimated that the payroll for the Council will increase for 2019/20?

A.4 Direct employee expenses have increased by £4m from £169m in 2018-19 to £173m in 2019-20. This is mainly attributable to the annual pay awards on the various pay schemes.
 
Q.5     How many employees of the Council will earn more than £70,000 in 2019/20 and what is their % pay increase for 2019/20.

A.5 The following link contains the latest details available for all Council staff that earn over £58,000 a year.  

On 1.4.19, NCC had 30 employees who will earn over £70K p.a. in 19/20.

Of these 30 employees, 24 received a 2% pay rise on 1.4.19. The remaining 6 will receive a pay award later in the financial year so am unable to comment on that particular rate
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5792
Request Date: 19/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please consider this request regarding Business Rates Accounts in line with the ‘Freedom of Information Act 2000’.

Q.1   Please could you provide the information below for every open/live account within your charging authority, preferably on an emailed Excel spreadsheet, along with the date the data was extracted from your system.
Details of any relief applied to the account including type, amount and date the relief was applied
Details of any applied exemptions where applicable
Current account holder/ratepayer
Property reference number
Account start date
Address and postal code
Correspondence or billing address
Account number
Current Rateable value (RV)
An indicator as to whether the property is occupied or empty

A.1   The information is available by accessing the following links;
 
https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-full-listing-01-nov-2018/
 
https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-all-exemptions-01-nov-2018/
 
https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-all-reliefs-01-nov-2018/
 
This information was extracted as at 1st November 2018 and will be refreshed 1st May 2019.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5796
Request Date: 20/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please disclose how many formal complaints have been made against your council's staff relating to either homophobic or transphobic acts since January 1 2016. For each complaint, please disclose if there was an internal investigation carried out. If there was an internal investigation, please disclose all internal reports/investigation summaries for that complaint. Please redact any aspect of that report - such as names, addresses etc - which would prohibit disclosure. If there was an investigation, please disclose the outcome (NFA against the staff member, misconduct hearing etc.

A.1   We have not had any formal complaints have been made against council staff relating to either homophobic or transphobic acts since January 1 2016
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5800
Request Date: 20/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Under the Freedom of Information Act please could you let me have the following information regarding resident parking permit schemes:

Q.1     How many streets in your area were subject to resident parking permit schemes as of 31 March 2014, 31 March 2015, 31 March 2016, 31 March 2017 and 31 March 2018?

Q.2     What was the total number of resident parking permits issued in your area as of 31 March 2014, 31 March 2015, 31 March 2016, 31 March 2017 and 31 March 2018?

Q.3     What were the lowest and highest prices charged for resident parking permits issued in your area as of 31 March 2014, 31 March 2015, 31 March 2016, 31 March 2017 and 31 March 2018?

Q.4     What was the total revenue from residential parking permits issued in your area as of 31 March 2014, 31 March 2015, 31 March 2016, 31 March 2017 and 31 March 2018?

A.1 - A.4   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5801
Request Date: 21/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   For the years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, how many pregnant women were in temporary accommodation in your local authority? 

Q.2   How many pregnant women were in B&Bs in each year?

A.1  & A.2    Information not held


Details:

Reference Number: 5804
Request Date: 21/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 I am aware that all Billing Authorities hold records of businesses that have or have not applied for small business rates relief. We would like would like to obtain a list of businesses who are not receiving small business rates relief. If this information relating to unclaimed small business rates relief is available on the website then please also indicate when the requested information (spreadsheet or website) has been updated. I therefore request a breakdown of businesses who are not receiving small business rates relief with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 since 2017, including the following information:

A) The name of each business in respect of which non-domestic rates are payable.

B) The Rateable value of the property

C) The address of the business in respect of which non-domestic rates apply


A.1 In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information relating to your request is exempt under the following provisions; Section 21 of the Act states that a public Authority does not need to provide information under section 1 of the Act if that information is reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means.

The information is available by accessing the following links;
 
https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-full-listing-01-nov-2018/
 
and
 
https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-all-reliefs-01-nov-2018/
 
This data will be refreshed May 2019.

 


Details:

Reference Number: 5805
Request Date: 21/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   I am aware that all Billing Authorities hold records of businesses that have created a new account. We would like to obtain a list of businesses who are paying business rates who have created a new account within the last 12 months. If this information is available on the website then please also indicate when the requested information (spreadsheet or website) has been updated and a link to this if available. I therefore request a breakdown including the following information:

 A) The name of each business in respect of which non-domestic rates are payable. 
 B) The Rateable value of the property.
 C) The address of the business in respect of which non-domestic rates apply.
 D) The date the account was created.

A.1   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5809
Request Date: 21/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please specify whether you have an existing contract(s) for Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) Services for Council Tax, Business Rates and PCN debt collection and which of the three types of debt collection mentioned above it covers?

Type of contract

Q.1a) Single contract for Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) Services for Council Tax, Business Rates and PCNs
A.1a) We do not have a Single contract for Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) Services for Council Tax, Business Rates and PCNs.

Q.1b) Separate contracts for Council Tax, Business Rates and PCNs
A.1b) We do not have separate contracts for Council Tax and Business Rates
 
Q.1c) A combined contract covering debt collection for two of the debts mentioned and another for the third (please state the combination)
A.1c) We have a single SLA in place covering debt collection for Council Tax and Business Rates.

Q.1d) No contract for collection of one or more types of the debts mentioned above (please specify which)
A.1d) N/A 

Q.2       Please provide the dates that all of your existing contracts for Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) Services for Council Tax, Business Rates and PCN debt collection will expire
Type of enforcement service
council tax
business tax
PCN’s

A.2 Type of enforcement service
council tax There is no set expiry date. Services provision is reviewed annually.
business tax There is no set expiry date. Services provision is reviewed annually.
PCN’s Ongoing

Q.3        Please state the name of all Enforcement Agencies appointed by the above contracts

Type of enforcement service
council tax
business tax
PCN’s

A.3 Type of enforcement service
council tax - 1. Rossendales. 2. Thoburns Enforcement Services
business tax - 1. Rossendales. 2. Thoburns Enforcement Services
PCN’s -  Rossendales

Q.4        How many debt collection instructions were issued in a) 2016, b) 2017 c) 2018 to the Enforcement Agencies mentioned since the contract with them was put in place?
A.4 Please see the attached document

Q.5        If you don’t have a current contract with an Enforcement Agency in place, please could you specify:

Q.5a)     The process by which your council collects unpaid Council Tax, Business Rates and PCNs. Please make clear the bodies or companies responsible for the delivery of this service
A.5a) please see above

Q.5b)     The number of debt collection instructions issued to the bodies or companies delivering these services on an annual basis over the last five years
A.5b) Not applicable to PCNs
      b) please see above (Council Tax & Business Rates)

Q.6      Do you engage Enforcement Services under a Service Level Agreement and if so, what date is the contract due to be reviewed?
Use of Service Level Agreement (Yes/No)
Review date of the Service Level Agreement

A.6 Use of Service Level Agreement (Yes/No) -  Yes
Review date of the Service Level Agreement - as above, ongoing.
Annually each April for Council Tax and Business Rates. 
Review date of the Service Level Agreement (PCN’s) - as above ongoing.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5810
Request Date: 21/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

This information relates to the care homes owned and run by the council.
Q.1     Council Provider (according to CQC)
Q.2     Location Name
Q.3     CQC Rating Feb 2019
Q.4     Total Beds
Q.5     Service Description (State all that apply)
Q.6     Average Weekly Fee/Cost per resident to include all Hotel and Care Costs) 
Q.7     State Week Used to calculate Average Weekly Fee
Q.8     Average Carer/Snr Carer Hourly Pay Rate (excluding On-Cost)
Q.9     Total Weekly Carer/Snr Carer Hours (all residents)
Q.10   Hours Per Resident Week (HPRW).  State the number of hours per resident week for all staff employed at the home including Manager and all carer and non-care staff)
Q.11   Are there any plans to dispose of this care home or to expand or change the services provided currently in any way? However please could you also give details of any new care home builds planned by your council 

A.1 - A.11    Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.


Attachments:

Details:

Reference Number: 5812
Request Date: 21/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I work for a charity in Luton called Level Trust. We provide free school uniform and other educational support to Luton families. We are looking into more ways we can support families in need in Luton and possibly beyond. To help with this I am trying to find out what provision already exists across the country from the voluntary and public sector. One of my questions is how many Local Authorities still provide a school uniform grant? Understanding what provision is available will really help us to make decisions about where to spend our resources well.  I wondered if under the freedom of information act I could request the following details:

Q.1    Does your LA provide a school uniform for families?

A.1    No 

Q.2    If no, did you ever provide one and if so, when and why did you withdraw it? 

A.2    Yes many years ago, the grant was replaced with family tax credit, when the benefit system was overhauled.

Q.3    If you do provide a grant, which families can apply and how much can they get?

A.3    N/A

Q.4    Do you work with or know of any voluntary organisations in your authority which support families with the costs of school uniform? 

A.4    No
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5816
Request Date: 22/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How many staff does your brigade currently employ?

A.1   345

Q.2   How many equality and diversity staff do you employ? 

A.2    Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) are part of the wider County Council and as such are part of the E&D structures.  NFRS have no specific E&D personnel.

Q.3    How many of your staff are a) female b) black and ethnic minority and c) have not specified their gender?

A.3     
a) female = 51    

b) black and ethnic minority =  4 (however 29 prefer not to say)  and 
c) have not specified their gender = 0

Q.4      How many firefighters do you employ?

A.4       Wholetime = 136   
Retained = 154

Q.5    How many of those firefighters a) female b) black and ethnic minority and c) have not specified their gender?

A.5     
a) female = 18      

b) black and ethnic minority =  4 (however 18 prefer not to say)  and 
c) have not specified their gender = 0
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5817
Request Date: 22/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    During the 2018 consultations on education in the west of Northumberland, 3 responses for Haydon Bridge High School are recorded in background files for Cabinet on 8 May 2018.

1.       09.3 Haydon Bridge Response April 6

2.       09.4 HBHS Proposal Flyer

3.       11.5 HBHS Proposal Final

Please confirm the source of the above files submitted for Haydon Bridge High School.

Were they from the IEB?

Were they from the Head Teacher?

Were they from staff?

Were they from a different source, and if so what was that source?

A.1    Please see 12.4 on the attached link:  http://committee.northumberland.gov.uk/Meeting.aspx?MeetID=7797
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5818
Request Date: 22/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

We have been directed to submit an FOI request for the following information with regards to Grave Digging and Grounds Maintenance Contracts. Please can you provide the below information for both of these types of contacts?

Relevant Contract Title
What was the contract start date?  (approx. is fine)
When is the contract is due for renewal? (approx. is fine)
What is the current contract value?
Who is your current provider?   
What types of services are provided in this current contract?

Procurement Contact Name
Procurement Contact Role
Procurement Contact Email Address
Procurement Contact Telephone Number 

Duty to confirm or deny 

The public interest test requires Northumberland County Council to confirm that we hold information in relation to Grave Digging and Grounds Maintenance.

Exemptions 

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information relating to your request is exempt under the following provisions; Section 21 of the Act states that a public Authority does not need to provide information under section 1 of the Act if that information is reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means. 

Majority of this work has been brought back into Neighbourhood Services and is now carried out in-house. However, any contracts that we may have for any outstanding work can be found on the Contracts Register, please see the below link: https://procontract.due-north.com


Details:

Reference Number: 5819
Request Date: 25/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1a) The number of Universal Credit claimants currently in rent arrears on their local authority-owned home;

A.1a)   492

Q.1b) The combined value of all these arrears.

A.1b)   £40,000

Q.2a) The number of Housing Benefit claimants currently in rent arrears on their local authority-owned home;

A.2a)   1,206

Q.2b) The combined value of all these arrears.

A.2b)   £143,522.11

Q.3) The total amount of rent, in £, which was owed but never paid by claimants of Universal Credit for local authority-owned dwellings since January 1 2013;

A.3)   0.00

Q.4) For each municipal year since 2013/14 and including 2018/19 to date, the number of evictions per year of households in receipt of Housing Benefit (separate figures by year please);

A.4)   Not Known

Q.5)  For each municipal year since 2013/14 and including 2018/19 to date, the number of evictions per year of households in receipt of Universal Credit (separate figures by year please).

A.5)   0
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5820
Request Date: 25/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Can you please provide details of the latest plan and timetable for the roll out of superfast broadband for each area of Northumberland under the contract with BT. 

Duty to confirm or deny

The public interest test requires Northumberland County Council to confirm that we hold information in relation to iNorthumberland.

Exemptions

The Freedom of Information Act sets out various exemptions to the right of access.

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information relating to your request is exempt under the following provisions;

Section 21 of the Act states that a public Authority does not need to provide information under section 1 of the Act if that information is reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means.

Information regarding the iNorthumberland programme, including coverage and deployment plans, is available via the iNorthumberland website: (http://www.inorthumberland.org.uk/).

The current contract with Openreach for deployment of superfast broadband is due to be completed by the end of December 2019 rather than the previously published date of end of December 2018.

We are aware that the remaining deployment information on the website is not currently up to date, and we are currently working with Openreach and other suppliers to update the datasets that are used to generate the website maps. We do not have a definitive timescale for this update currently, as we are awaiting information from external parties regarding their commercial coverage and deployment plans before we can update the master dataset.

The iNorthumberland team are however happy to answer queries from residents and businesses about deployment their specific properties in the interim until the iNorthumberland website is updated.

Notice of Refusal

Please treat this letter as a Notice of Refusal as regards the information covered by the Section 21 Exemption.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5821
Request Date: 25/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

- The total number of employees within the council as of December 2018 
- The number of male full time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands per year in 2018 
- The number of female full time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands in 2018 
- The number of BME (black and ethnic minority) full time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands in 2018 

- The number of white British full time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands in 2018 
- The number of employees receiving a bonus per year in the years 2015 - 2018 
- Where bonuses have been given may you please detail the amount paid 
- Of the employees who received a bonus may you please detail the gender and ethnicity of the recipient 
- The mean hourly pay for a full time male employee for the months of January 2019 and January 2018
- The mean hourly pay for a full time female employee as for the months of January 2019 and January 2018
- The mean hourly pay for a full time white british employee for the months of January 2019 and January 2018
- The mean hourly pay for a full time BME employee for the months of January 2019 and January 2018

- The median hourly pay for a full time white british employee for the months of January 2019 and January 2018
- The median hourly pay for a full time BME employee for the months of January 2019 and January 2018
- The median hourly pay for a full time male employee for the months of January 2019 and January 2018
- The median hourly pay for a full time female employee for the months of January 2019 and January 2018

Duty to confirm or deny 

The public interest test requires Northumberland County Council to confirm that we hold information in relation to the gender pay gap.

Exemptions 

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information relating to your request is exempt under the following provisions; Section 21 of the Act states that a public Authority does not need to provide information under section 1 of the Act if that information is reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means. 

The information is available by the following link:
 
https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/About-the-Council/equality/NCC-Gender-Pay-Gap-Report-31-March-2018.pdf

 


Details:

Reference Number: 5822
Request Date: 25/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please send me:
Q.1     Revenue budget and council tax reports for 2018 and 2019
Q.2     Budget Proposals 2019
Q.3     Equality Impacts Assessments/ Analysis on Proposed changes to the budget

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that information should not be treated as confidential if such an agreement has not been signed.

Duty to confirm or deny 

The public interest test requires Northumberland County Council to confirm that we hold information in relation to budgets.

Exemptions 

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information relating to your request is exempt under the following provisions; Section 21 of the Act states that a public Authority does not need to provide information under section 1 of the Act if that information is reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means. 

All of the above documents mentioned in your request can be accessed through the committee papers on the Northumberland County Council website. Please see the below links to the relevant County Council meeting for each year below:

February 2019 County Council Meeting
February 2018 County Council Meeting
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5823
Request Date: 25/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

In October 2018, we sent the council a draft report ‘Local Authorities and Heir Hunters: exposing the opaque and uncompetitive practices that lead to consumer exploitation and inheritance errors’. This document was distributed nationally, and is the result of a number of years of careful research into the worrying situation whereby local authorities are encouraged to bypass the referral of bona vacantia estates to the Government Legal Department and instead refer cases on an exclusive basis to an heir hunter. Under the pretext of offering free help to authorities, an heir hunter’s aim is to obtain early and exclusive leads on intestacies which allow them to compromise on the quality of their research and charge relatives high fees, with no market competition or transparency.

In our report, we recommend that local authorities can avoid the legal, ethical and reputational risks of this single supplier model by following Government Guidance and referring cases to the Government’s Bona Vacantia Division (or Duchies of Cornwall or Lancaster, where appropriate). If this is not possible, a panel of three accredited researchers can be established who are referred each intestacy concurrently, and/or the council can simply publish and maintain an online public list of intestacies and avoid engaging privately with heir hunters.

We understand that this local authority does not publish an online list of public health funerals, and uses an heir hunter to trace relatives. This practice of providing exclusive leads to heir hunting companies undoubtedly risks inheritance errors and overcharging of next of kin. Because there is no published list, there is a lack of transparency which makes it impossible to check these cases for accuracy, meaning that estates could be distributed erroneously and missed beneficiaries may never come to light. It seems clear that there should be a safe and fair procedure in place to protect beneficiaries. The intention of this request is to discover whether the local authority is taking any steps to improve their practices in this area.

Note: in this request, please take all references to a ‘researcher’ to include any individual, company or partnership which provides genealogist or probate research, people tracing or ‘heir hunting’ services. 

Please respond to the following questions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’), which relate to the situation and local authority practices outlined above:

Q.1   Please indicate the last date on which a genealogist, probate researcher or tracing agent was used. 

A.1   We do not use researchers tracing agents or genealogist in relation to public health funerals, all relevant cases are referred to the Government Legal Department.

Q.2    If a researcher has been used in the past year, on how many occasions has this occurred?

A.2  N/A

Q.3    Which company was last used and by which local authority department?

A.3   N/A

Q.4    Does the local authority have any contract with any researcher? If so, please provide the contract document, redacted as required.

A.4   Please see response to Q1 - researchers are not used in relation to public health funeral.

Q.5    In the circumstances where the local authority was aware of the existence of relatives of a deceased person but lacked the resources or expertise to locate them, would the council use a genealogical researcher on an exclusive basis again?

A.5   We do not use genealogical researchers.

Q.6    Are there plans for the council to undergo a tendering process for a researcher?

A.6    No

Q.7    If the council previously used heir hunters or other tracing services but no longer does so, what are the reasons behind the change in policy?

A.7    We have never used heir hunters or tracing agents for public health funerals.

Q.8    What is the council’s policy and process for making a referral to a genealogical researcher?

A.8    We do not use genealogical researchers for public health funerals.

Q.9    Please identify the measures in the existing policies and procedures for making referrals to a genealogical researcher which:
a) protect next of kin from overcharging through a market exposure and 

A.9a)   protect next of kin from overcharging through a market exposure and 

Q.9b)   ensure all entitled relatives are found? 

A.9b)   ensure all entitled relatives are found? 
We do not use genealogical researchers for public health funerals.

Q.10   Does the local authority now publish an online list of public health funerals where there is an intestacy?

A.10   No, any relevant cases are referred to Government Legal Department.

Q.11   If so, when is information added to the list? Is information only added to the list AFTER the researcher has exhausted their investigations or is it added at the same time that a referral is made to the researcher?

A.11   N/A

Q.12   Does the list include names of deceased individuals where a researcher has been used and family have been located who have taken over responsibility for the funeral? 

A.12   N/A

Q.13   Bearing in mind the benefits to the next of kin of maintaining competition, if the local authority is not already doing so does it intend to begin using or tender for a panel of three researchers to whom each case will be referred concurrently?

A.13   No

Q.14   If the local authority is still engaging in exclusive relationships with heir hunters rather than making referrals to the Bona Vacantia Division or to a panel of three and/or maintaining a regularly updated online list, what is the justification for this? Please refer to any relevant policies and legislation.

A.14   N/A

Q.15   Please provide any records of internal decision making or external consultation from the past year which have resulted in the local authority’s current stance on the use of genealogical researchers 

A.15   N/A

Q.16   Would the local authority welcome some formal guidance or regulation from the government or another independent body in order to provide clarity on the appropriate course of action for using private sector services which are free to the local authority but which may result in a third party being charged or prejudiced in some way?

A.16   We do not use genealogical researchers for public health funerals.

Q.17.   Would the local authority welcome some formal guidance from the government or another independent body to provide clarity on the appropriate course of action for when a person dies intestate in their area and there is evidence that there are next of kin but the local authority do not have the resources or skills to locate the relatives themselves?

A.17   We do not use genealogical researchers for public health funerals.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5824
Request Date: 25/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   "Between the dates of Jan 16 - Jan 19 how many 'Safeguarding Referrals' were received from the following organisations 'Department for Work & Pensions', 'Independent Assessment Services also know as ATOS UK', 'Capita' and 'Centre for Disability & Health Assessments also known as Maximus'?

If for any reason the timescale is too complex please use the following question instead:

Between the dates of Jan 17 - Jan 19 how many 'Safeguarding Referrals' were received from the following organisations 'Department for Work & Pensions', 'Independent Assessment Services also know as ATOS UK', 'Capita' and 'Centre for Disability & Health Assessments also known as Maximus'?

A.1   There were no referrals received from these organisations by children's services in this time frame.  

None of the organisations listed in your enquiry is included in our structured code list of safeguarding referral sources.  For much of the period covered by your enquiry, the manner in which our records are held would require us to examine a large number of referral documents manually to establish whether any referrals appear to have originated from any of these organisations, a task which would exceed the limit on the staff time which we are required or able to allocate to an FOI request.  However for the period from March 2018, our records are held in a form which makes searching more feasible, and we have examined these records. We are unable to find any evidence that any adult safeguarding referrals were received during that period from any of the organisations which you list.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5825
Request Date: 25/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please would it be possible for you to send me a list of the names, addresses and licence numbers of animal boarding establishments (kennels and catteries) who hold licences issued in your area. 

A.1   Please see the attached document.

Q.2   Where you are providing additional information for more than one area (due to shared services) please advise which area(s) you are providing information for.

A.2   N/A

Q.3   Where you hold additional information such as website address, email address or telephone please also provide this to me.

A.3  We do not hold website addresses.  Email addresses and telephone numbers that have been provided  have been to aid the application process and are not always formally connected to the business.  To determine whether these are personal or business addresses would require further investigation which would take the time taken outside the time allowance of FOI and this part is refused under Section 12(1).

Q.4   I would be grateful if you could indicate the expiry date and year for each licence, and if you could differentiate between commercial boarders and home boarders that would be very helpful.

A.4   Please see the attached document.

Exemptions

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information relating to Q3 of your request is exempt under the following provisions; Section 12(1) exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit. The time and cost involved in extracting the requested information to answer Q3 would exceed our statutory obligation to comply with the request; e.g. 2.5 days and/or £450. It would take approximately 25 hours to get this information together because we would have to look at 102 files at 15 mins per file.


Details:

Reference Number: 5826
Request Date: 26/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please provide the following information broken down by each of the school years* a) 2014-15, b) 2015-16, c) 2016-17, d) 2017-18 and e) 2018-19 so far:

Q.1     Please state the total number of pupils recorded as having SEND (including SEND support and EHCPs/statements of SEN) in your local authority area across the year.
  
Numbers for Q2/Q3 have been extracted from SEN2 Return - dated January of each year (Jan - Jan)

A.1   Year             Number SEN Pupils
         2015             7784
         2016             7428
         2017             6883
         2018             6947
         Current         7069

Q.2      Of those in Q1, please state the total number of pupils who attended a private special school funded by your local authority broken down by year.

A.2 Year     Independent and Non 
                   Maintained Special Schools
    2015          86
    2016          98
    2017          117
    2018          186

Q.3     Of those in Q2, please state the total number of pupils who attended a private special school funded by your local authority that was located out of your local authority area, broken down by year.  

A.3 Year             Out of County Independent and Non
                              Maintained Special Schools
        2015             61
        2016             86
        2017             74
        2018             84

Q.4.     Please state the total expenditure on private special school places by your local authority broken down by year. *If this information is recorded in calendar / financial years by your council please provide an alternative yearly breakdown instead.

A.4 Year           Expenditure *
       2014/15     £2,703,047
       2015/16     £3,157,609
       2016/17     £4,127,528
       2017/18     £3,875,334
       2018/19     £4,634,133

* Expenditure is provided on a financial year basis;
Expenditure has not varied in line with placement numbers due to an increase is usage of lower cost providers within Northumberland since 2017/18.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5827
Request Date: 26/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

For each of the following academic years: 2017-2018 and 2018 to date;

Q.1       Please state the total number of children home educated (for part or all of the year) in your local authority area.

Q.2       Please provide all statistical information held relating to the home educated children such as a breakdown of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, SEND status and the reason for home education, if recorded.

Q.3       Please confirm the total number of home visits carried out.

Q.4    Have you investigated any suspected cases of children being neglected or abused while being home educated? If so, please confirm the number of cases.

Q.5       Please add any further comments, for example any trends you have observed in home education, any comments about the current law around home education.

A.1 - A.5   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5828
Request Date: 26/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Appeal for Corbridge Middle School

As previously stated in our email dated 11th March 2019, we would like to confirm our intention to appeal the placement of the order for the roofing work for the above project with Bryan Crisp and Sons Specialist Services Ltd. We have requested details of the product proposed by the above-mentioned contractor in our email dated 12th March 2019, so that we may give a focused response but as yet, have had no response. Again we would ask for the full product information so that we may give a direct comparison between the clearly specified product and the alternative proposed, as we not aware of any other roofing system that gives the same performance, warranty and insurance criteria as that specified, along with the extensive support systems in place from the manufacturer. We would also take this opportunity to request the evaluation notes of individual evaluators and any notes of evaluation meetings.

A.1   Details requested of the product proposed by the successful contractor:

The product accepted is an ICB product and has a BBA certificate that confirms the product has been tested in accordance with British and European Standards and conforms to these standards. ICB are listed on the LRWA website members profile and the guarantee provided states that this for an ICB waterproofing system. This is an insurance backed guarantee for all products supplied. The product was suitably assessed by Northumberland County Council and their appointed consultant and was deemed comparable to the Sika System.
  • EU Tender Threshold
The overall project value was below the EU works threshold and therefore the requirements of the Public Contract Regulations 2015 regarding trademarks etc did not apply to this procurement process, however it is considered that the process was undertaken in an open, fair and transparent manner.
  • Drawings, Schedule of Works, Specification & Prelims
In addressing your point of specific references to products, the first item of the Schedule of Works clearly stated ‘Equal or Approved’ and therefore all subsequent references to products should have been taken as such. This provision ensured a fair process by not excluding alternative products.

It is noted that your company did not submit any clarification regarding this during the procurement process.

As stated within your letter, the Sika site report and specification documents were included as a reference guide for the scope of works required only.
  • Evaluation notes of individual evaluators
It is considered that this is commercially sensitive as per Section 43(2) of the FOI Act. 

Public Interest Test Considerations 

Section 43 is a qualified exemption which means that the information falling within the exemption still has to be released unless the public interest in disclosure is outweighed by the public interest in maintaining the exemption.  The release of this information could lead to unfair tender processes and/or could be detrimental to tender processes in the future, so whilst the council seeks to be open and transparent, the reasons for withholding this outweighs the reasons for releasing the information.


 


Details:

Reference Number: 5829
Request Date: 26/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please can you notify me the name(s) of any Music based events/festivals held in your council's geographical area that required / requires an entertainment licence, having a capacity of at least 5,000 (five thousand), and the capacity of each event / festival, as granted by your licence, that took place in 2018, or has already, or will take place in 2019.

A.1    0
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5831
Request Date: 26/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The number of councillors currently serving (including those standing down or up for re-election on 2 May, if applicable) 

A.1    66 (there is one vacancy) 

Q.2   Of those, how many are male? How many are female? 

A.2    47 male, 19 female 

Q.3   How many councillors are white (including British, English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Gypsy or Irish Traveller or any other white background)? 

A.3    66

Q.4   How many councillors are mixed (including white and black Caribbean, white and black African, white and Asian or any other mixed background)?

A.4    0 

Q.5   How many councillors are Asian or Asian British (including Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese or any other Asian background)?

A.5    0   

Q.6   How many councillors are Black (including African, Caribbean, Black British or any other Black background)? 

A.6    0   

Q.7   How many councillors are from any other ethnic group not referred to above? 

A.7    0   

Q.8   How many councillors are in each of these age ranges:

A.8
18-24 - 1 
25-34 - 4   
35-44 - 5   
45-54 - 9   
55-64 - 23   
65+    - 24
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5832
Request Date: 26/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1      How many children did the child and social services department have contact with in 2018 where the child was in the care of social services and at risk of:

Q.1a)    child &/or forced marriage?

A.1a)     0

Q.1b)    “honour” based violence?

A.1b)    0

Q.1c)     female genital mutilation?

A.1c)     0

A.2        0

Q.2      If you hold the data requested at question 1 for child &/or forced marriage, “honour” based violence and/ or female genital mutilation as one combined figure, please provide this figure.

Q.3      How many children did the child and social services department have contact with in 2018 where the child was at risk of

A.3a)    child &/or forced marriage?

A.3a)     0

Q.3b)    “honour” based violence?

A.3b)     0

Q.3c)    female genital mutilation?

A.3c)    5- all at risk if they return to another country 

A.4      If you hold the data requested at question 3 for child &/or forced marriage, “honour” based violence and/ or female genital mutilation as one combined figure, please provide this figure.

A.4     5
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5833
Request Date: 26/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    Please state the number of service users with each of the following conditions for whom the amount of time allocated in their care package was reduced in the financial year 2018/19. Please include in your answer both those who are part- and fully-local authority funded. Please also provide the same information for each of the previous four financial years.

·         Any neurological condition (please state how you define this)
·         Any progressive/degenerative condition (please state how you define this)
·         Multiple Sclerosis
·         Alzheimer’s disease
·         Huntington’s disease
·         Motor Neurone disease
·         Rheumatoid Arthritis

NB: I understand that this question may not be relevant to those service users in receipt of direct payments where the local authority does not dictate the number of hours of care purchased.

A.1   We do not hold information about clinical diagnoses in structured form in our assessment records, so are not able to answer this question without manual examination of thousands of assessment documents, which would exceed both the time limit in FOI regulations and our capacity.

Q.2    Please state the number of service users with each of the following conditions who stopped receiving a local-authority funded care package in the financial year 2018/19. Please include in your answer both those individuals who were part- and fully-local authority funded. Please also provide the same information for each of the previous four financial years.

·         Any neurological condition
·         Any progressive/degenerative condition
·         Multiple Sclerosis
·         Alzheimer’s disease
·         Huntington’s disease
·         Motor Neurone disease
·         Rheumatoid Arthritis

A.2   See response to question 1.

Q.3    Please state the number of service users with each of the following conditions whose personal budget was reduced (i.e. the amount of local-authority funding allocated to meet their needs) in the financial year 2018/19. Please include in your answer both those individuals who are part- and fully-local authority funded. Please also provide the same information for each of the previous four financial years.
 
·         Any neurological condition
·         Any progressive/degenerative condition
·         Multiple Sclerosis
·         Alzheimer’s disease
·         Huntington’s disease
·         Motor Neurone disease
·         Rheumatoid Arthritis

A.3   See response to question 1.

Inclusion of PIP in financial assessments:

Q. 1   Do you include the daily living component of PIP (in financial assessments for social care) in the financial year 2018/19?

A.1     Yes

Q.2   If yes, in what financial year did you start including the daily living component of PIP?

A.2   We have included this component in financial assessments since the first introduction of PIP.

Q.3   Please detail:

Q.3a   whether or not you include the full rate of the daily living component of PIP;

A.3a   We include the full rate in our calculation of the person’s income.  But this does not mean that assume that the full amount is available to pay charges – see further explanation below.

Q.3b.   in what circumstances you do so;

A.3b   This component of PIP is always included in our calculation of the person’s income – but see the qualification in the response to 3a

Q.3c   the amount in pounds or the proportion included;

A.3c   This component of PIP is always included in full in our calculation of the person’s income – but see the qualification in the response to 3a

Q.3d   and any changes to your policy regarding PIP for each of the previous five financial years.

A.3d   We have made no changes to the policy of including this component of PIP in the financial assessment in any of the past five financial years.

Disability Related Expenditure disregard:

Q.1   Do you have a set rate for Disability Related Expenditure disregarded (from financial assessments for social care) for the financial year 2017/2018, and if so what is that rate?

A.1    We do not have a “set rate”, which would not be lawful.  However we do automatically make standard allowances for DRE when we carry out assessments, without needing to see any specific evidence of expenditure.  Service users are informed that they have a right to a detailed assessment of their individual DRE; in practice most people have declined this. In 2017/18 (and in 2018/19, if your question was intended to refer to that financial year), our standard allowances were as follows: for people in receipt of the standard rate of PIP, the lower rate of AA, or the middle rate of DLA (Care Component), £20 per week; for people in receipt of the highest rate of any of those three benefits, the same amount plus the difference between the highest rate and the rate below; for all other service users, £5 per week.

Q.2   If yes, in what financial year did you introduce a set rate for Disability Related Expenditure disregarded (from financial assessments for social care charges)? Please state what the set rate was for each of the four previous financial years.

A.2   As explained above, we make standard (minimum) allowances, but do not have set rates.  We have done so since October 2002, when the Fairer Charging guidance came into effect.

We made no changes to the policy described in the response to the previous question in any of the four years before 2017/18.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5834
Request Date: 27/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   In the last 5 years, has the council had any arrangements or contracts with ‘property guardian’ companies?

A.1   Yes

Q.2   If yes, please provide: i) The name of the company ii) The years in which each contract were active iii) The amount spent by the council on each contract iv) The amount earned by the council on each contract

A.2   i) Ad Hoc Property Management Ltd, Unit 7 Gateway House, Newburn Riverside, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 8NX

A.2  ii) 2012 - 2016 (Blyth Fire Station)
2016 to date (Willows Bungalows, Morpeth)
 
A.2  iii) Zero

A.2  iv) £50.00 per guardian in 2012-2016
£100.00 per guardian in 2016 - 2019

Q.3    If yes, please provide the number of property guardians living in council-owned buildings, per year, for the last five years.

A.3     2012 - 2016 19 in total
2016 to date 10 in total (there are 3 bungalows)

Q.4   Please also provide details of any privately-owned buildings in the area under your jurisdiction which are occupied by property guardians.

A.4   The Council does not have any records of non Council properties occupied by Guardians.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5693
Request Date: 01/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am updating our records to take account of any changes to the council tax reduction/support scheme in Northumberland from April 2019.

Q.1 Please could you provide me with details of your council tax reduction scheme (some time known as council tax support) for working-age claimants for 2019/20.

A.1 Same as 2018/19 and based on legacy CTB scheme except all working age claimants will have an 8% reduction to their award

Q.2 If you have made any changes from the scheme you operated in 2018/19, please identify those changes.

A.2 All working age claimants will have an 8% reduction to their award  

Q.3 If you have already published your 2019/20 council tax reduction/support scheme policy document, please provide a link/copy.

A.3 https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/Council-Tax/Council-Tax-Support-Scheme-2019_20.pdf