Policies and Legislation

Details:

Reference Number: 5339
Request Date: 02/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 The percentage of affordable housing required for housing developments of 10 dwellings or more or that are greater than 0.5 hectares in area. If more than one level is set in planning policies – for example varying by location in the district or size of development – the maximum, minimum and district average percentages.

A.1 Northumberland County Council is in the process of preparing a new Local Plan, the revised Regulation 19 publication draft version of which was approved by full Council on 9 January 2019 ahead of the formal publication period commencing on 30 January 2019, and is now a material consideration in the assessment of planning applications. It has been informed by the latest updated Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA, June 2018) and Whole Plan Viability Assessment, and thus proposes variable affordable housing requirements according to the economic viability of delivering housing developments in different parts of the county (10%, 15%, 25%, 30%) in order to meet an overall countywide residual affordable housing need that equates to about 17% of the county's total housing requirement for the plan period 2016-2036. This approach will supersede the general 15% county-wide requirement that has up to now been sought based upon the previous 2015 SHMA, evidence that effectively superseded the affordable housing requirements in 'saved' policies of three former district development plan documents:
Alnwick District LDF Core Strategy (Oct.2007) - Policy S6 sought 35% (based on local needs between 2005-2010);
Tynedale District LDF Core Strategy (Oct. 2007) - Policy H8 sought between 30-50%;
Wansbeck District Local Plan (July 2007) - Policy H7 sought 30% (based on local needs between 2005-2009).


Q.2 The average percentage of affordable housing agreed on approval of planning applications for housing developments of 10 dwellings or more or that are greater than 0.5 hectares in the council’s area for each of 2016, 2017 and 2018.

A.2 Average levels of affordable housing delivered in Northumberland over the past three years have equated to the following proportions of total net additional housing completions on sites of 10 dwellings or 0.5ha or more:

2016 - 21%; 
2017 - 17%; 
2018 - 17%.



 


Details:

Reference Number: 5359
Request Date: 07/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:


Q.1 Please could you confirm under the Freedom of Information Act whether your Council has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of Antisemitism (as per the Government's advice) and provide a link to the decision if so. If your council has not adopted the definition, but plans to, please could you let me know when this adoption is likely to take place?

A.1 The Council has not formally adopted any definition of antisemitism.


Details:

Reference Number: 5382
Request Date: 10/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 How many of your staff work "Flexi-time" or similar?
A.1 Estimated 2500 employees are able to use the flexi system.

Q.2 How many of your staff work shift work?    
A.2 Estimated 665 of which 106 work within Residential Homes for Older People, 139 work in the Short Term Support Service, 120 in Children's Residential Services, and 300 in Fire and Rescue (of which 150 are Retained Staff).

Q.3 What is the name of software (s) used to manage "Flexi-time" & shift working staff?  
A.3 In House development

Q.4 Who is responsible for the software(s)?
A.4 IT

Q.5 Value of contract (annually)?     
A.5  0

Q.6 What is the contract term?
A.6 N/A

Q.7 When was it signed?  
A.7 N/A

Q.8 What is the notice period?  
A.8 N/A

Q.9 was it bought through a framework?
A.9 N/A

Q.10 Does it interface to other software (eg: Payroll/HR, Resource Planning etc.)?
A.10 No



Details:

Reference Number: 5386
Request Date: 11/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Are you intending to cover the cost of the EU settlement scheme fee for your employees affected by Brexit?
A.1 Yes, Northumberland County Council intend to reimburse employees who use the scheme once evidence is provided that they have been accepted in the scheme.

Q.2 How many EU national employees do you estimate have applied or will need to apply under the scheme?
A.2 Data is limited and we hope to have more information with the use of an updated employee self service system within our electronic HR systems around the time the scheme comes into play.

Q.3 If you are covering their fees, what is your estimate for how much in total the cost is to you?
A.3 Due to above the costs are unknown but as we have been part of the pilot scheme within social care and had no take up, the cost may be nominal.


Details:

Reference Number: 5593
Request Date: 12/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1. Details of all Community Asset Transfers which have been made by the authority since 2000.   This includes:
  • All assets for which full ownership has been transferred to a community group under General Disposal Consent for a nominal or below-market-value fee.
  • All assets which have been leased to a community group on a long-term, peppercorn lease arrangement
  • Any other similar arrangements which the authority has put in place and classifies as a “Community Asset Transfer”
We request that the data is made available in a spreadsheet or database format which is readable using freely available or MS Office software (e.g. Excel, Google Docs etc.) and that the following fields are included:
  • Name of asset
  • Address, including postcode, of asset
  • Type of asset – e.g. leisure centre, village hall, library etc.
  • Type of transfer – sale, long-term peppercorn lease, etc.
  • Date of transfer
A.1 Please see the attached spreadsheet
 
Q.2. Details of all Assets of Community Value which have been listed in your area since 2011, as required by the Localism Act 2011.  We request that the data is made available in a spreadsheet or database format which is readable using freely available or MS Office software (e.g. Excel, Google Docs etc.) and that the following fields are included:
  • Name of asset
  • Address, including post code, of asset
  • Type of asset – e.g. leisure centre, village hall, library etc.
  • Date of listing
A.2 The information requested is available on the NCC website: List of Assets of Community Value:
https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Councillors/Rights.aspx#communityrighttobid
 
Q.3. Details of any Community Engagement Strategy or Policy.  By this we refer to any current strategy or policy document which sets out how the authority engages with the community and/ or seeks to increase community participation in local decision-making (above and beyond statutory requirements such as Planning Consultations or local elections).  

Please provide a hyperlink to any documents available on your website and/ or PDF versions of documents not hosted in the public domain.

A.3 The following links give information about how the authority engages with the community and/ or seeks to increase community participation in local decision-making:

VCS Assembly - diagram of "Assembly Process"
http://www.vcsassemblynorthumberland.co.uk/about/assembly-executive

VCS Assembly - VCS Liaison Group
http://www.vcsassemblynorthumberland.co.uk/about/vcs-cabinet-advisory-group

NCC - Empowering Communities Project
www.northumberland.gov.uk/Care/Empowering-Communities-Project.aspx
 


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: 5997
Request Date: 30/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

UNISON - Violence at work FoI 2019 questions

Note: For the purposes of this FoI please use the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) definition of work-related violence (violent incidents): "Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work"

Part 1 - Your violence at work policies
Q.1  Do you have a policy/policies in place to protect employees from violence at work? (Yes/No)

A.1   Yes

Q.2   Are these policies built into the commissioning process for organisations delivering outsourced services? (Yes/No)

A.2    No

Part 2 - Violent incidents and monitoring
Q.3   Do you collect data on violent incidents? (Yes/No)          

A.3   Yes 

Q.4   If so, how many violent incidents did you record in the following years:

A.4   2018/19 - 465
         2017/18 - 418
         2016/17 - 409
         2015/16 - 341

Part 3 – Staff training and support

Q.5     Are risk assessments conducted for:
·         
Q.5.1  Public facing staff (Yes/No)

A.5.1   Yes

Q.5.2   Lone working staff (Yes/No)
 
A.5.2   Yes

Q.6     Do staff receive training to ensure they are aware of the appropriate way to deal with threatening situations? (Yes/No)
 
A.6    Yes

Q.7    Is advice, support, or counselling available for staff who are victims of violence at work?
·        
Q.7.1   Advice (Yes/No)

A.7.1  Yes

Q.7.2   Support (Yes/No)

A.7.2  Yes

Q.7.3   Counselling (Yes/No)

A.7.3  Yes
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6057
Request Date: 13/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   A copy of the Councils latest legal framework or strategy setting out how the Council's legal function/department is established/works/ including when external legal firms are utilised;
 
A.1    The Council’s website at https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/About/Staff.aspx#legalservices contains details of how the Council’s legal function works although the document requires updating to reflect recent changes.

Q.2   A copy of the latest business plan for the Council's legal department;

A.2  The department does not have a current business plan but does hold a copy of the business plan from 2013/4 which is now out of date, if this is thought relevant to the requestor a request for a copy would be considered.

Q.3   A copy of the Council's procedure rules/protocol for use of the Council's legal department by other departments in the Council and when external legal representation (law firms and barristers) may be used;

A.3   No documentation is held as to the use of the Council’s legal department by other departments within the Council. The attached PDF copy Google form is an example of when external representation may be used.

Q.4   Details of where in the Council's Constitution information on the Council's legal department and how it is used is located;

A.4   While there is no specific reference in the Constitution to the Council’s legal department and how it is used, Section 6 of Part 4 of the Constitution adopted on 1st November 2017 details the general delegation to the Legal Services Manager.

Q.5   Details of how much was spent on external legal representation (only law firms and not barristers) between March 2017 and March 2018.

A.5  £158k

Q.6   A copy of the last Invitation to Tender document when external legal representation was tendered for.

A.6   There is currently a live ITT which is available through the NEPO Portal upon which Newcastle City Council are taking the lead on behalf of various North East authorities in including Northumberland. If you wish to take part you can log into the portal and submit a response.

Attached is a zip file of the documentation that Newcastle City Council has confirmed are the documents that were published.

Q.7   If documents do not exist explaining how the legal function is used and when external law firms are instructed please provided details on the following:

Q.7a  Are all matters involving leases, conveyances, contracts, public prosecutions, planning enforcement dealt with by the Council's legal department or does it depend on the value of the matter (or any other criteria) as to whether an officer in a separate department (i.e. environmental services) would deal with the matter themselves?

Q.7b  When are external legal firms instructed?  What criteria applies?

A.7a   No documentation exists in this regard but client departments deal with this on a case by case basis.

A.7b   Criteria for instructing external firms would include complexity and capacity of the department at that particular time.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6167
Request Date: 03/06/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Please could you send all current policy documents relating to Adult Social Care and choice over in which setting care is to be provided to a person

A.1 We have no local policy documents on the choice of settings.  We aim to act in accordance with the law and statutory guidance.


Details:

Reference Number: 6311
Request Date: 02/07/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1a) How many penalty charge notices (PCNs) have been issued for motorists parking beyond the maximum stay of 24 hours in long-stay car parks since this limit was introduced in various council car parks?

Q.1b) Could you provide a breakdown of which car parks these PCNs were issued in?

A.1a & A.1b     Please see the attached document.

Q.2a) How many PCNs have been issued for motorists parking beyond the maximum stay of 72 hours in long-stay car parks since this limit was introduced in various council car parks?

Q.2b) Could you provide a breakdown of which car parks these PCNs were issued in?

A.2a & A.2b     Please see the attached document

Q.33    How many hours have the council's civil enforcement officers (CEOs) spent on duty and monitoring car parks between the hours of 6pm and 8am since the 24-hour and 72-hour limits were introduced?

A.3     The CEOs have spent 22 hours 5 minutes logged as carrying out enforcement duties in car parks between 6pm and 8am since the 24/72 hour time limits were introduced (September 2018 to date). 

Q.4     How many long-stay car parks are there in the county as of today (Tuesday, July 2) where neither the 24-hour nor the 72-hour limit have been introduced?

A.4     None

5. a) How many long-stay car parks are there in the county as of today (Tuesday, July 2) where the signage has not been updated to reflect the introduction of either a 24-hour or 72-hour limit?

A.5a     None

b) How much has been spent on the council so far (up to Tuesday, July 2) on signs which were amended or replaced to reflect the introduction of either a 24-hour or 72-hour limit?

A.5b     The cost of providing patches on existing signs was covered within our maintenance budget and was not separately recorded
 


Attachments:

Details:

Reference Number: 6538
Request Date: 15/08/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Do you request all visitors attending for meeting, interviews or other wear a visitor badge and sign-in at reception and do you record details of this?

A.1  We do issue visitor passes for every visitor and record their details at reception.

Q.2 How do you manage contractors or suppliers who require access to your building?

A.2 Appointments are in the main schedule and once on site individuals are met by staff, e.g. Building Attendant and asked to sign the visitors book.  Individuals are also provided with fire safety information, e.g. fire evacuation point and advised if a fire alarm test would be carried out that day.  Depending upon the nature of the visit, contractors and suppliers could be:-

Accommodated by a member of staff
Provided with a visitors pass and left to carry out the particular task unsupervised
Provided with a copy of the building asbestos register

Q.3 Do you have access control on areas of your building where services process or handle very sensitive personal data, how do you manage access control?

A.3 We do have door readers on certain areas of the site eg Registrars, which has restricted access in place via our access control system.

Q.4 Do you have a retention period for visitor records?

A.4 Current retention periods are under review and intended for future publication. The Retention schedules are all on the Website under the following :

https://ncc-live.northumberland.gov.uk/About/Contact/Information.aspx#informationgovernance

Under Records Management - Records Retention Schedules. These are broken down services.
 


Attachments: