Finance and Payments

View all FOIs for this department below or select a sub-department to narrow down results.

Business Rates | Compensation Claims | Contracts | Disabled and Disabled Facilities Grants | External Funding | Fraud | Funding for Carehomes | Funding for Healthcare and NHS | Housing Benefit | Pensions | Rent | Spend | Suppliers and Tenders

Details:

Reference Number: 5342
Request Date: 02/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 I would be grateful if you could tell me for each of the last eight full financial years how much grant funding was awarded to charitable organisations by your local authority and how many grants this was composed of.

A.1 This information is refused under Section 12 of the FOI Act. We hold certain information relating to grants awarded to charities. However, 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 and/or £450. There are over 1,600 records of awarded grants, each of which would take approximately 10 minutes to review. This would equal 266 hours.

Q.2 Further, could you tell me for each of the last eight full financial years how many contracts were awarded to charities to carry out services on behalf of your local authority and what the value of these contracts amounted to in each financial year.

A.2  This information can be found here: https://procontract.due-north.com/Opportunities/Index?tabName=opportunities&resetFilter=True



 


Details:

Reference Number: 5344
Request Date: 03/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Has the Council set up a Local Housing Company? If so, please provide the trading name and the number of properties under management.
A.1 No

Q.2 What software do you currently use to manage repairs and maintenance for your properties?
A.2 Total Mobile Repairs / Total Mobile Optimise Scheduling Solution

Q.3 When do the contracts expire on these products?
A.3 Rolling Annual Contract

Q.4 What housing software does the council use to manage its properties and tenants?
A.4 Northgate NPS Housing Management System

Q.5 When do these contracts expire?
A.5 Rolling Annual Contract

Q.6 What software does the council use to prepare its thirty year rolling business plans?
A.6 None

Q.7 Please provide contact details and email addresses for your social housing senior management team.
A.7 Phil Soderquest, Head of Housing and Public Protection, philip.soderquest@northumberland.gov,uk.


 


Details:

Reference Number: 5348
Request Date: 03/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Please tell me how many home care visits of 15 minutes were commissioned by the council in a) 2018 and b) 2017
A.1 Because of the way that information is held on our client database, we cannot give a wholly precise figure, since in a minority of cases 15-minute extensions on some days of the week to the length of a regular visit have been entered in a way which cannot be distinguished from a separate 15-minute visit without detailed inspection of case records. On the basis of sampling, we estimate that there were 210,000 15-minute visits commissioned in 2017 and 165,000 in 2018. Our policy is that 15-minute visits are only appropriate for brief checks on people’s welfare or reminders to take medication, not for personal care tasks.

Q.2 Please tell me how many home care visits of five minutes were commissioned by the council in
a) 2018 and
b) 2017
A.2 We do not commission 5-minute visits.

Q.3 Please tell me how many home care visits were missed in a) 2018 and b) 2017
A.3 We do not hold information about this in a form which would enable us to provide statistics.

Q.4 Please tell me how many home care visits were late in a) 2018 and b) 2017
A.4 We do not hold information about this in a form which would enable us to provide statistics.

Q.5 Please tell me which firms were contracted by the council to carry out home care visits in 2018 and 2017.
A.5 In 2017, the providers (including those spot contracted to provide services to specific service users) were:

Age UK Northumberland
Angels Home Care Agency
Blyth Star Outreach
Burn Brae Care
Bvdf Home Care Service
Careline Homecare Ltd
Carewatch
Comfort Call
Dimensions
Durham County Council
Embracing Care
Helping Hands
Homecare Plus
Mencap
Percy House
Perfect Care
Philip Parkinson Homecare Ltd
Safe Hands Home Care
St Cuthberts Care
Turning Point
Tynedale Care Ltd

In 2018, providers were:

Age UK Northumberland
Angels Home Care Agency
Azure Shaw Domiciliary Care
Bluebird Care
Blyth Star Outreach
Burn Brae Care
Bvdf Home Care Service
Careline Homecare Ltd
Comfort Call
Dimensions
Durham County Council
Embracing Care
Helping Hands
Percy House
Perfect Care
Philip Parkinson Homecare Ltd
Safe Hands Home Care
Thornley Leazes Care (Cave)
Tynedale Care Ltd



Details:

Reference Number: 5356
Request Date: 07/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Please may you provide me with the proxy voting records of the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund for the period of 1st July 2018 to 31st December 2018. For the avoidance of doubt, I am referring to the investments made by the Pension Fund rather than any electoral voting.
Ideally, I would like to have the following information in electronic format:
·   Name of Issuer
·   Issuer Identifier e.g. Ticker or CUSIP
·   Date of Shareholder Meeting
·   Type of Shareholder Meeting (Annual, Special etc.)
·   Proposal No.
·   Proposal
·   Proposer (Management / Shareholder)
·   Vote cast by Northumberland County Council Pension Fund
·   Entity responsible for vote decision (Internal/ external asset manager (if external, please name) / proxy voting advisor (ISS, Glass Lewis etc.)

In addition, please indicate whether the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund has its own proxy voting policy or whether you use that of an external provider (Please Name).

A.1 Please see attached, these documents hold the above information you have requested. Please also see below, for more information: (from NCCPF's Investment Strategy Statement)

The exercise of rights (including voting rights) attaching to investments

Voting rights

The Panel has delegated the exercise of voting rights to Legal and General with a requirement to:
·   follow Legal and General’s own share voting policy for all public equities except the FTSE 350 companies; and
·   follow PIRC’s share voting advice for the Fund’s effective shareholding in the FTSE 350 companies.

The Panel reviews PIRC’s and Legal and General’s share voting policies periodically. The Panel considers that the Fund’s and Legal and General’s interests are aligned, as both seek to enhance long term shareholder value.

The Fund encourages Legal and General to vote shares in all markets, where practical.



 


Details:

Reference Number: 5358
Request Date: 07/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 For the last financial year 17/18 and year to date (17.12.2018) please provide all correspondence to and from the S151 officer for the council mentioning 'S114' or 'Section 114.'
A.1 Please see attached pdf of disclosable information. 

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 some of the information relating to your request is exempt under the following provisions; 

Section 22 - Information intended for future publication. 
22. (1) Information is exempt information if- (a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date (whether determined or not).

Section 22(1) 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. 

Northumberland County Council recognises that there is a general public interest in information held by public authorities being made available and that it should take place at the earliest appropriate time. This helps towards ensuring the public accountability and transparency of public authorities and promotes public engagement in any debate about the delivery of public services and the use of public funds. However, the public interest can sometimes be best served by the planned publication of information at an appropriate time rather than in response to an individual request for that information ahead of that time. 

On balance, and in all the circumstances of this particular case, we have concluded that the public interest is best served by the planned future publication of the information you have requested and by maintaining the exemption at section 22(1) at this time. This is because the information withheld relates to draft financial plans which will be publicly available in due course.

Section 41- Information provided in confidence. 

(1) Information is exempt information if— (a) it was obtained by the public authority from any other person (including another public authority), and (b) the disclosure of the information to the public (otherwise than under this Act) by the public authority holding it would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person. 

Please treat this as a Notice of Refusal as regards the information covered by the Section 22(1) and Section 41 Exemption.




 


Details:

Reference Number: 5361
Request Date: 07/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 How many people does the council currently employ in communications, press office and/or public relations positions? 
A.1  13

Q.2 What was the total annual spend by the council on public relations, press office and communications for the calendar year of 2018?
A.2 £588,180

Q.3 Does the council use any external organisations to handle communications or public relations? If so, which companies are used and how much did the council spend on these services in 2018
A.3 Crystallised were used for a specific budgeted project over a nine month period = £11,499.



 


Details:

Reference Number: 5370
Request Date: 09/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1. I note there is one County Council elsewhere in the country, Surrey, which actually has its headquarters in another Council's area and therefore pays business rates in respect of its County Hall, and another premises, to the other Council. Here in Northumberland, it is one authority and its buildings located in Northumberland (actually I say that, I note headquarters at least are in Northumberland but I don't know if there is any building that the Council has that is located outside the county). Before I thought the point that I've just put into parentheses, my request was, and is, presumably this (its buildings located in the county, at least County HQ) means that it, Northumberland County Council, technically pays business rates to itself.  I would like to know:
(a) whether this is so;
(b) how much money in the last financial year did the Council pay to itself in business rates - or probably transfer from one department to another - and, after the Council has paid its business rates to the Council, what is the money then spent on? A breakdown of what amount then goes to where (from the Council's own business rates that originally became due for the last financial year);
A.1. The amount shown in our reports for payments relating to NCC buildings for 2017-18 financial year was £5,833,192.90.
Business Rates income is paid into a separate statutory account known as the "Collection Fund".  This account is maintained for both Business Rates and Council Tax income. The year end position for the Collection Fund is published within the Council's annual statement of accounts, detailed under the Collection Fund section.  Each financial year’s statement of accounts can be accessed here:
https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/About/Finance/Statement-of-accounts.aspx#statementofaccounts
The Council precepts the Collection Fund and utilises the income from the Collection Fund to support all council services.
 
Q.2. does the Council have any buildings outside of the County that are liable to business rates, what is the address of each of those buildings and what amounts was it paying last financial year to which other Councils?
A.2. The Council does not own or lease any property outside the County.


Details:

Reference Number: 5373
Request Date: 09/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 The total spent by the local authority on print advertising in local or regional newspapers and magazines in 2018
A.1 £30,272

Q.2 The total spent by the local authority on print advertising in local or regional newspapers and magazines in 2017
A.2 £2,274

Q.3 The total spent by the local authority on print advertising in local or regional newspapers and magazines in 2008
A.3  £21,524.24. (The figure provided is for 2010, clarification was sought on the date as there was no information held prior to Local Government Reorganisation in 2009)

Q.4 The total spent* by the local authority on authority owned or managed print publications for each of the following categories –
A) Newsletters
B) Magazines
C) Newspapers in 2018
A.4 Newsletters - £104,688.87
Job advertising - £2640 

Q.5 The total spent* by the local authority on authority owned or managed print publications for each of the following categories – A) Newsletters B) Magazines C) Newspapers in 2017
A.5 Newsletters - £140,865.32
*Including costs of staffing, design, printing and distribution

 


Details:

Reference Number: 5384
Request Date: 11/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Please would you provide an indication of the average time these works take in relation to your own DFG process.
A.1 Please see attached spreadsheet.

Q.2 Please share any performance indicators/frameworks currently utilised to monitor any aspect of DFG related work.
A.2.The main indicators which we monitor regularly on a dashboard are:

1. Overall spend on DFG - target spend based on DFG allocation/ quarter
2. Estimated costs of works (Committed)
3. No of DFG referrals received
4. Number of applicants on waiting list
5. 3 working days for case worker to contact client - 95%
6. Initial visit by caseworker to be completed within 15 working days of initial contact - 90%
7. Average length of time from DFG application to completion of works (working days) (Cumulative) - 60 days


Details:

Reference Number: 5389
Request Date: 11/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 How much money overall has been paid out by Northumberland County Council in compensation as a result of claims (whether or not liability was accepted) relating to potholes involving (a) cyclists and (b) motorists in each of the last five financial years: 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18?

Please provide the responses for each year separately.

Q.2 How many individual (a) cyclists and (b) motorists have received compensation as a result of legal claims relating to potholes in each of the last five financial years: 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18?

Please provide the responses for each year separately.

Q.3 What is Northumberland County Council’s total expenditure on legal costs defending and settling legal claims, including both their own and the Claimants’ legal costs, for pothole related claims in each of the last five financial years: 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18?

Please provide the responses for each year separately.

A.1 - 3 Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.


Details:

Reference Number: 5405
Request Date: 14/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Please send a full and up to date list of companies and charities that have become liable for business rates between the 15th December 18 to the 14th January 19.
 
I would like you to include -
  • Business name
  • Full address
  • Date of liability
  • Type of property
 
A.1 Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response


Details:

Reference Number: 5413
Request Date: 14/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Under the Freedom of Information Act I respectfully request that you provide me with a list of suppliers providing outsourced ICT Services to your organisation at the current time. By ICT outsourcing, I mean the provision of ICT services to the Council by an external ICT provider or third-party. This may include utility based services such as software as a service (e.g. ERP solutions such as Oracle/SAP/Agilisys/Civica) or cloud services (e.g. from Google or Microsoft), but also general IT managed services such as network and infrastructure support. The Council will potentially have their own IT management team, but choose to use third-parties for some aspects of the IT service delivered to the Councils users (or employees). For a research paper, I am looking into the how many Councils have used external providers for ICT, and whether there is a common approach across geographies, council types and sizes and any other patterns I can find.
 
Please present the information back by email detailing for each supplier (where more than one is engaged):
 
Q.1 Name of supplier
A.1 Netpremacy, Oracle
 
Q.2 Service(s) provided by supplier
A.2 Google G-Suite Licences
 
Q.3 Oracle Cloud Applications Suite
A.3 ERP (All Financials) / HCM / Payroll
 
Q.4 Contract Start Date
A.4 16/12/2015, 31/07/2017
 
Q.5 Contract End Date
A.5 28/11/2021, 30/07/2022
 
Q.6 Contract Value
A.6 £340,195 (yearly subscription), £608,000 (yearly subscription)
 
Q.7 Current annual spend with supplier for provided service(s) (optional) 
A.7 In the interests of focusing on suppliers of a material nature it would be acceptable to respond with just those suppliers where annual spend (on any particular service) is in excess of £50,000 per annum.


Details:

Reference Number: 5416
Request Date: 15/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 How many Specified Exempt Supported Accommodation cases are currently receiving Housing Benefit?
A.1  241 
 
Q.2 How many Specified General Supported Accommodation cases are currently receiving Housing Benefit?
A.2  18
 
Q.3 How many Specified Domestic Violence Hostel cases are currently receiving Housing Benefit?
A.3  6
 
Q.4 How many Specified Local Authority Hostel cases are currently receiving Housing Benefit?
A.4  12
 
Q.5 What is the highest eligible gross rent being paid for a Specified Exempt Supported Accommodation case by Housing Benefits?
A.5  448.08
 
Q.6 What is the lowest eligible gross rent being paid for a Specified Exempt Supported Accommodation case by Housing Benefits?
Q.6  117.03
 
Q.7 What is the lowest core rent being paid for a Specified Exempt Supported Accommodation case by Housing Benefits?
Q.7  91.13
 
Q.8 What is the highest core rent being paid for a Specified Exempt Supported Accommodation case by Housing Benefits?
Q.8  346.15
 
Q.9 How many Specified Exempt Supported Accommodation cases are currently receiving Housing Benefit for the following eligible rent ranges:
A.9  £150.00 per week eligible gross - £250.00 per week eligible gross = 121
£251.00 per week eligible gross - £300.00 per week eligible gross = 43
£301.00 per week eligible gross - £400.00 per week eligible gross = 62
Greater than £400.00 per week eligible gross = 4
 
Q.10 How many Specified General or Exempt Supported Accommodation cases have been referred to the Rent Officer service (VOA)?
A.10  48
 
Q.11 How many Specified Exempt Supported Accommodation cases are being paid where the Local Authority is only receiving 60% subsidy?
Q.11  48
 
Q.12 How many Supported Accommodation claims have received an ‘unreasonably high’ rent decision?
A.12  48


Details:

Reference Number: 5428
Request Date: 16/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 How much was collected under the Hexham Bid Levy that was not distributed to Hexham Bid Limited.
A.1 There is £9,197.01 of the collected levy not distributed to the Hexham BID Ltd.
 
Q.2 Whether these funds will (or have been) forwarded to Hexham Bid Limited.
A.2 The Council made staged payments to Hexham BID Ltd up until October 2017, the Hexham BID Board sought to terminate the bid in December 2017 and as such the final payment due to the BID for 2017/18 was retained by the Council.  This funding will be added to any funds the Local Authority receives on completion of the Hexham BID termination process to enable the BID revenue account to be reconciled as required under legislation.
 
Q.3 Whether these funds remain in the care of Northumberland County Council.
A.3 The funds are held in the Hexham BID Revenue Account by the Council.
 
Q.4 Have these funds been allocated or used for any other purpose?
A.4 No, the funds cannot be allocated or used for any other purpose.
 
Q.5 What are the plans for the distribution, return or allocation of these funds?
A.5  The following processes need to conclude before the plans are finalised:
- The BID Company accounts need to be finalised
- The BID company is wound up and residual monies returned to the BID Revenue Account
- The BID Revenue Account must be reconciled and legitimate costs deducted
- The final sum must be returned to eligible businesses in line with BID legislation


Details:

Reference Number: 5431
Request Date: 16/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Please could you advise me, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, whether you contract with any Credit Reference Agencies (like Equifax, or Experian) for the purpose of locating a debtor’s current or last known address. If so, please could you advise me who your credit reference agency is?
 
A.1 The credit reference agency used is Callcredit.


Details:

Reference Number: 5433
Request Date: 17/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Hareside Primary School:
 
I am looking to retrieve some information under the Freedom of Information act in regards to your energy supply and usage.
 
Q.1 What is your current contract end date for gas?
A.1  31st March 2020
 
Q.2 What is your current contract end date for electricity?
A.2  31st March 2020
 
Q.3 What is your monthly or annual spend on the gas contract?
A.3  £5,236.03
 
Q.4 What is your monthly or annual spend on the electricity contract?
A.4   £16,275.91
 
Q.5 What is your target for consumption reduction?
A.5 N/A
 
Q.6 What steps do you take to reduce energy consumption?
A.6 N/A
 
Q.7 Would you benefit from funding options on energy projects?
A.7 N/A


Details:

Reference Number: 5442
Request Date: 21/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am looking to retrieve some information under the Freedom of Information act in regards to your energy supply and usage.

Q.1 What is your current contract end date for gas?
A.1  31st March 2020

Q.2 What is your current contract end date for electricity?
A.2  31st March 2020

Q.3 What is your monthly or annual spend on the gas contract?
A.3  £12,826.38

Q.4 What is your monthly or annual spend on the electricity contract?
A.4  £14,929.96

Q.5 What is your target for consumption reduction?
A.5 N/A

Q.6 What steps do you take to reduce energy consumption?
A.6   N/A

Q.7 Would you benefit from funding options on energy projects?
A.7 N/A
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5468
Request Date: 23/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 The amount of money this council has spent on celebrities or famous people in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively - including the event cost for a celebrity visit, and transport for the celebrity to go to and from the council.
 
A.1    
2016 - Host for Excellence Awards host (Kim Inglis) = £600 (No transport costs) 
2017 - Host for Excellence Awards host (Kim Inglis) = £600 (No transport costs) 
2017 - Speech and open the 50th Birthday of Blyth Bath’s event (Nick Gillingham) = £300
2017 - Attend School Para Games (Josef Craig) = £100
2017 - Attend Adult Disability Sports Event (Josef Craig) = £100 
2018 - Host for Excellence Awards host (Alfie Joey and Anna Foster) = £1000 (No transport costs)


Details:

Reference Number: 5468
Request Date: 24/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 I am seeking information relating to accommodation that has been classed as 'exempt'. I am seeking the housing benefit paid for such accommodation, broken down into housing benefit, and to include service charges as outlined below.

Exempt accommodation is defined as:

"1) “Exempt accommodation” is a term used in Housing Benefit and Universal Credit to describe supported accommodation where the rules that normally limit the amount of rent covered by a benefit award do not apply.

The usual meaning of “exempt accommodation” is where the accommodation is provided by a landlord in the social or voluntary sector and the benefit claimant is provided with care, support or supervision by the landlord or by someone acting on the landlord’s behalf.

A claimant occupying exempt accommodation does not have their housing benefit restricted to local housing allowance."

Please can you disclose the following:

Q.1 details of the lowest awarded eligible core rent;

Q.2 details of the highest awarded eligible core rent;

Q.3 details of the lowest awarded gross eligible rent (i.e. inclusive of the core rent and the eligible service charges);

Q.4 details of the highest awarded gross eligible rent (i.e. inclusive of the core rent and the eligible service charges); and

Q.5 Please confirm the names of exempt accommodation providers in your area. Please name the providers/landlords who currently hold exempt accommodation status in respect of any of their residents.

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: 5473
Request Date: 24/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please provide the below information regarding non-domestic rates:
 
Q.1 The amount of money the local authority has collected in non-domestic rates from a) NHS hospital and GP surgeries, and b) private hospitals in each of the past four financial years.
 
A.1 The amount of money collected over the past 4 financial years is £14,888,539.33
 
Q.2 The amount of business rate relief claimed by private hospitals in each of the past four financial years.
 
A.2 The amount of relief claimed over the past 4 financial years is £6,875.10


Details:

Reference Number: 5479
Request Date: 25/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am writing to request information under the FOIA about the council’s plans for expenditure on social care services for disabled children and their families from 2019-2020. Could you please let me know for each of (a) overall social care expenditure on disabled children and their families and (b) expenditure on short breaks for disabled children, whether the council plans to:
 
Q.1 Increase expenditure in real terms
 
A.1 Forecast expenditure on services for disabled children in 2018-19 is £2,707,000. Forecast expenditure on short breaks for disabled children in 2018-19 is £781,612
 
Q.2 Maintain current levels of expenditure in real terms
 
A.2 This is a demand led budget and fluctuates in line with the changing needs of the children and young people which it is supporting rather than as a result of planned increases/decreases to budget allocations.
 
Q.3 Maintain current levels of expenditure in cash terms
 
A.3 This is a demand led budget and fluctuates in line with the changing needs of the children and young people which it is supporting rather than as a result of planned increases/decreases to budget allocations.
 
Q.4 Make cash reductions to current levels of expenditure
 
A.4 This is a demand led budget and fluctuates in line with the changing needs of the children and young people which it is supporting rather than as a result of planned increases/decreases to budget allocations.
 
Q.5 Could you also please let me know whether these plans have been finalised; or are currently still proposals (and if the latter, whether they are subject to public consultation)?
 
A.5 N/A
 
Q.6 Finally, could you please send me copies of (or links to) to any council, cabinet or committee papers with respect to plans for social care for disabled children and their families; and details of any public consultations on such plans.
 
A.6 Please see link below to paper published online, 3 separate attachments are also included with this email:-
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5532
Request Date: 04/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 I would like an up to date list of businesses and charities that have become newly liable for business rates between 15th Jan 19-31st Jan 19. Please include the full business name and address, along with the property type, date of liability and RV. It would be helpful if you were to provide any brief notes which might be necessary to understand the context of the information provided, although I recognise that you are not obliged to do this. 

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: 5547
Request Date: 05/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 The viability study that was conducted to justify the re-organisation of the North Tyne schools to 2 Tier rendering Bellingham Middle School surplus to requirements

Q.2 The financial costings associated with the consultations on "Education in the West of Northumberland" and the statutory consultations which followed to include: 
a) cost of officers time
b) cost of transport to schools and other venues.
c) cost of publication in various media
d) members costs accumulated in the process from start to finish in July 2018
d) incidental costs eg. telephone calls, postage
e) any ongoing costs incurred eg. travel/time associated with the School Adjudicators dealings with the Council.

A.1 - A.2 The cost of placing the statutory notice in the Hexham Courant re proposals for schools in Haydon Bridge in July 2018 was £1,247.40 + VAT.  We are unable to provide responses to the remainder of the questions as this information is not recorded.


Details:

Reference Number: 5548
Request Date: 05/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

 
Q.1   For each financial year 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018-present, how many S.42 safeguarding reports/enquiries have the local authorities recorded under the Care Act 2014, involving the abuse and neglect of patients under 65 years old with learning disabilities and/or autism, detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 in an NHS or independent sector hospital with a specialism in assessment or medical treatment for persons with learning disabilities and/or autism? Please list the names of the care provider and the number of reports of safeguarding incidents for each.

Q.2   In connection to the above, please list the type of safeguarding enquiries/reports (as per below) for each private provider:
a. Neglect and acts of omission
b. Emotional/psychological abuse
c. Physical abuse
d. Sexual abuse
e. Medication
f. Discriminatory abuse
g. Other type of abuse as recorded by the local authority

Q.3   In connection to the above Q1 and Q2, please provide the person alleged to be responsible for the reported safeguarding report/enquiry:
a. paid employee
b. other service user
c. agency staff member
d. family member or visitor
e. outside health professional (eg doctor psychiatrist)
f. other

Q.4   In connection to Q1, please provide the number of investigations that concluded during each financial year 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018-present and the number, which resulted in:
a. non-criminal investigations
b. criminal investigations
NB. For each of the questions, if some of the hospital settings provide services for both patients over 65 and under, please refer to the ones under 65.

A.1 - A.4     Based on the information we hold, there were four enquiries under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014, or equivalent enquiries under the national framework for safeguarding adults which was in place before April 2015, which fell within the scope of your query.  Details of these is in the attached spreadsheet.
Adult Social Care:   cost of care
Children & Families:   looked after children
Children & Families:   foster care and adoptions
Finance & Payments:   funding for care homes
Politics, Policies & Minutes:   Policies & Legislation
Children & Families:   Funding for care homes - TO BE ADDED
The department holding the information is that which has lead responsibility for dealing with kinship (also known as family and friends care) support and placements. 
Please note that the information gleaned will be analysed and inform the evidence gathering stage of the work of the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care.
Please provide the following information that your local authority holds: 

Q.1   Provide a link to your local authority’s kinship care policy (this may also be known as your family and friends care policy).

A.1    https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Children/Looked-after/Fostering.aspx#familyfriendscare

Q.2   Does your local authority have a named designated lead 
manager responsible for kinship care (also known as family and friends care)? If so, what is their name and contact details, and what is the title of their substantive post?

A.2   Liz Spaven, Senior Manager - Family Placements

liz.spaven@northumberland.gov.uk

Q.3   Does your local authority have a written policy and/or procedure that sets out financial support for children in kinship care under the following arrangements, and if so, please provide a copy of the policy and/or procedure(s):
a) Children placed or living in family and friends care overall (encompassing all the different types of arrangements below)
b) Children placed with family and friends foster carers?
c) Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order?
d) Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order or Residence Order?
e) Children living in private fostering arrangements?
f) Children living in kinship care informal arrangements (where there is no legal order)?

A.3   See attached document

Link to private fostering info:  https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/privatefostering.aspx

Q.4    See the attached document

Q.5   Do you have a written policy about how kinship carers can access legal advice including, how this is funded?   If yes, please provide this.
If you do not have a written policy, what guidelines do you use in determining whether to pay for independent legal advice or representation for a kinship carer or potential kinship carer? E.g. an initial consultation for £x.

A.5   See attached document

Q.6    Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, what was the total local authority budget spent on all children placed or living in family and friends care overall?
Can this be broken down by total local authority spend on:
a) Children placed with family and friends foster carers?
b) Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order?
c) Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order or Residence Order?
d) Children living in informal arrangements (where there is no legal order)?

A.6    See answer to question 4
 
Q.7    Please state how many looked-after children were placed in friends and family foster placements as of 31st March 2018.

A.7     67

Q.8     Of the number of looked after children placed in friends and family foster placements as of 31st March 2018, how many were previously placed by the local authority in: 

Q.8a)   A foster placement (or placements) with unrelated carers? 

A.8a)    8

Q.8b)    A different family and friends foster placement? 

A.8b)    5

Q.8c)    A residential children’s home setting? 

A.8c)    0

Q.8d)   Any other provision for looked-after children?

A.8d)   0
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5549
Request Date: 05/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Provide a link to your local authority’s kinship care policy (this may also be known as your family and friends care policy).

A.1    https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Children/Looked-after/Fostering.aspx#familyfriendscare

Q.2   Does your local authority have a named designated lead 
manager responsible for kinship care (also known as family and friends care)? If so, what is their name and contact details, and what is the title of their substantive post?

A.2   Liz Spaven, Senior Manager - Family Placements

liz.spaven@northumberland.gov.uk

Q.3   Does your local authority have a written policy and/or procedure that sets out financial support for children in kinship care under the following arrangements, and if so, please provide a copy of the policy and/or procedure(s):
a) Children placed or living in family and friends care overall (encompassing all the different types of arrangements below)
b) Children placed with family and friends foster carers?
c) Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order?
d) Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order or Residence Order?
e) Children living in private fostering arrangements?
f) Children living in kinship care informal arrangements (where there is no legal order)?

A.3   See attached document

Link to private fostering info:  https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/privatefostering.aspx

Q.4    See the attached document

Q.5   Do you have a written policy about how kinship carers can access legal advice including, how this is funded?   If yes, please provide this.
If you do not have a written policy, what guidelines do you use in determining whether to pay for independent legal advice or representation for a kinship carer or potential kinship carer? E.g. an initial consultation for £x.

A.5   See attached document

Q.6    Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, what was the total local authority budget spent on all children placed or living in family and friends care overall?
Can this be broken down by total local authority spend on:
a) Children placed with family and friends foster carers?
b) Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order?
c) Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order or Residence Order?
d) Children living in informal arrangements (where there is no legal order)?

A.6    See answer to question 4
 
Q.7    Please state how many looked-after children were placed in friends and family foster placements as of 31st March 2018.

A.7     67

Q.8     Of the number of looked after children placed in friends and family foster placements as of 31st March 2018, how many were previously placed by the local authority in: 

Q.8a)   A foster placement (or placements) with unrelated carers? 

A.8a)    8

Q.8b)    A different family and friends foster placement? 

A.8b)    5

Q.8c)    A residential children’s home setting? 

A.8c)    0

Q.8d)   Any other provision for looked-after children?

A.8d)   0
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5551
Request Date: 05/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    The full details of what real estate assets the Northumberland Pension Fund currently invests in, including the name and amounts of each type of real estate asset or investment being held.
This information should be broken down into the different categories, including:
- Listed Real Estate securities; Unlisted/Private Real Estate Property Funds/vehicles, companies or CIS;
- Directly held properties ; and
- (listed/unlisted) Real Estate Debt Funds/vehicles. 
In the case of any unlisted real estate vehicles or real estate debt vehicles, the domicile of the underlying assets should be included.
A full list of all the companies, vehicles, CIS etc in which the Pension Fund invests in or has an outstanding commitment to should be covered in the above question. This list should include the names of each company and the amount invested in each company etc.

A.1      NCCPF currently has holdings in three Property Unit Trusts;

- BlackRock UK Property Fund 
- Schroder UK Real Estate Fund 
- Rockspring Hannover Property Unit Trust 

Out of the categories listed above, these would likely fall under the one highlighted (i.e. 'Unlisted/Private Real Estate Property Funds/Vehicles etc'). The attached Q4 December 2018 investment reports include all relevant information regarding amounts invested, market value, yield etc, as at 31 December 2018. Please note, the Fund's holding in Rockspring is particularly small, and this currently sits within the Schroder portfolio, hence the reason for only two Q4 Reports (BlackRock and Schroder).

Q.2    The current yields of the different investments the pension fund holds.

A.2    See Q4 Reports as per previous question. 

Q.3    Can you clearly specify the total value of all real estate investments that the Pension Fund holds.

A.3     The attached Q4 Reports detail market values at 31 December 2018 for each of the Fund's PUTs.

Q.4    I would like to receive this information in an unlocked excel sheet without protected cells (.xls). 

A.4    Please see the attached document

Q.5    Please supply a copy of the Pension Scheme’s latest Statement of Investment Principles and most recent Pension Fund Report & Accounts. 

A.5     The latest Investment Strategy Statement (December 2018) for NCCPF is attached, along with the 2017/2018 NCC Pension Fund Annual Report and Accounts. 
These documents are also available on the Northumberland County Council website.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5553
Request Date: 06/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please provide the following information, where data is available, regarding youth services budgets and provision. For each year since 2011/12 (or the earliest available data) until 2018/19, your council’s:

Q.1   Overall budget for youth services;

A1. 2011/12 - £1,006,960
2012/13 - £1,026,940
2013/14 - £1,041,430
2014/15 - £1,088,460
2015/16 - £1,052,880
2016/17 - £896,470
2017/18 - £926,320
2018/19 - £665,120
 

Q.2   Number of youth centres supported by the council;

A.2   Since 2009 Northumberland Youth Service has directly managed four centres (Alnwick, Ponteland, Prudhoe, Morpeth). Other bases for provision are directly managed by schools such as academies and the voluntary sector. Formal arrangements are in place for the Youth Service to operate in these centres. Since 2016 the youth block at Morpeth reverted to school control reducing this number to three.
 

Q.3    Number of full-time equivalent council-employed youth service staff/workers;
A.3 2011/12 - Unavailable
2012/13 - Unavailable
2013/14 - Unavailable
2014/15 - 35.85
2015/16 - 31.30
2016/17 - 28.88
2017/18 - 27.63
2018/19 - 20.45
 

Q.4   Number of places for young people in youth services.
A.4   NorThumberland Youth Service has operated since 2009 on the principle of open access and does not limit the number of young people who can come to one of its sessions. The only exception may be if to admit any more proved to be a health and safety issue.
 

Q.5   The number of youth centres or major youth projects in your area that have closed since 2011.

A.5   No centres have closed as a direct result of cuts to youth centres. Those that have ceased to operate have usually had different reasons:

Ashington - Hirst High School - Became an Academy

Ashington - Ashington High School - Site demolished to form new building.

It is worth noting that we now operate out of two alternative Ashington sites to replace this.

Beacon Hill - Failed due to management issues

Newbrough - The decision was made to shut this session as attendance was so low.

Morpeth Youth Block - Due to change of use by the school.
 

Q.6   Any confirmed spending for youth services for 2019/20 and any anticipated youth centre closures.

A.6   The estimated budget for 19/20 is £671,440. There are no anticipated youth centre closures.



Details:

Reference Number: 5560
Request Date: 06/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1      I am requesting information regarding ice cream concession bids from Northumberland county council country parks such as :

Plessey woods country park  
Durridge bay country park
Ridley park 
Blyth beach (mermaid car park)
Seaton sluice car park 
Ranch car park 
Church point car park 

I would like details of how much was the winning bid and paid each year for each of these car parks & country parks for the purpose to trade for Ice cream dating back from 2013,14,15 & 2016,17,18 years for as soon as possible please.

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


Details:

Reference Number: 5561
Request Date: 06/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1      What is the market value of the council’s pension funds?

A.1
https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/About-the-Council/Finance/Statement-of-Accounts-2017-18-FinalSC-26-07-18.pdf

The above link is to Northumberland County Council's Statement of Accounts 2017/2018, which are available on the NCC website. Notes 32 and 33 to the accounts (pages 108 - 118 on the attached link) detail the Councils participation in various pension schemes, with the market value (of NCC's share of the Funds, as 'employer') detailed specifically on Page 112.

Northumberland County Council is the administering authority for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), and the market value of the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund (NCCPF) as a whole, as at 31 March 2018, is again included within the above link (Pension Fund Accounts pages 180 - 207) with specific market value of the assets of the Fund detailed on pages 181 and 182.

Q.2      What is the market value invested in each company directly by the council?

A.2       The values and proportions of Northumberland County Council Pension Fund's externally managed assets, as at 31 March 2018, are detailed in Note 14 (page 190) of the NCC Statement of Accounts 2017/2018, again as per the link above to the NCC website. Note 20 (page 193) details outstanding and initial commitments made by NCCPF.

Q.3       If the council holds investments through an external fund manager please provide the investment portfolio for that manger, which includes the market value for each of their investments.

A.3       NCCPF holds investments in pooled investment vehicles through various external fund managers, again as detailed on the above link (page 190), however does not hold information in relation to the underlying investments made by the external fund manager on behalf of NCCPF. 

Q.4      Does the council apply any specific investment inclusions or exclusions to pension funds or financial investments? If so, please provide details on what they are.

A.4       Attached is the most recent Investment Strategy Statement ('ISS 1 Dec 2018') for Northumberland County Council Pension Fund.  LGPS Scheme members have the option of paying additional voluntary contributions (AVCS). When doing so, scheme members must choose between a number of different types of investments, one of which is an ethically screened portfolio.   

Q.5      Has the council made any public statements regarding divesting unethical companies or ethical investment in the last 5 years? Please provide link to statements.

A.5      No, the Council has not made any statements of this nature in the last 5 years.
 


Attachments:

Details:

Reference Number: 5562
Request Date: 07/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 We are Veterans Hearing Support and we assist veterans to access the Royal British Legion’s Veterans Hearing Fund. To date we have helped more than 1,000 ex-servicemen and women gain access to the fund providing these veterans with some of the most advanced hearing aids in the UK. This is life changing to those veterans and we would like to do more. Can you please forward to me, the name and contact information (email address and phone number) of the Veterans Officer in your council?

A.1    The Armed Forces Champion: Councillor David Ledger - David.Ledger@northumberland.gov.uk, The Armed Forces Officer: Jackie Roll - Jackie.Roll@northumberland.gov.uk



Details:

Reference Number: 5566
Request Date: 08/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1     Please could you let me have the amount of the costs awarded against the Council on Planning Appeals allowed since June, 2017 to December, 2018

A.1     We do not hold a comprehensive list of costs awarded against the Council on Planning Appeals allowed. We have however been able to run a transaction report of payments made for the period June 2017 - September 2018. Due to the introduction of a new finance system in September 2018 the report cannot be run for the period September - December 2018. 

The transaction report has shown that the Council paid award of costs for Planning appeals which total £107,553 for the period June 2017-September 2018. Paper records show no payments were made for the period September - December 2018.

Q.2     Please could you let me have the following information for the period March to December, 2018.

Q.2a.    The performance figures on all planning decisions during this period.

A.2a     The overall performance on all applications decisions (development type codes 01 to 27) is 2166 applications determined within agreed time out of 3347 applications determined. 65% 

Q.2b    The number of Planning applications that were withdrawn.

A.2b     164 

Q.2c    The number of appeals made against planning decisions

A.2c     24

Q.2d    The number of appeals dismissed 

A.2d     5

Q.2e    The number of decisions that have gone against pre-application recommendations

A.2e    It would take approximately 1,125 - 1,500 hours to get this information together because we would have to look at approximately 4500 applications to manually check to see if a preapp was linked that matched the proposal of the application. We would then need to check the officers response letter to the preapp against the planning applications outcome.

Our database only records that the pre-app was closed when a response has been issued, so we would have to look at each response in our Document management system to see whether or not it matched with the outcome. This would approximately take 15-20mins per application check manually each application.

Refusal under Exemption 12 - Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit. The public interest test requires Northumberland County Council to confirm that we hold certain information relating to pre application recommendations.  However, 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 and/or £450. 
 

Q.2f    The number of complaints received at Stage 1.
A.2f     90

Q.2g    The number of complaints received at Stage 2

A.2g     18

 
Q.2h.   How many complaints have been referred to the Ombudsman

A.2h     1


Q.3.   How many staff have left in this period.

A.9    16 employees left the Planning service between March and December 2018
 

Q.4   What are the costs to the Council associated with redundancy agreements.

A.4  There were no redundancies within the Planning Service during the time frame. 


Q.5  What are the costs to the Council associated with compromise agreements.

A.5  There was one compromise agreement within the Planning Service at a cost of £41,7019.18


Q.6 How many temporary staff have been employed by the department during this period and what is the cost to the Council.

A.6  Within Planning Services between March 2018 to December 2018 the number of staff on fixed term contracts are shown in the table below. Please note a number of these contracts were employees acting up into other roles to cover vacancies and sickness. The total cost over this period was £584,572.44. 

Month               Number of temporary staff

March 2018                28
April 2018                   29
May 2018                   29
June 2018                  27
July 2018                   24
August 2018              26
September 2018        24
October 2018             24
November 2018         25 
December 2018         25

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 question 5 of your request is exempt under the following provisions. 

• Section 12(1) Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit. 

Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit. 

(2) Subsection (1) does not exempt the public authority from its obligation to comply with paragraph (a) of section 1(1) unless the estimated cost of complying with that paragraph alone would exceed the appropriate limit. 

(3) In subsections (1) and (2) "the appropriate limit" means such amount as may be prescribed, and different amounts may be prescribed in relation to different cases. 

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, where two or more requests for information are made to a public authority- 

(a) by one person, or 

(b) by different persons who appear to the public authority to be acting in concert or in pursuance of a campaign,  the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to be the estimated total cost of complying with all of them. 

(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the purposes of this section as to the costs to be estimated and as to the manner in which they are to be estimated.  

Notice of Refusal 

Please treat this as a Notice of a Part Refusal as regards the information covered by the Section 12(1) Exemption for question 5 only.



Details:

Reference Number: 5567
Request Date: 08/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q1. 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 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/



Details:

Reference Number: 5568
Request Date: 08/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am aware that all Billing Authorities hold records of businesses that have created a new account.

Q.1     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: 5572
Request Date: 08/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 The Ratepayer and the net Rates payable for the financial year 2010/11 and 2011/12, including any transitional relief or surcharge, for the hereditament below:

• IN VESSEL COMPOSTING STATION, ELLINGTON ROAD, ASHINGTON, NORTHD, NE63 9XS - BA Reference:   WANN11425803999

A.1      Northumberland Energy Recovery Ltd 

2010/2011 - £32,876.22

2011/2012 - £469.38



Details:

Reference Number: 5598
Request Date: 13/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

The information I require relates to the organisations software contract, please send me the organisation’s primary contract around the types of contract below. I require the organisation’s to provide me with the following contract information relating to the following corporate software/enterprise applications:

 

A.       Enterprise Resource Planning Software Solution (ERP) -this is the organisation’s main ERP system and may include service support, maintenance and upgrades.

B.       Primary Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solution-this is the organisation’s main CRM system and may include service support, maintenance and upgrades. Example of CRM systems the organisation may use could include Microsoft Dynamics, Front Office, Lagan CRM, Firmstep

C.       Primary Human Resources (HR) and Payroll Software Solution-this is the organisation’s main HR/payroll system and may include service support, maintenance and upgrades. In some cases the HR contract maybe separate to the payroll contract please provide both types of contracts. Example of HR/Payroll systems the organisation may use could include iTrent, Resourcelink.

D.       The organisation’s primary corporate Finance Software Solution-this is the organisation’s main Finance system and may include service support, maintenance and upgrades. Example of finance systems the organisation may use could include E-Business suite, Agresso (Unit4), eFinancials, Integra, SAP

In some cases you may come across contracts that provides service support maintenance and upgrades separate to the main software contract, please also provide this information in the response following the requested data below.

For each of the categories above can you please provide me with the relevant contract information listed below:
 

Q.1.    Software Category: ERP, CRM, HR, Payroll, Finance

A.1.    ERP, HR, Payroll, Finance 

Q.2.    Name of Supplier: Can you please provide me with the software provider for each contract?

A.2.   Oracle 

Q.3.    The brand of the software: Can you please provide me with the actual name of the software. Please do not provide me with the supplier name again please provide me with the actual software name.

A.3.   Oracle Cloud Applications / Fusion, Financials, HCM and Payroll 

Q.4.   Description of the contract: Please do not just state two to three words can you please provide me with detailed information about this contract and please state if upgrade, maintenance and support is included.

A.4.    Fully licensed, includes quarterly upgrades, maintenance and support

Please also include any modules included within the contract as this will support the categories you have selected in question Q.1.

Q.5.   Number of Users/Licenses: What is the total number of user/licenses for this contract? 

A.5.   We have a few hundred Financials users. HCM and Payroll licences are based on the 1 licence per employee paid in the organisation.

Q.6.   Annual Spend: What is the annual average spend for each contract?

A.6.   Total for the ERP, HR and Payroll, Finance categories and all the modules mentioned above  is £600000 per annum. 

Q.7.   Contract Duration: What is the duration of the contract please include any available extensions within the contract.

A.7.   5 year contract

Q.8.   Contract Start Date: What is the start date of this contract? Please include month and year of the contract. DD-MM-YY or MM-YY. 

A.8.   07-17

Q.9.   Contract Expiry: What is the expiry date of this contract? Please include month and year of the contract. DD-MM-YY or MM-YY.

A.9.   07-22
  
Q.10.  Contract Review Date: What is the review date of this contract? Please include month and year of the contract. If this cannot be provide please provide me estimates of when the contract is likely to be reviewed. DD-MM-YY or MM-YY. 

A.10.  Approx 2 years before the end of the contract.

Q.11.  Contact Details: I require the full contact details of the person within the organisation responsible for this particular software contract (name, job title, email, contact number). 

A.11.  Ryan Fitzpatrick -  Information and Development Manager

If any of the information is not available please can you provide me with the notes on the reasons why?

For each of the categories above can you please provide me with the relevant contract information listed below: 

Q.1.   Software Category: ERP, CRM, HR, Payroll, Finance

A.1.   CRM 

Q.2.   Name of Supplier: Can you please provide me with the software provider for each contract?

A.2.   Verint 

Q.3.   The brand of the software: Can you please provide me with the actual name of the software. Please do not provide me with the supplier name again please provide me with the actual software name.

A.3.   Lagan CRM  

Q.4.   Description of the contract: Please do not just state two to three words can you please provide me with detailed information about this contract and please state if upgrade, maintenance and support is included.

A.4.   Annual Support and Maintenance 

          1 x Additional User Licence for QMax WFM

          1 x Additional User Licence for QMax WFM

          Verint Government Online Forms

          LAGAN SVC Standard DQM 

Please also include any modules included within the contract as this will support the categories you have selected in question Q.1.

Q.5.   Number of Users/Licenses: What is the total number of user/licenses for this contract? 

A.5.   80 users/licences for Contact Centre staff

Q.6.   Annual Spend: What is the annual average spend for each contract? 

A.6.   £50,890.86

Q.7.   Contract Duration: What is the duration of the contract please include any available extensions within the contract. 

A.7.   5 year contract

Q.8.   Contract Start Date: What is the start date of this contract? Please include month and year of the contract. DD-MM-YY or MM-YY. 

A.8.   04-14

Q.9.   Contract Expiry: What is the expiry date of this contract? Please include month and year of the contract. DD-MM-YY or MM-YY. 

A.9.   04-19

Q.10  Contract Review Date: What is the review date of this contract? Please include month and year of the contract. If this cannot be provide please provide me estimates of when the contract is likely to be reviewed. DD-MM-YY or MM-YY. 

A.10  Currently about to review and just taking up 1 year extension option.

Q.11  Contact Details: I require the full contact details of the person within the organisation responsible for this particular software contract (name, job title, email, contact number). 

A.11  Joe Murphy -  Development Manager



Details:

Reference Number: 5606
Request Date: 14/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1.   What type of council are you – i.e. Unitary, District etc.

A.1.   Unitary

Q.2.   Do you have a corporate debt team 

A.2.   Yes

Q.3.   What categories of debt are collected 

A.3.   Council Tax, Business Rates, Housing Benefit Overpayments, Sundry Debt

Q.4.   Do you collect debt on behalf of other councils or 3rd parties such as housing associations etc. 

A.4.   No

Q.5.   What systems are used for each 

A.5.   Northgate Revs & Bens, Oracle Applications

Q.6.   Do you employ internal enforcement agents, if so, how many 

A.6.   Yes, one

Q.7.   Do you utilise external enforcement agents via a 3rd party, if so when does their current contract end and when it does are you considering using internal enforcement agents

A.7.   We utilise external enforcement agents and their engagement is reviewed annually.



Details:

Reference Number: 5608
Request Date: 14/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Under the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, could you please provide me with the most up-to-date list of all empty commercial (non-residential) property rates data for your local authority, and including the following fields:

A) Address

B) Rateable Value 

 

A1. 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-all-exemptions-01-nov-2018/

and

https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-all-reliefs-01-nov-2018/ 

Please note that in relation to the reliefs data that the empty property start date will be either 3 or 6 months prior to the relief start date depending on the type of property.

This data is refreshed on 1 November and 1 May each year.



Details:

Reference Number: 5611
Request Date: 14/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please could you tell me the number of claims made for Discretionary Housing Payments and the number of awards for the financial years below?

Name of Authority
Year
Number of claims
Number of awards
 
2013/14
2014/15
2015/16
2016/17
2017/18

A.1   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached structure charts in response, accurate as of this date.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5615
Request Date: 15/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1. Please state any changes to the eligibility criteria or service offer under the council's home to school transport policy (as per section 50B of the Education Act 1996) that have been enacted since April 2010. Non-substantive, purely technical alterations can be left out. Please state the month that each took effect, and provide any impact assessment that was carried out.

Q.2. For each of the following academic years - 2010/11, 2014/15, 2017/18, 2018/19 - please state the number of children aged 5-16 who received free home to school transport from (or funded by) the council (as per section 50B of the Education Act 1996).

Q.3. For each of the following academic years - 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 = please state the number of children of compulsory school age with SEND statements or ECHPs who were being educated outside the local authority area

Q.4. Please list the 'out of area' local authorities where children from your local authority with SEND statements or ECHPs are currently in compulsory education, together with the number of children being educated in each local authority (where the number is three or fewer, please list the local authority even if the number is not provided)

Q.5. Does the council identifiably record the cost of external legal advice and representation for first tier and upper tier SEND tribunal cases (i.e. SENDIST)? If the response to question 5 is 'no' please ignore question 6.

Q.6. How much did the council spend on external legal advice and representation on first tier and upper tier SEND tribunal cases each financial year for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 (year to date)? If possible, please split the expenditure between cases won by the council and cases lost by the council. There is no need to split the figures between first tier and upper tier expenditure.

A.1 - A.6   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response
 


Attachments:

Details:

Reference Number: 5626
Request Date: 18/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The hourly fee paid to North Star day service per client.  Out of this fee does the centre pay for the following commercial rent for the buildings.

insurance for buildings and liability insurance.

wages.and national insurance.

pension provision.

utilities, gas, electric,and water.

transport.

Holiday pay.

 daily upkeep and repairs

telephone/internet provision

 

A.1    This service is not delivered in hourly units.  Since it is an in-house service, it is also costed on the basis of the overall capacity available, rather than the number of individuals using the service at a date, which may vary.  On this basis, the daily unit cost of the service in the current financial year is £60.92. This costing includes all the costs listed in your enquiry, other than commercial rent for the premises.  These are owned by the Council, so no rent is payable.



Details:

Reference Number: 5632
Request Date: 18/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 A list of all live business rates accounts with a 2017 list Rateable Value greater than or equal to £5,000. Property Reference Number (also known as Billing Authority Reference Number) of the property on which the charge is made. Please note that this is not the Rate Demand or Rate Account Number, Current rateable value, account holder name, property address, the billing address (where different to the property address), the contact telephone number and email address, the date the current ratepayer became liable for the business rates – we do not require any historical account liability dates only the current ratepayers liability start date, whether a property is empty or occupied, where a property is currently empty please provide the date the ratepayer became liable for empty rates, where there is an exemption on the account please provide the start and end date and type of exemption applied (e.g. listed building), where there is a relief on the account please provide the date it was applied and the type of relief (e.g. charity), we do not require any personal information or sole traders.

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 link: https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/ 
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5634
Request Date: 19/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   I request that a copy of the following information [or documents containing the following information] be provided to me: Full list of businesses and charities that have become responsible for business rates between the 1st-19th Feb 2019. I would like to know the full business name and address, date of liability and the 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: 5635
Request Date: 19/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Please can you tell me the amount of money you spent on the Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy service for the following financial years, the organisation you commissioned to deliver this statutory service and the number of new cases taken on each year:
  •  Financial Year
  • Amount spent £
  • Number of new cases
  • Organisation commissioned 
2013/14
2014/15
2015/16
2016/17 
2017/18
2018/19

Q.2. In addition to complaints advocacy for NHS services, does your local authority directly provide or commission complaints advocacy services for those looking to make complaints or raise concerns about local social care services? 
 
Financial Year
Does your local authority provide advocacy for social care complaints - indicate one of the options below:
·      Yes, as an independent contract in the same way as NHS complaints advocacy.
·      Yes, as an independent contract but case are limited to those eligible for advocacy support under the Care Act.
·      Yes, but as part of the broader advocacy provision offered by the council.
·      No
Amount spent £
 
Number of new cases

Name of organisation commissioned
2013/14
2014/15
2015/16
2016/17 
2017/18
2018/19

Q.3. Does your local authority set out a clause in any contracts for complaints advocacy providers in health and social care to share information and insight with relevant local partners such as local Health and Wellbeing Boards, Quality Surveillance Groups or Healthwatch?
Yes / No
 
A.1 - A.3  Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5651
Request Date: 21/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please provide me with  a copy of the breakdown of the public money that is being gifted to Greenhead Primary School: 

Q.1   the total amount/date(s) of payment(s) 

A.1   The money has not been gifted to Greenhead Primary School.  The school is owed a sum of money in relation to historic and outstanding salary and teacher supply insurance claims.  Unfortunately, as this money relates to salaries no further details can be provided.

 

Q.2    a copy of the Minutes of the Committees/School Forum at which this was discussed 

A.2   As this issue was not discussed at Committee / Schools Forum level no minutes are available. 

 

Q.3   a copy of the Minutes of the Committees/School Forum at which this was agreed.

A.3   As this issue was not discussed at Committee / Schools Forum level no minutes are available.



Details:

Reference Number: 5659
Request Date: 25/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1      Since 1/1/2018 has the Council used an external organisation to provide Children’s Social Work project team(s) to complete a specific piece of time bound work?

Q.2      Can you confirm the number of Children’s Social Workers that were provided?

Q.3      The area they worked e.g. Children in need, Referral and Assessment, Duty etc.

Q.4      When did they start and finish? 

A.5      The name of the organisation(s) that provided the Children’s Social Workers?

Q.6      The total amount charged to the council for this service?

A.1 - A.6   We have not used an external organisation to provide a children's social work project team at all in Northumberland.



Details:

Reference Number: 5813
Request Date: 28/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

A list of all the business premises you currently hold on file that have credits on their account including start dates and end dates of the rates account.

Q1. relating to business rate accounts with a credit balance.

A.1. We hold the information you requested. However, we are withholding that information and no longer publish this data on our website as we consider that the exemption under Section 31(1)(a) applies following the decision of the Information Commissioner's Office ICO decision FS50671834. We consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Q.2. relating to details of business ratepayers who have not applied for small business rate relief and/or retail relief 

A.2. The public interest test requires Northumberland County Council to confirm that we hold information in relation to business ratepayers and reliefs awarded. The County Council takes the view that the information relating to business rate reliefs is exempt under Section 21 (Information accessible by other means). The information relating to business ratepayers and reliefs 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 in May 2019. 



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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 5865
Request Date: 02/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1     What Document / Records management system/s does the council currently use? Please include the supplier/vendor name, software product name and version number.

A.1     Please see the attached PDF. 

Q.1.2   What is the current annual cost for the solution?

A.1.2   Please see the attached PDF. 

Q.1.3   What year was the solution first purchased?

A.1.3   Please see the attached PDF. 

Q.1.4  Do you use a separate document management system in any department i.e. HR or Revenues and Benefits?

A.1.4  Yes, as above. 

Q.1.5  When will you be re-procuring a Revenues and Benefits system?

A.1.5   Current contract expires 30/11/2020, procurement for replacement will begin approximately 3 - 6 months prior 

Q.2     Where are physical records / documents stored?

A.2     Onsite at NCC buildings in small volumes, Northumberland County Council's (NCC) dedicated Records Management Centre and two third party suppliers are currently used; Cleardata and Datastor. 

Q.2.1  How many physical records are currently being stored either by supplier or by the council.

A.2.1  Onsite within NCC buildings - unknown. 
NCC's Records Management Centre - 8,971 large and 21,088 small
Cleardata - 401 small transfer case boxes 
Datastor - 3,200 large banker boxes

Q.2.2   If out sourced with a supplier please provide start/end date and spend for 2018.

A.2.2  Cleardata - start date 2015, annual spend £769.92.
Datastor - start date 2004, annual spend £17,274

Q.2.3   If managed in-house how much does the council spend annually on physical storage of records? Including any building and staff costs.

A.2.3  The building management service of the NCC site is managed by Woodhorn Charitable Trust on our behalf, this is within a service charge which is shared by Northumberland Archives. 

Q.3     Is there any agreements or projects in place to digitise paper records?

A.3     A tender is live for the procurement of a scanning supplier to digitise paper records. 

Q.3.1   If so, is this being done in-house or by a supplier?

A.3.1  Supplier 

Q.3.2   If by a supplier, please provide details of who and when the contract started.

A.3.2  Tenders are being evaluated currently and a supplier will be awarded following this exercise. 

Q.4    Can you please provide the name(s) and contact details of the member(s) of staff that would look after the above 3 points.

A.4     Records Manager - informationgovernance@northumberland.gov.uk 

Q.5    How many FOI/SAR did you receive in 2018?

A.5     In financial year 2018 - 19 we received the following:- 
FOI - 1,616 
SAR - 91 

Q.5.1   Do you have a cost per FOI request that you have calculated and what is that if so?

A.5.1   Information not held.

Q.5.2   Do you have a cost per SAR request that you have calculated and what is that if so?

A.5.2   Information not held.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5866
Request Date: 02/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    I would like and full and up to date list of business’s / companies / charities, that have become newly liable for business rates between the 15th March 2109 to the 31st March 2019. I would like the full business name and address / date of liability / type of premises.

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


Details:

Reference Number: 5868
Request Date: 02/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    I request access to and copies of alternative investment portfolio records specifically for close-ended:
  • private equity funds
  • debt funds
  • real estate funds
  • infrastructure funds
  • fund of funds; and
  • hedge funds
(“the Records”) and details of:
  • committed capital
  • invested capital
  • distribution
  • market value
  • Net IRR; and
  • MOIC/TVPI
on a fund by fund basis with aggregated values since inception for quarter ending 31/12/2018 ("the Information";).

This request is ongoing, seeking copies of (or access to) all Records as they are filed with Northumberland County Council Pension Fund / updates to the Information as they are filed with the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund. I am further requesting that the Records / Information be provided to me in PDF or Excel format, if not maintained on computer files, in the same format as they are / it is currently maintained at the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund.

A.1   NCCPF has investments in closed ended partnerships for private equity and infrastructure.  

NCCPF has no holdings in close ended real estate or hedge funds.

Page 5 of the attached NCC Pension Fund Annual Report and Accounts 2017-18 lists all names and addresses of external investment management firms NCC Pension Fund allocates capital to.  Vintage years are shown in Note 20 (on page 78) of the attached NCC Pension Fund accounts 2017-18. The NCCPF Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-19 will be published on or around 31 July 2019.
   
Information including committed capital, invested capital, distributions and market value  is shown on the attached spreadsheet NCC Alternative Investments as at 31 December 2018, which is the most recent information available.

The most recent valuations held by NCC for each of the PE/Infrastructure partnerships are attached. Where IRRs or MOICs are held, they are included in this attached information.  The majority of these valuations relate to the 31 December 2018 period, with the exception of NB Alternatives, which are as at 30 September 2018 (awaiting the 31 December valuations)
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5883
Request Date: 05/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    NCC emails/ notes of meetings  regarding the letting of the premises when reconstructing the bridge.

A.1     Please see the attached document.  We have no other correspondence as the gentleman who was involved with this has left the authority and we don't have access to his emails.

Q.2     A list of properties in NCC area that are / have been subject to rating reductions , either full or partial due to building works.

A.2 The Council do not hold this type of information. We are advised by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) only of the Increase / Reduction and the effective date only.

Q.3     List of business rated properties that received a reduction due to the Rothbury bridge works and or Cragend  landslide roadworks

A.3 Our records show 48 properties that appear to have had a temporary rateable value reduction because of the Cragend Landslide. We are not aware of any specific reductions for the bridge works. The VOA may have specific information on this type of data?

Q.4     Internal correspondence / e mails regarding the rates on this property regarding meetings with your Mr Prince

A.4 Please see the attached document.


Details:

Reference Number: 5910
Request Date: 09/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   total number of all assessments liable for non-domestic (business) rates in the local authority area during 2017/18 and 2018/19. 

Q.2   in the financial years 2017/18 and 2018/19 please advise:-
I) total number of summons issued in the Magistrates Court for non-payment either in whole or and/or in part of non-domestic (business) rates.
II) total number of Liability Orders obtained in the Magistrates Court for non-payment either in whole or in part of non-domestic (business) rates.
III) total number of referrals made to Enforcement Officers (Bailiffs) to enforce Liability Orders for non-payment either in whole or in part of non-domestic (business) rates.

If my request is denied in whole and/or in part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the Act. I will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve the right to appeal any decision to withhold information and/or to charge fees from which this request should be exempt.
 
A.1 - A.2   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5911
Request Date: 09/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I would like to request the following information about business rates accounts that have credit please:
  • Property reference numbers
  • Ratepayers
  • Start dates
  • Credit information
I am aware that the Account Name may be considered personal in some instances so I ask that in these cases you supply the rest of the information provided with the Account name redacted. Also, if there are any aspects of our request you cannot disclose information for, could you please identify them with a reason. 

Exemptions

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

 


Details:

Reference Number: 5922
Request Date: 11/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How many cases were referred to bailiffs each year, and how does this split between:
a.     Council tax, PCN and other debt recovery
b.     Insourced vs outsourced to a third party provider
c.     Per year (2015-18)
 
A.1   PCN (Insourced)
2015 - 0
2016 - 0
2017 - 0
2018 - 0

Council Tax (Insourced)
2015 - 3759
2016 - 4112
2017 - 5066
2018 - 4506

Other debt recovery (Insourced)
2015 - 0
2016 - 0
2017 - 0
2018 - 0

Council Tax (Outsourced)
2015 - 0
2016 - 0
2017 - 0
2018 - 0

PCN (Outsourced)
2015 - 1751
2016 - 719
2017 - 1062
2018 - 1344

Other debt recovery (Outsourced)*
2015 - 305
2016 - 250
2017 - 277
2018 - 206

Insourced total
2015 - 3759
2016 - 4112
2017 - 5066
2018 - 4506

Outsourced Total
2015 - 2056
2016 - 969
2017 - 1339
2018 - 1550

Grand Total
2015 - 5815
2016 - 5081
2017 - 6405
2018 - 6056

*National Non-Domestic Rates

Q.2  Which, if any, third party providers did you use for these bailiff services, and how many cases did each manage each year (2015-18)?
 
a.     Split by Council tax, PCN and other debt recovery
 
A.2      Rossendales (PCN)
2015 - 1751
2016 - 719
2017 - 1062
2018 - 1344

Rossendales (Council Tax)
2015 - 3192
2016 - 3232
2017 - 3734
2018 - 2861

Rossendales (Other Debt Recovery)*
2015 - 110
2016 - 52
2017 - 129
2018 - 95

Thoburns Enforcement Services (Council Tax)
2015 - 567
2016 - 880
2017 - 1332
2018 - 1645

Thoburns Enforcement Services (Other Debt Recovery)*
2015 - 195
2016 - 198
2017 - 148
2018 - 111

*National Non-Domestic Rates
Note: the values shown for Council Tax and National Non-Domestic Rates relate to each financial year, i.e. 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 & 2018/19

Q.3   What was the total cost of parking enforcement services (e.g. traffic wardens, towing, clamping etc.) per year (2015-18)?
 
a.     Split between insourced vs outsourced to a third party provider
 
A.3   Please see our website for a breakdown of income and expenditure on the authority's on-street and off-street parking accounts.

https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/About/Transparency.aspx#transparency
Northumberland County Council - Transparency
Transparency. As a public-funded organisation, we have a duty to residents to be transparent in how council tax money is spent, our business operations and outcomes.
www.northumberland.gov.uk

Q.4   Which, if any, third party providers do you use to manage parking enforcement services? Please could you disclose the total amount spent with each provider per year (2015-18)
 
A.4   N/A
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5925
Request Date: 12/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

How much money was been moved into your High Needs block from:
  • the schools block / early years block / central services block in 2017-2018?

In each case what is this as a percentage of the relevant block?
  • Did you have schools forum approval for each move? (not applicable, yes, no)
  • What was the overspend / underspend on High Needs in 2017-18?
How much money has been moved into your High Needs block from:
  • the schools block / early years block / central services block in 2018-19?
  • In each case what is this as a percentage of the relevant block?
Did you have schools forum approval for each move? (not applicable, yes, no)

What is the projected overspend / underspend on High Needs in 2018-19?

How much money is planned to be moved into the High Needs block from:
  • the schools block / early years block / central services block in 2019-20?
  • In each case what is this as a percentage of the relevant block?
Did you have schools forum approval for each move? (not applicable, yes, no)

What is the projected overspend / underspend on High Needs in 2019-20?

Are you expecting to incur a cumulative DSG deficit of over 1% on March 31, 2019, thus requiring a report to the ESFA/DfE?

Is this due to an overspend on the high needs block?

What was the DSG surplus/deficit in 2014-15, 2015-16, 2017-18 in percentage terms?

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


Details:

Reference Number: 5937
Request Date: 15/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I am writing to request information related to new liabilities for business rates within your council area.  I would like the following in excel format please..
Q.1   Full list of businesses that have become liable for business rates between the 1-15th April 2019
Q.2   Full business name and address, date of liability and property type and the rate payer. 
 
A.1 & A.2   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.


Details:

Reference Number: 5945
Request Date: 16/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    The number of times between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019, or the nearest available twelve month period, that private bailiffs/enforcement agents have been instructed to enforce debts to the local authority relating to each of the following;

Q.1a.    Council tax
A.1a.       4506

Q.1b.    Parking
A.1b.       1036

Q.1c.    Housing Benefit overpayments
A.1c.       0

Q.1d.    Business Rates
A.1d.       206

Q.1e.    Commercial Rents
A.1e.       0

Q.1f.     Any other debt types, including any other overpayments
A.1f.        0

By “private bailiffs/enforcement agents” we mean those who are self-employed or who work for private companies, including as high court enforcement officers.  Please include cases where local authority employees have visited a property to enforce a warrant of control. 

Q.2    Do you signpost residents to one or more free debt advice agencies as part of your collections process?  (Yes/No) If so, which charities?

A.2   Yes.   A fill list can be found at 
https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Tax/Debt.aspx#advicefordealingwithdebt 

Q.3     Have you adopted the Standard Financial Statement (or Common Financial Statement) as a tool for objectively assessing income and expenditure as part of your collections process? (Yes/No)

A.3   No, although it may be used as a point of reference.

I  think this is primarily used by debt advice organisation such as Citizen’s Advice.

Q.4     Do you have a formal policy in place for dealing with residents in vulnerable circumstances as part of your collections process? (Yes/No)

A.4   The Council has a Corporate Debt Recovery Policy which is updated annually.

Q.5    Do you currently have a policy of exempting recipients of Council Tax Support from the use of bailiff action? (Yes/No)

A.5   No.

Q.6    Have you adopted the Citizens Advice/Local Government Association Council Tax Protocol? (Yes/No)

A.6   No. We will be meeting with Citizens Advice to sign the protocol.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5950
Request Date: 16/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Would it be possible to request a breakdown of the amount of unpaid / outstanding council tax from the year 2013/14 to present day per council tax year? 

A.1   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

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.2   A breakdown for the same period for the amount of unpaid council tax that has been written off per council tax year, also the number of prosecutions brought by you between 2013/14 and now for unpaid council tax. 

A.2       2013/14 - £780,244
2014/15 - £936,426
2015/16 - £530,480
2016/17 - £867,864
2017/18 - £876,977
2018/19 - £476,560

Q.3   Finally, can I get a break down of % of unpaid council tax per council tax band and type of property eg privately owned, social etc.

Q.3   Unable to provide data
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5966
Request Date: 23/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    Does your organisation use internal trainers to run first aid courses? YES/NO
 
A.1      NO

Q.2    Does your organisation buy in external providers to deliver first aid courses? YES/NO
 
A.2 YES

 If the answer to Question 2 is yes, what criteria are used to select the training provider?
 
A.2      Bidders are required to attach via pro contract:
  • detailed lesson plans/ schemes of the work required a CV and appropriate certificates for the proposed trainer
  • Evaluating Quality (40% price/ 60% quality)
  • Pass/ fail (ie: must be accredited by…; must have experience of delivering training to/ within…):
  • Trainers must hold a valid FAW Certificate (or equivalent) to deliver this training - evidence must be provided
  • Trainers must be occupationally competent by holding a relevant training qualification - evidence must be provided
  • Must evidence how they can monitor and quality assure their delivery
  • Must provide delegates with all certifications necessary
  • Weighted (maximum of 60%): 
    • Quality of lesson plans/ schemes of work will be evaluated as follows:
    • 4 - clear and detailed lesson plan/ schemes of work indicating how all learning outcomes will be supported and achieved, for all sessions required. Includes any additional support for individuals or specific issues, if needed, to meet organisational requirements.
    • 3 - detailed lesson plan for each session, achieving all learning outcomes, limited further information.
    • 2 - separate session plans, general reference to learning outcomes
    • 1 - rough session plans/ basic timetable
    • 0 - no separation between sessions, basic information not included
Q.3    Does your organisation have any contracts/tenders relating to first aid training? YES /NO
 
A.3   YES 
 
If the answer to Question 3 is YES are these contracts/tenders relating to first aid training part of a larger contracts/tender? YES/NO
 
A.3    YES First Aid Training
 
Q.4    If you have any tenders relating to first aid training what is the value of these tenders, particularly the first aid element of these contracts/tenders?
 
A.4 £7,250

Q.5    What areas of first aid training are covered? First Aid at Work / Emergency First Aid at Work / AED training / Paediatric First Aid / Sports First Aid / Refresher training
 
A.5      EMERGENCY FIRST AID TRAINING - 1 DAY 

FIRST AID AT WORK - 3 DAY 

FIRST AID AT WORK REFRESHER - 2 DAY 

Q.6     If you have any contracts/tenders relating to first aid training, where are these tenders advertised?
 
A.6    NEPRO 

Q.7    For each of the contracts/tenders which include first aid training, what is the renewal date for the tender process?
 
A.7    March 2020 although Northumberland County Council has access to other procurement frameworks and call off contracts developed and managed regionally.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5983
Request Date: 26/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Regarding your organisation’s current awarded or in procurement framework contracts relating to works in the Built Environment, including but not limited to professional services, design, consultancy/advisory services, construction and operation/maintenance, please send me: 

·         The value of each of these framework contracts; 
·         The set up date of each of these contracts; 
·         The projected duration of each these contracts; 
·         The financial limit of each of these contracts;  
·         Descriptive information for any services provided in connection to the Built Environment, Construction,

Consultancy Services or Professional Services in any capacity; 

·         Details of any lots/sub lots of the contract; 
·         The names of the organisations currently appointed to the contracts. 

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. 

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 you have requested, can be found on the following link: https://procontract.due-north.com/ContractsRegister/Index?resetFilter=True
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5988
Request Date: 29/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please provide the following information in respect of properties that have had an empty rate charge levied at any time since 1st April 2012.   
 
Q.1   The property addresses and property reference numbers.
Q.2   The ratepayer name(s) – excluding those exempt under Section 40 of the Act.
Q.3   Start and end date of the empty period for which empty rates have been levied.

A.1 - A.3   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds part of the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 
Please note that I am only seeking information in relation to periods where an empty rate has been charged on a property, and not for any periods where the property is empty and an exemption has been applied.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5989
Request Date: 25/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1     In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, and subject to section 40(2) on personal data, could you please provide me with a complete and up-to-date list of all business (non-residential) property rates data for your local authority, and including the following fields:
- Billing Authority Property Reference Code (linking the property to the VOA database reference) 
- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant) 
- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town) 
- Occupied / Vacant 
- Date of Occupation / Vacancy 
- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds)
If you are unable to provide an absolute “Occupation / Vacancy” status, please provide the Exemptions and / or Reliefs that a particular property may be receiving

A.1     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-may-2019/
 
https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-all-reliefs-01-may-2019/
 
https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-all-exemptions-01-may-2019/
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5993
Request Date: 30/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   I would like a full and up to date list of businesses/ companies/ charities that have become newly liable for business rates from the 15/04/19-30/04/2019.  Please include the following

* Full business name/liable party
* Full address including postcode of property they have recently become liable for
* Date of new liability
* Type of property

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


Details:

Reference Number: 5995
Request Date: 30/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How much does Northumberland County Council spend on Careers Information Advice and Guidance in schools per annum?  

A.1 The Education Act 2011 places schools under a duty to secure access to independent careers guidance for their pupils. We cannot advise how much of the delegated budgets individual schools spend on universal guidance, schools would need to be contacted directly.  Local authorities have a range of duties to support young people to participate in education or training which are set out in statutory guidance on the participation of young people. The Careers Guidance Team supports with the targeted support for vulnerable students in school, in other providers and NEET. On this basis the spend is £642,924.06 
 
Q.2   What was the actual spend last year and anticipated spend this year and next ? 

A.2 Spend in 18/19 was is £642,924.06. In 19/20 this is estimated to be £638,500.00

Q.3   Which schools are supported by Careers Information Advice and Guidance by Northumberland County Council?  

A.3 All schools receive targeted support.
The following schools pay for Universal Careers from NCC on a traded agreement:
Astley High
The Blyth Academy
James Calvert Spence 
Cleaswell Hill
Atkinson House
Collingwood
St Benet Biscop
Hillcrest
Berwick Academy
The Grove
Barndale
NCEA Castle School

Q.4   What was the actual spend for last year and anticipated spend for this year and next ? 

A.4 For targeted support: Spend in 18/19 was is £642,924.06. In 19/20 this is estimated to be £638,500.00 
For universal guidance please see Q.10.  
 
Q.5   How many individual pupils are supported per school?  

A.5   Please see the attached

Q.6   What was the actual spend for last year and  anticipated spend for this year and next ?

A.6 See response to Q4. 
 
Q.7   Does Northumberland County Council sub-contract delivery of Careers Information Advice and Guidance in schools?  

A.7 No. Schools can however sub contract delivery and FOIs would need to be made to schools for this information. 

Q.8    If so, to whom and what was the actual value for last year and the value for this year and next?

A.8 Nil

Q.9    Is Northumberland County Council a sub-contractor to deliver Careers Information Advice and Guidance in schools?  

A.9    Yes, see response to question 3. 

Q.10  If so, what was the value for last year and what is the value for this year and next ?

A.10 Total revenue from Universal Guidance 2018-19 £54,026.  A similar figure is anticipated for next year, but agreements are not signed for this period so cannot be confirmed.


Details:

Reference Number: 6018
Request Date: 03/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Please provide the following information for each of the LOBO loans held in the 2015/16 financial year:
1. Internal reference number
2. Principal
3. Initial counterparty
4. Date loan was signed
5. Drawdown date
6. Maturity date
7. Option period (number of months)
8. Start date for teaser rate (if applicable)
9. Teaser interest rate (if applicable - intended as the discount rate sometimes offered before the initial rate)
10. Start date for initial rate
11. Initial interest rate (intended as the rate set for the term of the loan until the first option is called)
12. First option date
13. Has the option been exercised?
14. Most recent date when option was exercised (if applicable)
15. Interest rate in 2015/16 
16. Interest paid in 2015/16 
17. Fair value in March 2016
18. Interest rate in 2018/19 
19. Interest paid in 2018/19 
20. Fair value in March 2019
21. Current counterparty 
22. Name of treasury management advisor when the loan was taken out
23. Name of broker who arranged the loan
24. Fee paid to the broker for the loan

Please provide copies of:
1. The original LOBO loan contracts
2. The invoices for the broker 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: 6021
Request Date: 03/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Re: Evictions and Universal Credit. The NLA would like to see an itemisation of:
 
Q.1   the number of private rented sector tenants on Local Housing Allowance and/or Universal Credit

A.1 LHA = 5169. We do not have records for Universal Credict as this is dealt with by DWP

Q.2   the total amount of rent arrears of private rented sector tenants receiving local housing allowance and/or Universal Credit

A.2 We don’t hold this information.

Q.3   A breakdown of the total number of section 21 evictions used by private landlords in your area
 
A.3 Financial year Households homeless due to loss of private rented property
  2010/11 13
  2011/12 22
  2012/13 45
  2013/14 36
  2014/15 49
  2015/16 37
  2016/17 35
  2017/18 39
  2018/19 20
 
The  figures for 2018/19 are lower due to changes in recording brought in with the HRA. In total there was 93 cases however, only 20 were made homeless the other 73 were prevented from becoming homeless
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6025
Request Date: 02/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Regarding alternative asset investments of Northumberland County Council Pension Fund. We are looking for information like the name, address, manager and vintage year of each alternative investment in your portfolio. (This should include private equity, venture capital, distressed debt, mezzanine, infrastructure, fund of funds, real estate and hedge fund partnerships.)
  • Amount committed to the partnerships and amount drawn by the partnerships.
  • Distributions made to date by each individual partnership. 
  • Net asset value of each partnership, and estimated remaining value of each partnership.
  • IRRs for each partnership.
  • Date as of which all the above data was calculated.
  • Partnership agreements, Investment advisory agreements, private placement memorandums or subscription agreements related to each partnership.

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


Details:

Reference Number: 6030
Request Date: 07/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1       How many Disabled Facilities Grants have been issued by your council between 2009 and 2019? Please provide a year-by-year breakdown.

Q.2       In total, how much (£) has been issued through Disabled Facilities Grants between 2009 and 2019? Please provide a year-by-year breakdown

A.1 & Q.2  Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6031
Request Date: 07/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I request a copy of the quarterly public records from the latest quarter for the following information about Northumberland County Council Pension Fund, if possible in Excel format:

A. See below plus zip folder with attachments

Q.1    Names and vintages of all private equity, private debt/private credit/direct lending and infrastructure partnerships or funds in the pension scheme's portfolio.
 
A.1    NCCPF has investments in closed ended partnerships for private equity and infrastructure.  Page 5 of the attached NCC Pension Fund accounts 2017-18 lists all names and addresses of external investment management firms NCC Pension Fund allocates capital to.  Vintage years are shown in Note 20 (on page 78) of the attached NCC Pension Fund accounts 2017-18.  

Since the publication of these accounts, the Fund has made a further infrastructure commitment to Pantheon's Global Infrastructure Fund III from August 2018, which is reflected in the additional attachments to this email, particularly the 'NCC Alternative Investments as at 31 December 2018'spreadsheet.  This investment will be included within the Fund 2018-19 accounts, which are currently being drafted and will be published on or before 31 July 2019, reflecting the fund's assets as at 31 March 2019.

Q.2    Percentage of the pension fund currently invested in private equity, private debt/private credit/direct lending and infrastructure, and the target percentage allocation for the past three years.

A.2   As at 31 March 2018 (from the 2017/18 NCC Pension fund accounts attached), the percentage of externally managed assets in private equity was 4.1% and in infrastructure was 3.9%. 
As at 31 December 2018, the most recently available information to the Fund, the percentage of externally managed assets in PE is 3.8%, and infrastructure 4.8%, reflecting the infrastructure investment made with Pantheon following production of the 2017/18 accounts.
The target is 5.0% in each, and that has been the case for the last 3 years

Q.3    Current information on amount committed to each partnership and amount drawn by the partnerships.

A.3   This information is shown on the attached spreadsheet (NCC Alternative Investments as at 31 December 2018), as well as the individual partners capital statements for each investment, which are the most recently available statements i.e as at 31 December 2018. For NCCPF's two investments with Pantheon, no partners capital statements are available, therefore NCCPF's own spreadsheets are attached ('Pantheon Infra/Pe - calls made') which is updated to capture initial commitments and amounts drawn to date.

Q.4     Internal rates of return (IRRs) for each individual partnership for the most recent date available. Please include data for net and gross IRRs, if available. Please also include any other performance metrics used by your pension fund.

A.4   Where held, these (IRRs) are included in the latest available partners valuation for each holding (attached).  In terms of other performance metrics used by NCCPF, the attached document 'PE 31-12-18 Annualised Returns - NCC' is an extract from the 31-12-18 report from Portfolio Evaluation Ltd, the Fund's performance measurement service provider. This is the most recently available report from PE.

Q.5    Please name any private equity, private debt/private credit/direct lending and infrastructure co-investments you have made, and the manager responsible.

A.5   NCCPF does not have any direct co-investments, however all of its Private Equity fund of fund managers can have co-investments.

Q.6    Please disclose any direct private equity, private debt/private credit/direct lending and infrastructure investments you have made.

A.6   NCCPF does not have any direct investments in these asset classes.  It has exposure to private equity and infrastructure investments via partnership arrangements with the managers set out in response to question 1.

Q.7    Investment multiple for each partnership.

A.7   Where held, these are included in the latest available partners valuation for each holding (attached).

Q.8    Names of all private equity, private debt/private credit/direct lending and infrastructure partnerships or funds partially and fully sold by the pension scheme, including date of sale.

A.8   None of the above asset partnership investments have been partially or fully sold by NCC.

Q.9    Names of advisors mandated by the pension fund to advise on allocations to private equity and infrastructure.

A.9   NCC's Pension Fund Panel makes the decisions on asset allocations with the advice of its appointed investment adviser.  The current adviser to the Panel is Mercer.

Q.10   Names and Contact details of the individual responsible for the pension funds allocation to private equity, private debt/private credit/direct lending and infrastructure.
If there are any fees for searching for, reviewing, or copying the records, please inform me before you task the request. If you deny all or any part of this request, please cite each specific exemption you think justifies your refusal to release the information and notify me of appeal procedures available under the law.
 
A.10   See response to question 9. Under the legislation governing the LGPS, NCC is the "Scheme Manager" responsible for all decisions made under the LGPS Regulations, including asset allocations.  NCC has delegated the discharge of all functions and responsibilities in relation to the Scheme Manager role to the Pension Fund Panel. The Pension Fund Panel is a Section 101 committee of NCC.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6036
Request Date: 07/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   What was the service's public relations and marketing budget for each of the following financial years...
  • 2014/15?
  • 2015/16?
  • 2016/17?
  • 2017/18?
  • 2018/19?
A.1     
2014/15 = 0

2015/16 = 0
2016/17 = 0
2017/18 = 0
2018/19 = 0

Q.2    For each of the periods mentioned above can you also provide how much was spent on emergency vehicle maintenance in each financial year?

A.2     
2014/15 = £ 16,458.12

2015/16 = £ 22,076.84
2016/17 = £ 23,075.43
2017/18 = £ 13,985.39
2018/19 = £ 15,072.53

Please note this information relates to vehicle repairs and maintenance subjectives. It is not specified if this is routine or emergency.

Q.3   Additionally, how many staff are currently employed in marketing, public relations and communications based roles?

A.3   Northumberland Fire and Rescue Services has no marketing budget nor any marketing personnel.

Q.4   Of those staff, how many earn above £50,000 per year? How many earn above £100,000 per year

A.4   Not applicable.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6037
Request Date: 07/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The estimated expenditure by the department on tackling forest fires / wild fires per year beginning in 2014.

A.1   For the purposes of this question, department has been taken to mean expenditure by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) as we do not break down costs to respond to emergency incidents within separate service areas.

In response to FOI request, NFRS has attended the following numbers of wildfires each year since 2014:

2014 - 2
2015 - 9
2016 - 2
2017 - 1
2018 - 8
2019 (so far) - 2

Total wildfires attended by NFRS between 2014 and 2019 (so far): 24 incidents

These incidents all comply with the definition of a wildfire which is included within the UK Fire and Rescue Service's National Operational Guidance for Wildfires. Within this guidance, a wild fire is defined as: "any uncontrolled vegetation fire where a decision or action is needed about its suppression. A wildfire will meet one or more of the following criteria:

* Involves a geographical area of at least one hectare (10,000 square metres)
* Has a sustained flame length of more than 1.5 metres
* Requires a committed resource of at least four fire and rescue service appliances/resources
* Requires resources to be committed for at least six hours
* Presents a serious threat to life, environment, property and infrastructure"

There is currently no widely accepted formula that can be used to estimate the cost of attending individual wildfire incidents. The process for estimating the cost of attending a single wildfire is therefore time consuming and requires manual review and analysis of a number of electronic and paper systems. We have estimated the time that would be required to calculate the cost of attending an individual incident using a typical incident from 2014 as an example. This was a moderate incident which was not at either end of the extreme scale - it was suppressed during the same day and involved 6 fire appliances. 

To produce an accurate estimate of the cost of attending this single wildfire  incident, it is estimated it would require the following staff time:
1 hour for Performance Officer to interrogate Incident Recording System (IRS) and Incident Log data to identify fire appliances/vehicles and officers in attendance (and duration of their attendance)

* 1 hour for Woodhorn Archives to extract timesheet and overtime records from the archive
* 2 hours return travel for officer from NFRS to visit Woodhorn Archives to pick up/return the timesheets and overtime records
* 4 hours for Human Resources Officer to identify individuals claiming hours against the incident and to calculate cost of attendance per individual 

Total - 8 hours to calculate the cost of attending this one wildfire incident

The above estimate is conservative and does not include time spent by other colleagues within Northumberland County Council (NCC) who would need to assist with the work (i.e. payroll).

The estimated total time required for calculating the cost of attending all wildfire incidents from 2014 to 2019 is therefore: 24 incidents x 8 hours = 192 hours. The time required to complete this request therefore far exceeds the 18 hours requirement for FOIs.

Q.2   The overall operational budget of the department per year beginning in 2014.

A.2   The budget for financial year 2014/15 was;

Expenditure  £128,280
Income        (£128,280)
Net budget   £0

Q.3   The number of forest fires/wild fires dealt with by the department per year beginning in 2014

A.3    Please refer to information detailed under Q.1
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6047
Request Date: 08/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 I would be grateful if you could confirm the number of Personal Savings Statements (annual allowance statements) issued to members of the Northumberland  Fire and Rescue Firefighter Pension Scheme in 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.

A.1     

2014/15 = 6

2015/16 = 0
2016/17 = 15
2017/18 = 11

Q.2    I would be grateful if you could confirm the number of scheme pays elections made by members of the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Firefighter Pension Scheme in 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.

A.2     

2014/15 = 1

2015/16 = 0
2016/17 = 0
2017/18 = 3

Q.3   I would be grateful if you could confirm the number of LTA charges incurred by members of the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Firefighter Pension Scheme in 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.

A.3     
2014/15 = 0

2015/16 = 0
2016/17 = 1
2017/18 = 0
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6049
Request Date: 09/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1      Can the council confirm their current number of Long Term Empty Properties as of the 8th May (those domestic properties which have been empty for six months or older)

A.1 As at 8th May we have 2142 properties which have been vacant for more than 6 months

Q.2      What work is the council currently undertaking or planning to undertake around reducing their long term empty properties in 2019?

A.2 The council are continuously dealing with the issue of empty properties.  The work involves engagement with owners of empty properties to assist in bringing the properties back into use. Depending  on the level of intervention needed the options vary. The council currently have funding available in order to renovate the property and take responsibility for a period of 7 years.  Other options include advice around letting the property through our accreditation scheme and assistance with finding suitable tenants. Regular mail outs are done to notify owners of empty properties as to how the council can assist and advice regarding additional council tax charges. The council also hold regular landlord development forums which are open to owners of empty properties also if they require specific advice from the team.

Q.3      During 2018 did you undertake any work around reducing your Long Term Empty Properties.  If you did was this done using internal resource or a third party? 

A.3 The council have been involved in the Empty Homes Programme supported by Homes England.  Grant funding has been available for the council to purchase empty properties and also carry out Empty Dwelling Management Orders.  This has proved successful in bringing back into use some of the council’s most problematic properties.
 
Q.4      If yes is the answer to question three, did the council review every single long term property

A.4 There are 2142 long term empty properties in the council, some of which have had little or no impact on the community.  The Council mainly reacts to the properties which are causing a nuisance to the community or where the owners of the properties request assistance.

Q.5      Does the reduction of empty homes in the council area form part of your Housing strategy? 

A.5 Yes, Long term empty properties are a priority for the council and bringing properties back into use forms an element of the private sector housing strategy.

Q.6      Does the council have a budget in place to help support the reduction of empty properties?

A.6 Currently yes, there is specific funding available to assist with the purchase and repair scheme and t carry out Empty Dwelling Management Orders.

Q.7      How much did the council spend on temporary accommodation during 2018?

A.7       The annual spend detailed under the Temporary Accommodation budget for 2018/19  was £171,220

Q.8      Does the council offer financial support /loans to Long Term Empty property owners to help them bring properties back into use?

A.8 As discussed in Q6 funding is available to carry out Empty Dwelling Management Orders however this money is not given directly to the owner.


Details:

Reference Number: 6052
Request Date: 10/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please send me the following information relating to all contracts active during Financial Year 2019/20 procured under the following Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) codes 85000000 and 98000000.
·         The name of the contract
·         A brief description of the contract
·         The value of the contract
·         The start date of the contract
·         The end date of the contract
·         The awarded contract provider
I am particularly interested in Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated care services relating to the provision of adult and children’s homecare, domiciliary care, hospital discharge services, and carers care services. Please also include any carers specific services, whether regulated by CQC or not
 
Duty to confirm or deny 

Northumberland County Council confirm that we hold information in relation to Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) Codes.

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. 

All the information you have requested can be found on the following link: https://procontract.due-north.com/ContractsRegister/Index?resetFilter=True
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6054
Request Date: 10/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Could you please supply in the form of a spreadsheet all non domestic properties showing any reliefs applied including charity, small business and retail rate relief. Please include sole trader addresses. Please include property description, address, business name (in the case of limited companies) rateable value.

A.1   The information is available by accessing the following links;
 
https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-full-listing-01-may-2019/
 
and
 
https://opendata.northumberland.gov.uk/datasets/national-non-domestic-rates-all-reliefs-01-may-2019/
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6058
Request Date: 13/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   From the council's pension scheme, please detail the size and value of funds from Capital Group over the last 4 years. For each year, state the value of that position at the end of the calendar year and detail which funds or financial products were held. For 2019, provide the most recent valuation. Please also provide details for funds held and their value on 13 July 2016.

A.1   Northumberland County Council Pension Fund currently has no investments with Capital Group, and has not invested with this company at all during the four year period specified
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6065
Request Date: 13/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

An itemisation of:

Q.1   the number of private rented sector tenants on Local Housing Allowance and/or Universal Credit

A.1    There are currently 5115 Housing Benefit claimants in receipt of Local Housing Allowance. The council does not administer Universal Credit so is unable to provide statistics on caseload.

Q.2    data on how many households presenting to their councils as homeless are on Universal Credit or housing benefit

A.2     A total of 59 households stated they were in receipt of universal credit.

Q.3    The types of tenancy those households presenting as homeless under Universal Credit or housing benefit are currently on

A.3     
Council tenant - 8

Living with family or friends - 22
Other - 6
Owner-occupier - 1
Private rented sector - 13
Registered Provider tenant - 2
Social rented or supported housing - 6
Tied accommodation - 1
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6072
Request Date: 14/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

A.      Total gross local authority expenditure (actual spending) for older people (over 65) social care services for the financial year 2017/18

B.      For 2017/18, please provide the following breakdown:

1.      Gross local authority expenditure (actual spending) on residential care home services for older people (over 65) for the financial year 2017/18 (this includes the nursing care element of any residential services provided)

2.      Gross local authority expenditure (actual spending) on homecare services (domiciliary care) for older people (over 65) for the financial year 2017/18

C.      Please provide the gross expenditure (actual spending) of [B1] as broken down by:

1.      Directly provided local authority services
2.      Commissioned through contracts with for-profit providers
3.      Commissioned through contracts with not-for-profit providers

D.      Please provide the gross expenditure (actual spending) of [B2] as broken down by:

1.      Directly provided local authority services
2.      Commissioned through contracts with for-profit providers
3.      Commissioned through contracts with not-for-profit providers

E.      Total gross local authority expenditure (actual spending) for older people (over 65) social care services for the financial year 2018/19

F.       For 2018/19, please provide the following breakdown:

1.      Gross local authority expenditure (actual spending) on residential care home services for older people (over 65) for the financial year 2018/19 (this includes the nursing care element of any residential services provided)
2.      Gross local authority expenditure on (actual spending) homecare services (domiciliary care) for older people (over 65) for the financial year 2018/19

G.      Please provide the gross expenditure (actual spending) of [F1] as broken down by:

Directly provided local authority services
Commissioned through contracts with for-profit providers
Commissioned through contracts with not-for-profit providers

H.      Please provide the gross expenditure (actual spending) of [F2] as broken down by:

1.      Directly provided local authority services
2.      Commissioned through contracts with for-profit providers
3.      Commissioned through contracts with not-for-profit providers

Answer:    With one exception, all figures for 2017/18 covered by this request are published information, available on the website of NHS Digital, at the URL below:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/adult-social-care-activity-and-finance-report
 
The exception is a split of actual expenditure between for-profit and not-for-profit providers.  We do not hold this information in a form which would enable us to supply it without exceeding the time limit for FOI enquiries.

With the same exception, all information for 2018/19 is covered by an exemption in the FOI legislation, because it is scheduled for future publication, again by NHS Digital.  The processes of checking and validation which precede that publication have not yet been completed.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6080
Request Date: 16/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   I would like information with regards to businesses that are newly liable for business rates between the 30th April to the 15th May 2019.  Please include the full business name and full address including the postcode, type of premises, Rateable value and also the date that they became liable.

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: 6084
Request Date: 16/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Adults systems

Q.1   What case management system do you use for adult social care?

A.1  Swift

Q.2   What is the annual support charge for the systems (including the finance modules)?

A.2   £78K

Q.3   When is the contract for the case management system up for renewal?

A.3   A support contract being put in place will expire in April 2022

Q.4   Please provide the name(s), email(s) and telephone number(s) of the individual responsible for the Adults Case Management System within your organisation

A.4  Sarah Zarraga (Sarah.Zarraga@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk).  

Q.5   Do you have a web based directory of services/eMarketplace for adult social care?

A.5   No.

Q.6   Is this directory / eMarketplace developed in-house or by an external provider?

A.6    n/a

Q.7    If an external provider please provide the name of the supplier?

A.7    n/a

Q.8    If an external provider please provide the renewal date for the contract

A.8    n/a

Q.9    What is the annual support cost for your directory/eMarketplace?

A.9    n/a

Q.10  Are there any plans to review provision of your directory / Marketplace?

A.10  Not at present.

Q.11  Please provide the name(s), email(s) and telephone number(s) of the individual responsible for the directory / eMarketplace within your organisation.

A.11  n/a
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6113
Request Date: 23/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I  am trying to understand more about the provision of Carers Grants and assessments, within Adult Social Care. I have therefore compiled a list of questions about your work with carers, as an FOI request. I know it takes time to answer these questions, so I really appreciate any help you can give me.

Q.1   Please provide the  name(s), email(s) and telephone number(s) of the individual(s) responsible for carer's services

A.1   Carer services are arranged as part of our mainstream arrangements for assessing and meeting needs; responsibility for them is therefore distributed across our management structure.

Q.2   What is the current process for carers completing a carer's assessment?

A.2   Ordinarily, carer assessments are carried out at the same time and by the same professional as assessments of the care and support needs of the person they care for.  This is intended to ensure that impacts on carers are fully taken into account in designing care and support plans.

Q.3   Is there the ability for carers to do/request this online?

A.3   There is online information about carer assessments on the Council’s website, including details of how to request an assessment by email or phone.

Q.4   Do you offer carer's grants? If so, what are the eligibility criteria?

A.4   We do not make grants to carers directly, but we grant aid the voluntary organisation Carers Northumberland, which does operate a grants scheme.

Q.5   If you do not provide grants, is provision for carer's wellbeing available as a direct payment if eligible for support?

A.5  Yes.

Q.6   Are there plans to review / change the policy for provision of carer's grants and/or direct payments? If so what are these plans?

A.6  All aspects of our arrangements for supporting carers and the people they care for are kept under review.

Q.7   If yes, please provide details of amount of grant available per person and total value of grants issued for 2017/2018

A.7   n/a

Q.8   What is the total budget available for carers' grants if different to above?

A.8   n/a

Q.9   Is this managed in-house or via a third-party organisation? If a third-party organisation please provide name of supplier, total value of contract and contract end date

A.9  Grants to carers are provided by Carers Northumberland, which does not do so under a contract with the Council, but does receive grant support from the Council.

Q.10   What is the process for carers applying for a grant? Are there any restrictions on what the grant can be spent on and is there a requirement for carers to submit receipts?

A.10  n/a
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6116
Request Date: 24/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Clarification: - Financial information required i.e. how much the winning bids were.

Q.1   Tyne green country park is for ice cream winning tender bids for the last 3 years. Tyne green country park hexham ice cream concession winning bids from 2016-2017-2018

A.1   The winning bids for Tyne Green for Ice Cream Concessions was £6,520 pa for 16-17, 17-18 and 18-19.

Q.2   Blyth tall ships is also for ice cream winning tendered bids that were accepted by the council to trade at the event in 2016.

A.2   2016 Blyth tall ships ice cream concession winning bids.

2 bids received for ice cream concessions, both successful - one at £27760 and the second at £8400.

Q.3   The sale of the public toilets is for the building and land that was up for sale via a bidding tender back in 2017 and I would like what the winning bid was that the council accepted.

A.3   Sale of the public toilets at the ranch car park in Blyth in 2017 winning bid
This information is available via https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry

Q.4   Wansbeck country park was sold to Arch I believe and I would like to know the fee that the council accepted for the sale of the country park 

A.4   Recent sales of Wansbeck country park in Ashington   
This information is available via https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6121
Request Date: 24/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Could you please tell us/send us the numbers and addresses list of properties in Craster/Dunstan Parish, Alnwick, Northumberland which get free council/business tax please?

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


Details:

Reference Number: 6127
Request Date: 28/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Information in respect of placements made by the local authority of elderly persons funded (in whole or part) by yourselves. For persons benefiting from local authority funding, what is the fee to be paid by the council for elderly persons placed within independent sector care homes during the financial year 2019/2020 for the following categories of care?

Q.1       Elderly Residential Care
Q.2       Elderly Dementia Residential Care
Q.3       Elderly Nursing Care*
Q.4       Elderly Dementia Nursing Care*
*Please state fee exclusive of the Free Nursing Care payment for 3 and 4.

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: 6131
Request Date: 28/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   How many reports of car clocking (vehicle mileage altering) has your council received in the last five years - between the dates 1st January 2014 and 1st January 2019?

A.1    5

Q.2   How many cases of car clocking has your council investigated in the last five years - between the dates 1st January 2014 and 1st January 2019?

A.2    All complaints are looked into and cases will be investigated if evidence is available

Q.3    Of those cases, how many ended in prosecution?

A.3    0

Q.4   How many of those prosecutions were successful?

A.4    0

Q.5    In total, how many vehicles were involved in the successfully prosecuted cases?

A.5    0

Q.6   Has the council or trading standards department seized any "clocked" vehicles ‎over the past five years and subsequently destroyed them - between the dates 1st January 2014 and 1st January 2019?

A.6    No

Q.7   Does your council or Trading Standards Office register data with HPI and other mileage data services when clocked vehicles are discovered? If so, what data is registered or shared?

A.7    Via a Press Release
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6136
Request Date: 28/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please supply the following information about your community equipment (assistive equipment) procurement arrangements:

Q.1       What is the name and contact details of the commissioner responsible for the procurement of equipment.

A.1       We do not procure equipment directly.  The Council has a partnership agreement with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, under which the Trust operates our joint equipment loan service (JELS).  The Trust is responsible for procurement of items of equipment.

Q.2       Is your equipment procured ad-hoc from a variety of suppliers?

A.2       See Q1.

Q.3       Are there contracts in place with each of these suppliers?

A.3       See Q1.

Q.4       Do you have a formal framework agreement in place for the procurement of equipment?

A.4       See Q1.

Q.5       How many approved suppliers on this agreement?

A.5       See Q1.

Q.6       Who provides the framework agreement and what is its name?

A.6       See Q1.

Q.7       When did the framework agreement commence and when is it due to come to an end? 

A.7       See Q1.

About your Equipment Service

Q.8       What is the size of the population covered by your equipment service?

A.8       320,000

Q.9       How many service users currently access the service?

A.9       In 2018/19, 14456 people received one or more item of equipment from the joint equipment loan service.  This includes people funded by the NHS and by the Council.

Q.10   What is the contract spend for equipment supplied via this route?

A.10     The Council’s funding for JELS in 2019/20 will be £2,678,020.  This sum includes a share of the running cost of the service, and does not include NHS contributions.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6145
Request Date: 29/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    Does the fund have equity holdings in:
      a)  G4S (traded in the UK as GFS)
      b)  Serco (traded in the UK as SRP)
      c)  Sodexo (formerly Sodexho, traded in the UK as 0J3F)
 
What is the value of those equity holdings in pound sterling. I would like the most recent data available.
 
A.1   Please see below plus attachment:

Northumberland County Council Pension Fund has no direct holdings in companies, however, it does have indirect equity holdings via its ownership of units in various pooled vehicles managed on the Fund’s behalf by Legal and General Investment Management Ltd.

Legal & General – the Fund’s index tracking (passive) manager

The Northumberland County Council Pension Fund delegates the day to day management of the Fund’s investments to external fund managers, one of which is Legal & General.  Legal & General manages investments in pooled vehicles tracking various indices.

The attached shows the value of the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund’s holdings in Legal & General’s equity index funds as at 1 April 2019, at mid, bid and offer values.  From this information, it is possible to calculate the value of the shareholdings attributable to Northumberland County Council Pension Fund (i.e. indirect holdings), by applying the market weightings of the appropriate index for the company you are interested in to the total value of the Legal & General fund shown on the attached.  Northumberland County Council does not hold information about the attributable individual shareholdings for the Legal & General portfolio
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6148
Request Date: 30/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The amount of capital spending by Northumberland County Council on new cycling infrastructure in each of the last two financial years (2017/18, and 2018/19): examples of infrastructure would include on-road cycle lanes, separated cycle lanes, and signage and lighting specifically for cycling provision. These figures should be broken down into the South, Central and North areas of administration, wherever possible.

Q.2   The revenue budget allocated by Northumberland County Council, towards the hosting of Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain in September 2019.

A.1 & A.2   Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response.


Details:

Reference Number: 6153
Request Date: 30/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   In mid-2016, the NCC's planning application 16/02705 for a salt barn at the NCC's Depot in Shilburn Road, Allendale, was approved. This salt barn was never built (see below) but could you please tell me what was the total budget - to the nearest £10,000 would be sufficiently precise.

A.1   £250,000

Q.2   In January 2019, the NCC's planning application 18/03728/VARCCD for a salt dome at the same depot was approved. The dome is currently under construction. Please could you me what is the total budget - to the nearest £10,000 would be sufficiently precise.

A.2   £250,000
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6938
Request Date: 08/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    Could you please tell me how many holiday home lets we have in Craster this year please altogether and those that pay no business/council tax please as of today 07/05/2019?

A.1    There are 49 holiday cottages, 30 receive 100% relief.


Details:

Reference Number: 6305
Request Date: 01/07/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please may you provide me with the proxy voting records of the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund for the period of 1st January 2019 to 30th June 2019. For the avoidance of doubt, I am referring to the investments made by the Pension Fund rather than any electoral voting.

Ideally, I would like to have the following information in electronic format:

·     Name of Issuer
·     Issuer Identifier e.g. Ticker or CUSIP
·     Date of Shareholder Meeting
·     Type of Shareholder Meeting (Annual, Special etc.)
·     Proposal No.
·     Proposal
·     Proposer (Management / Shareholder)
·     Vote cast by Northumberland County Council Pension Fund
·      Entity responsible for vote decision (Internal/external asset manager (if external, please name) / proxy voting advisor (ISS, Glass Lewis etc.)

In addition, please indicate whether the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund has its own proxy voting policy or whether you use that of an external provider (Please Name).

For your interest, Proxy Insight is a new business helping issuers achieve best practice in Corporate Governance by demonstrating global shareholder voting practices. To this end we are collecting voting data and policies of all significant global investors.

The exercise of rights (including voting rights) attaching to investments 

Voting rights
The Panel has delegated the exercise of share voting rights for the Fund’s effective public equity holdings to its investment manager, Legal and General, to vote in accordance with Legal and General’s own policy.

The Panel reviews Legal and General’s share voting policy periodically.  The Panel considers that the Fund’s and Legal and General’s interests are aligned, as both seek to enhance long term shareholder value.

The Fund encourages Legal and General to vote shares in all markets, where practical.

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


Details:

Reference Number: 6313
Request Date: 03/07/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

ECHPs
Q.1    The number of initial requests that were made for assessment for an EHC plan during the 2018 calendar year. The council may refer me to the government's SEN 2 data if it is satisfied with the accuracy of the published figure.
Q.2    Of the number of initial requests for assessment for an EHC plan during the 2018 calendar year (i.e. the question 1 figure), how many requests for assessment were refused? This question excludes requests made during the 2017 calendar year that were refused during the 2018 calendar year, but includes requests made during the 2018 calendar year that have been refused during the 2019 calendar year. I leave it to the council's discretion as to whether the SEN 2 figures satisfy these parameters.
Q.3    Of the number of initial requests that were made for assessment for an EHC plan during the 2018 calendar year (i.e. the question 1 figure), how many have resulted in EHC plans being made (including plans made during the 2019 calendar year)? Please note the SEN 2 figures do not provide this data - SEN 2 shows the number of ECH plans that were made during the 2018 calendar year, not 2019, and regardless of the year in which the request for an assessment was made.
Q.4    Of the number of initial requests that were made for assessment for an EHC plan during the 2018 calendar year (i.e. the question 1 figure), how many requests have yet to be decided upon (or are yet to have an ECH plan made, where the need for a plan has been agreed)? Please note the SEN 2 figures do not provide this data - the SEN 2 figures measure the outcomes of those assessments that took place during the 2018 calendar year
If responding to question 4 would take this request over the section 12 cost limit, please exclude question 4 and process the remainder of this request. If responding to questions 1-3 would still take this request over the section 12 cost limit, please exclude questions 1-4 in their entirety and process the remainder of this request.
Finances
Please state:
Q.5    The monetary value of the council's High Needs Block allocation from the government each year in 2018/19 and 2019/20.
Question 5 excludes any transfer of funds by the council from other parts of the DSG into the High Needs Block (or vice versa).
The forecast 2019/20 figures for the following questions 6-8 should be those forecast at the start of the financial year (e.g. as part of annual budget-setting), not forecasts produced by in-year revenue monitoring.
Q.6   The monetary value of the council's actual High Needs Block expenditure each financial year for 2018/19 and forecast for 2019/20.
Q.7   The monetary value of the council's overspend or underspend (please specify) on its High Needs Block in 2018/19 and forecast for 2019/20.
Q.8   The monetary value of transfers (a) to the council's High Needs expenditure from other parts of the council's DSG allocation, and (b) from the council's High Needs Block allocation to other parts of the council's DSG expenditure, in 2018/19 and forecast for 2019/20.
Q.9   Any proposals the council has adopted or is considering adopting to reduce (or limit increases in) its High Needs expenditure in 2019/20, including (but not limited to) mitigating action to tackle forecast High Needs Block overspends, or changes to eligibility for or provision or staffing of special needs education, or restrictions to eligibility for or provision of special needs education transport services.
Bandings
Q.10   Does the council use a banding system to allocate resources for special needs 'top up' funding?
If the answer to question 10 is 'no', please ignore questions 11-14.
Q.11   Has the council changed the value or criteria of its banding system since April 2017? If so, please provide a copy of the impact assessment for the change.
If the answer to question 11 is 'no', please ignore questions 12-14.
Q.12   What were the funding values and criteria for each band under the system prior to the change referred to in question 11? How many children were in each band immediately prior to the change?
Q.13   What were the funding values and criteria for each band under the new system following the change referred to in question 11? How many children were in each band immediately after the change? The council may refer to its impact assessment for this latter aspect.
If data protection reasons mean specific figures cannot be given for the number of children in each band, please state (if known) how many children's top-up funding rose and how many children's top-up funding fell under the change.
Q.14   How many children are currently in each band under the existing banding system?
I would like the information sent by email. Please use the attached spreadsheet to provide the information for questions 1-8.
 
Please see attached spreadsheet for responses to A1 - A8

A.9   A range of proposals are under consideration including the exceptional transfers from Schools Block to High Needs Block, and a review of SEND Commissioning Panel arrangements  

A.10   Yes

A.11   No
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6526
Request Date: 14/08/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Please provide the current status.

NCE Computer Group
SCC

This is a request for information that relates to the organisation’s contracts around ICT contract(s) for Server Hardware Maintenance, Server Virtualisation Licenses and Maintenance and Storage Area Network (SAN) Maintenance/Support, which may include:

· Server Hardware Maintenance- contracts relating to the support and maintenance of the organisation’s physical servers.
·  Virtualisation Maintenance/Support/ Licensing  (VMware, Solaris, Unix, Linux, Windows Server)
·  Storage Area Network Maintenance/Support  (EMC, NetApp etc)

For each of the type of contract described above, please can you provide me with the following data. If there is more than one contract please split the information for each separate supplier this includes annual spend

Q.1        Contract Title: Please provide me with the contract title.

Q.2        Type of Contracts (ABOVE): Please can you provide me with one or more contract types the contract relate to: Server Hardware, Virtualisation, SAN (Storage Area Network)

Q.3        Existing/Current Supplier:  Please provide me with the supplier name for each contract.

Q.4         Brand: Please state the brand of hardware or software 

Q.5        Operating System / Software (Platform): (Windows, Linux, Unix, Vsphere, AIX, Solaris etc.) Please state the operating system used by the organisation.

Q.6        Annual Average Spend: Please provide me with the most recent annual spend for this contract?

Q.7        Contract Duration: (Please can you also include notes if the contract includes any contract Extension periods.)

Q.8        Contract Expiry Date: Please can you provide me with the date of when the contract expires.

Q.9        Contract Review Date: (An approximate date of when the organisation is planning to review this particular contract.)

Q.10    Purchase of Servers: Could you please provide me with the month and year in which most/bulk of servers where purchased.

Q.11    Number of Physical Server: Please can you provide me with the number of physical servers.

Q.12    Number of Virtual Servers: Please can you provide me with the number of Virtual servers’ servers.

Q.13    Brief Contract Description: I require a brief description of the service provided under this contract. Please do not just put maintenance I need at least a sentence.

Q.14    Contract Owner: (The person from within the organisation that is responsible for reviewing and renewing this particular contract. Please include their full name, job title, direct contact number and direct email address.)

If this service is part of a managed contract please can you send me the contract information for this managed service including Hardware Brand, Number of Users, Operating System, and contact details of the internal contact responsible for this contract

A.1 - A.14     Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached information in response
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6530
Request Date: 15/08/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Pantheon’s Infrastructure portfolio
Pantheon’s Private Equity portfolio
 
Q.1     Are you able to tell me how much was committed to both of these funds and when the commitments were made official? 

Response below, plus attachment.

Pantheon’s Infrastructure portfolio
Pantheon’s Private Equity portfolio

A.1     Page 82 (Note 20 - Outstanding Commitments) of the attached 'NCCPF Draft Annual Report and Accounts 2018-19' details the vintage years and initial commitments made to all of NCCPF's investments, including the two Pantheon investments as requested. In terms of the date commitments were made official;

- the investment to Pantheon's Global Select (PE) Fund (c£50 million) was made official on 26 July 2017, with the first capital call requested on 19 Sept 2017; and
- the investment to Pantheon's Global Infrastructure Fund III (Infra) (c£41 million) was made official on 4 June 18, with the first capital call requested on 10 Sept 2018.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6535
Request Date: 15/08/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1       The number of Personal Savings Statements issued to members of your Firefighter Pension Scheme who’ve exceeded the annual allowance in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 tax years.

Q.2       The number of LTA charges incurred by scheme members of your Firefighter Pension Scheme in 2017/18 and 2018/19 tax years.

Q.3       The total cash value of the Scheme Pays charges paid by your Firefighter Pension scheme to HMRC for 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.

If you administer more than one Fire & Rescue Service’s Pension scheme, I’d be grateful if you could confirm the names of all the Fire & Rescue services the data provided covers.

Prospect has members across the Public Sector including members of the Fire Leaders Association.

A.1 - A.3    Please note that the statutory deadline for Annual Benefit Statement production is 31 August. This is the process which produces the Annual Allowance growth figures. The statutory deadline for supplying the Pension Savings Statement is then 6th October. This means that West Yorkshire Pensions Fund (WYPF) do not have and will not have the actual figures for 2018/19 before the 30/08/2019 deadline quoted.

Please see the attached document.

The Firefighters' Pension Scheme (FPS) is a single scheme, which applies to all F&R Services and Authorities in England.  It is locally administered, however.

Northumberland County Council (NCC) administers the FPS (i.e. it has the statutory function of FPS "Scheme Manager") for NCC's current and former FPS members. NCC has a shared service arrangement in place with West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF), under which WYPF provides FPS administration services to NCC, including FPS pensioner payroll services and maintenance of NCC's FPS member records.  Responses to Q1, Q2 and Q3 have been provided to NCC by WYPF.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6558
Request Date: 21/08/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   Can the council confirm whether it contracts either part or all of its drug and alcohol services to the third sector?

A.1    The lead provider for Northumberlands drug and alcohol service is an NHS provider who lead on the clinical pharmacological interventions and governance for the service.  They subcontract with two third sector organisations who provide recovery support and psychosocial, care coordination. 

Q.2   Can you provide a copy of the most recent contract agreed with that provider? I believe there is a strong public interest but, if considered commercially sensitive or in breach of data protection principles, could you provide the contract in a redacted or anonymised form?

A.2    Please see the attached document.

Q.3   If 'yes' to Q1, which third sector organisation is currently responsible for providing opioid substitution therapy (OST)?

A.3    None

Q.4   Which year was the contract agreed?

A.4    2017

Q.5   Is there any element of payment by results within the contract, either via incentives or punitive measures on condition of the provider meeting certain performance targets?

A.5    No

Q.5a)  What percentage of the total monetary value of the contract is dependent upon the organisation meeting performance targets?

A.5a)  Not applicable

Q.5b) Which performance targets are set within the contract and which of these impact upon the total sum paid to the third sector organisation?

A.5b)  Not applicable

Q.5c) With what data are these indicators measured?

A5c)  Not applicable
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6564
Request Date: 22/08/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    For each contract, the projected total (whole life) cost of the scheme, in £, detailed when the scheme was first agreed (i.e. the original projected cost of all Unitary Charge Payments over the full life of the scheme).

A.1    This information can be found in the attached spreadsheet. 

Q.2    The projected total (whole life) cost of the scheme, in £, as at August 1, 2019 (i.e. the real cost for previous years and projected cost for future years of all Unitary Charge Payments over the full life of the scheme).

A.2    This information can be found in the attached spreadsheet. 

If there is a difference between 1 and 2, please can you provide details of:
A) The date(s) the projected costs changed

A.2a)   This information can be found in the attached spreadsheet. 

B) The reason(s) the projected costs changed

A.2b)   This information can be found in the attached spreadsheet. 

Please can I also request:

Q.3    A copy of the original contract/agreement;

A.3    Please find a copy of the NCC contract. The Fire & Rescue contract is withheld under Section 43 of the FOI Act, please see guidance on this refusal below.

Q.4     An itemised list of any payments made to the PFI contractors for services not included in the original PFI deal, from the beginning of the deal to the current date, and to include exact details of what was being paid for.

A.4    This information is refused under Section 43 of the FOI Act, please see guidance on this refusal below.

Duty to confirm or deny 

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

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 in relation to question 3 & 4 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 reasons why the public interest favours withholding the information is that the release of this information would lead to commercially confidential information being in the public domain, and potentially allowing commercial advantage to an individual or organisation. 

Advice and Assistance 

The County Council recognises its statutory duty to provide advice and assistance under Section 16 of the Act. 

Subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the Council is seeking to be transparent and open in its response. As you will appreciate we are constrained by the requirements of the legislation. 

Notice of Refusal 

With the exception of the limited information disclosed herewith, please treat this as a section 43(2) Exemption.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6597
Request Date: 30/08/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 What software do you use for HR, Payroll and Recruitment?

A.1 Oracle E-Business Suite and currently undergoing an upgrade to Oracle Cloud Applications.

Q.2 When does the contract expire for each of the HR, Payroll and Recruitment software?

A.2  29.07.2022 with an option for a 2 year extension.

Q.3 What is the duration of the existing contract?

A.3  5 years (+ 2 x 12 months)

Q.4 Was it a direct source procurement method or tender process?

A.4 Tender Process

Q.5 If it was a tender, what frameworks did you use?

A.5 Call-Off Contract under the HealthTrust Europe LLP Framework Agreement (HR), CCS RM 1042 (Procurement)

Q.6 What was the timeline from advertising the tender, to ITT, to PQQ, to decision?

A.6 March 2017 to 28th May 2017 (HR), further competition (Procurement)

Q.7 Please could you send copies of all the tender documents relating to the procurement of the current HR, Payroll and Recruitment software?

A.7 After seeking clarification from you for this question, you confirmed you were happy with the specification documents used for the tender process. The specification document covered multiple areas, some of which fall outside of your request for information. We have extracted the specification information relevant to your request on HR, Payroll and Recruitment:-

HR and Payroll System

Core Payroll
- Payroll, including reversal and reworks, calculation of pay, NI, Tax, SSP, SMP, OSP, OMP; post to ledger.
- Automated payroll transactions e.g. auto-enrolment, automated increments, automated pension re-banding including RTI processing, ability to upload spreadsheet information such as timesheets.
- Functionality to provide payslips and other pay related documents in different formats available both online and printed.
- Flexible reporting to provide periodic returns (statutory and non-statutory) e.g. year-end pension fund return.
- Overtime administration including additional allowances - must be able to have the rules programmed to ensure correct payment.
- The ability to define and run multiple payrolls without restriction.
- Expenses administration with link to self-service.
- Pensions Administration - must be able to meet requirements of local government and Teachers’ pension schemes as well as national legislative requirements.

Core HR
- Multiple assignment / post functionality.
- Managers’ ability to view and manipulate an organisation chart from core system in different user friendly formats.
- Ability to audit all transactions within core system and self-service platforms

Recruitment
- Must have fully integrated native Recruitment and Onboarding modules available.
- Ability to upload documents into records and capacity to store employee personnel records.
- On-boarding including tracking and recording of activities.
- Employee Evaluation
- Performance appraisal management - needs to be flexible to meet our needs, i.e. objective and competency based.
- 360 degree survey feedback.
- Learning & Development
- Learning Management including online booking of training courses.
- Workforce management
- Absence management (including the recording of absences against individual and multiple assignments and ability to interface with the Occupational Health system.
- Time in attendance (flexi and leave system) integrated or failing that an ability to interface with another system.
- Ability to calculate annual leave entitlement (based on council’s own annual leave accrual policy) on system
- Manager ability to view team scheduling and rotas.
- Ability to change working patterns and integrate with Payroll updates.
- Employee Interaction
- Ability for employees to submit expenses, overtime, training requests and similar requests and for managers to be able to authorise/reject submissions.
- Employees directly update personal details.
- Ability to notify absence via mobile technology.

Q.8 How many people did you hire last calendar or financial year?

A.8  350 new starters in the 12 month period.

Q.9 How many people left last calendar or financial year?

A.9  496 leavers within the 2018/19 Financial Year.

Q.10 How many roles did you advertise for last calendar or financial year?

A.10  637 roles were advertised during the 2018/19 Financial Year.

Q.11 How many total applicants did you receive last calendar or financial year?

A.11  5600 applicants for the 637 roles advertised during the 2018/19 Financial Year.

Q.12 What advertising methods were used? For example job boards, intranet, website etc.

A.12 Job boards and the organisations social media accounts.

Q.13 Which Job boards did you advertise on? For example indeed, totaljobs, reed etc.

A.13 The organisation uses the North East Jobs portal which is operated by the North East Regional Employers Organisation who post our vacancies onto various third party job boards.

Q.14 How much was spent on external advertising for job roles i.e. on job boards?

A.14 The Jobs Board is part of a commercial agreement with NEREO (North East Regional Employers Organisation) where a number of services are included.

Q.15 Do you have a preferred supplier list for recruitment agencies?

A.15 We don’t use recruitment agencies.

Q.16 If so how many agencies are on the list?

A.16 N/A

Q.17 Could you provide a rate card for each agency detailing the percentage charged for each salary band?

A.17 N/A

Q.18 How many people were hired on a permanent basis last calendar or financial year which were directly sourced from recruitment agencies?

A.18 N/A

Q.19  How much was spent on permanent hires through recruitment agencies last calendar or financial year?

A.19 N/A

Q.20 How does the recruitment agency get notified of a new role to source candidates for?

A.20 N/A

Q.21 Do you advertise and/or recruit for schools?

A.21 Yes

Q.22 Do you capture Equality and Diversity information?

A.22 Yes

Q.23 If so at what stage?

A.23 Application form

Q.24 Who signed the contract and what was their official position when the HR, Payroll and Recruitment software had been chosen?

A.24 All contracts would be signed by the Head of Shared Procurement Services

Q.25 How does the HR or Recruitment team guarantee anonymity during the application and shortlisting process?

A.25 Currently personal information is withheld from hiring managers during the application and shortlisting process.

Q.26 How does the HR or Recruitment team Onboard a new employee into the HR or Payroll software?

A.26 The recruitment module is part of the overall HR and Payroll software (Oracle Cloud Applications) a process runs between the recruitment module and the HR/Payroll module that onboards new hires.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6610
Request Date: 03/09/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Service Budgets for Financial Year 2018/19:
Service Area
Council Tax Processing
Benefits Processing
Non Domestic Rates Processing
Leadership
System Admin & Support
Total Revenues & Benefits

Average Service staffing including vacancies - In relation to service budget - Financial Year 2018/19
Council Tax
Number of FTE in Council Tax processing
Number of heads in Council Tax processing
Benefits
Number of FTE in Benefits processing
Number of heads in Benefits processing
Non Domestic Rates
Number of FTE in Non Domestic Rates processing
Number of heads in Non Domestic Rates processing
Leadership & Support
Number of FTE in Revenues & Benefits leadership
Number of heads in Revenues & Benefits leadership
Number of FTE in System Admin & Support
Number of heads in System Admin & Support
Total
Total Revenues & Benefits

Revenues & Benefits Calls in financial year 2018/19
Council Tax
Are customer service calls handled within the back office processing teams for Council Tax? (Yes /No)
How many FTE support call handling function if separate from processing for Council Tax?
What were the Council Tax calls offered volumes  for 2018/19?
What were the Council Tax calls answered  volumes for 2018/19?
Benefits
Are customer service calls handled within the back office processing teams for Benefits?  (Yes /No)
How many FTE support call handling function if separate from processing for Benefits?
What were the Benefits calls offered volumes for 2018/19?
What were the Benefits calls answered volumes for 2018/19?
Non Domestic Rates
Are customer service calls handled within the back office processing teams for Non Domestic Rates?  (Yes /No)
How many FTE support call handling function if separate from processing for Non Domestic Rates?
What were the Non Domestic Rates calls offered  volumes for 2018/19?
What were the Non Domestic Rates call answered volumes for 2018/19?

Other Revenues & Benefits Customer Service Information - for financial year 2018/19
Face to Face
Are Council Tax face to face enquiries handled within back office processing teams for Council Tax? (Yes /No)
How many Council Tax Face to Face visits in 2018/19?
Are Benefits face to face  enquiries handled within back office processing teams for Council Tax? (Yes /No)
How many Benefits Face to Face visits in 2018/19?
Are Non Domestic Rates Face to Face enquiries handled within back office processing teams for Council Tax? (Yes /No)
How many Non Domestic Rates Face to Face visits in 2018/19?
Home Visits
How many Council Tax home visits were completed in 2018/19?
How many Benefits home visits were completed in 2018/19?
How many Non Domestic Rates home visits were completed in 2018/19?
Inspections
Are Council Tax inspections carried out by your customer service teams or are they separate?
How many Council Tax inspections were completed in 2018/19?
Are Non Domestic Rates inspections carried out by your customer service teams or are they separate?
How many Non Domestic Rates inspections were completed in 2018/19?
Online Forms
How many Council Tax online forms were received in 2018/19?
How many Benefits online forms were received in 2018/19?
How many Non Domestic Rates online forms were received in 2018/19?

Performance Targets
Council Tax
Please list below what targets are set within Council Tax split down by groupings of work  that you apply
Do the above Council Tax targets include pended documents as well as completed? (Yes/No)
Benefits
Please list below what targets are set within Benefits split down by groupings of work  that you apply
Do the above Council Tax targets include pended documents as well as completed?  (Yes/No)
Non Domestic Rates
Please list below what targets are set within Non Domestic rates split down by groupings of work  that you apply
Do the above Council Tax targets include pended documents as well as completed?  (Yes/No)

Document Management System Work Volumes - for financial year 2018/19
Service Area
Overall volume of work received
Current volume of outstanding work
What are the current pending rates for each service line (%)?
Current volume of pended work in DMS
% of outstanding work that is pended

Document Management System Work Volumes - for financial year 2018/19
Service Area
Overall volume of work received
Current volume of outstanding work
What are the current pending rates for each service line (%)?
Current volume of pended work in DMS
% of outstanding work that is pended


A.1     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 reasons why the public interest favours withholding the information is that under paragraph 52 of the Commercial interests we feel that this will impact on other negotiations.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6627
Request Date: 05/09/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   On behalf of PEI Media I request a copy of Northumberland County Council Pension Fund’s most recently available public records that detail the
following investment information at the partnership level where available.

Investment Portfolio Allocations

•Current and target allocation to alternative investments (private equity, private real estate, infrastructure, private debt, agriculture)

As at 31 March 2019 (from the 2018/19 NCC Pension fund accounts attached), the percentage of externally managed assets in private equity was 3.6%, property 3.9% and in infrastructure was 5.2%. 

As at 30 June 2019, the most recently available information to the Fund, the percentage of externally managed assets in PE is 3.3%, property 3.8% and infrastructure 5.2%.
 
The target allocation is 5.0% in each, and that has been the case for the last 3+ years

There is no allocation to alternative investments in private debt or agriculture. 
 
• AUM of total investment portfolio

 As at 30 June 2019 the AUM was £1,473.5m

Fund Commitments

• Names and vintage years of all closed‐ended alternave funds in your instuon’s porolio. This would include but is not limited to Buyout/Corporate Private Equity, Distressed/ Turnaround, Fund of
Funds/Co-investment, Mezzanine/Debt, Secondaries, Venture Capital/Growth Equity, Core, Core Plus, Opportunity, Listed Equity, Unlisted Equity, Distressed Debt (Acquisition), Fund of Private Debt
Funds, Royalty Financing (Originaon), Senior Debt (Acquision), Senior Debt (Originaon), Subordinated Debt (Acquisition), Subordinated Debt (Originaon), Direct Secondaries, Fund of Firms, Agtech, Buy and Lease, Own and Operate.

NCCPF has investments in closed ended partnerships for private equity and infrastructure. NCCPF has no holdings in close ended real estate or hedge funds.

Page 5 of the attached NCC Pension Fund Draft Annual Report and Accounts 2018-19 lists all names and addresses of external investment management firms NCC Pension Fund allocates capital to.  Vintage years are shown in Note 20 (on page 82) of the attached NCC Pension Fund draft accounts 2018-19. The final NCCPF Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-19 will be published soon, although there are not anticipated to be any changes from the attached.
 
• List of fund commitments made since 2010

Commitments are shown in Note 20 (on page 82) of the attached NCC Pension Fund draft accounts 2018-19, which covers all commitments made by the Fund since 2010.
 
• Key investment professionals listed for each partnership

see response below Fees and Expenses 

• Names of all partnerships partially and fully sold by you including date of sale

None of the above asset partnership investments have been partially or fully sold by NCC.  
 
• Commitment amount made to each partnership

Commitments are shown in Note 20 (on page 82) of the attached NCC Pension Fund draft accounts 2018-19, which covers all commitments made by the Fund since 2010.  
 
Fees and Expenses

• Investment multiple for each individual partnership and date the calculation was made

Where available see attached 

• Total management fees and costs paid for each individual partnership as percentage of committed Capital

 Where available see attached 

• Hurdle rate set by each fund’s general partner(s)

Where available see below 

• Proportion of carried interest which will be charged at the end of the fund life Performance

 Where available see attached 

• Net Asset Value of each partnership and date the calculation was made 

See attached 

• Internal rates of return since inception for each individual partnership and date the calculation was made

Where available see attached 

• Investment multiple for each individual partnership and date the calculation was made

See attached 

If possible, providing the information listed above would be most helpful in a format such as Excel.

NCC Pension Fund has holdings in the following closed ended alternative funds:

(A) NB Crossroads Fund XVIII
(B) NB Crossroads Fund XX
(C) Morgan Stanley Private Markets Fund III
(D) Morgan Stanley Global Distressed Opportunities Fund  
(E) Morgan Stanley Private Markets Fund IV 
(F) Global Infrastructure Partners Fund II 
(G) Antin Infrastructure Partners Fund II 
(H) Pantheon Global Select 2017 
(I) Pantheon PGIF III 2018

Each of the above named funds are at a different stage of maturity with (A), (B), (C), (D) and (E) being mature/ fully called, and therefore the information requested is no longer considered commercially sensitive.

For funds (A) and (B), the information requested is attached.

For funds (C), (D) and (E), the information requested is set out below:

• Hurdle rate set by each fund’s general partner 

The hurdle rate for Private Markets Fund III LP (PMF III), PMF IV LP (PMF IV) and Global Distressed Opportunities Fund LP (GDOF) is 8%.

• Proportion of carried interest which will be charged at the end of the fund life 

For funds (A) and (B), the information requested is attached.

• Key investment professionals listed for each partnership 

All investment opportunities (whether co-investment, secondary investment, or primary investments and without respect to geographic region or sector) are evaluated by the AIP Private Markets Team Global Investment Committee, which is comprised exclusively of AIP Private Markets Team members. The Investment Committee is staffed with core members of the Team who vote on all opportunities, irrespective of type, geography or strategy, and additional Investment Committee members are brought in to vote on opportunities in their respective areas of expertise. 

For funds (F), (G) , (H) and (I), the information requested has been withheld.

The information requested relates to the commercial terms of the agreement between NCC Pension Fund and the general partners and the general partners' key investment professionals, and falls under the exemptions set out at Sections 41 and 43 of the Freedom of information Act.  I have set out below why I believe this to be the case

The relevant exemptions set out in full:

Section 41

(1) Information is exempt information if:

(a) it was obtained by the public authority from any other person (including another public authority) and

(b) the disclosure of the information to the public (otherwise than under this Act) by the public authority holding it would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person

(2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise, if or to the extent, that the confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with Section 1(1)(a) would (apart from this Act) constitute an actionable breach of confidence.

Section 43

(1) Information is exempt information if it constitutes a trade secret.

(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)

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that compliance with Section 1(1)(a) would or would be likely to prejudice the interests mentioned in sub-section (2).

Disclosing information relating to  the commercial terms of the agreements between NCC Pension Fund and the general partners and the general partners' key investment professionals would give information which could be valuable to the general partners' competitors.  The information requested is highly commercially sensitive and essential to the general partners' ability to be successful in the future, and the general partners' willingness to contract with NCC Pension Fund in the future. Therefore, the exemptions of Sections 41 and 43 apply to the information requested.

Section 41 exemption

The Council confirms that it holds the information however it is subject to confidentiality clauses in the partnership agreements between Northumberland County Council, acting in its capacity as administering authority for the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund, and the individual general partner.  Disclosure of such information may constitute an actionable breach of each the partnership agreement. Further, the public interest in disclosing the information would not, in this case, override the public interest in maintaining the confidence.

Section 43 exemption

The Council confirms that it holds the information requested however disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to, substantially prejudice the commercial interests of Northumberland County Council in its role as administering authority and also each of employers (including NCC) that participate in NCC Pension Fund. Disclosure would also prejudice the general partners and other investors in those partnerships.  Effectively, the information requested represents a trade secret under Section 43(1) of the Act, as far as the general partners are concerned. Commercial terms of business and key investment personnel information is valuable information for other (competitor) general partners which could be advantageous to rival general partners and could harm the Fund’s investments. The information could show the Fund’s general partners’ hands, as it were, to the competition who trade against them, and impact upon their ability to trade in the market place in certain situations.

 I am therefore unable to comply with your request in respect of the Fund’s less mature closed ended alternative funds.

Although I believe the Section 43 exemption applies in this case, I would still be obliged to release the information in response to your request unless the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  The Council appreciates the public interest in openness and transparency in respect of public funds, but also believes there is a significant public interest in ensuring that Northumberland County Council Pension Fund is not restricted in its ability to access the widest possible range of funds within the appropriate marketplace.  The specific public interest in safeguarding the legitimate commercial interests of the Council and the external parties concerned outweighs the general public interest in openness and transparency.