Clough Report, Harris report and South Vale Assessment Report

Cathy Fox made this Freedom of Information request to Lambeth Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Lambeth Borough Council,

Please could you send me a copy of the following reports

1990 The Enquiry into South Vale Assessment Centre.
1993 Clough Report
1994 The Harris Report.

Yours faithfully,

Cathy Fox

Jane Shields, Lambeth Borough Council

 
Information request
Our reference: IR188590

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Thank you for your request for information that was received on 6 February
2017.
 
Request details:  Freedom of Information request - Clough Report, Harris
report and South Vale Assessment Report .
 
We are dealing with your request and aim to respond within 20 working
days, by 6 March 2017.
 
 
We will advise you if we cannot provide you with the information requested
we will explain the reason why in our response.
 
 
Thank you for your interest in Lambeth Council.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Sophie Thompson 
Freedom of Information Team
London Borough of Lambeth
E-mail: [Lambeth Borough Council request email]
website: www.lambeth.gov.uk
 
Lambeth - the co-operative council
 
Lambeth council has set out plans for the latest budget savings - find out
more at http://lambeth.gov.uk/toughchoices Disclaimers apply - full
details at https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/email-disclai...

Sarah Williams4, Lambeth Borough Council

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: IR188590

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Dear ‎Cathy Fox
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 6 February 2017.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in providing the response to your
enquiry, which is now attached.

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Sarah Williams4
Complaints and Information Officer
 
FOI team
London Borough of Lambeth
 
Tel. 0207 926 1783
E-mail [email address]
Website: [1]www.lambeth.gov.uk
 
Lambeth - a Co-operative Council
 
"This email (and/or attachment) may contain information that is legally
privileged.  If you have received this in error please notify the sender
immediately"
 
 
 
Read about our ambitions for Lambeth in ‘Future Lambeth: Our Borough Plan’
at www.lambeth.gov.uk/BoroughPlan Disclaimers apply - full details at
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Dear Sarah Williams4,

Thank you for your apologies for lateness of your reply contrary to the FOI Act.
You include this in your response
"Section 30 (Investigations) subsection (2) (b) applies to the information requested:

(2) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if –
(b) any investigation which is conducted by the authority and in the circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct, or (c) any criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct. "

Could you clarify for me the exact details of this exemption, as the numbering/lettering does not correspond to the copy of the Act I am using, which is this http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000....

30 Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities.

(1)Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it has at any time been held by the authority for the purposes of—

(a)any investigation which the public authority has a duty to conduct with a view to it being ascertained—

(i)whether a person should be charged with an offence, or

(ii)whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it,

(b)any investigation which is conducted by the authority and in the circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct, or

(c)any criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct.

(2)Information held by a public authority is exempt information if—

(a)it was obtained or recorded by the authority for the purposes of its functions relating to—

(i)investigations falling within subsection (1)(a) or (b),

(ii)criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct,

(iii)investigations (other than investigations falling within subsection (1)(a) or (b)) which are conducted by the authority for any of the purposes specified in section 31(2) and either by virtue of Her Majesty’s prerogative or by virtue of powers conferred by or under any enactment, or

(iv)civil proceedings which are brought by or on behalf of the authority and arise out of such investigations, and

(b)it relates to the obtaining of information from confidential sources.

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Fox

FOI team, Lambeth Borough Council

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Email from request 387608 357b992f whatdotheyknow.com received on 16 03 2017.txt.html

    4K Download

Information request
Our reference: IR188590

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Dear Cathy Fox
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your email of 16/3/2017. 

Apologies  if this was not clarified in the response

With regard to the exemption

 "Section 30 (Investigations) subsection (2) (b) applies to the
information requested:

 (2) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if –

(b) any investigation which is conducted by the authority and in the
circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute
criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct, or (c) any
criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct.

The information held within these reports relates to investigative work
carried out by the Council. We consider that disclosure would negatively
impact on this and any other future investigation.

Yours sincerely
 
 

Sarah Williams4
Complaints and Information Officer
 
FOI team
London Borough of Lambeth
 
Tel. 0207 926 1783
E-mail [email address]
Website: [1]www.lambeth.gov.uk
 
Lambeth - a Co-operative Council
 
"This email (and/or attachment) may contain information that is legally
privileged.  If you have received this in error please notify the sender
immediately"
Read about our ambitions for Lambeth in ‘Future Lambeth: Our Borough Plan’
at www.lambeth.gov.uk/BoroughPlan Disclaimers apply - full details at
https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/email-disclai...

References

Visible links
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Dear Sarah Williams4,

Hi Sarah
That does not clarify things for me. I need absolute clarification.

Firstly are you using the exact same copy as me of the law? ie from this link http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000..., so we can agree on that?

If so then section 30 subsection 2 b is this (b)it relates to the obtaining of information from confidential sources, which does not seem to be what you are talking about.

Do you mean that you are claiming exemption 30 subsection 2 a i ? and the part from that you are further relying is actually 30 subsection 1 b ?

Or is there some other reason for this anomaly?

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Fox

FOI team, Lambeth Borough Council

Information request
Our reference: IR188590

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Dear Cathy Fox

I have taken guidance on this matter and can advise that the correct
application is S30(1)(b):

 30 –(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if
it has at any time been held by the authority for the purpose of –

 (b) any investigation which is conducted by the authority and in the
circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute
criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct.

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Sarah Williams4
Complaints and Information Officer
 
FOI team
London Borough of Lambeth
 
Tel. 0207 926 1783
E-mail [email address]
Website: [1]www.lambeth.gov.uk
 
Lambeth - a Co-operative Council
 
"This email (and/or attachment) may contain information that is legally
privileged.  If you have received this in error please notify the sender
immediately"
Read about our ambitions for Lambeth in ‘Future Lambeth: Our Borough Plan’
at www.lambeth.gov.uk/BoroughPlan Disclaimers apply - full details at
https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/email-disclai...

References

Visible links
1. http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/

Dear Sarah Williams 4 FOI team,

Thanks for that clarification. In that case could you clarify for me what criminal proceedings the Council has authority to bring.

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Fox

Jane Shields, Lambeth Borough Council

Dear Ms Fox

We withdraw our reliance on s30 but maintain s38 &s40 as applicable to the
request.

Please advise if you would like an Internal Review.

Kind regards

Jane Shields LLB LLM
Policy & Communications Manager

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Dear Sarah Williams 4 FOI team,
Thanks for that clarification. In that case could you clarify for me what
criminal proceedings the Council has authority to bring.
Yours sincerely,
Cathy Fox

show quoted sections

Dear Lambeth Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Lambeth Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Clough Report, Harris report and South Vale Assessment Report'.

I have already had cause to complain that the numbers given for one exemption were wrong and then the exemption did not apply and this has now been withdrawn. It does not give confidence that the FOI has been assessed fairly.
I do not wish to complain about S 40 personal data if it is used to redact data of victims,
I now wish to ask for an internal review of the exemption Section 38 (1) (b) (Health and Safety)
The reason given
"We consider that the qualified exemption set out in Section 38 (Health and Safety) subsection (1) (a) (b) applies to the information requested. Therefore, we have decided to withhold the information:
S38.(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to
(a) endanger the physical or mental health of any individual, or
(b) endanger the safety of any individual.
We consider that disclosure would be harmful to vulnerable individuals and may adversely affect their mental health; especially as we consider disclosure may lead to individuals being identified.
In applying this exemption, we have had to balance the public interest in withholding the information against the interest in favour of disclosure.
Factors in favour of disclosure
We appreciate the benefits in transparency and that disclosure would improve public knowledge & debate on this issue.
Factors in favour of withholding
Disclosure of information presents a risk to the physical or mental health of any individual affected by the events which occurred.
We consider that the Council should protect vulnerable individuals and that it cannot therefore be in the public interest to provide information which may be harmful to these individuals.
In all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information."

As well as transparency you do not include in factors in favour of disclosure that the victims of the abuse can heal and gain some form of closure through the release of the truth and information. That is a huge factor.
Has the authority provided any Reports to any survivors groups? Do the survivors groups ask the council for information and reports?
To refuse on S38 an authority must demonstrate that there is a causal link between the endangerment and
disclosure of the information and show that disclosure would or would be likely to have a detrimental effect on the physical or mental health of any individual.
Further in the public interest arguments, part of the public are many victims who want the information released and whose mental health will deteriorate unless you release it.

The leader of Lambeth Council said
"“The testimonies we heard today at the launch of SOSA’s report were incredibly moving. “This report shines a light on a period of Lambeth’s history that is very, very dark indeed.

“As the current leader of Lambeth council I make a full and genuine apology for the abuse that people suffered due to failings in the care system. “We’ve taken the decision not to be like past administrations and instead are working openly and constructively with SOSA.

“We have provided the information that was requested for today’s report, funded SOSA’s campaign video to encourage more people to come forward and provided specialist counselling for survivors.

“Our commitment now is to work with SOSA in developing a redress scheme that will allow abuse survivors to secure compensation quickly whilst minimising legal fees.

“In addition to full compensation for physical, sexual and psychiatric harm suffered the proposed scheme includes an ex gratia payment to everyone who attended Shirley Oaks childrens home prior to its closure because it is now clear that all its residents were put in harms way.

“The proposed scheme is expected to potentially pay out tens of millions of pounds to survivors of abuse at Shirley Oaks children’s home prior to its closure in 1983, and other children’s homes in the borough. “We are currently examining how this scheme will be funded.

“I know that money can’t wash away the pain that comes through so vividly in the report, but it’s an issue we know is important and that we are taking extremely seriously. “We have accepted liability for the abuse that was suffered by children at Shirley Oaks and other Lambeth children’s homes.”"

It is the actions of Lambeth Council that have harmed many hundreds of individuals. The leader said she is going to work openly and constructively and provided information for survivors, how does this square with the fact you are now saying it will cause them harm, and you are refusing information.

I provide this link for education purposes
https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2017/02/0...

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Cathy Fox

Internal review team, Lambeth Borough Council

Information request
Our reference: IR188590

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Dear Ms Fox
 
I write to advise that the London Borough of Lambeth maintains it's
original refusal on s38 and s40 for this request.

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this review you have a
further right to appeal to the Information Commissioner, who regulates the
implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. The Commissioner can be
contacted at the following address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Kind regards

 

Jane Shields LLB LLM

Policy & Communications Manager

 

 

Freedom of Information Team
London Borough of Lambeth
 
Tel: 020 7926 0547
E-mail: [1][Lambeth Borough Council request email]
website: [2]www.lambeth.gov.uk
 
2nd Floor
Olive Morris House
18 Brixton Hill
London
SW2 1RL
 
Lambeth - the co-operative council

 

Read about our ambitions for Lambeth in ‘Future Lambeth: Our Borough Plan’
at www.lambeth.gov.uk/BoroughPlan Disclaimers apply - full details at
https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/email-disclai...

References

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2. http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/

Dear Lambeth Borough Council,
Can you answer these under advice and assistance-

Can you tell me who was on the team that reviewed the request?
Can you tell me what process the review went through. Your reply appears to be just a restatement of position and on the deadline of the legal limit for replying.
Can you tell me why i have not had a answer to my questions "Has the authority provided any Reports to any survivors groups? Do the survivors groups ask the council for information and reports?
The leader said she is going to work openly and constructively and provided information for survivors, how does this square with the fact you are now saying it will cause them harm, and you are refusing information?
Even if these were taken as a new request I should have received the answer by now.

Further please provide recorded data to show whether or not the leader of the council was consulted on this FOI request and who was consulted on this request.

Yours faithfully,

Cathy Fox

FoI, Lambeth Borough Council

Dear Ms Fox

 

Thank you for your email.

 

I can advise:-

 

Can you tell me who was on the team that reviewed the request?

 

I completed the Internal Review as I complete all Internal Reviews for the
Council.

 

Can you tell me what process the review went through. Your reply  appears
to be just  a restatement of position and on the deadline of the legal
limit for replying.

 

I have reviewed and read the original response and I uphold the use of the
exemptions (s38 & s40). I consider our previous response explains the
legal position.

 

Can you tell me why I have not had an answer to my questions "Has the
authority provided any Reports to any survivors groups? Do the survivors
groups ask the council for information and reports?

 

We can log this as a new request if you would like us to do so; we do not
answer further questions as part of the Internal Review process. Please
advise if you would like us to log a new request for this information.

 

The leader said she is going to work openly and constructively and
provided information for survivors, how does this square with the fact you
are now saying it will cause them harm, and you are refusing information?

Even if these were taken as a new request I should have received the
answer by now.

 

We draw a distinction between information/advice which may be provided to
survivors and a general disclosure under the FOIA which is considered to
be to the world in general; not to an individual requestor. 

We note that any response would be published on the What Do They Know
website and consider that this would not be appropriate.

 

Further please provide recorded data to show whether or not the leader of
the council was consulted on this FOI request and who was consulted on
this request.

 

We hold no recorded information however can advise that it is not usual
process to refer FOI requests to the Leader of the Council.

 

Should you have any further issues with this response then please refer
directly to the Information Commissioner.

 

Kind regards

 

Jane Shields LLB LLM

Policy & Communications Manager

(FOI Co-ordinator)

Corporate Resources

2nd Floor

Olive Morris House

18 Brixton Hill

London

SW2 1RL

London Borough of Lambeth

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear FoI,

Please could you send me Lambeth Council's FOI internal review procedure, and EIR internal review procedure.

Jane Shields reviewed a request that she herself had taken part in how can this be remotely fair, transparent and open?

I have not had an answer to my questions "Has the authority provided any Reports to any survivors groups? Do the survivors groups ask the council for information and reports?

The answers for these are now overdue, please can you provide me with the answers as is Lambeths duty under the FOI Acts

Can you please advise me who the monitoring officer is and their email address, or where this information may be found, I do not find it obvious from the Lambeth website

Can you also provide me with a list of all Reports about child sexual abuse that Lambeth Council holds

Please send me any recorded information that Lambeth Council has that evidences the claim by the Council that reports would be harmful to vulnerable individuals and may adversely affect their mental health or may lead to individuals being identified.

If there is any recorded evidence provided above, please provide any recorded information that reports would be harmful to vulnerable individuals and may adversely affect their mental health or may lead to individuals being identified if sensibly redacted.

Which child sexual abuse reports has the Council previously ( since 2012) made available
1. to survivors of abuse
2 released via FOI

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Fox

Jane Shields, Lambeth Borough Council

Information request
Our reference: IR198536

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Request details:  Internal Review Procedure / Survivors Groups Information
Request .
 
We acknowledge receipt of your request for information that was received
on3 May 2017.

We are dealing with your request and aim to respond within 20 working
days, by 1 June 2017.
Thank you for your interest in Lambeth Council.
 
 
Yours sincerely
Amanda Harrell
Freedom of Information Team
London Borough of Lambeth
E-mail: [Lambeth Borough Council request email]
website: www.lambeth.gov.uk
 
Lambeth - the co-operative council
 
Read about our ambitions for Lambeth in ‘Future Lambeth: Our Borough Plan’
at www.lambeth.gov.uk/BoroughPlan Disclaimers apply - full details at
https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/email-disclai...

Dear Jane Shields,
I sent an email on 24 April. You state that it was received 3 May and the date for reply is 1 Jun.
Please send recorded data that the request was received on 3 May so I can ascertain why an email sent on 24 april takes 9 days to arrive. If a mistake please amend date for reply accordingly

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Fox

Dear Lambeth Borough Council,

I believe the request is now overdue and the council have not shown any documentation to show that this is not so. Please give a substantive reply by return

Yours faithfully,

Cathy Fox

Ben Hendry, Lambeth Borough Council

Dear Ms Fox,

I am writing to apologise that we have not yet been able to provide a full
response to your information request. Please be assured that we are
working on the response and aim to be in a position to provide this to you
shortly.

I am sorry for any inconvenience caused by this delay.

Kind regards,

Ben Hendry
Complaints & Information Officer
Corporate Complaints Unit
London Borough of Lambeth

020 7926 3892
07720 827709

[1][email address]
[2]www.lambeth.gov.uk

Read about our ambitions for Lambeth in ‘Future Lambeth: Our Borough Plan’
at www.lambeth.gov.uk/BoroughPlan Disclaimers apply - full details at
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Ben Hendry, Lambeth Borough Council

5 Attachments

Information request
Our reference: IR198536

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Dear Ms Fox,
Please see attached letter and enclosures in response to your request for
information. I apologise for the delay in providing this response, the
reasons for which are explained in more detail in my letter.

Kind regards,

Ben Hendry
Complaints & Information Officer
London Borough of Lambeth
 
020 7926 3892
[1][email address]
[2]www.lambeth.gov.uk
 
Lambeth - a Co-operative Council
 
"This email (and/or attachment) may contain information that is legally
privileged.  If you have received this in error please notify the sender
immediately"
 
 
Read about our ambitions for Lambeth in ‘Future Lambeth: Our Borough Plan’
at www.lambeth.gov.uk/BoroughPlan Disclaimers apply - full details at
https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/email-disclai...

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/

Dear Ben Hendry,

Thank you for that reply and information. I and others are profoundly grateful

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Fox