Essex CC Annual autism / HF autism / Asperger's syndrome budget

P. Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Essex County Council

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

Waiting for an internal review by Essex County Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Essex County Council,

Please provide a copy of your Annual Budget for Autism including high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome.

Please provide an overall figure, and break this down by Essex County Council departments Education, Social Services etc. and or other bodies you give grants to for provision of autism services etc.

Please specify where the budget or funding goes and what exactly it is spent on. What services or products.

Please break down the figures by

1. Autism

2. Autism, high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome.

What are the current criteria for someone with autism receiving any support from Essex CC?

Are people with high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome still ruled completely out of receiving any support, until a mental health catastrophe or crisis inevitably occurs?

If so why, especially as "Asperger's" (a form of autism) may soon be subsumed into the umbrella "autism".

Yours faithfully,

P. Smith

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your recent request for information which has been received by Essex County Council.

Your request is covered by the Freedom of Information Act, under which we must respond within 20 working days.

We will determine and let you know whether we hold the information you have requested and consider whether we are able to release the information or if it is exempt from disclosure.

ECC does not usually charge for providing information to its requestors as the provision of electronic copies is negligible, however under certain circumstances we may have to do so if providing the information costs more than £450. We will let you know before we do any work that would incur a charge.

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this request will be published on the Essex County Council website. The website address is http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You.... All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.

Please contact me if you would like further advice or assistance about your request, or your right to access information held by Essex County Council.

Yours sincerely,

Your Right To Know
Transparency Team
Essex County Council
T: 033301 38989
E: [email address]
W: www.essex.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your request for information. Please find our response to
your request on the accompanying document(s).

I trust that this information satisfies your request. However, should you
require anything further, please contact me and I will endeavour to assist
you further.

if you are not satisfied with your response, please contact me so I can
try to resolve the issue. Alternatively, if you wish to make a complaint,
you can find the details at
[1]http://www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Complaints...  

 

If, after following our complaints procedure, you are still not satisfied,
you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our
decision. You can contact the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; Telephone 0303 123 1113.

 

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this
request will be published on the Essex County Council website. The website
address is
[2]http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You...
. All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including
contact details will be disclosed as part of this process. 

Yours sincerely,

Your Right To Know

Transparency Team

Essex County Council

T: 033301 38989

E: [email address]

W: www.essex.gov.uk

 

 

This email (including any attachments) is intended only for the
recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged
information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used by any other
person unless express permission is given. If you are not a named
recipient, please contact the sender and delete the email from your
system. It is the recipient's responsibility to ensure that appropriate
measures are in place to check for software viruses.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Complaints...
2. http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You...

Dear Your Right To Know, or should that be Essex CC PR Department?

Thank you for your response.

No budget at all for autism?

Evasive, and full of excuses.

This is not transparent local government.

Yours sincerely,

P. Smith

Essex County Council's response to my FOI

Freedom of Information Act / Environmental Information Regulations Request
Reference: ECC-063791-15
Response: 21 December 2015

Please provide a copy of your Annual Budget for Autism including high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome. Please provide an overall figure, and break this down by Essex County Council departments Education, Social Services etc. and or other bodies you give grants to for provision of autism services etc.
please specify where the budget or funding goes and what exactly it is spent on. What services or products.

Please break down the figures by
1 - Autism
2 - Autism, high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome

I can confirm that Essex County Council do not hold this information.

We do not have a budget specifically for Autism.

Below is a table which reflects the cost of placing children with ASD in an independent school. So for 2015/16 the in year cost (so this reflects the forecast cost of placement in year hence not annualised) is as follows:

No Placements Cost to Education Budget in 2015/16 Cost to Social Care Budget in 2015/16 Cost to ECC Budget in 2015/16 Cost to Health in 2015/16 Cost of Placements in 2015/16
All Placements 107 £6,324,172 £961,788 £7,285,960 £95,577 £7,381,537

So the total cost of these placement is £7.381m, of which is funded as follows:

• Essex County Council £0.962m social care cost (to the Local Authority)
• Dedicated Schools Grant £6.324m
• Health £0.1

What are the current criteria for someone with autism receiving any support from Essex CC?

The information is exempt from disclosure to you under S21 of the Act – Information available elsewhere.

For educational services/provision for children and young people all the information can be found on the local offer website at http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/

Therefore we will not be complying with this part of your request. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice in respect of this part of your request.

Are people with high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome still ruled completely out of receiving any support, until a mental health catastrophe or crisis inevitably occurs?

If so why, especially as "Asperger's" (a form of autism) may soon be subsumed into the umbrella "autism".

From our preliminary assessment, we estimate that compliance with your request would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act 2000. This is currently £450. This limit is calculated 18 hours of work at a cost of £25 per hour. The information you have requested is not available because this information is not held in a reportable form. To provide the answer would require us to manually interrogate the records which would mean individually checking more than 884 records. This would take at least 5 minutes per record therefore we will not be complying with this part of your request. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice in respect of this part of your request.

Your Right to Know
Information Services
Essex County Council
Telephone: 08457 430430
Email: [email address] | www.essex.gov.uk

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Your Review Request:

Thank you for your request for a review into our handling of your recent request for information reference ECC-063791-15, which was received by Essex County Council on 27/11/2015.

Your request is covered by our Review Procedure and we endeavour to respond within 20 working days.

We will review the handling of your request and respond with our formal decision on the aspects you have asked us to address.

Please contact me if you would like further advice or assistance about your request, review or your right to access information held by Essex County Council.

Yours sincerely,

Your Right To Know
Transparency Team
Essex County Council
T: 033301 38989
E: [email address]
W: www.essex.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Essex County Council,

As there is NO Essex County Council budget for autism, please provide a copy of your Annual Budget for Learning Difficulties and a copy of your Annual Budget for Mental Health.

Please provide an overall figure, and break this down by Essex
County Council departments Education, Social Services etc. and or
other bodies you give grants to for provision of related services
etc.

Please specify where the budget or funding goes and what exactly it
is spent on. What services or products.

If someone with autism needs support, to whom do they go?

Yours faithfully,

P. Smith

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your recent request for information which has been received by Essex County Council.

Your request is covered by the Freedom of Information Act, under which we must respond within 20 working days.

We will determine and let you know whether we hold the information you have requested and consider whether we are able to release the information or if it is exempt from disclosure.

ECC does not usually charge for providing information to its requestors as the provision of electronic copies is negligible, however under certain circumstances we may have to do so if providing the information costs more than £450. We will let you know before we do any work that would incur a charge.

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this request will be published on the Essex County Council website. The website address is http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You.... All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.

Please contact me if you would like further advice or assistance about your request, or your right to access information held by Essex County Council.

Yours sincerely,

Your Right To Know
Transparency Team
Essex County Council
T: 033301 38989
E: [email address]
W: www.essex.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Your Right To Know,

Essex County Council refuses to acknowledge autism as a separate stream of need, it merely lists it under "HEALTH CONDITIONS", in other words downplaying / denying it, and gives a few links to charities who CANNOT offer any ongoing support, but no links to Essex or NHS services such as Needs Assessments or Carers Assessments or Housing Needs Reports, yet the need is most definitely out there and DESPERATE.

People with autism and their carers are SUFFERING NOW.

Is autism ignored as a stream of needs so that Essex CC cannot be accused of an illegal blanket policy completely disregarding autism, and re having a £00.00 budget i.e. NO MONEY for autism?????

Why are Essex County Councillors totally horizontal over this, complacent and cynical, KNOWING the need is out here?

The Essex media either ignores or fails to report this.

I would like to see any related information in any recorded form, minutes of meetings, agendas, reports, notes, anything that records how this blanket? (illegal?) policy was agreed upon within Essex County Council.

The Conservative Government has made matters even worse by attacking welfare benefits and the NHS, and cutting further education, so no second chances at gaining an education for those with autism forced into mainstream who couldn't cope, and couldn't get an education (in Essex too).

David Cameron doesn't even appear to realise the effect of his own policies / cuts, as has been reported in the media he complained to his own local council re his own governments cuts. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree... " David Cameron hasn't the faintest idea how deep his cuts go. This letter proves it" George Monbiot.

Also, Essex County council appears to be forced to speak out against the government cuts to local authorities: (It's left it a bit late!) http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/conservative_...

Yet ECC has not budgeted for autism at all, anyway.

Carers of someone with autism have been told by Essex County Council: "There is no money for autism".

A Freedom of Information request reveals that the Essex County Council Budget for for autism is £00.00 I.e.: NOTHING.

Essex County Councillor Anne Naylor said that people with autism would not meet the criteria for support (blanket policy? illegal?).

She also said that they wanted "gold plated services" (this was patronising and GROSSLY misleading, as she MUST know there ARE NO services for autism).

She also said (if memory serves, to the effect, in the East Anglian newspaper) "there is a terrific envy of what another person gets". (People with autism and their carers get NO support.)

Recent report in the East Anglian newspaper

"Conservative leader of Essex County Council writes to prime minister over cuts
Will [email address]@essexwill
09 January, 2016 - 08:03

http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/conservative_...

"The Conservative leader at County Hall has become the latest council chief to write to the prime minister and warn him about the impact of spending cuts.

County Hall has been tasked with finding an additional £53m in savings next year on top of the £70m target already set
Essex County Council leader David Finch has sent David Cameron a hard-hitting letter accusing the government of being blind to the effect reducing funding was having on people.

Mr Finch told the prime minister services will have to be reduced and taxes put up in Essex to hit government-imposed savings and increased costs such as the National Living Wage and National Insurance.

In the three-page missive Mr Finch wrote: “Decisions taken nationally to cut budget lines as they appear on paper do little to understand the practical challenges of delivering those savings on the ground.

“Councils cannot run deficits so the challenge of having to balance our budget in 2016/17 is now a colossal one and one that will not be able to be achieved without making reductions to services and increasing the tax burden on local residents.”

Mr Finch also asks the prime minister to address the “giant disconnect emerging between central government and local government”.

He said he recognised the need to make difficult decisions to cut the deficit, but questioned the way the process had been handled.

Essex County Council has been tasked with finding an additional £53m in savings next year on top of the £70m target already set, having already saved more than £560m since 2010.

A number of council leaders have written to Mr Cameron outlining concerns including most notably Ian Hudspeth, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, which covers the prime minister’s own constituency.

The leaders of Warrington, Tameside and Hartlepool councils, among others, have also written to the prime minister.

Mr Finch said the funding settlement paid no attention to need, a move he described as “perverse and short-sighted”, had eleventh hour changes which left officers little time to recalculate budgets, while the new social care council tax would only address half of the service costs.

He also said he was “alarmed” at the government’s misunderstanding “or even ignorance” around council reserves, saying they were mostly earmarked for schemes and in reality the council had just 23 days’ of available funding – “not even enough to keep council services running for a month”.

As well as outlining his concerns, Mr Finch also set out four steps which could limit the impact on councils:

• Bring the Better Care Fund forward by one year

• Revisit funding distribution for 2017/18 on the basis of need

• Remove the council tax freeze grant from funding distribution and give it to councils, like Essex, which have supported government

• Give councils more flexibility and freedom to locally manage council tax, such discounts

Mr Finch ends the letter by saying: “The finance settlement has caused some deep unhappiness and unease among many counties.

“The pressures of demographic growth, an ageing population and other cost pressures mean counties like Essex will soon face the prospect of not being able to live within our means.”

A Government spokesman said: “The settlement is currently out for consultation to local authorities and we want to hear their views.

“But the fact remains councils in England will have almost £200bn for services between now and 2020 and the multi-year budgets we are proposing will allow them to spend that money with greater certainty.

“Essex County Council’s core spending power is forecast to increase by 2.8% and the county will have £3.48bn to spend between now and 2020.” "

If David Finch is so concerned at THESE cuts, why has his council NEVER acknowledged AUTISM, and why NO BUDGET FOR AUTISM AT ALL ??? Please provide any evidence / information / documentation reflecting the basis for this DELIBERATE neglect.

Please don't say this exceeds the cost limits of an FoI. This should be readily available in any well-run efficient organisation.

If Essex is able to know about autism yet deliberately ignore autism when it comes to appropriate support of ANY kind and deliberately have NO BUDGET for autism, the reason for this must be well documented.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,

P. Smith

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your recent request for information which has been received by Essex County Council.

Your request is covered by the Freedom of Information Act, under which we must respond within 20 working days.

We will determine and let you know whether we hold the information you have requested and consider whether we are able to release the information or if it is exempt from disclosure.

ECC does not usually charge for providing information to its requestors as the provision of electronic copies is negligible, however under certain circumstances we may have to do so if providing the information costs more than £450. We will let you know before we do any work that would incur a charge.

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this request will be published on the Essex County Council website. The website address is http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You.... All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.

Please contact me if you would like further advice or assistance about your request, or your right to access information held by Essex County Council.

Yours sincerely,

Your Right To Know
Transparency Team
Essex County Council
T: 033301 38989
E: [email address]
W: www.essex.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

4 Attachments

 

Dear Ms Smith,

 

Thank you for your recent request for information.  In order for us to
process your request we are seeking clarification:

 

Please can you confirm whether you are you requesting the below
information from ECC?

 

“I would like to see any related information in any recorded form,
 minutes of meetings, agendas, reports, notes, anything that records how
this blanket? (illegal?) policy was agreed upon within Essex  County
Council.” and “If David Finch is so concerned at THESE cuts, why has his
council  NEVER acknowledged AUTISM, and why NO BUDGET FOR AUTISM AT ALL
???  Please provide any evidence / information / documentation reflecting
the basis for this DELIBERATE neglect.”

 

If so, please would you provide us with clarification for;

·         which specific policy you are seeking information about

·         for which dates you are requesting the information

·         whether this information relates to adults, children, or both
age ranges

 

Your request will be placed on hold until we receive such clarification
from yourself,  and will be placed on hold for a maximum of 60 working
days, as laid out by our council policy. Once these 60 days have expired,
your request will be automatically closed down. If however you do after
this time frame wish to inform us of this clarification it will be
received as a new request, meaning we may have to go and ask for you to re
submit your clarified questions.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

Your Right To Know

Transparency Team

Essex County Council

T: 033301 38989

E: [1][email address]

W: [2]www.essex.gov.uk

 

[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D050D6.15070770[4]cid:image002.jpg@01D050D6.15070770[5]cid:image003.jpg@01D050D6.15070770 

[6]Description: Description: W:\Information Governance Team\Access to
Records\GUIDES\SAR\CLEARMARK - Care Leavers Assoc\ATRlogob&y_final.jpg

 

 

This email (including any attachments) is intended only for the
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References

Visible links
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2. http://www.essex.gov.uk/
3. http://www.facebook.com/essexcountycouncil
4. http://www.twitter.com/@Essex_CC
5. https://www.youtube.com/user/EssexCounty...

Dear Your Right To Know,

Please see in initial request.

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

My request is around the fact, evidence supplied by yourselves, that Essex has NO BUDGET at all for autism.

Why is autism completely denied as a separate stream of need, from MH and LD? No clear pathways for support either.

Blanket policy of denial of need?

Autism merely listed on ECC's website as a "medical condition". That is a cynical denial. The only links are to CHARITIES who CANNOT support. It is a deliberate denial of great need, and a deliberate cynical CRUEL cover for an ECC budget of NIL for autism.

“I would like to see any related information in any recorded form,
minutes of meetings, agendas, reports, notes, anything that records how
this blanket? (illegal?) policy was agreed upon within Essex County
Council.” and “If David Finch is so concerned at THESE (latest Tory government) cuts, why has his
council NEVER acknowledged AUTISM, and why NO BUDGET FOR AUTISM AT ALL
??? Please provide any evidence / information / documentation reflecting
the basis for this DELIBERATE neglect.”

David Finch can get excited at the Tory government's latest cuts to local authorities, but he appears not to care that the budget for autism is NIL under his watch.

Yours sincerely,

P. Smith

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Thank you for your request for a review into the handling of your original
request for information. Please find the outcome of our review on the
attached document(s).

If, after following our complaints procedure, you are still not satisfied,
you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our
decision. You can contact the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; Telephone 0303 123 1113. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Your Right To Know

Transparency Team

Essex County Council

T: 033301 38989

E: [email address]

W: www.essex.gov.uk

 

 

This email (including any attachments) is intended only for the
recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged
information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used by any other
person unless express permission is given. If you are not a named
recipient, please contact the sender and delete the email from your
system. It is the recipient's responsibility to ensure that appropriate
measures are in place to check for software viruses.

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your request for information. Please find our response to
your request on the accompanying document(s).

I trust that this information satisfies your request. However, should you
require anything further, please contact me and I will endeavour to assist
you further.

if you are not satisfied with your response, please contact me so I can
try to resolve the issue. Alternatively, if you wish to make a complaint,
you can find the details at
[1]http://www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Complaints...  

 

If, after following our complaints procedure, you are still not satisfied,
you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our
decision. You can contact the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; Telephone 0303 123 1113.

 

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this
request will be published on the Essex County Council website. The website
address is
[2]http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You....
All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including
contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.

 

Yours sincerely,

Your Right To Know

Transparency Team

Essex County Council

T: 033301 38989

E: [email address]

W: www.essex.gov.uk

 

 

This email (including any attachments) is intended only for the
recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged
information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used by any other
person unless express permission is given. If you are not a named
recipient, please contact the sender and delete the email from your
system. It is the recipient's responsibility to ensure that appropriate
measures are in place to check for software viruses.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Complaints...
2. http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You...

P. Smith left an annotation ()

Freedom of Information Act / Environmental Information Regulations Request
Reference: ECC-063791-15
Response: 24 January 2016

Please provide a copy of your Annual Budget for Autism including high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome. Please provide an overall figure, and break this down by Essex County Council departments Education, Social Services etc. and or other bodies you give grants to for provision of autism services etc.

please specify where the budget or funding goes and what exactly it is spent on. What services or products.

Please break down the figures by
1 - Autism
2 - Autism, high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome

I can confirm that Essex County Council do not hold this information.

We do not have a budget specifically for Autism.

Below is a table which reflects the cost of placing children with ASD in an independent school. So for 2015/16 the in year cost (so this reflects the forecast cost of placement in year hence not annualised) is as follows:

No Placements Cost to Education Budget in 2015/16 Cost to Social Care Budget in 2015/16 Cost to ECC Budget in 2015/16 Cost to Health in 2015/16 Cost of Placements in 2015/16
All Placements 107 £6,324,172 £961,788 £7,285,960 £95,577 £7,381,537

So the total cost of these placement is £7.381m, of which is funded as follows:

• Essex County Council £0.962m social care cost (to the Local Authority)
• Dedicated Schools Grant £6.324m
• Health £0.1

What are the current criteria for someone with autism receiving any support from Essex CC?

The information is exempt from disclosure to you under S21 of the Act – Information available elsewhere.

For educational services/provision for children and young people all the information can be found on the local offer website at http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/

Therefore we will not be complying with this part of your request. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice in respect of this part of your request.

Are people with high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome still ruled completely out of receiving any support, until a mental health catastrophe or crisis inevitably occurs?

If so why, especially as "Asperger's" (a form of autism) may soon be subsumed into the umbrella "autism".

From our preliminary assessment, we estimate that compliance with your request would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act 2000. This is currently £450. This limit is calculated 18 hours of work at a cost of £25 per hour. The information you have requested is not available because this information is not held in a reportable form. To provide the answer would require us to manually interrogate the records which would mean individually checking more than 884 records. This would take at least 5 minutes per record therefore we will not be complying with this part of your request. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice in respect of this part of your request.

Your Right to Know
Information Services
Essex County Council
Telephone: 08457 430430
Email: xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xx | www.essex.gov.uk

Dear Your Right To Know,

If autism / Aspergers is not regarded as a separate stream of need by Essex County Council, and has no budget, and if it is included in either Mental Health Budget, Learning Disability Budget, or both, please can you provide information in any recorded form that relates to / shows how much of each of these budgets (MH and or LD) is spent on autism / Aspergers / HF autism.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,

P. Smith

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your recent request for information which has been received by Essex County Council.

Your request is covered by the Freedom of Information Act, under which we must respond within 20 working days.

We will determine and let you know whether we hold the information you have requested and consider whether we are able to release the information or if it is exempt from disclosure.

ECC does not usually charge for providing information to its requestors as the provision of electronic copies is negligible, however under certain circumstances we may have to do so if providing the information costs more than £450. We will let you know before we do any work that would incur a charge.

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this request will be published on the Essex County Council website. The website address is http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You.... All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.

Please contact me if you would like further advice or assistance about your request, or your right to access information held by Essex County Council.

Yours sincerely,

Your Right To Know
Transparency Team
Essex County Council
T: 033301 38989
E: [email address]
W: www.essex.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your request for information. Please find our response to
your request on the accompanying document(s).

I trust that this information satisfies your request. However, should you
require anything further, please contact me and I will endeavour to assist
you further.

if you are not satisfied with your response, please contact me so I can
try to resolve the issue. Alternatively, if you wish to make a complaint,
you can find the details at
[1]http://www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Complaints...  

 

If, after following our complaints procedure, you are still not satisfied,
you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our
decision. You can contact the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; Telephone 0303 123 1113.

 

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this
request will be published on the Essex County Council website. The website
address is
[2]http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You....
All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including
contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.

 

Yours sincerely,

Your Right To Know

Transparency Team

Essex County Council

T: 033301 38989

E: [email address]

W: www.essex.gov.uk

 

 

This email (including any attachments) is intended only for the
recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged
information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used by any other
person unless express permission is given. If you are not a named
recipient, please contact the sender and delete the email from your
system. It is the recipient's responsibility to ensure that appropriate
measures are in place to check for software viruses.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Complaints...
2. http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You...

P. Smith left an annotation ()

Internal review result:

Our ref:
Date:
ECC-064285-15
22 January 2016

Dear P Smith,

Your Review Outcome:

Thank you for your request for a review into our handling of your recent request for information reference ECC-063791-15, which was received by Essex County Council on 21 December 2015.

Your review was conducted on 22 January 2016 by an impartial Officer and reached the following conclusions:
I do not fully uphold the original response provided to you for the following reasons:
• The response did state that the budget does not specifically refer to Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. This is indeed correct.
• Clarification should have been sought to ensure that it was clear of the scope of the question (eg. Did the requestor require information from both Adult Operations and Family Operations?)
• The response was incomplete and had not provided Adult Operations information.
• Use of Section 21 was correctly applied; however this was not supported with the appropriate assistance or context.
• The incorrect application of the Section 12 exemption.
In this letter I have provided information that should have been in the response with additional supporting information that will provide context.
The response was sent within timescale, however not all of the available information had been received from the relevant parts of the organisation and this should have been addressed rather than send out an incomplete response. I apologise that your request has not been answered with full, accessible information that is either held by Essex County Council or is held elsewhere with sufficient links and guidance for you to source the information.

ECC-063791-15 Question 1
Please provide a copy of your Annual Budget for Autism including high functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Please provide an overall figure, and break this down by Essex County Council departments Education, Social Services etc. and or other bodies you give grants to for provision of autism services etc. Please specify where the budget or funding goes and what exactly it is spent on. What services or products. Please break down the figures by 1. Autism and 2. Autism, high functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

The answer that was originally provided explained that Essex County Council does not have a budget that goes to that granular detail. Whilst this is indeed the case, further context should have been provided to explain which part of the budget spending on services for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome would come from. It should also have been made clear that both Adult Operations and Family Operations would have separate budgets. Having reviewed the response I can conclude that the information held was not fully provided and I have outlined below the information that Essex County Council does hold.

Adult Operations:
Funding:
The sum of £20,000 is provided to both West and Mid Clinical Commissioning Group’s to aid support to their respective autism diagnostic services. In addition, Essex County Council (ECC) provides on-going maintenance for an online portal for Living Well website (£4,000) for the Autism Hub which will go live at the end of January 2016. For 2015/16, there is also a one year grant for £18,000 from Autism Innovation (Capital Grant) which was used to setup the online portal.

For information, the Living Well website can be found at the following link: http://www.livingwellessex.org/. Autism is included within the Learning Disability section which can be found under Health & Well-being. This section describes different types of learning disability, and provides information on support in the local area.

There will also be individuals who are supported by the Council receiving packages of care that will include an element of need for autism, but we do not break this down for budget setting purposes. Further details in terms of numbers of adults assessed as being eligible for adult social care services and in receipt of a personal budget are available at the link below under Care and Support.
https://autism-connect.org.uk/users/myar...

Education:
Schools have an amount of funding to support pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) (no matter what their category of need/diagnosis). http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/conten...
Including access to delegated (Special Educational Needs) SEN funding of £6000 per pupil http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/node/4...
If a pupil requires support in excess of these two amounts (approximately £10,000), then an Education, Health and Care assessment will determine what additional resourcing is required – the criteria for this assessment for pupils with any category of SEND are shown here:
http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/sites/...

Family Operations:
The table below shows a breakdown of the costs involved in the placements of children in an independent school where children have a specific need.

A B C D E F
No. Placements Cost to Education Budget in 2015/16* Cost to Social Care Budget in 2015/16** Cost to ECC Budget in 2015/16 Cost to Health in 2015/16 Cost of Placements in 2015/16
All Placements 107 £6,324,172 £961,788 £7,285,960 £95,577 £7,381,537

To put this into context Columns B + C = D for children/young people that have social care involvement and are in a residential placement in an Independent school. Therefore the cost to Essex County Council for each child placement in an Independent School will total £7,285,960. If there is an additional Health need then that cost would come from the Health Budget.
*This figure includes placements in Education for both Children Looked After and those living with their parents.
**This figure only includes Children Looked After who has residential support due to the need to live away at the Independent School.
_________________________________________________________________

ECC-063791-15 Question 2
What are the current criteria for someone with autism receiving any support from Essex County Council?

The response did not provide clear information about both Adult Operations and Family Operations. The link that was provided was not informative on its own and whilst the Section 21 exemption was applied I do not feel that sufficient directions to source the relevant information were provided. The response was also sent without inclusion of any Adult Operations information.

Essex County Council does hold this information.

Adult Operations:
• We meet qualifying needs irrespective of the disabling condition, therefore we do not have a care and support budget as such specifically for Autism or Asperger’s.
• We commission services, including assessment services, in line with our duties and priorities under the Care and Support Guidance, Think Autism and our own autism strategy (see links below), including commissioning diagnostic services in partnership with health colleagues based on our analysis of need
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
http://www.essex.gov.uk/Publications/Doc...
• We have a prevention strategy that addresses the needs of the whole population including those with Autism and Asperger’s which is targeted at supporting people before they are eligible for formal support
• We are rolling out Good Lives to support this whole approach.
Further supporting documents: The Care and Support Statutory Guidance – issued under the Care Act by the Department for Health (see link below).
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

Family Operations:
An Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is for children and young people (aged 0-to-25 years old) who have SEN or a disability and who need a much higher level of support than education settings can deliver on their own. An EHC plan is led by the needs and aspirations of the child or young person and his or her parents working in partnership with practitioners and other supporters. The criteria for the assessment for an EHC for pupils with any category of SEND are shown here:
http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/sites/...
The statutory SEND Code of Practice refers to 4 broad areas of SEND (see page 97 of the Code) and autism is not one of them but that
“A detailed assessment of need should ensure that the full range of an individual’s needs is identified, not simply the primary need. The support provided to an individual should always be based on a full understanding of their particular strengths and needs and seek to address them all using well-evidenced interventions targeted at their areas of difficulty” (Para 6.27)
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
Autism is one of the ‘needs’ identified above but is not treated as one of the main four areas.

ECC-063791-15 Question 3
Are people with high functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome still ruled completely out of receiving any support, until a mental health catastrophe or crisis inevitably occurs?

Section 12 exemption was applied incorrectly to this question. There is no need to check individual case records to answer this question. The following explains what Essex County Council is doing in relation to Autism.
• Children and Young People Autism Working group recently conducted an online survey for parents and carers to complete – they have also held workshops with parents in the west and the north of the county through CCGs; we have also held a practitioners workshop in October. The next meeting is on 20 January where Health Watch will be seeking input into their ASD guide currently being developed which will be made available countywide including unitary authorities; ECC will also be presenting the draft CYP Element of the Autism All Age.
• Adult Autism Partnership board currently have two main work streams in progress – one in relation to general housing and the other in relation to employment. General Housing work stream is being taken forward through the General Housing Officer Group and the other is being taken forward Job Centre Plus. The annual assessment return results for Essex have just been published and we are now working on those areas highlighted with the attached link to embed in the Forward Planner for 2016/2017
https://autism-connect.org.uk/users/myar...
• The Health and Wellbeing report from July 2015.
http://cmis.essexcc.gov.uk/essexcmis5/Ca.... Follow this link to the agenda for the meeting held on 23rd July 2015. Item 11 is the Adult Autism Update which outlines the progress made and the actions that were later resolved at the next meeting in September. One of the updates involves the Essex Autism Information Hub which will be available from the end of January 2016.
o The Adult Autism Partnership Board has endorsed the implementation of the Essex Autism Information Hub in alleviating social isolation for individuals with autism, particularly those who are undiagnosed. The hub will be designed to improve individual confidence and self-esteem by increasing engagement at a central point of contact, enabling people with autism to engage in activities and services within their locality that may not have been known to them.

In conclusion I extend our apology for the handling of your request for information. In summary, there have been several points that have been identified where this request has not been responded to appropriately. All of these have been addressed to my satisfaction and the correct information supplied within this internal review letter.

I trust this resolves the concerns raised over our handling of your request. However, if you are still not satisfied you have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner who can be contacted at the following address: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone 01625 454700.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Gibbs

Your Right To Know
Transparency Team
Essex County Council
T: 033301 38989
E: xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xx
W: www.essex.gov.uk

P. Smith left an annotation ()

Freedom of Information Act / Environmental Information Regulations Request
Reference: ECC-064619-16
Response: 06 February 2016

Please can you provide any related information in any recorded form, minutes of meetings, agendas, reports, notes, anything that records how this blanket? (illegal) policy was agreed upon within Essex County Council.
Why has Essex County Council never acknowledged AUTISM, and why is there no budget for autism at all?
Please provide any evidence / information / documentation reflecting the basis for this deliberate neglect.

I can confirm that Essex County Council do not hold this information.
Essex County Council does not have an Autism Policy. Please accept this as a refusal notice.

Under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) Essex County Council can provide some advice and guidance to information that may assist with explaining what Essex County Council does have in place. Autism is not neglected by the Council, as is evidenced by our Autism Strategy, and the wider work we do to support people with Autism and Asperger’s, and those with dual or multiple diagnosis. Please click on the link below to see the strategy.
http://www.essex.gov.uk/Publications/Doc...

Autism is supported from the budget allotted to adult social care. Budgets are, and will remain, under extreme pressure and we therefore make decisions on provision in line with Care and Support Guidance, and this includes consideration of best value as set out at para 10.27 of the Care and Support Guidance. Please click on the link below to see the Guidance.
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

ECC do not have a specific budget for any condition or impairment. This is because funding is determined on the basis of individual need. In making provision for people with autism and others we follow the guidance in the Care and Support Guidance 2014.

Adult Operations:
Funding:
The sum of £20,000 is provided to both West and Mid Clinical Commissioning Group’s to aid support to their respective autism diagnostic services. In addition, Essex County Council (ECC) provides on-going maintenance for an online portal for Living Well website (£4,000) for the Autism Hub which will go live at the end of January 2016. For 2015/16, there is also a one year grant for £18,000 from Autism Innovation (Capital Grant) which was used to setup the online portal.

For information, the Living Well website can be found at the following link: http://www.livingwellessex.org/. Autism is included within the Learning Disability section which can be found under Health & Well-being. This section describes different types of learning disability, and provides information on support in the local area.

There will also be individuals who are supported by the Council receiving packages of care that will include an element of need for autism, but we do not break this down for budget setting purposes. Further details in terms of numbers of adults assessed as being eligible for adult social care services and in receipt of a personal budget are available at the link below under Care and Support.
https://autism-connect.org.uk/users/myar...

Education:
Schools have an amount of funding to support pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) (no matter what their category of need/diagnosis). http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/conten...
Including access to delegated (Special Educational Needs) SEN funding of £6000 per pupil http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/node/4...
If a pupil requires support in excess of these two amounts (approximately £10,000), then an Education, Health and Care assessment will determine what additional resourcing is required – the criteria for this assessment for pupils with any category of SEND are shown here:
http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/sites/...

Family Operations:
The table below shows a breakdown of the costs involved in the placements of children in an independent school where children have a specific need.

A B C D E F
No. Placements Cost to Education Budget in 2015/16* Cost to Social Care Budget in 2015/16** Cost to ECC Budget in 2015/16 Cost to Health in 2015/16 Cost of Placements in 2015/16
All Placements 107 £6,324,172 £961,788 £7,285,960 £95,577 £7,381,537

To put this into context Columns B + C = D for children/young people that have social care involvement and are in a residential placement in an Independent school. Therefore the cost to Essex County Council for each child placement in an Independent School will total £7,285,960. If there is an additional Health need then that cost would come from the Health Budget.
*This figure includes placements in Education for both Children Looked After and those living with their parents.
**This figure only includes Children Looked After who has residential support due to the need to live away at the Independent School.

Adult Operations:
• We meet qualifying needs irrespective of the disabling condition, therefore we do not have a care and support budget as such specifically for Autism or Asperger’s.
• We commission services, including assessment services, in line with our duties and priorities under the Care and Support Guidance, Think Autism and our own autism strategy (see links below), including commissioning diagnostic services in partnership with health colleagues based on our analysis of need
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
http://www.essex.gov.uk/Publications/Doc...
• We have a prevention strategy that addresses the needs of the whole population including those with Autism and Asperger’s which is targeted at supporting people before they are eligible for formal support
• We are rolling out Good Lives to support this whole approach.
Further supporting documents: The Care and Support Statutory Guidance – issued under the Care Act by the Department for Health (see link below).
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

Family Operations:
An Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is for children and young people (aged 0-to-25 years old) who have SEN or a disability and who need a much higher level of support than education settings can deliver on their own. An EHC plan is led by the needs and aspirations of the child or young person and his or her parents working in partnership with practitioners and other supporters. The criteria for the assessment for an EHC for pupils with any category of SEND are shown here:
http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/sites/...

The statutory SEND Code of Practice refers to 4 broad areas of SEND (see page 97 of the Code) and autism is not one of them but that
“A detailed assessment of need should ensure that the full range of an individual’s needs is identified, not simply the primary need. The support provided to an individual should always be based on a full understanding of their particular strengths and needs and seek to address them all using well-evidenced interventions targeted at their areas of difficulty” (Para 6.27)
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
Autism is one of the ‘needs’ identified above but is not treated as one of the main four areas.

The following explains what Essex County Council is doing in relation to Autism.
• Children and Young People Autism Working group recently conducted an online survey for parents and carers to complete – they have also held workshops with parents in the west and the north of the county through CCGs; we have also held a practitioners workshop in October. The next meeting is on 20 January where Health Watch will be seeking input into their ASD guide currently being developed which will be made available countywide including unitary authorities; ECC will also be presenting the draft CYP Element of the Autism All Age.
• Adult Autism Partnership board currently have two main work streams in progress – one in relation to general housing and the other in relation to employment. General Housing work stream is being taken forward through the General Housing Officer Group and the other is being taken forward Job Centre Plus. The annual assessment return results for Essex have just been published and we are now working on those areas highlighted with the attached link to embed in the Forward Planner for 2016/2017
https://autism-connect.org.uk/users/myar...
• The Health and Wellbeing report from July 2015.
http://cmis.essexcc.gov.uk/essexcmis5/Ca.... Follow this link to the agenda for the meeting held on 23rd July 2015. Item 11 is the Adult Autism Update which outlines the progress made and the actions that were later resolved at the next meeting in September. One of the updates involves the Essex Autism Information Hub which will be available from the end of January 2016.
o The Adult Autism Partnership Board has endorsed the implementation of the Essex Autism Information Hub in alleviating social isolation for individuals with autism, particularly those who are undiagnosed. The hub will be designed to improve individual confidence and self-esteem by increasing engagement at a central point of contact, enabling people with autism to engage in activities and services within their locality that may not have been known to them.

Most of the information provided in this response is publicly available and links have been provided to aid any searches required to source more detailed information.

Your Right to Know
Information Services
Essex County Council
Telephone: 08457 430430
Email: xxxxxxxxx.xxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xx | www.essex.gov.uk

Your Right To Know, Essex County Council

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Thank you for your request for information. Please find our response to
your request on the accompanying document(s).

I trust that this information satisfies your request. However, should you
require anything further, please contact me and I will endeavour to assist
you further.

if you are not satisfied with your response, please contact me so I can
try to resolve the issue. Alternatively, if you wish to make a complaint,
you can find the details at
[1]http://www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Complaints....   

 

If, after following our complaints procedure, you are still not satisfied,
you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our
decision. You can contact the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; Telephone 0303 123 1113.

 

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this
request will be published on the Essex County Council website. The website
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[2]http://www.essex.gov.uk/Your-Council/You....
All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including
contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Your Right To Know

Transparency Team

Essex County Council

T: 033301 38989

E: [3][email address]

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Dear Essex County Council Your Right To Know,

Re: "Freedom of Information Act / Environmental Information Regulations Request Reference: ECC-065332-16 Response: 12 March 2016

Question 1 - please can you provide information in any recorded form that relates to / shows how much of each of these budgets (MH and or LD) is spent on autism / Aspergers / HF autism.

I can confirm that Essex County Council does not hold this information. For Family Operations (children's social care) we do not hold budget analysis by type of need. We have one budget which funds a number of needs, one of which will be autism.

Your Right to Know
Information Services
Essex County Council
Telephone: 08457 430430
Email: [email address] | www.essex.gov.uk "

If Essex lumps people with autism in with Mental Health, it tends to encourage the idea that someone with autism will get MH problems, will become a MH PATIENT, and a recipient of medication.

Autism is not a mental health condition AS SUCH. MH problems are not inevitable, they are preventable, if support is provided.

People with autism are only eligible for help from Essex (that doesn't mean any help is there if they do) when they reach 'substantial and critical' criteria, There is no preventative support in Essex.

The waiting list for SEPT autism service is a year.

People with autism are therefore FORCED (because unsupported, no preventative interventions / therapy etc) to BECOME MENTALLY ILL BEFORE THEY GET ANY SUPPORT.
Is this your intention? Because this is the reality of what happens. That is cruelty.

This is bad policy shaping people's lives and MH.

BUT when they DO reach BREAKDOWN, and fulfill the criteria - there IS NO EMERGENCY SUPPORT at local MH Resource Centres. They say go to A&E. Really? Someone in autistic crisis / breakdown / overload / shutdown WAITING in A&E? Sensory overload, crowds, queues, noises, lights ... that is cruelty.

People with autism have mainstream expectations forced upon them. This sets them up for MH issues.

Even children with autism in Essex are SET UP up for MH problems by being forced into mainstream schools with little or no understanding or support. Many autistic children suicidal by junior school age. That is cruelty.

They need specialist units, run along the lines of a Speech and Language Unit.

CAMHS is mostly unhelpful, and this is confirmed by talking to parents / carers.

Carers Assessment are almost impossible to come by - then "We are sorry you are in such a difficult position but we cannot help you ... try to do something nice for yourself or join our walking group". This is the REALITY.

No help at all then in Essex for carers of people with autism going through a MH breakdown.

People with autism in Essex just left to scream in distress.

Yours sincerely,

P. Smith