function council

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS made this Freedom of Information request to Walsall Metropolitan 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 partially successful.

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to know the average proportion of time the elected representatives of your authority spend as part of their duties for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 on their main activities. The activities that form their duties (employment) as an elected representative are:

1 directly resolving complaints against the executive (Council Staff) of the Council by residents;
2 sitting on committee's;
3 acting for the political parties that they represent and/or ceremonial duties (i.e. all time not spent on sitting on a Committee or resolving a complaint against the executive);

The total time spent by an elected representative for a Council on these three activities should be 100 per cent of the time they spend 'working for a Council' as an elected representative.

I would additionally like to know how much in total was paid to local councillors to meet all their duties (including expenses) for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 by your authority, and how many elected representatives are (and were) represented on your authority for these years.

I would also like to know how many Complaints in total were submitted to your Council in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 for each year. I would further like to know how many of these complaints were formally considered by an elected representative for each of these years.

I would further like to know how many complaints against the Executive (Council staff) led to the elected representatives formally identifying that the Executive had acted wrongly for the years 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008, and how many of these formal determinations by the elected representatives identify that there was no wrong-doing by the Executive. How many staff employed by your authority in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 ceased to be employed by your authority as a direct result of a complaint against the Executive, and the Councillors identifying this to be the case.

I would further like to know how much money the Council has paid to a complainant (i.e. victim of a Council's wrongdoing) through its own complaints system (i.e. excluding any intervention by the Local Government Ombudsman, Valuation Tribunal or similar body) in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.

I would like to know how much money either in the form of local settlement or additional formal finding of maladministration causing injustice the Local Government Ombudsman has recommended that your Council pay in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 (for each year) and if the Local Government Ombudsman's recommendations have been met in full (including any non-financial recommendations for each year)). Please detail any recommendation that has not been met in full and provide a copy of the Elected representatives decision. Please additionally identify if these costs were met directly by Council Tax Payers or the Council's insurers (excluding self insurance by a Council)

Finally, please provide details of the financial cost of administering all your complaints systems (including FoI and DP) by the Executive for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 and the number of staff employed in administering complaints and resolving these (Full time equivalent staffing levels). Please also provide details of your total administrative costs for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 and the total number of staff employed by your authority, as well as any pay increase (including increments) made to the Council's Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) in pounds sterling for each of these years. Please additionally identify if the Chief Executives wages included performance related payments.

If you do not have this reasonably basic management information related to complaints and/or identify that the costs of accessing the information requested will be more than £450 please state this and identify that your Authority does not have either a functioning or accountable complaints system, and does not maintain any basic management information related to this issue.

If you have a complaints system not fit for purpose please identify which political party currently controls your Council, and if this political party has appointed the current Electoral Registration and Returning Officer through its control of the Council (with date of their formal appointment). Please name the current Electoral Registration and Returning Officer, and identify if they are also Head of Paid Service, and Clerk to your Authority. Please additionally provide any documentation maintained by your Local Authorities Head of Paid Service identifying that they personally do not believe it to be appropriate for your Council to have a complaints system that is fit for purpose. This documentation should be in existence due to the provisions of s4 of the Local Government Act 1989.

Yours faithfully

Stuart HARDWICKE CARRUTHERS

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Sir or Madam,

Response overdue

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Galbraith Ann, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Mr Carruthers,

Thank you for your email relating to an overdue response to a Freedom of Information request.

I cannot trace that we have received (or acknowledged) any information request from you.

Therefore could you please re-send details of the request, including the email address and the date that the query was sent.

Regards

Ann Galbraith
Principal Performance Officer (Information & Records)

Corporate Performance Management , Walsall Council
Civic Centre, Darwall Street,
Walsall. WS1 1TP

01922 653585
[email address]
The information in this message should be regarded as confidential and is intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified. The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those of Walsall Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware that emails sent to or received from Walsall Council may be intercepted and read by the Council to ensure compliance with Council policies or regulatory obligations, or for the purposes of essential maintenance or support of the email system. You should also be aware that any email may be the subject of a request under Data Protection, Freedom of Information or Environmental Information legislation and therefore could be disclosed to third parties.

show quoted sections

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Galbraith Ann,

Attached

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

24 August 2008

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to know the average proportion of time the elected
representatives of your authority spend as part of their duties for
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 on their main activities. The
activities that form their duties (employment) as an elected
representative are:

1 directly resolving complaints against the executive (Council
Staff) of the Council by residents; 2 sitting on committee's; 3
acting for the political parties that they represent and/or
ceremonial duties (i.e. all time not spent on sitting on a
Committee or resolving a complaint against the executive);

The total time spent by an elected representative for a Council on
these three activities should be 100 per cent of the time they
spend 'working for a Council' as an elected representative.

I would additionally like to know how much in total was paid to
local councillors to meet all their duties (including expenses) for
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 by your authority, and how many
elected representatives are (and were) represented on your
authority for these years.

I would also like to know how many Complaints in total were
submitted to your Council in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 for
each year. I would further like to know how many of these
complaints were formally considered by an elected representative
for each of these years.

I would further like to know how many complaints against the
Executive (Council staff) led to the elected representatives
formally identifying that the Executive had acted wrongly for the
years 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008, and how many of these
formal determinations by the elected representatives identify that
there was no wrong-doing by the Executive. How many staff employed
by your authority in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 ceased to
be employed by your authority as a direct result of a complaint
against the Executive, and the Councillors identifying this to be
the case.

I would further like to know how much money the Council has paid to
a complainant (i.e. victim of a Council's wrongdoing) through its
own complaints system (i.e. excluding any intervention by the Local
Government Ombudsman, Valuation Tribunal or similar body) in
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.

I would like to know how much money either in the form of local
settlement or additional formal finding of maladministration
causing injustice the Local Government Ombudsman has recommended
that your Council pay in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 (for
each year) and if the Local Government Ombudsman's recommendations
have been met in full (including any non-financial recommendations
for each year)). Please detail any recommendation that has not been
met in full and provide a copy of the Elected representatives
decision. Please additionally identify if these costs were met
directly by Council Tax Payers or the Council's insurers (excluding
self insurance by a Council)

Finally, please provide details of the financial cost of
administering all your complaints systems (including FoI and DP) by
the Executive for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 and the number
of staff employed in administering complaints and resolving these
(Full time equivalent staffing levels). Please also provide details
of your total administrative costs for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and
2007/2008 and the total number of staff employed by your authority,
as well as any pay increase (including increments) made to the
Council's Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) in pounds sterling
for each of these years. Please additionally identify if the Chief
Executives wages included performance related payments.

If you do not have this reasonably basic management information
related to complaints and/or identify that the costs of accessing
the information requested will be more than £450 please state this
and identify that your Authority does not have either a functioning
or accountable complaints system, and does not maintain any basic
management information related to this issue.

If you have a complaints system not fit for purpose please identify
which political party currently controls your Council, and if this
political party has appointed the current Electoral Registration
and Returning Officer through its control of the Council (with date
of their formal appointment). Please name the current Electoral
Registration and Returning Officer, and identify if they are also
Head of Paid Service, and Clerk to your Authority. Please
additionally provide any documentation maintained by your Local
Authorities Head of Paid Service identifying that they personally
do not believe it to be appropriate for your Council to have a
complaints system that is fit for purpose. This documentation
should be in existence due to the provisions of s4 of the Local
Government Act 1989.

Yours faithfully

Stuart HARDWICKE CARRUTHERS

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Galbraith Ann,

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/fu...

24 August 2008

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to know the average proportion of time the elected
representatives of your authority spend as part of their duties for
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 on their main activities. The
activities that form their duties (employment) as an elected
representative are:

1 directly resolving complaints against the executive (Council
Staff) of the Council by residents; 2 sitting on committee's; 3
acting for the political parties that they represent and/or
ceremonial duties (i.e. all time not spent on sitting on a
Committee or resolving a complaint against the executive);

The total time spent by an elected representative for a Council on
these three activities should be 100 per cent of the time they
spend 'working for a Council' as an elected representative.

I would additionally like to know how much in total was paid to
local councillors to meet all their duties (including expenses) for
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 by your authority, and how many
elected representatives are (and were) represented on your
authority for these years.

I would also like to know how many Complaints in total were
submitted to your Council in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 for
each year. I would further like to know how many of these
complaints were formally considered by an elected representative
for each of these years.

I would further like to know how many complaints against the
Executive (Council staff) led to the elected representatives
formally identifying that the Executive had acted wrongly for the
years 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008, and how many of these
formal determinations by the elected representatives identify that
there was no wrong-doing by the Executive. How many staff employed
by your authority in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 ceased to
be employed by your authority as a direct result of a complaint
against the Executive, and the Councillors identifying this to be
the case.

I would further like to know how much money the Council has paid to
a complainant (i.e. victim of a Council's wrongdoing) through its
own complaints system (i.e. excluding any intervention by the Local
Government Ombudsman, Valuation Tribunal or similar body) in
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.

I would like to know how much money either in the form of local
settlement or additional formal finding of maladministration
causing injustice the Local Government Ombudsman has recommended
that your Council pay in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 (for
each year) and if the Local Government Ombudsman's recommendations
have been met in full (including any non-financial recommendations
for each year)). Please detail any recommendation that has not been
met in full and provide a copy of the Elected representatives
decision. Please additionally identify if these costs were met
directly by Council Tax Payers or the Council's insurers (excluding
self insurance by a Council)

Finally, please provide details of the financial cost of
administering all your complaints systems (including FoI and DP) by
the Executive for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 and the number
of staff employed in administering complaints and resolving these
(Full time equivalent staffing levels). Please also provide details
of your total administrative costs for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and
2007/2008 and the total number of staff employed by your authority,
as well as any pay increase (including increments) made to the
Council's Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) in pounds sterling
for each of these years. Please additionally identify if the Chief
Executives wages included performance related payments.

If you do not have this reasonably basic management information
related to complaints and/or identify that the costs of accessing
the information requested will be more than £450 please state this
and identify that your Authority does not have either a functioning
or accountable complaints system, and does not maintain any basic
management information related to this issue.

If you have a complaints system not fit for purpose please identify
which political party currently controls your Council, and if this
political party has appointed the current Electoral Registration
and Returning Officer through its control of the Council (with date
of their formal appointment). Please name the current Electoral
Registration and Returning Officer, and identify if they are also
Head of Paid Service, and Clerk to your Authority. Please
additionally provide any documentation maintained by your Local
Authorities Head of Paid Service identifying that they personally
do not believe it to be appropriate for your Council to have a
complaints system that is fit for purpose. This documentation
should be in existence due to the provisions of s4 of the Local
Government Act 1989.

Yours faithfully

Stuart HARDWICKE CARRUTHERS

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Sir or Madam,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Walsall Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'function council'.

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

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

PryceJones John, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Carruthers

Thank you for your e-mail of 17 December 2008 sent through to the
council's FOI mailbox, [1][Walsall Borough Council request email].

I must advise that the council did not receive your e-mail of 24 August
2008, as set out on your website. Your e-mail of 28 September 2008
indicating that our response was overdue was received, and responded to on
29 September, indicating that the request had not been received, and
requesting that you send it through, and also that you provide the e-mail
address used and the date that you had forwarded the query to the
council. I must advise you further that your e-mail of 30 September, as
set out on your website, was also not received; neither did the council
receive from you details of the e-mail address used, or of the date that
the request had been made.

Having now received your current e-mail, which included a link to your
website and to your request to this council, I can confirm that officers
are now processing your request, and have logged it on our system with the
following reference numbers:

499/08 Details of time spent by elected Members attending to
council duties and how much has been paid

500/08 Complaints received, considered by elected Members, how
many upheld, how much paid out, administrative costs for complaints

501/08 Administrative costs for local authority, salary details
for Chief Executive.

The council will endeavour to respond to your requests within the
statutory timescale from receipt, namely 18 December.

As requested on 29 September 2008, I would be grateful if you could
provide me with the council e-mail address that you used when you sent
your e-mail requests of 24 August and 30 September, and also the date and
precise time that these e-mails were sent.

Yours sincerely

John Pryce-Jones

John Pryce-Jones

Corporate Performance Manager (Customer Focus & Intelligence)

Walsall Council

The Civic Centre

Darwall Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Tel: 01922 652077

Fax: 01922 614210

[2][email address]

"The information in this message must be regarded as confidential and is
intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have
received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified.
The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those
of Walsall Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware that emails
sent to or received from Walsall Council may be intercepted and read by
the council to ensure compliance with council policies or regulatory
obligations, or for the purposes of essential maintenance or support of
the email system. You should also be aware that any email may be subject
of a request under Data Protection, Freedom of Information or
Environmental Information legislation and therefore could be disclosed to
third parties".

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Walsall Borough Council request email]
2. mailto:[email address]

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear PryceJones John,

I am writing to whatdotheyknow as they will hold the required information

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Ukaidi Nailah, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Hardwicke Carruthers,

Further to your request for information about Councillors duties and
payments, I can tell you the following:

I would like to know the average proportion of time the elected
representatives of your authority spend as part of their duties for
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 on their main activities. The
activities that form their duties (employment) as an elected
representative are:

1 directly resolving complaints against the executive (Council Staff) of
the Council by residents;

2 sitting on committee's;

3 acting for the political parties that they represent and/or ceremonial
duties (i.e. all time not spent on sitting on a Committee or resolving a
complaint against the executive);

The total time spent by an elected representative for a Council on these
three activities should be 100 per cent of the time they spend 'working
for a Council' as an elected representative.

We are unable to provide you with details of the average proportion of
time elected members spend as part of their duties, however if you wish
you can refer to the Council's Committee Management Information System (
CMIS) which provides details of local Councillors' attendance at council
meetings. [1]http://www2.walsall.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/. I have also
attached copies of the relevant job descriptions for your information.

I would additionally like to know how much in total was paid to local
councillors to meet all their duties (including expenses) for 2005/2006,
2006/2007 and 2007/2008 by your authority, and how many elected
representatives are (and were) represented on your authority for these
years.

To comply with statute, details of elected Members' payments and expenses
are published annually in Walsall Pride. Figures for the year 2007/08 are
therefore already in the public domain and exempt from disclosure under
S.21 of the Freedom of Information Act. However copies are attached for
your information..

I hope that the information provided is useful to you. However, if you are
dissatisfied, you should set out in writing your grounds for complaint and
send to: Complaints Section, Corporate Performance Management (FOI), Civic
Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall WS1 1TP.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Please remember
that, generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have first
exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the council The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Nailah Ukaidi

Principal Performance Officer ( Information & Records )

Customer Focus & Intelligence (FoI, DPA & EIR)

Corporate Performance Management

Walsall Council

The Civic Centre

Darwall Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Tel: 01922 653585

Fax: 01922 614210

"The information in this message must be regarded as confidential and is
intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have
received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified.
The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those
of Walsall Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware that emails
sent to or received from Walsall Council may be intercepted and read by
the council to ensure compliance with council policies or regulatory
obligations, or for the purposes of essential maintenance or support of
the email system. You should also be aware that any email may be subject
of a request under Data Protection, Freedom of Information or
Environmental Information legislation and therefore could be disclosed to
third parties".

References

Visible links
1. http://www2.walsall.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/

Ukaidi Nailah, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Hardwicke Carruthers,

Further to your request for information about Councillors duties and
payments, I can tell you the following:

I would like to know the average proportion of time the elected
representatives of your authority spend as part of their duties for
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 on their main activities. The
activities that form their duties (employment) as an elected
representative are:

1 directly resolving complaints against the executive (Council Staff) of
the Council by residents;

2 sitting on committee's;

3 acting for the political parties that they represent and/or ceremonial
duties (i.e. all time not spent on sitting on a Committee or resolving a
complaint against the executive);

The total time spent by an elected representative for a Council on these
three activities should be 100 per cent of the time they spend 'working
for a Council' as an elected representative.

We are unable to provide you with details of the average proportion of
time elected members spend as part of their duties, however if you wish
you can refer to the Council's Committee Management Information System (
CMIS) which provides details of local Councillors' attendance at council
meetings. [1]http://www2.walsall.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/. I have also
attached copies of the relevant job descriptions for your information.

I would additionally like to know how much in total was paid to local
councillors to meet all their duties (including expenses) for 2005/2006,
2006/2007 and 2007/2008 by your authority, and how many elected
representatives are (and were) represented on your authority for these
years.

To comply with statute, details of elected Members' payments and expenses
are published annually in Walsall Pride. Figures for the year 2007/08 are
therefore already in the public domain and exempt from disclosure under
S.21 of the Freedom of Information Act. However copies are attached for
your information..

I hope that the information provided is useful to you. However, if you are
dissatisfied, you should set out in writing your grounds for complaint and
send to: Complaints Section, Corporate Performance Management (FOI), Civic
Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall WS1 1TP.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Please remember
that, generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have first
exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the council The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Nailah Ukaidi

Principal Performance Officer ( Information & Records )

Customer Focus & Intelligence (FoI, DPA & EIR)

Corporate Performance Management

Walsall Council

The Civic Centre

Darwall Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Tel: 01922 653585

Fax: 01922 614210

"The information in this message must be regarded as confidential and is
intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have
received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified.
The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those
of Walsall Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware that emails
sent to or received from Walsall Council may be intercepted and read by
the council to ensure compliance with council policies or regulatory
obligations, or for the purposes of essential maintenance or support of
the email system. You should also be aware that any email may be subject
of a request under Data Protection, Freedom of Information or
Environmental Information legislation and therefore could be disclosed to
third parties".

References

Visible links
1. http://www2.walsall.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/