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Homelessness temporary accommodation

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To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to you requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000), regarding the topic of homelessness in your area. The information that I require is as follows:

• What was the number of people in temporary accommodation organised by the council in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• How many of those in temporary accommodation were children in each of the years from 2010 to 2018?
• How many of those in temporary accommodation were children in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• What was the average length of time a family spent in temporary accommodation in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• How many people were placed in B&B accommodation in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• How many people were given temporary accommodation outside of the council area in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• How many children were given temporary accommodation outside the council area in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• What is the average cost per night paid by the council for temporary accommodation in each of the years from 2010-2018?

If you can identify any ways that my request could be refined, I would be grateful for any further advice and assistance.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me via email and I will be pleased to clarify what I am asking for and discuss the request.

Thank you very much for your help regarding this topic, I look forward to you reply in the near future.

Yours faithfully,

Emily Thomas

Debra Wardena, St Albans District Council

CORPORATE SERVICES
Head of Service - Simonne De Vall
 
Our Ref: 000003706
Please ask for: FOI Coordinator
Direct Dial:  (01727) 819209
e-mail address: [St Albans District Council request email]
Date:  20th September 2019

 
 
 
 
 
Dear Ms Thomas
 
Freedom of Information Request - acknowledgement
Reference:000003706
 
I write with regard to your request for information to St Albans City &
District Council. Your email was received by the Council on 20th September
2019.
 
Under Section 10(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we are
required to respond no later than 20 working days after the date we
receive your request.
This means that you should have a response by the 18th October 2019. 
 
However, if we feel that we require further information to fulfill your
request we will write to inform you within the twenty day period [section
1(3)].
 
If we consider that complying with the request will exceed the cost limit
then we will write to tell you within 20 working days.
 
Kind Regards
 
 
 
FOI Coordinator
Corporate Services
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Privacy Notice for Freedom of Information (FOI)/Environmental Information
(EIR) Processes
This privacy notice explains how St Albans City & District Council (the
Data Controller) will use any personal information we collect about you
when you use our services.
What information do we collect about you?
The information that the Council will collect varies depending on how you
use the Council’s Services. We are using the information provided in this
case because we have a legal obligation (Art. 6(1)(c)).  This means we
collect your personal information from you so that we can carry out a
function we are required by law to carry out i.e. responding to FOI and
EIR requests.  You will usually provide the following information: your
contact information and details of your request [Art. 6(1)(a)].   We are
collecting this limited personal information so we can respond to your
request.                                     
How will we use the information about you?
If you contact us for information, we will use your personal information
to allow us to send you the response. We may share your personal
information with other departments in order to provide you with the
response. 
We will not share the personal information we hold with any external
organisations.  We may be required to share your personal information with
the Police, Internal Audit, or similar agency, or another Council for the
purposes of preventing and detecting fraud.
We will ensure that all personal information is kept securely.
How long will you keep this information?
We will destroy this personal information 7 years after we have closed the
case.
Individuals’ Rights
You have a right to request a copy of the personal information that we
hold about you.  If you would like a copy of some or all of your
information, please contact [1][St Albans District Council request email] and ask for a subject
access request.
If you consider we hold inaccurate personal information about you, you can
contact us to ask for this information to be corrected.  We will consider
your request and respond within one month.  Please contact
[2][email address].
You can find out more about your rights on our website:  
[3]http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/council-and-d...
Changes to our Data Protection Policy
We have a Data Protection Policy in place and this can be found here:
[4]http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/SADC%2...
We review this policy annually.  An updated General Data Protection
Regulation version will appear here before 25^th May 2018.
Data Protection Officer
Our Data Protection Officer for the purposes of Articles 37 to 39 of the
General Data Protection Regulation is Charles Turner, Solicitor to the
Council.  He can be contacted by emailing [5][email address] or
calling 01727 819209 for our Complaints Team.
 
 
How to contact us
Please contact us if you have any questions about our Data Protection
Policy, or concerns about how we handle your information: by emailing
[6][St Albans District Council request email] or write to us at: FOI Team, St Albans City &
District Council, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, AL1 3JE. 
Complaints
You have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you are
unhappy with how we process your personal information.  You can do so
through their website:  [7]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ or by emailing:
[8][email address] or calling their helpline on 0303 123 1113.
 
 
 
 
 
 
GDPR Privacy Notice – FOI and EIR Art 6(1)(c) Legal Obligation 02.5.18
 
 
 
Do you have a ‘MyStAlbans’ District Account?
To register, just go to [9]www.stalbans.gov.uk/mystalbansdistrictaccount
to access a personalised online account that gives you instant access to
lots of useful council services, wherever you live in the District.
[10][IMG]
 
****Disclaimer****
The information in this message should be regarded as Private 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 St Albans City and District Council unless explicitly stated.
Please be aware that emails sent to or received from St Albans City and
District Council may be intercepted and read by the council.
Interception will only occur to ensure compliance with council policies or
procedures or regulatory obligations, to prevent or deter crime, or for
the
purposes of essential maintenance or support of the email system.
Please note that the Council does not accept service by e-mail
The personal information you provide will be held in accordance with the
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Council’s Data
Protection Policy.  You can find more information about how we will handle
your personal information in our privacy notice: [11]Privacy Notice

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[St Albans District Council request email]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/council-and-d...
4. http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/SADC%2...
5. mailto:[email address]
6. mailto:[St Albans District Council request email]
7. https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
8. mailto:[email address]
9. http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/mystalbansdis...
10. https://stalbans.force.com/mysadc/s/
11. http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/Privac...

Eva Radkowska, St Albans District Council

CORPORATE SERVICES
Head of Service - Simonne De Vall
 
Our Ref: 000003706
Please ask for: FOI Coordinator
Direct Dial:  (01727) 819209
e-mail address: [St Albans District Council request email]
Date:  18th October 2019

 
 
 
Dear Ms Thomas
 
Freedom of Information Request Ref. No. 000003706
 
I write with regard to your request for information sent by email to St
Albans City and District Council.  Your email was received by the Council
on 20th September 2019.
 
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we are required to confirm what
information we hold, and if we do hold the information, disclose the
information, subject to exemptions or other provisions applying.
 
You requested:
 
I am writing to you requesting information under the Freedom of
Information Act (2000), regarding the topic of homelessness in your area.
The information that I require is as follows:

• What was the number of people in temporary accommodation organised by
the council in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• How many of those in temporary accommodation were children in each of
the years from 2010 to 2018?
• How many of those in temporary accommodation were children in each of
the years from 2010-2018?
• What was the average length of time a family spent in temporary
accommodation in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• How many people were placed in B&B accommodation in each of the years
from 2010-2018?
• How many people were given temporary accommodation outside of the
council area in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• How many children were given temporary accommodation outside the council
area in each of the years from 2010-2018?
• What is the average cost per night paid by the council for temporary
accommodation in each of the years from 2010-2018?
 
 
Our response:
 
We can confirm that we do hold the following information. We are able to
provide a response to all questions apart from the last one.  In addition
questions 2, 3 and 7 refer to the exemption notice below.
 
1. What was the number of people in temporary accommodation organised by
the council in each of the years from 2010-2018?
Financial Year 2010/11 – 109, 2011/12 – 125, 2012/13 – 136, 2013/14 – 187,
2014/15 – 259, 2015/16 – 229, 2016/17 – 206, 2017/18 = 207
4. What was the average length of time a family spent in temporary
accommodation in each of the years from 2010-2018?
 
As above figures are for all households in temporary accommodation.
2010/11 – 133 days
2011/12 – 145
2012/13 – 161
2013/14 – 155
2014-15 – 116
2015/16  - 140
2016/17 - 154
2017/18 – 169
 
5. How many people were placed in B&B accommodation in each of the years
from 2010-2018?
 
                        2010/11 - 0
2011/12 – 1
                      2012/13 – 6
                      2013/14 – 29
                      2014/15 – 124
                      2015/16 -  82
                      2016/17 – 54
                      2017/18 – 36
 
6. How many people were given temporary accommodation outside of the
council area in each of the years from 2010-2018?
 

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
n/a 1 4 19 81 60 43 36

 
NB: this is number of households rather than individuals.  All temporary
accommodation out of area was for short term B&B placements only. 
 
8. What is the average cost per night paid by the Council for temporary
accommodation in each of the years from 2010-2018?
 
This type of information would normally be held by our Finance Department,
however, we have been advised by them that they do not hold this data in a
usable format.
 
We consider that exemptions apply to the information you have requested to
questions 2 and 3 and we have explained this below:
 
Section 12 wording
Your request has been considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (“the Act”), relevant ICO decision notices and
Tribunal cases. We consider that Section 12 of the Act applies in relation
to the following questions of your request:

* How many of those in temporary accommodation were children in each of
the years from 2010 to 2018?
* How many of those in temporary accommodation were children in each of
the years from 2010-2018?
* How many children were given temporary accommodation outside the
Council in each of the years from 2010-2018?

Section 12 (1) of the Act states the following:
12.— Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit.
(1) Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a
request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of
complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.
The cost limit for complying with a request for the Council is £450.  ICO
guidance states staff time should be rated as £25 per person per hour,
regardless of their position. We consider that compliance with the request
would exceed the compliance time limit of 18 hours.
The relevant officer has advised that the number of children in temporary
accommodation is not recorded. There is no breakdown for the statistics
regarding the number of people in temporary accommodation.
As a result, each individual application would need to be reviewed to
consider whether there were any children in the household and if so, how
may children there were. There were 1349 households in the period
requested. The relevant officer has advised this would take approximately
2-5 minutes to review each application. On the basis of 2 minutes per
application, it would take over 44 hours to extract this information.
This demonstrates that the request exceeds the cost of compliance.
Advice and assistance
There is a duty for public authorities to provide reasonable advice and
assistance under section 16 of the Act.
As the Council does not collate statistics of the number of children in
temporary accommodation, it is difficult to advise how the scope of the
request could be reduced to fall within the appropriate cost for
compliance. However, this may be possible if the timescales of the
questions were reduced to a shorter period. Alternatively, you may wish to
consider whether another question could provide you with the information
you require.
By way of assistance, we have provided responses to the remainder of your
request as it is only the questions specified above which statistics are
not held for.
You may also find the following webpage helpful for further information
about the Council’s Housing services:
[1]https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/housing/
 
If you are dissatisfied with this response the Commissioner’s Office
recommends that you first refer the matter to the Council. You can do this
by writing to [2][St Albans District Council request email] asking for an internal review of my
decision. If you wish the Council to undertake an internal review, then
you must write to the Council within 40 working days of the date of this
letter. The Council will not consider any requests received after this
date unless there are exceptional circumstances for the delay. 
 
You have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office at the
following address: Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
You must do this no later than two months after the Local Authority’s last
response to you.
 
Kind Regards
 
 
FOI Coordinator
Corporate Services
 
 
Do you have a ‘MyStAlbans’ District Account?
To register, just go to [3]www.stalbans.gov.uk/mystalbansdistrictaccount
to access a personalised online account that gives you instant access to
lots of useful council services, wherever you live in the District.
[4][IMG]
 
****Disclaimer****
The information in this message should be regarded as Private 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 St Albans City and District Council unless explicitly stated.
Please be aware that emails sent to or received from St Albans City and
District Council may be intercepted and read by the council.
Interception will only occur to ensure compliance with council policies or
procedures or regulatory obligations, to prevent or deter crime, or for
the
purposes of essential maintenance or support of the email system.
Please note that the Council does not accept service by e-mail
The personal information you provide will be held in accordance with the
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Council’s Data
Protection Policy.  You can find more information about how we will handle
your personal information in our privacy notice: [5]Privacy Notice

References

Visible links
1. https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/housing/
2. mailto:[St Albans District Council request email]
3. http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/mystalbansdis...
4. https://stalbans.force.com/mysadc/s/
5. http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/Privac...

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Emily Thomas please sign in and let everyone know.