Information about your dealings with Stonewall [Extraneous material removed]

The request was partially successful.

Dear Newcastle upon Tyne City Council,

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Please provide any information that you hold answering to any of the following descriptions:

1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewall Diversity Champion” or to be included on Stonewall’s “Workplace Equality Index,” including any attachments or appendices to those applications. Please redact personal details if necessary.

2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation to either application or programme.

3. Any other communication you have received from Stonewall in 2019 or 2020 unless privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you claim privilege or exemption in relation to any material, please say in broad terms what the material is and the basis on which you claim to be entitled to withhold it).

4. Full details of any equality impact assessment you carried out connected with any of these applications (including any equality impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier application of the same kind, if no further assessment was done).

5. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewall (i) in 2019; (ii) in 2020, whether or not as payment for goods or services.

6. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme in the future, and if so which.

Yours faithfully,

Ermine Amies

Freedom Of Information Requests Mailbox, Newcastle upon Tyne City Council

Acknowledgement: FOI 17459

Thank you for your request for information. We are dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We have passed your request to relevant colleagues who will respond within 20 working days starting the working day after receipt of your request.

Regards
Freedom of Information Team

show quoted sections

Wilton, Matt, Newcastle upon Tyne City Council

Dear Ermin Amies
Please find below a response to your Freedom of Interest request dated 6th February. I apologise for the late issue of this response.
Yours faithfully
Matt Wilton
Head of Policy
Newcastle City Council

1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewall Diversity Champion” or to be included on Stonewall’s “Workplace Equality Index,” including any attachments or appendices to those applications. Please redact personal details if necessary.

The Index is not held by us

2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation to either application or programme.

The council has demonstrated its commitment to equality by embedding LGBT inclusion throughout the council, from employee policies, to recruitment practices, to internal communications. The council leads the way in its support for trans staff, service users and communities, working closely with local trans organisations to raise awareness of trans experiences. In November 2019, the council collaborated with the NHS and other regional stakeholder partners on a ground-breaking conference which improved understanding of the needs of trans people, and particularly the needs of the local trans community.

Our active LGBT staff network group runs a reverse mentoring scheme for senior leaders, helping them to better understand the lived experiences of LGBT staff. The network also provides confidential support to LGBT staff and consistently offers constructive feedback to the council on issues of LGBT inclusion.
The group, alongside its growing network of allies, has led a wide range of community engagement activities over the last year. This included a ‘7 days of Pride’ campaign in the run-up to Pride Newcastle, as well as events for Bi Visibility Day, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHoBiT), and Trans Day of Remembrance.

The network has consistently engaged with diverse communities across the city, raising awareness of intersectionality and bringing together LGBT people of faith, LGBT people of colour and LGBT people with disabilities.

3. Any other communication you have received from Stonewall in 2019 or 2020 unless privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you claim privilege or exemption in relation to any material, please say in broad terms what the material is and the basis on which you claim to be entitled to withhold it).

We receive mail shots from Stonewall in relation to diversity champion updates and offers.

4. Full details of any equality impact assessment you carried out connected with any of these applications (including any equality impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier application of the same kind, if no further assessment was done).

An EINA was not required

5. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewall (i) in 2019; (ii) in 2020, whether or not as payment for goods or services.

£2500 was paid for the Diversity Membership

6. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme in the future, and if so which.

This will be reviewed when the current membership expires

show quoted sections

Dear Newcastle upon Tyne City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Newcastle upon Tyne City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Information about your dealings with Stonewall #DontSubmitToStonewall'.

Your response omits information requested so this is to request an internal review.

Your response to part 1, 2 &3 of the request was:
---------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewall Diversity Champion” or to be included on Stonewall’s “Workplace Equality Index,” including any attachments or appendices to those applications. Please redact personal details if necessary.

The Index is not held by us

2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation to either application or programme.

The council has demonstrated its commitment to equality by embedding LGBT inclusion throughout the council, from employee policies, to recruitment practices, to internal communications. The council leads the way in its support for trans staff, service users and communities, working closely with local trans organisations to raise awareness of trans experiences. In November 2019, the council collaborated with the NHS and other regional stakeholder partners on a ground-breaking conference which improved understanding of the needs of trans people, and particularly the needs of the local trans community.

Our active LGBT staff network group runs a reverse mentoring scheme for senior leaders, helping them to better understand the lived experiences of LGBT staff. The network also provides confidential support to LGBT staff and consistently offers constructive feedback to the council on issues of LGBT inclusion.
The group, alongside its growing network of allies, has led a wide range of community engagement activities over the last year. This included a ‘7 days of Pride’ campaign in the run-up to Pride Newcastle, as well as events for Bi Visibility Day, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHoBiT), and Trans Day of Remembrance.

The network has consistently engaged with diverse communities across the city, raising awareness of intersectionality and bringing together LGBT people of faith, LGBT people of colour and LGBT people with disabilities.

3. Any other communication you have received from Stonewall in 2019 or 2020 unless privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you claim privilege or exemption in relation to any material, please say in broad terms what the material is and the basis on which you claim to be entitled to withhold it).

We receive mail shots from Stonewall in relation to diversity champion updates and offers.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stonewall membership includes step-by-step guidance, review of your policies and introductions to other organisations.

So I do not accept that you do not hold communications from Stonewall including policy advice on HR policies from Stonewall and requests for lobbying action on the GRA and other matters.

Please review.

In your internal review, you may decide Section 12 exemption applies. I direct your attention to your section 16 duty to provide me with advice and assistance to help me to refine my request. For example, it could make it possible for you to comply without incurring excessive costs by providing me with a list of the custodians (by job title; I do not need to know names) you believe to have been the recipients of such communications.

That, of course, would not exhaust your duty to provide me with advice and assistance as there may be other ways in which you can help me to refine my request so that it captures a representative picture of your dealings with Stonewall without exceeding the appropriate limit.

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

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Ermine Amies

Note: For ease of reference, in response to parts 4,5 & 6 you said:

4. Full details of any equality impact assessment you carried out connected with any of these applications (including any equality impact assessment carried out prior to an earlier application of the same kind, if no further assessment was done).

An EINA was not required

5. Details of the total amount of money you paid to Stonewall (i) in 2019; (ii) in 2020, whether or not as payment for goods or services.

£2500 was paid for the Diversity Membership

6. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme in the future, and if so which.

This will be reviewed when the current membership expires

Freedom Of Information Requests Mailbox, Newcastle upon Tyne City Council

Dear Ermine

Thank you for your email.

In line with guidelines from the Information Commissioner’s Office, we can confirm that the response to your Freedom of Information request will be independently reviewed and we will write to you again as soon as the review is complete and in any case, within 20 working days from receipt of your request.

Kind Regards,
Freedom of Information Team
Newcastle City Council

show quoted sections

Thank you.

Ermine Amies left an annotation ()

Internal review by 9 April.

Freedom Of Information Requests Mailbox, Newcastle upon Tyne City Council

Dear Ms Amies,

 

Thank you for your request on 12 March 2021 for us to carry out an
internal review into the response for your FOI request with the reference
FOI 17459.

 

In view of your statement below,

 

“Stonewall membership includes step-by-step guidance, review of your
policies and introductions to other organisations. So I do not accept that
you do not hold communications from Stonewall including policy advice on
HR policies from Stonewall and requests for lobbying action on the GRA and
other matters.”

 

we have based our internal review on the response provided to your
questions 2 and 3 where you asked for:-

 

“2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation
to either application or programme.”

and

“3. Any other communication you have received from Stonewall in 2019 or
2020 unless privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure (but if you
claim privilege or exemption in relation to any material, please say in
broad terms what the material is and the basis on which you claim to be
entitled to withhold it).”

 

The Council’s response to question 2 was found to be correct but our
review found that the response omitted the fact that feedback, WEI
submission and benchmarking information has been provided to the Council
by Stonewall in confidence with an explicit instruction from them not to
disclose, therefore is exempt under Section 41(1) of the Freedom of
Information Act. Any disclosure of the information to the public by the
Authority would constitute a breach of confidence by that or by any other
person.

 

The Council’s response to question 3 was “We receive mail shots from
Stonewall in relation to diversity champion updates and offers.” Our
review found that the response was correct however to provide further
clarity, we have provided an list of this type of communication below.

 

Communications have been received by the Council from Stonewall on :-

 

o WEI Submissions, Feedback & Benchmarking Report
o General Newsletters
o Monthly Newsletters
o Invitations to Best Practice Seminars
o Event notifications
o Conference details
o Webinars

 

If you are still unhappy with how we have handled your request following
our internal review you can complain to the Information Commissioner. 
Contact details are as follows:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113
Email: [1][email address]

 

 

Kind Regards

Freedom of Information

Newcastle City Council

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]