Professor Steven Broomhead
New Town House
26th May 2021
Our ref: FOI/CORP/3351
Dear Ermine Amies,
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request – Internal Review
Thank you for your email dated the 12th March 2021 requesting an internal
review of the way in which the Council has handled your Freedom of Information
Furthermore, please can we apologise for the delay in providing a response to
your FOI internal review request.
Your concerns were raised regarding the omission of information requested by
yourself and that you couldn’t accept that we didn’t hold or share information
around communications from Stonewall including policy advice on HR policies
from Stonewall and requests for awareness raising on the GRA and other
An internal review has been held with the appropriate staff and below is the
findings to support your request with additional information provided.
All questions from the original FOI request have been revisited with the below
Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Stonewall Diversity
Champion” or to be included on Stonewalls “Workplace Equality Index,”
including any attachments or appendices to those applications. Please
redact personal details if necessary.
The Council joined the Diversity Champions Programme in 2019 and
renewed its membership in 2020. The Council has not submitted an
application to the Workplace Equality Index as we were not in a position to
due to the reason being that we would not have met all of the criteria and the
impact of the pandemic on Council resources in 2020. The criteria was sent to
us via email as an attachment from the clients’ accounts manager on the 1st
Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation
to either application or programme.
As a member of the Diversity Champions Programme the Council
has access to a dedicated account manager who provides support and advice
on specific LGBT+ matters in Warrington. Access to a wide range of online
training, resources and networking opportunities are provided. In detail on the
1st April we received an email with the two guides attached for the LGBT
Setting up a LGBT employee group
Finding your collective voice
On the 2nd April another email was received attaching two reviewed polices with
comments inserted by the client account manager.
Adoption Leave Policy
Maternity Leave Policy
There were several emails that have been shared and came directly from the
client accounts manager. The majority of these contained details of events,
training and national LGBTQ+ visibility days and other key equality diversity and
From - 14.5.20 to 12.5.21 we have received 19 emails over 12 month period
Additionally we have 37 archived emails from 26.3.19 to 7.5.20.
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).
Answer: The Council receives regular newsletters from the Stonewall Account
Manager and the national organisation. Information about training events and
networking opportunities are also received from Stonewall.
Furthermore we have received emails from Stonewall. These similarly
contained Stonewall newsletters, events, training and national LGBTQ+
visibility days and other key equality diversity and inclusion events
From the 14.5.20 to 12.5.21 we received 9 emails in a 12 month period
Again we have 15 archived emails from 26.3.19 to 7.5.20.
There were two administrators that would receive this detail their job titles are:
Business Intelligence Officer
Head of HR and OD
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).
Answer: No equality impact assessment was carried out. Therefore, we do not
hold the information as specified within your request.
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.
Answer: The annual membership fee for the Diversity Champions Programme
is £2,500. The Council has not paid for any specific goods or services.
Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall
scheme in the future, and if so which.
Answer: Since the original response was provided to you, the Council has
decided not to review the membership which will expire this month.
We would like to apologise on behalf of the Council regarding the initial
response to your FOI request that was provided to you, as we do believe the
information provided as part of this review could have been shared with you
and this would have hopefully satisfied your original request.
We will make sure the lessons learnt from this request will be shared internally
with the teams involved and to ensure improvements can be made in the future.
If, following the outcome of the internal review, you remain dissatisfied with the
Council's response to your information request, you have the right under section
50 of the FOIA to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner's Office
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Fax: 01625 545 510
Yours sincerely, FOI Internal Review Team