Information about your dealings with Stonewall CYPS [Extraneous material removed]

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Northumberland County Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Northumberland County 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 “Children and Young Peoples Services Champion” or for Children and Young People's Services 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. Any training reports you have received from Stonewall in 2019 and 2020 and details of online training completed by your staff, with staff title in 2019 & 2020. Please redact personal details if necessary.

5. 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).

6. 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.

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

Yours faithfully,

Ermine Amies

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 8897  

Dear Enquirer,

INFORMATION REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information which will be dealt with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we
will let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

If you have any queries about this matter please contact us. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Please note, that due to the recent outbreak of Covid-19, there may be a
delay in responding to your request. We appreciate your patience at this
busy period.

Kind regards

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 8897   

Dear Enquirer,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

I refer to your Freedom of Information request in relation to Stonewall's
Workplace Equality Index and the Children and Young People's Services
Champion applications. 

Right of Access

Section 1(1) of the Act provides any person making a request for
information to a public authority is entitled.

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request (which Section
1(6) of the Act designates as the "duty to confirm or deny"), and

(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

The right is to obtain access to the information itself and not to the
document or record which contains it.

The Act creates a general right of access to information held by public
authorities subject to various exemptions.

Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you
have requested, please see the following information in response:

1. Any application you made in 2019 or 2020 to be a “Children and Young
Peoples Services Champion” or for Children and Young People's Services to
be included on Stonewall’s “Workplace Equality Index,” including any
attachments or appendices to those applications. Please redact personal
details if necessary.
The Children and Young People's Services Champions Programme is
a  membership-based subscription which allows members to benefit from a
range of resources and support. We did not make an application in 2019 /
2020 as the Council was already a member of the Education Equality Index
which was the pre-cursor for Children and Young People's Services.
2. Any feedback you received in 2019 or 2020 from Stonewall in relation to
either application or programme.
We do not hold this information
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 regular newsletters, updates on developments,
guidance and information on how to access resources on the Stonewall
site.   Correspondence of this nature is widely distributed
to programme members and is not necessarily specific to the
Council.  Council specific feedback is confidential in nature, and such
information is refused under FOIA section 41. 
4. Any training reports you have received from Stonewall in 2019 and 2020
and details of online training completed by your staff, with staff title
in 2019 & 2020. Please redact personal details if necessary.
One member of staff completed online safeguarding training; no training
reports were received, and further details are refused under FOIA section
40.
5. 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).

We do not hold an Equality Impact Assessment.  Our membership of the CYPS
programme is not a policy or service development.  The Council considers
that our membership  is a strong endorsement of its commitment to
promoting equality and diversity not only within the organisation itself,
but also across the communities we serve, and as such our membership is
consistent with the powers conveyed upon the Authority by the Localism
Act, 2011.

6. 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.

2019 - £4,560 

2020 - £4,380 

7. Whether you intend to continue your membership of any Stonewall scheme
in the future, and if so which.
This will be subject to a review involving relevant staff, our staff
network groups and senior personnel within the organisation.  A decision
on continued membership will be made at the appropriate time. 
Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing within 2 months
from the date of this response to the Information Governance Office:

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF

Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]

Information Commissioner

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a
right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner
for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113
Email: [email address]

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours faithfully

FOI Coordinator - Human Resources 
Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Ermine Amies left an annotation ()

Northumberland County Council claims 2 exemptions: section 40 [exemption re personal information].” re training and section 41.4. [sic] re part 3 of the request on other communications. Note: there is no section 41.4. The relevant section is 41.1 - re information provided in confidence.

TLDR of the response: It was already a member of the Education Equality Index, the pre-cursor for Children and Young People's Services Champions Programme, which “is a membership-based subscription which allows members to benefit from a range of resources and support.”
They say they do not hold feedback from Stonewall in relation to the programme. “Council specific feedback is confidential in nature, and such information is refused under FOIA section 41.4. [sic]” https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/200...

Re training: “One member of staff completed online safeguarding training; no training reports were received, and further details are refused under FOIA section 40 [exemption re personal information].”
“We do not hold an Equality Impact Assessment. Our membership of the CYPS programme is not a policy or service development. The Council considers that our membership is a strong endorsement of its commitment to promoting equality and diversity not only within the organisation itself, but also across the communities we serve, and as such our membership is consistent with the powers conveyed upon the Authority by the Localism Act, 2011”.
Stonewall payments for goods or services.
2019 - £4,560
2020 - £4,380

Continued membership of any Stonewall scheme “will be subject to a review involving relevant staff, our staff network groups and senior personnel within the organisation. A decision on continued membership will be made at the appropriate time.”