Investigation of Look Ahead's operation of Tonbridge Women's Refuge.

Waiting for an internal review by Kent County Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Kent County Council,

This is a follow up to a previous request which can be viewed here:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

In your response, you advised that you would investigate the concerns raised in the request. Has this been undertaken and completed please? What was the outcome?

Please provide a summary of the investigations that were undertaken, stating which members of staff were involved in examining Look Ahead.

What steps have been taken to remedy failings?

Yours faithfully,

Caroline Airley

Kent County Council

Dear Ms Airley,

 

Thank you for your email, which I have passed onto the relevant team to
deal with. To clarify, this is now being dealt with as a follow on query
to your previous request under the same reference – 8178891.

 

The FOIA does not legislate for follow on requests and therefore there is
no statutory timeframe for us to respond within. However, I will endeavour
to supply the data to you as soon as possible but no later than 4^th
December 2019.

 

Kind regards,

 

Carly Wattle | Information Access Officer | Information Resilience &
Transparency Team | Kent County Council | Room 2.87, Sessions House,
Maidstone, ME14 1XQ | Phone 03000 417061 | Fax 03000 420303 |[1]Access to
Information | Please see our [2]Information Rights Privacy Notice for
details of how we process your personal data in line with our data
protection obligations.

 

 

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Information request
Our reference: 10390577

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Dear Ms Airley
   
Thank you for your email which we received on 6 November 2019.
 
 
Kent County Council (KCC) acknowledges your request for information, which
we will consider under the relevant legislation (Freedom of Information
Act 2000 and/or Environmental Information Regulations 2004).
 
Assuming KCC holds this information, we will endeavour to supply the data
to you as soon as possible but no later than 4 December 2019 (20 working
days from date of receipt).
 
We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information.
 
Please quote our reference - 10390577 in any communication regarding this
particular request.
 

Please see our [1]Information Rights Privacy Notice for details of how we
process your personal data.

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Kelly Leeson
Strategic and Corporate Services
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-counci...

 

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Dear Ms Airley
   
Thank you for your email which we received on 6 November 2019.

Please accept my apologies.  Your request was already being dealt with as
a follow on and as such, this request will be closed.

Your response will be sent to you very soon.

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Kelly Leeson
Strategic and Corporate Services
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Dear Kent County Council,

In your message of 21 November 2019, you stated that you would respond with the information by 4 December 2019. To date this has not been received. I shall be grateful if you will remedy this without further delay.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Airley

Good morning,
 
Please be advised that your follow on questions to request ref 8178891 was
incorrectly logged under ref 10390577.  At this time your follow on
questions had been sent to the team to be answered using the original
reference. 
 
Your response is currently being approved and will be with you shortly.
 
Kind regards,
Kelly Leeson
Information Access Officer

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Dear Kent County Council,

In your message of 21 November 2019, you stated that you would respond
with the information by 4 December 2019. To date this has not been
received. I shall be grateful if you will remedy this without further
delay.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Airley

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Kent County Council

Dear Ms Airley,

 

Thank you for your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000, relating to Look Ahead. Please see the
response below:

 

Question - In your response, you advised that you would investigate the
concerns raised in the request. Has this been undertaken and completed
please? What was the outcome?

 

Response - Following a thorough investigation, the council are satisfied
that there is no evidence to support these claims and are satisfied that
the service is being provided in an appropriate manner.

 

Question - Please provide a summary of the investigations that were
undertaken, stating which members of staff were involved in examining Look
Ahead.

 

Response - Investigation has been conducted by Rachel Westlake,
Commissioner and Kellie Pettet-Steele, Senior Commissioner. Investigation
has included;

•           3 site visits,

•           auditing written documentation including support plans,
contact notes and customer feedback questionnaires,

•           viewing a vacant flat, inspecting furniture and flat inventory
list,

•           interviewing staff,

•           meeting with residents to seek their feedback,

•           Reviewing case file for individual who has health concerns and
meeting with this resident to seek feedback on service received.

 

Question - Is Kent Council aware that women are being abused, threatened,
bullied and intimidated in these places?

 

Response - Following a thorough investigation, the council are satisfied
that there is no evidence to support this claim and are satisfied that the
service is being provided in an appropriate manner.

 

Question - Is Kent County Council aware of the conditions in which women
live? For example they are in accommodation which is sparsely furnished
and ill equipped. They are told to go out and buy anything they want, or
need. This includes furniture and essential items.

 

Response - Following a thorough investigation, the council are satisfied
that there is no evidence to support this claim and are satisfied that the
service is being provided in an appropriate manner.

 

Question - Women receive no support and there is little communication with
them either. The places are not staffed adequately (or at all) despite a
charge of £345 a week.

 

Response - Following a thorough investigation, the council are satisfied
that there is no evidence to support this claim and are satisfied that the
service is being provided in an appropriate manner.

 

Question - Women who have disabilities, or health issues do not fare well.
Someone battling cancer receives no assistance despite being unable to
look after herself. They breach The Equality Act 2010 as women are not
given consideration, allowances etc, for their disabilities.

 

Response - Following a thorough investigation, the council are satisfied
that there is no evidence to support this claim and are satisfied that the
service is being provided in an appropriate manner.

 

Question - What steps have been taken to remedy failings?

 

Response - Following a thorough investigation, the council are satisfied
that the service is being provided in an appropriate manner.

 

If you are unhappy with this response, and believe KCC has not complied
with legislation, you have 40 working days from the date of this response
to ask for a review. You can do this by following our complaints process;
details can be found at this link
https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-counci...
on our website. Please quote reference 8178891.

 

If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can appeal to
the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with both the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations
2004. Details of what you need to do, should you wish to pursue this
course of action, are available from the Information Commissioner’s
website https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/, or you can phone the ICO
Helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Kelly Leeson | Information Access Officer | Information Resilience &
Transparency Team | Kent County Council | Room 2.87, Sessions House,
Maidstone, ME14 1XQ | Phone 03000 415985 | Fax 03000 420303 |  Access to
Information | Please see our Information Rights Privacy Notice for details
of how we process your personal data in line with our data protection
obligations |

 

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Dear Kent County Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Kent County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Investigation of Look Ahead's operation of Tonbridge Women's Refuge.'.

In your response you have failed to provide information as follows:

Has Kent County Council received any complaints about the treatment of women in any of these refuges in each of the last five years?

For clarity, please confirm your investigation examined refuges in Sevenoaks, Tun bridge Wells and Tonbridge? These are all run by Look Ahead in Kent.

Given your findings are inconsistent with known facts and evidence available, it appears this so called investigation is typical of those undertaken by councils and social services which fail to examine matters appropriately, the result being a whitewash. It is known for a fact that someone who did complain wasn't interviewed, or asked to provide evidence of widespread abuse, threats, bullying and intimidation. There were also the breaches of The Equality Act 2010, Article 14 Human Rights Act, Article 8 Human Rights Act and GDPR. There is evidence for all of these, so why wasn't it requested?

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

Yours faithfully,

Caroline Airley