Dear Ashford Borough Council,

Please confirm the number of Solicitors employed by the Council.

Please confirm the number of in-house Barristers employed by the Council.

Please confirm the number of Legal Executives employed by the Council.

Please confirm how man are Members of the ICLex.

Please confirm how many are Fellows of the IClex.

Yours faithfully,

Fergus Wilson

FOI Requests, Ashford Borough Council

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We endeavour to respond to all Freedom of Information / Environmental
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We are a district council which provides services to residents in Ashford,
Tenterden and a large network of surrounding villages.

 

Our services include keeping the streets clean and collecting rubbish,
renting out social housing (council houses and flats), providing leisure
facilities and play areas and processing council tax, business rates and
housing benefits. We deal with local planning applications, issue licenses
for taxis and licensed premises, look after parks and open spaces, and
parking around our borough.

 

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services and care, fall outside our service area and are provided by Kent
County Council. If your request falls into one of these categories please
accept this acknowledgment as our response.

 

You may wish to redirect your request to Kent County Council’s Freedom of
Information team who can be contacted at:

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·         Write to Information Resilience and Transparency Team, Kent
County Council, Room 2.87, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. ME14
1XQ

 

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Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Team

Ashford Borough Council

 

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References

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Ashford Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Fergus Wilson, Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information
request, please find attached our response. Kind regards Freedom of
Information Team

Dear Ashford Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Ashford Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Legal Qualifications'.

[FOI 8964 ]

Thank you for your response dated 8th April, 2020. It is not what I had hoped for.

I did not ask the Council to identify the qualifications of the Individual Officers concerned but just raw numbers.

If it helps a neighbouring Council did previously supply the information sought giving a raw figure to the number of Solicitors employed, number of Legal Executives employed, and number of Para Legal employees.

If that Borough Council can do so then why can Ashford BC not do so?

I find the answer provided to be evasive!

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

Yours faithfully,

Fergus Wilson

Ashford Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Fergus Wilson, Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information
request, please find attached our response. Kind regards Freedom of
Information Team

Dear Ashford Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Ashford Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Legal Qualifications'.

About CILEx The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is the professional association for 20,000 Chartered Legal Executive lawyers, paralegals and other legal practitioners in England and Wales.

I am asking for an Internal Review because you are refusing to give Information which all other Councils in Kent (which have responded to-date) have provided. I am unsure, therefore, why there is a reluctance to provide the information requested.

Some of the Councils clearly employ less than Legal Staff Ashford Borough Council but have given the information with specific numbers rather than direct me towards a Web Page to navigate around.

I have made a request a couple of months back where ABC did not provide the information before I referred it to the ICO at which point ABC decided to give me the information.

I must say that ABC is rather a large Council but seems reluctant to provide the information smaller Councils provide.

Take a tip make it simple for the customer. If he asks for a "number" then simply provide that number!

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

Yours faithfully,

Fergus Wilson

Dear Ashford Borough Council,

FURTHER INFORMATION FOR REVIEW

It seems that Ashford Borough Council has the largest Legal Department (pro rata) of Kent Councils yet is reluctant to give out information as it is concerned it could identify individual employees.

I make the point I did not seek the names of Individual Employees but merely "Raw Numbers" which is information listed on the Law Society Pages in terms of Solicitors i.e Raw Numbers but ABC has not listed the raw numbers of non solicitors whereas the requirement is to do so in the way other Councils have done (and firms).

All I have asked for is the Breakdown in raw numbers. Nothing else.

ABC is not a regulated practice. Nevertheless it should provide the breakdown all other Councils in Kent have freely given.

For your information one has 100% Solicitors, one has 0% Solicitors. The others are in between as would be ABC. It is not a question of finding fault it is just a simple question.

I note what the FOI team writes on 8th April, 2020 about the relatively small size of the service (albeit it is the largest in Kent) and protecting personal data but point out that the names of Individuals are available on the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Sites. For example Vivien Joyce Williams and Terrance William Mortimer albeit it is not information I was seeking from the FOI team.

Further the FOI team writes "Officers are however obviously suitably qualified for their respective roles". Firstly it is not obvious to myself but is not a question I asked.

It would be helpful to the Customer if the FOI team answered question which were asked rather than questions that were not asked.

Secondly, only Solicitors have Rights of Audience and then in Lower Courts and hence I would question whether all Officers …...are suitably qualified for their respective roles.

The FOI team has not confirmed whether it employs an in house Barrister or not. A Barrister does hold Rights of Audience in Higher Courts.

Yours faithfully,

Fergus Wilson

Ashford Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Fergus Wilson, Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information
request, please find attached our response. Kind regards Freedom of
Information Team