Leonard Cheshire Disability: New requests for increase in fees to enable them to pay the Living Wage
Dear Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council,
In 2015, you were kind enough to respond to my Freedom of Information request of January about (inter alia) any representation from Leonard Cheshire Disability requesting an increase in their fees to enable them to pay the Living Wage. You stated that there had not been any request from Leonard Cheshire to increase fees paid to them to enable them to pay the Living Wage.
I wonder if you could please indicate if Leonard Cheshire have since been in contact or negotiation with you on this issue, and if so, what was the nature and content of this contact or these contacts.
NB: I wish to differentiate between the living wage set by the Living Wage Foundation, and the "living wage" (effectively an increase in the minimum wage) as set by Osborne in the Autumn statement. I wish to know what representations, if any, LCD have made to you to increase their fees so they can pay their carers the Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation.
FOI request - Ref FOI/16/0138
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
I have asked the relevant officers of the Authority to commence enquiries immediately to find all applicable information relating to your request under the FOI Act and to supply any which is found to you.
Your request has to be processed within a maximum of 20 working days, which means the Council must provide you with the information it has (assuming no exemptions are claimed) by 14/03/2016. If it is possible to provide you with the information within a shorter timescale then that will be done.
Should you have any queries about this matter please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Please find attached our response to your FOI request
Complaints & Information Governance Officer
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
Tel: (01642) (77)1528
Email: [email address]
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Dear Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council,
Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
I am writing to request an internal review of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Leonard Cheshire Disability: New requests for increase in fees to enable them to pay the Living Wage'.
You've used S43 to exempt this information, but I don't believe S43 applies. For the following reasons.
1) You've previously provided this information. Last year you employed the same S43 exemption, but then recanted.
"The Reviewing officer has had a meeting with the officer of the authority who drafted the response to your initial request, to determine whether the exemption applied to your request was correct. Whilst it was previously decided that your request was refused on the grounds of commercial interests - s.43 (2), following the internal review the Legal Officer has taken the decision to revoke this exemption as he is not satisfied that provision of the information would prejudice the Councils ability to participate competitively in commercial activities."
You told me "what representations Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) have made to the Council asking for increases in the fees paid for social care provided by them, in order to pay their carers the Living Wage" then - and that's precisely what I'm asking this time. I don't see why you should be able to release the information last year, but not this year.
2) I fail to see how information as to how or whether LCD mentioned their wish to pay their carers the Living Wage in their negotiations could affect anybody commercially.
3) Lots of other councils have provided this information, including copies of letters. I suspect that you will have had the same letter, it seems they used the same letter for most councils. Given it's already in the public domain, I don't see how this can be sensitive.
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...
Dear Mr Paulley
I acknowledge receipt of your email and will initiate an internal review of the response to your FOI request. This will involve a Senior Legal Officer being asked to review the request and the response you have received.
You will be contacted again as soon as the internal review is complete. Whilst there is no statutory timetable for this process, I would hope to have a response within 20 working days.
Dear Mr Paulley,
I confirm that a Senior Legal Officer has reviewed the response you received and agrees with you that the section 43 exemption originally submitted is not necessarily applicable in the current circumstances.
I can therefore provide you with the information you requested.
You asked what representations, if any, Leonard Cheshire Disability had made to the Council to increase their fees so that they can pay their carers the Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation (as opposed to the National Living Wage as introduced by George Osborne).
I confirm that the Council is not aware of any representations which Leonard Cheshire Disability have made to it to increase fees so that they can pay their carers the Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation.
I trust this concludes the internal review to your satisfaction but if I can be of any further assistance please let me know.