Mayor Anderson v Chesterfield High School.

Audrey O'Keefe made this Freedom of Information request to Liverpool City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Liverpool City Council,

I wish to make a FOIA request reference to Mayor Anderson v Chesterfield High School

Refer to Judgement.

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/201...

1 Why did the City Solicitor agree to represent Mayor Anderson in a personal capacity.

2. Who paid 'Barbners' fees was it paid by Liverpool City Council.

3. How many hours did the city solicitor work for Mayor Anderson in a private capacity.

4 Costing of the hours worked on behalf of Mayor Anderson in a private capacity.

5 How many letters were written to Chesterfield High School or other individuals on behalf of Mayor Anderson in a personal capacity, including in-house correspondence i.e. emails - letters.

6 What preparation was undertaken in this case by the city solicitor on behalf on Mayor Anderson

7 What meetings took place between the City Solicitor/legal department and Mayor Anderson re this case.

8 Did the City Solicitor or her department give Mayor Anderson legal advice on a personal capacity was this advice given within the working day.

Yours faithfully,

Audrey O'Keefe

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms O'Keefe

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides the public with a right of access to information held by Local Authorities and places a responsibility on Local Authorities to provide information which is requested of it. However, it does not require Local Authorities to confirm actions, give opinions or answer questions.

As such the following elements of your correspondence cannot be handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

1 Why did the City Solicitor agree to represent Mayor Anderson in a personal capacity.
8 Did the City Solicitor or her department give Mayor Anderson legal advice on a personal capacity was this advice given within the working day.

I will log and formally acknowledge your request shortly but our response will only cover points 2 - 7

I trust this is of assistance

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Audrey O'Keefe [mailto:[FOI #264514 email]]
Sent: 19 April 2015 17:20
To: Information Requests
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Mayor Anderson v Chesterfield High School.

Dear Liverpool City Council,

I wish to make a FOIA request reference to Mayor Anderson v Chesterfield High School

Refer to Judgement.

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/201...

1 Why did the City Solicitor agree to represent Mayor Anderson in a personal capacity.

2. Who paid 'Barbners' fees was it paid by Liverpool City Council.

3. How many hours did the city solicitor work for Mayor Anderson in a private capacity.

4 Costing of the hours worked on behalf of Mayor Anderson in a private capacity.

5 How many letters were written to Chesterfield High School or other individuals on behalf of Mayor Anderson in a personal capacity, including in-house correspondence i.e. emails - letters.

6 What preparation was undertaken in this case by the city solicitor on behalf on Mayor Anderson

7 What meetings took place between the City Solicitor/legal department and Mayor Anderson re this case.

8 Did the City Solicitor or her department give Mayor Anderson legal advice on a personal capacity was this advice given within the working day.

Yours faithfully,

Audrey O'Keefe

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Kevin Symm, Liverpool City Council

Information request
Our reference: 376413

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Ms O'Keefe
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 20 April
2015 concerning
1. Who paid 'Barbners' fees was it paid by Liverpool City Council.

2. How many hours did the city solicitor work for Mayor Anderson in a
private capacity.

3. Costing of the hours worked on behalf of Mayor Anderson in a private
capacity.

4. How many letters were written to Chesterfield High School or other
individuals on behalf of Mayor Anderson in a personal capacity, including
in-house correspondence i.e. emails - letters.

5. What preparation was undertaken in this case by the city solicitor on
behalf on Mayor Anderson

6. What meetings took place between the City Solicitor/legal department
and Mayor Anderson re this case.
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and we aim to send a response by 19 May 2015 (which is 20 working days
beginning on the first working day after the date we received your
request).
 
In some case, a fee may be payable. If we decide a fee is payable, we will
send you a fee notice and we will require you to pay the fee before
proceeding with your request.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 may restrict the release of some or
all of the information you have requested. We will carry out an assessment
and if any exemptions apply to some or all of the information then we
might not provide that information to you. We will inform you if this is
the case and advise you of your rights to request an internal review and
to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.
 
We will also advise you if we cannot provide you with the information
requested for any other reason together with the reason(s) why and details
of how you may appeal (if appropriate).
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Kevin Symm
[1][email address]
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Dear Kevin Symm,

Thank you

Mayor Anderson used the City Council's legal team in a personal capacity, what was the overall costing for this bespoke service.

Is this general practice that the City Solicitor does personal work for members of the Labour Council

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms O'Keefe

You have asked - Mayor Anderson used the City Council's legal team in a personal capacity, what was the overall costing for this bespoke service

Can I refer you to point 3 of your recent request which was submitted as follows:

3. Costing of the hours worked on behalf of Mayor Anderson in a private capacity.

As this will cover the information you have just asked for I do not feel it necessary to amend your request

Additionally, the second element of your recent email again falls outside of the remit of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as you have asked for confirmation and not information. as such I cannot assist

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Audrey O'Keefe [mailto:[FOI #264514 email]]
Sent: 20 April 2015 14:57
To: Symm, Kevin
Subject: Re: Information request (ref: 376413)

Dear Kevin Symm,

Thank you

Mayor Anderson used the City Council's legal team in a personal capacity, what was the overall costing for this bespoke service.

Is this general practice that the City Solicitor does personal work for members of the Labour Council

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

-----Original Message-----

Information request
Our reference: 376413

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Dear Kevin Symm,

My FOIA request is over due can you please address

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms O'Keefe

We are currently still working on our response and hope to have it completed this week

Please accept my apologies for the delay and any inconvenience it may have caused

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Audrey O'Keefe [mailto:[FOI #264514 email]]
Sent: 19 May 2015 14:25
To: Symm, Kevin
Subject: Re: Information request (ref: 376413)

Dear Kevin Symm,

My FOIA request is over due can you please address

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

-----Original Message-----

Information request
Our reference: 376413

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Dear Symm, Kevin,

This FOI is seriously out of the legal time limit and for this reason I have complained to the Freedom of Information Commissioner, my complaint has been received and acknowledged.

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

I am currently out of the office and have no access to my emails.

If your email is urgent, or you are submitting a request for information
under either the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Data Protection Act 1998
or Environmental Information Regulations 2004 please forward it to:
[email address]

 

I would advise that we will not consider it received until it is forwarded
to this address.

For any general information or advice ring 0151 233 0418 and one of my
colleagues will be happy to assist.

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used only by the intended recipient(s). If you have received it in error
please contact the sender immediately by returning the e-mail or by
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delete the e-mail without disclosing its contents elsewhere. No
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Josie Mullen left an annotation ()

Audrey - you're a hero - but you are dealing with Anderson - expect delay tactics and refusals to give you the truth at all times

Audrey O'Keefe left an annotation ()

Josie - The dark arts of Liverpool Labour Council are alive and well..... it's all about control and manipulation .... Still waiting for FOI re Anderson v Chesterfield High School.... arrogance and ego's rule in the corridors of power..... Mayor Anderson and his administration are cruel and oppressive, they put their party before the people.

Dear Liverpool City Council,

By law, you should have respond promptly to my FOI it is now seriously over due, can you please address.

Yours faithfully,

Audrey O'Keefe

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms O'Keefe

Please accept my apologies for this delay. I can assure you the request is being worked on and as soon as we are in a position to respond I will ensure the response is with you as quickly as possible.

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Audrey O'Keefe [mailto:[FOI #264514 email]]
Sent: 17 June 2015 08:28
To: Information Requests
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Mayor Anderson v Chesterfield High School.

Dear Liverpool City Council,

By law, you should have respond promptly to my FOI it is now seriously over due, can you please address.

Yours faithfully,

Audrey O'Keefe

-----Original Message-----

I am currently out of the office and have no access to my emails.

If your email is urgent, or you are submitting a request for information under either the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Data Protection Act 1998 or Environmental Information Regulations 2004 please forward it to:
[email address]

 

I would advise that we will not consider it received until it is forwarded to this address.

For any general information or advice ring 0151 233 0418 and one of my colleagues will be happy to assist.

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Dear Symm, Kevin,

What does ''as quiclky as possible mean'' what is the timescale

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms O'Keefe

If I knew when the response would be concluded I would confirm. Unfortunately I do not know when it will be completed.

Please accept my apologies.

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Audrey O'Keefe [mailto:[FOI #264514 email]]
Sent: 17 June 2015 10:49
To: Symm, Kevin
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Mayor Anderson v Chesterfield High School.

Dear Symm, Kevin,

What does ''as quiclky as possible mean'' what is the timescale

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

-----Original Message-----

Dear Ms O'Keefe

Please accept my apologies for this delay. I can assure you the request is being worked on and as soon as we are in a position to respond I will ensure the response is with you as quickly as possible.

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

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Josie Mullen left an annotation ()

This should have been such a simple response as Anderson will know exactly which solicitor/barrister acted on his behalf. He should have supplied that information in a matter of days.
A funny thing I noticed - somebody asked a question about legal costs the LCC has incurred , and the names of solicitors used. In certain cases it just says 'individual' and no explanation what it was for. Curious my dear Watson

Josie Mullen left an annotation ()

I shall inform the Liverpool Echo of this situation

Audrey O'Keefe left an annotation ()

Cheers Josie, interesting if the Echo run with it......

Andrew Adams left an annotation ()

I'm not fully up to speed with the legality of when and in how much detail they need to reply, but it all seems very suspicious as to why the council/My Symm are taking so long. (and only replying when someone posts a comment on here) - need to get more people asking these questions.

Katie M. left an annotation ()

The City Solicitor is clearly scrabbling around looking for an excuse to reject this request. It might be worth asking for all e-mail correspondence that references it - not just between the FOI people and other Council officers,but also between any other Council officers about it. Including any correspondence with the mayor. As e-mails released in response to other requests show, they put their own reference number in the Subject line, so it will be very easy to identify.

Dear Symm, Kevin,

My internal review has not been acknowledged is this the normal procedure.

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

I am currently out of the office and have no access to my emails.

If your email is urgent, or you are submitting a request for information
under either the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Data Protection Act 1998
or Environmental Information Regulations 2004 please forward it to:
[email address]

 

I would advise that we will not consider it received until it is forwarded
to this address.

For any general information or advice ring 0151 233 0418 and one of my
colleagues will be happy to assist.

______________________________________________________________________
DISCLAIMER:

The information in this e-mail is confidential and may be read, copied or
used only by the intended recipient(s). If you have received it in error
please contact the sender immediately by returning the e-mail or by
telephoning a number contained in the body of the e-mail then and please
delete the e-mail without disclosing its contents elsewhere. No
responsibility is accepted for loss or damage arising from viruses or
changes made to this message after it was sent. The views contained in
this email are those of the author and not necessarily those of the
authors employer or service provider.

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Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms O'Keefe

We are unable to conduct an internal review of our response as we have yet to complete it

However, it is being worked upon and will be with you as soon as possible.

Please accept my apologies for the delay

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Audrey O'Keefe [mailto:[FOI #264514 email]]
Sent: 05 July 2015 23:24
To: Symm, Kevin
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Mayor Anderson v Chesterfield High School.

Dear Symm, Kevin,

My internal review has not been acknowledged is this the normal procedure.

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

-----Original Message-----

Dear Ms O'Keefe

If I knew when the response would be concluded I would confirm. Unfortunately I do not know when it will be completed.

Please accept my apologies.

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

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Dear Symm, Kevin,

Can you please give me some sort of indication when my FOI will receive a response and what is the reason for the delay.

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Ms O'Keefe

Please accept my apologies for this delay and my appreciation of your continued patience

I can assure you the request is being actively worked upon and we are looking to respond if not this afternoon sometime early next week.

I hope this is of assistance

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Audrey O'Keefe [mailto:[FOI #264514 email]]
Sent: 10 July 2015 09:49
To: Symm, Kevin
Subject: RE: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Mayor Anderson v Chesterfield High School.

Dear Symm, Kevin,

Can you please give me some sort of indication when my FOI will receive a response and what is the reason for the delay.

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

-----Original Message-----

Dear Ms O'Keefe

We are unable to conduct an internal review of our response as we have yet to complete it

However, it is being worked upon and will be with you as soon as possible.

Please accept my apologies for the delay

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: www.liverpool.gov.uk

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Dear Symm, Kevin,

All I can say this is the dark arts of Liverpool Labour Council, I submitted my FOIA on 19th April it is now 20th July and still no response.

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

Dear Symm, Kevin,

19th April it is now 23rd July and still no response from Liverpool Labour Council - this has to be a record.

Can you please give me a reason for this unacceptable delay.

Yours sincerely,

Audrey O'Keefe

Kevin Symm, Liverpool City Council

1 Attachment

Please find attached response

Regards,

Kevin Symm I Senior Information Officer
Liverpool City Council I Municipal Buildings I Dale Street I Liverpool I
L2 2DH
T: 0151 233 0418 I E: [email address]
Online: [1]www.liverpool.gov.uk

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Katie M. left an annotation ()

Hi Audrey,
This is a weird and utterly disgraceful response, and I hope you appeal.
They haven't answered a single one of your entirely reasonable questions properly, but instead came out with a load of total rubbish.
So they assert that the employment tribunal case was "inextricably linked to (Anderson's) holding the Office of Mayor of Liverpool". No it wasn't. It was and is about a politician trying to get another local authority to pay a small salary and pension contributions for a job he hadn't been doing and had no intention of doing. End of. How he was spending his time instead of working at Chesterfield had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Even worse, they state that "The issue also raised a significant governance issue" - no it didn't. The Mayor's arrangements with a previous employer are nothing to do with the governance of the City - in either version. They need to buy a dictionary.
This is followed by a weird assertion about the indemnity insurance available to officers and members. But whether he is an officer or a member (and he appears to be a bit of a hybrid), this indemnity is only available for legal costs incurred in the course of employment/office. Trying to screw pension contributions out of a neighbouring authority is not part of anyone's job, and will not be covered by this kind of indemnity agreement, insurance policy, or anything else. They even state that they have asked DCLG to reimburse the costs (as if!). So they know perfectly well this isn't covered by the normal indemnity.
The assertion that the City Solicitor's letters "were produced in relation to specific issues which directly related to the role of Elected Mayor" is clearly untrue. None of this is "directly related". Equally jaw-dropping is the assertion that "The circumstances and potential outcomes of the case clearly impacted upon the status of an Elected Mayor. The circumstances and potential outcomes of the case clearly impacted upon the status of an Elected Mayor generally. The City Council had only recently adopted the Mayoral model of governance and obviously required clarity, not only around the status of the current office holder in these circumstances, but also that of any individual who may wish to stand for that office in the future." Total rubbish. Do they really think that having the "status" of Elected Mayor means that the law doesn't apply? The decision only impacted on our particular Elected Mayor, because it showed him up as a greedy and grasping individual. It said nothing whatsoever about the status of any other elected mayor. And in fact the appeal was not about the dismissal itself, but only the Polkey deduction, which as the judgement clearly explains, was made because, whatever procedural mistakes Sefton might have made, the Tribunal had made it clear that they would have been entirely within their rights to dismiss him, and just got the process wrong. (i.e. he had won on a technicality, and did not deserve any money). So they appealed purely because of the money, not on any point of law.
The answer to your question about the fees of Brabners and whatever counsel they instructed is in part in the Excel files the Council put on its website for monthly spend over £500. If you search these for the last couple of years, since the case started, there are a lot of Brabners invoices charged to the Chief Exec's department. Tens of thousands. They should now produce them.

ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

I tried asking Liverpool City Council's for copies of 22 legal invoices. Here's the thread https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d... .

Basically the response was:

I'm not allowed to know which barristers the amounts were paid to (and LCC redact this info for some on the payments over £500 despite the guidance stating that they shouldn't for the self-emplloyed).
I'm not allowed to have copies of the invoices.

I tried requesting these during the audit (ironically got copies of 7 I was refused by making a FOI request) but once they found out I wasn't a Liverpool City elector, we had a disagreement over whether I was an "interested person" with LCC's position being that because I don't pay business rates in Liverpool that I'm not.

Apparently their line (from a very senior officer) is LCC is not being obstructive but to copy the invoices would cost too much.

I didn't take LCC to judicial review as "interested person" isn't defined in the legislation (and unlike the Mayor I don't have access to an indemnity) and await ICO to issue a decision notice in this matter on the FOI request.

However perhaps it shows how difficult LCC make press scrutiny of their activities!!!

ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

Apologies for typos in the previous annotation.

Liverpool City Council's should read Liverpool City Council.

"I was refused by making a FOI"

should read

"I was refused when making a FOI"

The link to the legislation I got 7 of the invoices through:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998...

However for the next financial year this is being repealed and will be replaced next year by the Local Audit and Accountability Act which adds a further category that a public body can withhold on grounds of commercial confidentiality, see
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014... .

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