MBC Revenues Officer Sheila Coburn - Anna Rachel Goodwin Solicitor (LPC Law) solicitor-agent for Allan James Hooper Solicitor J E Baring & Co

Ed Boyce made this Freedom of Information request to Maidstone Borough Council

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

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

Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

MBC Revenues Officer Sheila Coburn - Anna Rachel Goodwin Solicitor (LPC Law) solicitor-agent for Allan James Hooper Solicitor J E Baring & Co

Please confirm on how many occasions Maidstone Borough Council has used the services of Anna Rachel Goodwin.

The status of the member of council staff who is responsible for the authorisation of contracted out work to agents working on behalf of MBC.

The number of occasions MBC Revenues Officer Sheila Coburn has attended court with Anna Rachel Goodwin a solicitor acting as a solicitor's-agent instructed through LPC Law by J E Baring & Co ( the latter directly instructed by Maidstone Borough Council ) to appear for and on behalf of the principle solicitor Allan James Hooper.

Provide the authorisation date of instruction and delegation powers of both law firms and the type of proceedings.

Yours faithfully,

Ed Boyce

ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

Ref: FOI 5728

Thank you for your request for information. We will have a response ready for you within 20 working days of the date you made your request.

After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

Samuel Bailey
Information and Projects Officer
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602263 f 01622 602978 w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Sam Bailey, Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce,

Before we process your request we need clarification on what you mean by the 'status' of the member of council staff.

Yours sincerely,

Samuel Bailey
Information and Projects Officer
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602263 f 01622 602978 w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Dear Sam Bailey,

The position of the member of staff within Maidstone Borough Council.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Ed Boyce left an annotation ()

Notice how Maidstone Borough Council do not seek clarification (yet again there seems to be a pattern of delay please see below) until 19 December 2016 conveniently the same day that the information is due.

Please view my other request sent to Maidstone Borough Council

Insolvency Practitioners James Paul Shaw and Michael Goldstein Myers Clark Watford - Trustees Maidstone Borough Council.

ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

Ref: FOI 5824

Thank you for your request for information. We will have a response ready for you within 20 working days of the date you made your request.

After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

Samuel Bailey
Information and Projects Officer
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602263 f 01622 602978 w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

1 Attachment

Your Ref: 5824     

 

Dear Ed Boyce

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

 

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information which you requested.

 

A copy of the information is enclosed in the format you requested.

 

The supply of information in response to a freedom of information request
does not grant an automatic right to re-use the information.  Under UK
copyright law you can use any information supplied for the purposes of
private study and non-commercial research without requiring permission. 
Similarly, information supplied can also be re-used for the purposes of
news reporting. An exception to this is photographs.

 

For other forms of re-use, for example publishing the information, you
would need the permission of the organisation or person who owns the
copyright.  In the case of information produced by government departments
and agencies you can re-use the information under the Open Government
Licence.  For information about this please see
[1]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...

 

If, however, the copyright is identified as belonging to somebody else,
you will need to apply for permission.  For information about how to
obtain permission from a third party, please go to Intellectual Property
Office’s website at [2]www.ipo.gov.uk

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, respond to this
email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

To access our digital services please visit www.maidstone.gov.uk/service

Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill by email http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling

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References

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Dear ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC),

Maidstone Borough Council has a duty to have a contract in place for paid services it outsources to companies, so please be more specific with your date of February 2011 and clarify the relationship between Maidstone Borough Council and J E Baring & Co and LPC Law (agency) and state why there is no authorisation 'nothing in writing' to enable Sheila Coburn to authorise work to be contracted out on behalf of MBC or are you saying this is all carried out on a personal informal basis and without a written contract in place.

Your third party solicitors firm will be aware of the identity of all self employed solicitors-agents they instruct through an additional third-party agency on their behalf and who have no privity nor do their agents with the MBC, and they will be able to confirm if Anna Rachel Goodwin was paid to attend on their behalf and the date and court she attended.

Please also confirm Sheila Coburn's purpose and in which capacity she was paid by MBC to attend court with a lady and if it was a private or public court hearing for bankrutpcy or charging order proceedings.

Can you also confirm because Sheila Coburn does not recall the name of this lady, if she has attended any other court hearings with any of your third party solicitors J E Baring & Co and their agents whilst being paid by MBC please provide their name(s), date(s) , court name and nature of proceedings.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Ed Boyce left an annotation ()

Anna Rachel Goodwin (solicitor) suspended in 2016 for 18 months with £3,000 legal costs for lying on an Army application form in 2014.

If the Army cannot get a dishonest solicitor struck off what chance do the rest of us have ?

Ed Boyce left an annotation ()

Anna Rachel Goodwin acted as a solicitors-agent through an agency called LPC Law for J E Baring & Co (Bradley Bloom and Allan Hooper) a third party external solicitors firm instructed to carry out charging order and bankruptcy proceedings by Sheila Coburn (Maidstone Borough Council Revenues Manager currently acting Head of Revenues and Benefits) who gave the firm a personal reference and attended a country court hearing with Anna but now coincidently no longer remembers her name.

Dear ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC),

Please confirm when Maidstone Borough Council will be providing the clarification requested as to your staff's (Sheila Coburn) whereabouts, that was sent to council on the 19th January 2017; it is expected that detailed records must be kept when contracting out paid services to outsourced companies.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce,

You have already received a response to your FOI request, and unless you are requesting an internal review we will not be dealing with it any further. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to request a review of our decision, respond to this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

The final part of your email will be logged as a new FOI request, with a new reference number.

Kind regards,

Alex Munden
Performance and Business Information Officer
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602613 e [email address] w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

 

Ref: FOI 5926

 

Thank you for your request for information. We will have a response ready
for you within 20 working days of the date you made your request.

 

After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the
information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For
details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s
website:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI Team

Policy and Information Team

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent

ME15 6JQ

t 01622 6022640 w [2]www.maidstone.gov.uk

 

To access our digital services please visit www.maidstone.gov.uk/service

Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill by email http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling

This email is confidential. If you receive it by mistake, please advise the sender by email immediately.
Any unauthorised use of the message or attachments is prohibited. Unless stated otherwise, any opinions are personal and cannot be attributed to Maidstone Borough Council.
Unless a purchase order is attached this email is not a contract or an order.
It is your responsibility to carry out Virus checks before opening any attachments.

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...
2. http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/

ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce,

This has been logged under the reference FOI 5926, and you will receive a response by 27/02/2017. You should have already received an acknowledgement.

Sincerely,

Alex Munden
Performance and Business Information Officer
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602613 e [email address] w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for the information which you requested.

The only record we have of Sheila Coburn attending court is 11th May 2016, when she was asked to do a witness statement. We have no record of any other time she has attended. This is the only information we hold in relation to your request.

The supply of information in response to a freedom of information request does not grant an automatic right to re-use the information. Under UK copyright law you can use any information supplied for the purposes of private study and non-commercial research without requiring permission. Similarly, information supplied can also be re-used for the purposes of news reporting. An exception to this is photographs.

For other forms of re-use, for example publishing the information, you would need the permission of the organisation or person who owns the copyright. In the case of information produced by government departments and agencies you can re-use the information under the Open Government Licence. For information about this please see http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...

If, however, the copyright is identified as belonging to somebody else, you will need to apply for permission. For information about how to obtain permission from a third party, please go to Intellectual Property Office’s website at www.ipo.gov.uk

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to request a review of our decision, respond to this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Council. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Alex Munden
Performance and Business Information Officer
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6JQ

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Dear ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC),

Thank you for confirming that Maidstone Borough Council do have a record of at least one occasion of Sheila Coburn attending Court on the 11th May 2016, previously you have stated that Sheila has confirmed that she attended court with a lady, was this on the same occasion ?

Please also answer the outstanding points that you have not addressed in my email dated 19th January 2017.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Boyce

Ed Boyce left an annotation ()

It is very interesting to note that either Maidstone Borough Council Interim Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service (Sheila Coburn) has apparently severe memory loss or someone is deliberately concealing the facts.

ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce,

We have answered your request for held information. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome you must request an internal review.

Kind regards,

Complaints & FOI
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
E [email address] w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Maidstone Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'MBC Revenues Officer Sheila Coburn - Anna Rachel Goodwin Solicitor (LPC Law) solicitor-agent for Allan James Hooper Solicitor J E Baring & Co'.

Maidstone Borough Council have demanded I put in for an internal review rather than just clarifying. their answer. Evidence held suggests that Sheilai Coburn has attended court on more than one occasion and the council have avoided answering the points raised in my email 19th January 2017.

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

Yours faithfully,

Ed Boyce

Ed Boyce left an annotation ()

Notice. how Maidstone Borough Council demand a internal review and avoid answering the question after giving out misleading information concerning a member of their staff attending court. One would expect that there should be accurate records kept of the whereabouts of all staff and their external agents being paid from the public purse

ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce,

Thank you for your request for an internal review of FOI 5926. Your new reference number is FOI 5980. I have passed your request onto Mid Kent Legal Services to review the response to your request for information. You will receive a response within 20 working days.

If you have any questions please contact us. Please quote your reference in all future communications.

Yours sincerely,

Complaints & FOI
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
E [email address] w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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ComplaintsAndFOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Mr Boyce

FOI #5980 – Review of #5926

I have considered your request for review, dated 17 February 2017, of your original request dated 20 November 2016.

Your request for review stated:

Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Maidstone Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'MBC Revenues Officer Sheila Coburn - Anna Rachel Goodwin Solicitor (LPC Law) solicitor-agent for Allan James Hooper Solicitor J E Baring & Co'.

Maidstone Borough Council have demanded I put in for an internal review rather than just clarifying. their answer. Evidence held suggests that Sheilai Coburn has attended court on more than one occasion and the council have avoided answering the points raised in my email 19th January 2017.

Response

Your initial request dated 20 November 2016 asked for the following information (which I have numbered for ease of reference):

1. Please confirm on how many occasions Maidstone Borough Council has used the services of Anna Rachel Goodwin.

2. The status of the member of council staff who is responsible for the authorisation of contracted out work to agents working on behalf of MBC.

3. The number of occasions MBC Revenues Officer Sheila Coburn has attended court with Anna Rachel Goodwin a solicitor acting as a solicitor's-agent instructed through LPC Law by J E Baring & Co ( the latter directly instructed by Maidstone Borough Council ) to appear for and on behalf of the principle solicitor Allan James Hooper.

4. Provide the authorisation date of instruction and delegation powers of both law firms and the type of proceedings.

You received the following response on 19 January 2017:

1. We directly use the services of J E Baring and Co who in turn may use services of solicitors.

2. Revenues Manager (currently Acting Head of Revenues and Benefits)

3. I did attend one court hearing where there was a lady solicitor appearing for J E Baring and Co, but I am not aware of her name.

4. Authorisation date would be February 2011 (nothing in writing) for J E Baring and Co to carry out bankruptcy and charging order proceedings on behalf of the council

This prompted you to ask for a review as you felt the response you received did not offer sufficient clarification.

Having reviewed your request and our subsequent response, I do not uphold our initial response. I do feel that, where possible, further clarification should have been provided to you. In order to be of assistance, please find below the additional questions you raised along with my responses in red

• Please be more specific with your date of February 2011 – We are unable to provide a specific date. February 2011 is when the Revenues and Benefits partnership with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council commenced. We do not hold any further information.

• Clarify the relationship between Maidstone Borough Council and J E Baring & Co and LPC Law (agency) and state why there is no authorisation 'nothing in writing' to enable Sheila Coburn to authorise work to be contracted out on behalf of MBC – It is a business relationship whereby work was outsourced due to the lack of in-house expertise. We do not hold information regarding your second point.

• Can we confirm whether Anna Rachel Goodwin attended on behalf of J E Baring & Co by confirming with them and the date she attended – J E Baring & Co would need to know if it is a particular hearing. They do not employ solicitors who attend court they use solicitors/legal advocates from LPC. Unless they have a specific court date, they would need to go through the files of all the cases they have dealt with for us, then contact LPC to see which of their solicitors attended. We are therefore unable to confirm.

• Sheila Coburn's purpose and in which capacity she was paid by MBC to attend court with a lady and if it was a private or public court hearing for bankruptcy or charging order proceedings – Sheila Coburn is responsible for the billing, collection and recovery of Council Tax. She was in court in her capacity as Revenues Manager and as Maidstone Borough Council were taking the proceedings, a Maidstone Borough Council representative would be entitled to attend. We do not hold information regarding whether the hearing was a private or public hearing.

• Because Sheila Coburn does not recall the name of this lady, if she has attended any other court hearings with any of your third party solicitors J E Baring & Co and their agents whilst being paid by MBC please provide their name(s), date(s) , court name and nature of proceedings.- This information is not recorded and so cannot be supplied. In order to assist, Sheila Coburn, from memory, believes she has attended court hearings on three separate occasions, one of which was on or around 11 May 2016, twice as an observer and once due to being called as a witness.

If you are not content with the outcome of your review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Kind Regards

Gary Rowland - Legal Assistant
Contracts & Commissioning and Corporate Governance
Mid Kent Legal Services | Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells Borough Councils
Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3HT
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Town Hall, Civic Way, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS
Tel: (01622) 602276 Email: [email address]
www.swale.gov.uk www.maidstone.gov.uk www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk

The contents of this e-mail, together with any attachments, may be confidential or subject to legal professional privilege. It should not be shared with anyone without first consulting Mid Kent Legal Services.
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