Merthyr Karma Restoration Action and RCT Litter Enforcement Update

The request was refused by Rhondda Cynon Taff Council.

Dear Rhondda Cynon Taff Council,
You are currently are reviewing my appeal against your concealment of details of your business contract with 3GS, which seems to be contrary to the public interest,but in the meanwhile I note that Merthyr Tydfil Council cancelled their 3GS contract in the face of public complaints whereas you actually extended your 3GS contract despite similar complaints.Additionally,Steve Gammon of RCT Highways and Streetcare Services is advertising a Full Time post for an Enforcement Warden on £20,138, vacancy 2043, with a closing date of 31st August 2017.
https://rhondda-cynon-taf.tal.net/vx/lan...
The base location is identified as Ty Glantaf, Unit B23 Treforest Indutrial Estate(sic), and seems to be a similar location which you provide for 3GS to ploy their activities.Quoting from the advertisement "The Council has agreed to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to introduce dog controls across the County Borough. A PSPO will allow the Council to introduce a range of reasonable and proportionate restrictions on the use of publicly accessible land. This will enable the Council to better control the harmful activities of irresponsible dog owners whilst enabling responsible dog owners to continue to exercise their dogs without undue restrictions.
The implementation and monitoring of the PSPO will require the employment of additional Enforcement Wardens. The role will require undertaking routine patrols of open spaces (parks, sports pitches, cemeteries, streets, etc) covering early mornings, evenings and peak weekend periods when dog walking is most commonly undertaken".
One of the basic standards that the public expect of any council is that they should be honest, transparent and work in the best interests of their voters and not get involved in dodgy secretive deals for commercial reasons.
I note that the Labour Council of Merthyr Tydfil responded to public complaints and ditched their 12 month trial contract with 3SG in February 2017 but, sadly, the Council reacted too late and got booted out in the 4th May 2017 Elections.
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-...
The now redundant ex Leader, Brendan Toomey, said he believed people were `fed up with politics`
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-...
The new Independent Leader, Kevin O ‘Neill, said "“I am more than aware that in these times of austerity, council budgets are continually being cut and as council leader, I know I have a difficult task ahead of me. I will however embrace these challenges and work with the community so that together, we can achieve our ambitions.”
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-...

The Merthyr Experience shows that the local population do NOT have to tolerate Bad Karma from oppressive, secretive Councils and can democratically use their votes to get rid.
In relation to the recently advertised post by RCT there is an unacceptable amount of confusion that needs to be clarified, and I wish to post a new FOI in the public interest.
FOI Q1. Since Steve Gammon of RCT Council is seeking to employ a new Enforcement Officer after 31 August 2017, with responsibilities identical to the private firm 3GS, please confirm if you are getting rid of 3GS, as per public demand, or if the new council employee will be an additional enforcer and if you intend to employ any more additional enforcers.
FOI Q2. Merthyr Tydfil advertise their activities transparently, please disclose the dates and detail of press releases since January 2017 issued by RCT , or disclosure of Council meetings, regarding associations with 3GS to ascertain the nature of your relationship.
FOI Q3. Please disclose a copy of the latest contract issued between RCT and 3GS, with minimal redactions.

End of FOI requests.
There is obviously disquiet amongst the residents of RCT regarding existing standards of Council honestly, transparency and Justice, and they may be unfamiliar with the Merthyr solution, so this public FOI site is an ideal site way to address concerns in the absence of proper press releases .

Thanking you in anticipation of this additional FOI request, sorry to bother you but it is in the public interest and it is your paid job to reply whilst I make the effort without payment., just personal integrity

Yours faithfully,

Dennis Fallon

M Davies left an annotation ()

Excellent work. And much appreciated. It is appalling that RCT refuse to release the data of the location and nature of all PCN'S issued. Or the complaints against 3GS. Both of which are in the Service contract and should be reported back to RCT on a monthly basis.

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taff Council

Dear Mr Fallon

We confirm safe receipt of your request.

It will now be processed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (or Environmental Information Regulations 2004, if it relates to
environmental information).

You should ordinarily expect to receive a response to your request no
later than 20 working days following the date of submission to the
Council. We will contact you should this not be the case.

Should you have any queries regarding your request at any time please
respond directly to this email.

Kind regards

Corporate Governance Team

Dear Freedomofinformation,
Although I feel a certain sympathy towards yourself having to spend so much time and effort excessively redacting information in case too much gets out I still regret to inform you that this particular request is overdue.
RCT Council have decided to follow the strategy of intimidating,filming and fining minor offenders amongst the local population using an English based Enforcement Business, thus taking a lot of money out of the local economy, instead of generating a sense of pride amongst the community which would be self policing and beneficial to wellbeing and the local economy, but would require more effort to implement.
It is not good enough for you desperately try to conceal the commercial arrangements, the public elected the Labour Council in good faith in the assumption that they would serve the people and not themselves and their commercial contacts.
I note that RCT Chief Executive Christopher Bradshaw is on £143,000 per annum so presumeably he doesn`t think a £75 fine for a minor offence is excessive, but your average person might think otherwise.
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-...
Thank you for displaying on your website all the faces of RCT Senior Leadership Team, namely Chris Bradshaw(Chief Executive), Chris Lee( deputy Chief Executive with Corporate responsibilities),Tony Wilkins(Human Resources),Esther Thomas(Education),Christian Hanagan( P.R and Secretary to the Cabinet),Jane Cook(Director Regeneration and Planning),Paul Mee( Public Health and Protection,Giovanni Isingrini (Group Director, Community and Children’s Services),Nigel Wheeler(Director, Highways and Streetcare Services),Colin Atyeo (Director, Corporate Estates & Procurement), and last but not least Chris Jones (Director, Legal & Democratic Services).
http://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Council/Seni...

The ordinary people of RCT are confused as to who are responsible for the current aspects of Council policy and I am simply doing my public duty to identify the current accountable Senior Leadership Team who discuss and approve Council decisions.
Please do not consider providing information to be a nuisance or vexatious, the local population seem to think some Council policies need to be explained in detail and this is an ideal opportunity to clarify the confusion behind the business deals.

Thank you in anticipation of progress.

Yours sincerely,

dennis fallon

M Davies left an annotation ()

Absolutely shocking. A private Company rewarded for issuing FPN's even if they give false details. Hence no proper checks as all they need is the camera footage of the person. Then even put houses under surveillance.
No specific set up for people to pay in instalments which works out nice for them to submit the paperwork to the Magistrates so they can make even more money. How many court cases does it take for people in public service to realise that this is not in public interest?
The failure to release the details of all FPN's issued by 3GS and the complaints handled by them.
The total failure to catch Dog fouling and Fly-Tipping suspects. Then again I don't suppose they would when they are working 9 to 5 Mon-Fri hiding in shop door ways in the high streets.
The shocking lack of interest of elected officials when approached on this subject. Even the so called Party Of Wales.
The lack of quality local journalism. The three local Newspapers who are ultimately owned by Trinity Media Group read more like an RCT Council propaganda Newspaper.

Gummer, Claire,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Fallon

 

We refer to your Freedom of Information Request in respect of 3GS Ltd. 
The Authority’s response is set out below:

 

FOI Q1.  Since Steve Gammon of RCT Council is seeking to employ a new
Enforcement Officer after 31 August 2017, with responsibilities identical
to the private firm 3GS, please confirm if you are getting rid of 3GS, as
per public demand, or if the new council employee will be an additional
enforcer and if you intend to employ any more additional enforcers.

 

The Council does not hold information relevant to your request for the
purposes of FOIA.  The additional enforcement officers you refer to will
be employed by the Council.  They will support the implementation of the
Public Spaces Protection Order commencing on 1^st October 2017 relating to
dog controls within the County Borough.

 

FOI Q2.  Merthyr Tydfil advertise their activities transparently, please
disclose the dates and detail of press releases since January 2017 issue
by RCT, or disclosure of Council meetings, regarding associations with 3GS
to ascertain the nature of your relationship.

 

The Council does not hold information relevant to your request for the
purposes of FOIA.  The Council confirms there have not been any such press
releases issued.

 

FOI Q3.  Please disclose a copy of the latest contract issued between RCT
and 3GS, with minimal redactions.   

 

Please refer to the attachment for a copy of the contract between RCT and
3GS. 

 

You will see that some aspects of the Agreement have remained redacted.  
Therefore we are applying the exemption set out under Section 43 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 which deals with ‘prejudice to commercial
interests’. 

 

This is a qualified exemption and we have therefore applied the public
interest test.  In making this decision we have weighed such factors as
the Council's desire to be open and transparent in all its dealings
against the need to ensure that it is able to contract openly in the
market place and also to protect the commercial interests of those
companies and bodies it deals with.

 

We are also applying the exemption set out under Section 40 of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 which deals with ‘personal information’ as the
information constitutes third party data.  Section 40(2) provides that
personal data about third parties is exempt information if one of the
conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. Under the Act disclosure
of this information would breach the fair processing principle contained
in the Data Protection Act (DPA), where it would be unfair to that person.

 

Accordingly, insofar as these elements of your request is concerned and in
accordance with Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act ("the Act")
this email acts as a Refusal Notice.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request a review of the Council’s response.  If you wish
to exercise this right, please set out in writing your grounds and send
your appeal to Mrs Julie Llewellyn. She may be reached at
j[1][email address] or at RCT CBC, The Pavilions, Clydach
Vale, Tonypandy, CF40 2XX.

 

Additionally you may, if you wish, find out more about the Freedom of
Information Act & Environmental Information Regulations from the
Information Commissioner at [2]http://www.ico.org.uk/ 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Corporate Governance Team

for Director of Legal & Democratic Services

 

 

 

Dear Rhondda Cynon Taff Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Rhondda Cynon Taff Council's handling of my FOI request 'Merthyr Karma Restoration Action and RCT Litter Enforcement Update'.

Ì have used my own unpaid time to obtain information, in the public interest, from the dutybound paid employees of RCT Council who the public think are supposed to release information as held, not to provide false information, not to excessively hide information , and be helpful, as public servants, to clarify some information as a public service, confirming that the particular information is provided outside of the FOIA requirements.

I am unhappy with the trustworthiness of the response from RCT Council, as it is quite clear that I requested to see a copy of the LATEST CONTRACT agreement between RCT Council and the private firm 3GS.

The provided responses to my Q1 AND Q2 indicate that the Council decline the opportunity to provide helpful information outside of the conditions of the FOI Act, and confirm that arrangements have been made without being subject to debate or public announcement, and it is up to the people of RCT to make of that what they will.

APPEAL POINT ONE.
My appeal point is that I wished to see a copy of the LATEST CONTRACT between RCT Council and 3GS, but I believe the disclosure provided is not the genuine contract and is merely a poorly drafted Service Level Agreement (SLA).
A Contract is normally a carefully drafted legal agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration. The existence of a contract requires finding the following factual elements: a) an offer; b) an acceptance of that offer which results in a meeting of the minds; c) a promise to perform; d) a valuable consideration (which can be a promise or payment in some form); e) a time or event when performance must be made (meet commitments); f) terms and conditions for performance, including fulfilling promises; g) performance.
A SLA (according to Google) is a contract between a service provider (either internal or external) and the end user that defines the level of service expected from the service provider. SLAs are output-based in that their purpose is specifically to define what the customer will receive.

The reason I believe that the SLA you provided is not the legally binding Contract is because it is drafted in a sloppy, unprofessional manner.
Page 1 is UNDATED, page 2 shows an expiry date of September 31st 2015 when September ALWAYS has 30 days and page 2 Core Activity shows sloppy punctuation and a missing word.

All things considered, I find the SLA released to be a sloppy unprofessional,unsigned document and NOT the Contract I requested to see, and I am concerned that RCT Council believe it to be a genuine Contract.

I wish you to review if my considerations are erroneous, confirm if an actual signed Contract exists and, if so, explain why it was not released and, if not, please advise how you can work with a private firm without a contract.
Secondly, a SLA tends to indicate what service standards are to be provided whereas a Contract tends to be a signed agreed deal, which includes the aspects of remuneration which the Council seem so keen to conceal.

I am not a highly paid legal person so, on behalf of the public, I would appreciate clarification as to whether a Contract actually exists or whether you consider the SLA to be sufficient, and knowledge of what recorded information exists relating to the alleged extention of the contract subsequent to September 2015.

Obviously if commercial projects are extended there should be some agreement retained in writing, and I would appreciate disclosure of the extension agreement to ensure the arrangement was carried out in a transparent and procedurally correct manner.

Sadly there appears to be distrust of senior people within RCT Council so I would appreciate clarification of these points via an appeal review.

Thanking you in anticipation.
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,

dennis fallon

Jones, Christopher B (Legal),

This e-mail is sent on behalf of Christopher Jones - Director of Legal and
Democratic Services

Dear Mr Fallon

I refer to your email of 13th September 2017 requesting an internal review
into the handling of your freedom of information request submitted in
relation to the Service Level Agreement between RCT Council and 3GS.

As the Director for Legal and Democratic Services it falls to me to
consider such matters.

Please refer to my earlier email of today's date in relation to the same
subject.

As you may be aware you may now, if you remain dissatisfied, appeal to the
Information Commissioner. You will find further details of the process on
his website at [1]http://www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Christopher B. Jones
Director of Legal and Democratic Services

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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