Performance of Leisure Connection / Harpers Fitness

The request was successful.

Dear Northumberland County Council,

Using your website search facility, I am unable to locate any recent reports or minutes that deal with the quality of service provided at the leisure centres owned by the council and managed by Leisure Connection / Harpers Fitness (the contractor).

I therefore request with regard to Ponteland Leisure Centre,
and Riverside Leisure Centre (the centres):

1. Monitoring reports, letters and emails prepared by council officers during or following their visits to the centres. What I seek is a clear understanding of any issues identified between 1 June 2011 and 29 March 2012 and how these have been communicated to the contractor.

2. Copies of minutes or notes of meetings held from 1
June 2011 to 29 March 2012 between Council Officers and representatives of the contractor.

3. Copies of any papers prepared between 1 January 2011 and 29 March 2012 for Council managers, councillors or Council meetings that pertain in whole or part to issues or defects at the centres including contract performance.

4. Any Quest reports about the centres written between 1 June 2010 and 29 March 2012.

5. Copies of any Environmental Health or Health & Safety Reports or correspondence concerning the Leisure Connection or sub-contractors operating at the centres prepared between 1 April 2009 and 29 March 2012.

6. A report appeared in the Morpeth Herald (6.4.12) that quoted Councillor Dodd. He asserted that the temperature at Pontelands had been very chilly and also claimed, “After a long period of time trying to get to the root of the problem we found out that the pool has ten boilers, but only five had been working.”

Therefore, unless made explicit in the documents requested, in 1 - 5 I wish to know:
a) When the issue with multiple-defective boilers first arose last year?
b) When the Council first became aware of the issue?
c) When the boilers were repaired?
d) What were the temperature readings for the pool during the period when multiple boilers were defective?
e) What delayed identifying the problem?
f) What delayed fixing the problem?

I do not wish to cause unnecessary work and am open to suggestions that may provide sufficient information with less work for Council staff. Staff are welcome to contact me to make suggestions or invite discussion.

Please advise if any papers are awaiting publication, for example, minutes yet to be confirmed or a performance management report yet to be presented.

My preference is for all papers to be made available via
Whatdotheyknow.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Burns

Freedom Of Information, Northumberland County Council

The freedom of information office is closed from 4pm on 30/03/2012 until
10/04/2012. All requests received during this time will be deemed as
received on the 10th April 2012.

Northumberland made the following annotations

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Freedom Of Information, Northumberland County Council

Dear Mr Burns

 

Thank you for your request for information regarding performance of
Leisure Connection/Harpers Fitness.  Your request was received on 10 April
and I am dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act
2000.

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

 

If you have any queries about this matter please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference number above on any future communication.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Information Governance Officer

Northumberland County Council

County Hall

Morpeth

Northumberland

NE61 2EF

 

(    0845 600 6400

8 [Northumberland County Council request email]

: [1]http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

 

 

 

Email labelling Boldon James

 

 

Northumberland County Council have classified this Email as UNCLASSIFIED

Northumberland made the following annotations

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Beattie, Leanne, Northumberland County Council

Dear Mr Burns

 

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information request  regarding
information for Ponteland Leisure Centre and Riverside Leisure Centre. I
note from your request there is a substantial amount of information you
have requested which will require investigation and feedback from a number
of internal council departments and will have no impact on the time of the
contractor in question. At this stage it is also worth noting that the
Leisure Connection contact for Northumberland was agreed in 2000. The
Freedom of Information Act did not come into existence until 2005. There
is therefore no obligation within the contract which requires Leisure
Connection to disclose any information.

 

In order to provide you with sufficient information to your request , I
would be grateful if you could provide me with a suitable contact
telephone number. I  trust that I will be able to provide you with the
answers to the information you have requested, however where opportunities
exist to alleviate officer time associated with in the preparation of this
request I would welcome further discussion.

 

Regards

 

Leanne Beattie

Leisure Strategy & Development Manager

Customer & Cultural Services

Transformation Group

Northumberland County Council

County Hall

Morpeth

Northumberland

NE61 2EF

 

Tel: 01670 624759

Email: [1][email address]

Website: [2]www.northumberland.gov.uk

 

Northumberland made the following annotations

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2. http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/

Dear Leanne Beattie / Northumberland County Council

Thank you for your holding reply of April 26.

I have sent an email with my telephone number to your work email address. Please note that I have specified answers should be posted on What Do They Know.

It appears you fear that Leisure Connection / Harpers Fitness may not co-operate. Perhaps I should not be surprised after a councillor had problems establishing the facts.

I ask that you make clear any specific requests that the company declines to respond to.

Best wishes

Paul Burns

Paul Burns left an annotation ()

Following a telephone discussion today with Leanne Beattie of NCC I am withdrawing the first part of my request for monitoring reports and have a agreed in principle an alternative way of reporting on the boiler issues.
Paul Burns

Beattie, Leanne, Northumberland County Council

Dear Mr Burns

 

Thank you for taking the time to talk over your FOI request to
Northumberland County Council. As an agreed way forward I would like to
confirm the following points which you require further information on;

 

 1. Provide maximum ½ page summary on Point 6. of the FoI regarding the
boiler issues at Ponteland.

 

 2. Provide copies of the latest Quest Report for the centres concerned.

 

 3. Confirm with NCC Environmental Health and Health and Safety
departments any concerns which have been raised as a result of Leisure
Connections issues between April 1^st 2009 -29^th March 2012.

 

We will prepare a draft response to you for approval via email. To allow a
reasonable length of time to prepare this work and taking onto
consideration that I will be away from my desk until 8^th May, can I
suggest a draft response to you by Monday 14^th May?

 

I appreciate your co-operation in this matter.

 

Regards

 

Leanne Beattie

Leisure Strategy & Development Manager

Customer & Cultural Services

Transformation Group

Northumberland County Council

County Hall

Morpeth

Northumberland

NE61 2EF

 

Email: [1][email address]

Website: [2]www.northumberland.gov.uk

 

Northumberland made the following annotations

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2. http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/

Dear Leanne Beattie,

Thanks for your update and my delayed response to it.

I am sorry that my last reply did not make clear that I had agreed to a delayed response from the Council.

May 14th is quite acceptable to me.

I wish other local authorities that I approached were more willing, as yours is, to take up my offer to discuss ways of reducing the work required.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Burns

Dear Leanne Beattie,

I am writing this following a prompt from Whatdothey know.

This is state in public that we have been in touch by email and that I accept there may be some delay in obtaining one outstanding document.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Burns

Beattie, Leanne, Northumberland County Council

3 Attachments

Please find attached documents in relation to the above request.

 

Leanne Beattie

Leisure Strategy & Development Manager

Customer & Cultural Services

Transformation Group

Northumberland County Council

County Hall

Morpeth

Northumberland

NE61 2EF

Northumberland made the following annotations

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Beattie, Leanne, Northumberland County Council

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    Riverside Leisure Centre Morpeth March 2012 Quest Entry Assessment Report.pdf

    379K Download View as HTML

  • Attachment

    Riverside Leisure Centre Morpeth March 2012 Quest Entry Service Improvement Plan.xls

    165K Download View as HTML

 

 

Leanne Beattie

Leisure Strategy & Development Manager

Customer & Cultural Services

Transformation Group

Northumberland County Council

County Hall

Morpeth

Northumberland

NE61 2EF

 

Tel: 01670 624759

Email: [1][email address]

Website: [2]www.northumberland.gov.uk

 

Northumberland made the following annotations

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/

Dear Northumberland County Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Northumberland County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Performance of Leisure Connection / Harpers Fitness'.

My concerns relate time taken to make documents available, delays in posting on What Do They Know and the claim that one document is not available.

I first made my request on 6 April. Following discussion with Leanne Beattie I agreed on 27 April to limit the request and waive the usual response times.

On 14 May Leanne Beattie emailed me Quest reports produced for the Ponteland and Riverside centres in 2011. I emailed Leanne Beattie the same day saying, “We are almost there. The two Quest reports refer to two Quest Mystery Visitor reports. I believe these should also be posted as my request stated, ‘Any Quest reports about the centres written between 1 June 2010 and 29 March 2012.’ If you post on WhatDoTheyKnow what you sent as attachments and the two Mystery Visitor reports, I will acknowledge my request as met.”

On 17 May Leanne Beattie emailed, “I will certainly look at your request in relation to the Quest Mystery Shopping exercises. In addition should we locate these documents I will look to seek final approvals to request that this information is suitable to post on the WhatDoTheyKnow website.”

Following prompting from me, Leanne Beattie emailed on 20 June saying; “I have sourced the mystery shopping reports from leisure connections for Ponteland Leisure Centre and aim to include this within your information... Thank you for patience in this matter. I am still progressing with your request and hope to have this finalised at some point next week. I ... hope to respond fully to your request by the end of next week. “

On 28 June Leanne Beattie emailed, “I am continuing to follow up your request regarding access to 2 Quest mystery visitor requests conducted during 2011 for Riverside Leisure Centre and Ponteland Leisure Centre and will contact you once I have received approvals for this information.”

On 5 July Leanne Beattie emailed me the Ponteland Mystery Shopping Report- Conducted July 2011, Riverside Leisure Centre Mystery Shopping Report- Conducted January 2011, and Riverside Quest Report, recently conducted in March 2012 and stated, “I trust that this suite of information concludes your request.“

On 5 July I emailed; “Leanne, thank you for the reports sent, but the request is not completed for two reasons. 1)I do not have mystery visitor reports for Riverside Leisure Centre 2011 and Ponteland Leisure Centre 2011. 2) To comply with my request (“My preference is for all papers to be made available via Whatdotheyknow.”) and precedents established by the Information Commissioner, all material needs to be posted on Whatdotheyknow. Please advise.”

On 11 July, I emailed chasing for a reply and got an auto-reply saying Leanne Beattie would not be in her office until July 24.

I called Leanne Beattie in the week beginning July 30th as I had not heard from her. She said she would deal with the request.

On August 6th your emailed me three documents and said, “Following our telephone conversation last week I have received further information from Leisure Connection regarding Mystery Shopping reports. I have attached the detailed report for the Mystery Shopping Visit to Ponteland in July 2011. The updated report for Riverside Leisure Centre supersedes the report in 2011 and I believe due to changes in the Quest Assessment process also contains detail on the Mystery Shopping visit. “

On August 6th I responded. “Please note that my request is still not completed and I am close to lodging a complaint with the council about this as a prelude to reporting the matter to the Information Commissioner. My patience is near exhausted.
1)You say “The updated report for Riverside Leisure Centre supersedes the report in 2011.” Providing me with an additional report outside the time frame I specified does not entitle NCC to withhold, or fail to obtain, what I specified. I still require the missing 2011 Mystery Visitor Report for Riverside Leisure Centre.
2)My request specified that all documents should be posted on WhatDoTheyKnow. I need this to be done and given the extensive delays to date I will complain if it is not done by the end of this week.”

On August 7 Leanne Beattie emailed, “With regards to the (missing mystery visitor) report I will go back to Leisure Connection and again request a copy of this report.”

On 15 August I emailed, “This to advise that I will request a review of NCC’s handling of my request if the missing Mystery Visitor report is not posted by the end of Friday.”

Today, 17 August, Leanne Beattie stated, “Following discussions with Leisure Connection officers I have been advised that the Mystery Visit report for Riverside 2011 is incorporated within the Quest report. Throughout the report this has sections called QMV (mystery visit) and the colour changes to blue. This is the report from the MV and is now incorporated into the report which was sent previously.”

I find it most unsatisfactory that, if the above is true, it was not established at a much earlier stage.

However, I do not accept that the missing mystery visitor report does not exist because there are multiple references to the “Mystery Visitors Report” within the Quest March 2011 report for Riverside that Leanne Beattie sent me by email on 14 May 2012.

The general delay arouses suspicions that Northumberland County Council has not pursued its right to have access to a document to which it is fully entitled as it is integral to the effective performance management of its contract with Leisure Connection.

I am also disappointed with the time it take the Council to post documents on What Do They Know.

Please be advised, I will take these matters to the Information Commissioner, as I have several other tardy and incomplete requests, if I am not satisfied with the Council’s response.

I request that all future communication is posted via What Do They Know.

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

Yours faithfully,

Paul Burns

Freedom Of Information, Northumberland County Council

Dear Mr Burns

Thank you for your email below received on 20 August requesting an Internal Review of your Freedom of Information request EF102785E. The Officer who will conduct the review will be independent of the original response and will review your request, response and any supporting documentation, and will write to you with their findings by 18 September 2012.

Kind regards

Information Governance Officer
Information Assurance, Quality and Security Northumberland County Council County Hall Morpeth Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0845 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

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Watson, Jill, Northumberland County Council

Dear Mr Burns

 

FOI Request EF102785E - Internal Review

 

We are currently dealing with your internal review however we believe that
we need further time in which to provide a full response to you.  We will
provide our response to you by 30th September 2012 once our Officer has
been able to review their decision and collate all of the necessary data
from the relevant services.

 

Complaints

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing to:

 

Freedom of Information Officer

Northumberland County Council

County Hall

Morpeth

NE61 2EF 

 

Information Commissioner

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with
in accordance with the requirements of the Act at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

 

Tel: 01625 545 745 / Fax: 01625 524 510

Email: [1][email address]

 

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

 

 

Jill

 

 

 

Jill Watson  

Business Information Officer

Business & Change – Local Services

County Hall

Morpeth

Northumberland

NE61 2EF

T: 01670 622332

Email: [2][email address]

Email: [3][email address]

 

Facebook: [4]www.facebook.com/NorthumberlandCC 

Twitter:  [5]http://twitter.com/N_landCouncil

 

Northumberland made the following annotations

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2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]
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5. http://twitter.com/N_landCouncil

Paul Burns left an annotation ()

Dear Jill Watson,

Thank you for your message today.

I am disappointed to hear of further delays when my complaint is in part about delays.

Please note, if the substantive response does not appear by the end of this month, I will log a formal complaint about this with the Information Commissioner.

Paul Burns

Dear Jill Watson,

Northumberland County Council missed the original target and promised a reply by 30th September.

If no satisfactory reply has been received by the end of Thursday of this week I will lodge a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Burns

Watson, Jill, Northumberland County Council

Dear Mr Burns

I apologise for the delay with your response.

I have contacted the Officer dealing with your request and I have made them aware they are now overdue with their response to you.

I will be in touch with any progress.

Many thanks and best regards

Jill

Jill Watson
Business Information Officer
Business & Change – Local Services
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF
T: 01670 622332
Email: [email address]
Email: [email address]

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthumberlandCC
Twitter: http://twitter.com/N_landCouncil

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Freedom Of Information, Northumberland County Council

Dear  Mr Burns,
 
Freedom of Information Request EF102785E
Further to your request for an internal review of your FOI request
regarding the performance of Leisure Connections/Harpers Fitness”.   I
have now undertaken a thorough reconsideration of the decision and
handling of your request.
 
I have interviewed members of staff  involved and  met with the service
manager for that area.    I am confident that everything possible has been
done by Northumberland County Council to obtain the information you
request.  
 
The “mystery visitor” information you request has been incorporated within
the Quest Report that has been sent to you previously.    Therefore my
investigation has found that  members of the team within Culture Leisure
and Tourism have  done all they can to obtain the information from Leisure
Connections, however, we must accept that the information has been
provided at part of the Quest Report and no separate reports exists.   
 
Therefore were are therefore unable to comply with your request.
 
If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a
right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner
for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act at:
The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Tel: 01625 545 745 / Fax: 01625 524 510
Email: [1][email address].uk  
 
 
 
 
Lorraine Dewison
Service Manager
Customer Services, Complaints, Libraries, & Proper Officer for
Registration
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF
 
01670 622544
 
[mobile number]
 
Email [2][email address]
 
 
 

Northumberland made the following annotations

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Dear Lorraine Dewison,

Thank you for your reply.

I will submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Burns

Lewis, Su, Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Burns

Following a formal request by the Council to Morpeth Riverside Leisure
Centre, the management have sourced a copy of the 2011 Mystery Visitor
report from Right Directions, the company who administer Quest, which I
understand you requested last year under Freedom of Information. I
apologise for the delay in locating this document.

 

Kind regards

 

Su Lewis

Leisure and Strategy Development Manager

Northumberland County Council

County Hall

Morpeth

NE61 2EF

Tel: 01670 624759

Email: [1][email address]

Website: northumberland.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

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Paul Burns left an annotation ()

The missing Mystery Visitor Report that was added today appeared over a year after the request was made and only then, I assume, because I made a complaint to the Information Commissioner. My complaint about Northumberland County Council delays and failure to provide the missing report was made in October 2010.

Unfortunately, the Information Commissioner has to deal with many complaints and wheels grind slowly. However, I did hear from the ICO caseworker on April 16. It would seem that once NCC were contacted they took the action they should have taken eleven months earlier.

Thus I find the apology today somewhat underwhelming.

My thanks to the ICO.

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