Slough Times 01753-511911

Slough Witch advised at https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/o...

"DCLG has published a document 'Protecting the Public Purse 2010' which is a housing tenancy fraud guide produced by the National Fraud Authority and the Chartered Institute of Housing. "

(1) What evidence does SUA* have to demonstrate it complies with the guidelines as evidence exists at least one house was purchased despite the tenant never living in the house but was tipped-off by a relative working inside the council prior to each inspection visit.

(2) For each of the last 5 years please specify the quantity of tenant-actually-in-residence checks made by SUA* and the results - for example out, confirmed, not confirmed etc.

(3) When fraudulent house purchases are made by crooks not genuinely in residence, what can SUA* do to recover the property and prosecute the crooks and council staff supporting the crooks ?

SUA* = Slough Unitary Authority (Slough Borough Council is the old redundant title for a District Council that lapsed in 1998)

FOI, Slough Borough Council

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_Freedom of Information, Slough Borough Council

1 Attachment

 

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email

In order for this to be considered a valid FOI request please supply your
full name as per the attached guidance produced by the ICO.

 

Regards, SBC FOI Officer

 

 

show quoted sections

Slough Times 01753-511911

Mrs Jane Ward and/or Mrs Kay Musk,

You both know who I am, so what is the problem ?

Mr Janik.

_Freedom of Information, Slough Borough Council

Mr Janik

Your FOI request has been considered and Mr Parkin, Interim Chief Executive has asked me to respond as follows:

After careful consideration of the accusatory tone used in your request the council have concluded that the request goes beyond the level of criticism that a public authority should reasonably expect to receive. The council believe the request is ultimately designed to cause an unjustified level of irritation and distress and is therefore vexatious.

Section 14(1) of the act states, that Section 1 (1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the request is deemed to be vexatious. There is no public interest test.

Please accept this email as a notice of refusal under S14 of the Freedom of Information Act.

As you are aware the ICO have produced a list of dos and don’ts as a quick reference tool to help requesters make effective freedom of information requests. You have been sent a copy of this in the past but please let me know if you wish to receive a further copy as it may prove helpful when submitting any future FOI requests.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request you can ask for a review of your reply. To request a review please contact the Freedom of Information Officer at Slough Borough Council, St Martin’s Place, 51 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 3UF, either by post or by email, [email address]. The review will be carried out by the councils monitoring officer who is independent from the FOI process.

When submitting your review you must be clear about which aspects of your reply you remain dissatisfied with.

For further information you can also contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Regards, SBC FOI Officer

show quoted sections

Slough Witch left an annotation ()

The authority cannot justify not answering the question. They have a responsibility to ensure that housing stock is not misused by the public and/or the authority itself.

This is a matter of public interest and the authority is not justified in refusing to answer just because of the manner in which the request was made.

As the authority has specifically refused to provide this information, the requester can make an immediate complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office by clicking on this link. https://ico.org.uk/concerns/

The ICO will carry out an audit if enough people complain. If people do not complain the authority will continue to ride roughshod over the public's right to know.

Slough Witch left an annotation ()

If the authority is genuinely 'stung' by the level of criticism, surely they should be keen to demonstrate that the level of criticism is undeserved. The best way to do so (assuming the criticism is undeserved) is to vindicate themselves by responding to the request rather than hiding behind wounded sensibility.

Slough Times 01753-511911

(A) I request a review of acting chief executive Mr Roger B.C. Parkin's direction to council staff to refuse to answer my lawful, reasonable and proportionate request for information about the local authorities activities including its duty to protect the public purse from fraud.

(B) I invite Mr Parkin to make a personal apology to me on this web site for what Jane Ward described as his official conduct.

(C) I invite Mr Parkin and those with whom he associates to justify the usage of "accusatory tone" and "criticism".

(D) Naturally I shall, because of the public importance this matter raises, complain to the chief executive's selection panel members, the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council and to officials at the Department of Communities and Local Government.

(E) May I remind everyone it was Slough Council staff (individual or several) that in the early 2000's were "selling-off" council homes for the sum of £3,000 - £1,500 payable in advance and the balance after moving in. I was repeatedly "stabbed-in-my-back" for constantly raising this issue. So lets not pretend everything in the council's housing operation is absolutely wonder and undeserving of even mild scrutiny. It isn't as I discovered yesterday with a Lewins Way property.

(F) If anyone wishes to harass me again by complaining to Thames Valley Police or by litigating against me, let them. No more corrupt council cover-ups - let the cleansing and exposing sunlight coming shinning in. The public serve a competent, honest, non-corrupt and efficient council that actually loves, not hates, the public it should be serving.

Mr Janik
Lets Improve Slough
Independent General Election candidate
Slough 2017.

FOI, Slough Borough Council

Thank you for your email.

 

Providing excellent customer services is one of the council’s key
priorities.

 

Your enquiry will now be forwarded to the relevant department to answer.

 

We will reply fully to all written enquiries within 10 working days
although we aim to reply to emails sooner than this.

 

If your enquiry is a Freedom of Information request, the council may take
up to 20 working days to respond.

 

 

If you do not receive a satisfactory response by this time you can contact
our complaints department. More details here:

[1]http://www.slough.gov.uk/council/complai...

 

http://www.slough.gov.uk/business/regene...

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http://www.slough.gov.uk/council/complai...

Slough Times 01753-511911 left an annotation ()

Whoops

(A) ............... local authority's .................

(E) ............... absolutely wonderful ..............

Slough Times 01753-511911

Slough Borough Council,

(G) I object to any involvement of temporary Monitoring Officer Linda Walker in a review of council staff's refusal to answer my lawful request for information because

*** Mrs Walker personal hates me to such an extent she has made allegations to Thames Valley Police that I was harassing her. Allegations both my lawyers and the police say are without substance.

*** Mrs Walker knows I am, as news reporter, investigating her personal involvement in her distributing defamatory letters about the current Leader and Deputy Leader of Slough Unitary Authority at the time when some white Labour councillors were complaining about a Moslem take-over of the council.

(H) I therefore believe for a fair review to take place Mrs Walker should not be involved in any aspect of the review process.

Paul Janik
Lets Improve Slough
Independent General Election candidate
Slough 2017.

FOI, Slough Borough Council

Thank you for your email.

 

Providing excellent customer services is one of the council’s key
priorities.

 

Your enquiry will now be forwarded to the relevant department to answer.

 

We will reply fully to all written enquiries within 10 working days
although we aim to reply to emails sooner than this.

 

If your enquiry is a Freedom of Information request, the council may take
up to 20 working days to respond.

 

 

If you do not receive a satisfactory response by this time you can contact
our complaints department. More details here:

[1]http://www.slough.gov.uk/council/complai...

 

http://www.slough.gov.uk/business/regene...

'Disclaimer: You should be aware that all e-mails received and sent by
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therefore may be disclosed to a third party. (The information contained in
this message or any of its attachments may be privileged and confidential
and intended for the exclusive use of the addressee).  The views expressed
may not be official policy but the personal views of the originator.  If
you are not the addressee any disclosure, reproduction, distribution,
other dissemination or use of this communication is strictly prohibited. 
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References

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http://www.slough.gov.uk/council/complai...

Slough Times 01753-511911 left an annotation ()

(F) ................. . The public DESERVES a competent, honest, non-corrupt and efficient council that actually loves, not hates, the public it should be serving.

(G) *** Mrs Walker PERSONALLY hates me ......................................

Mustafa Khan left an annotation ()

http://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/134...

Maybe the reviewer needs a reminder of what goes on at the council

Slough Witch left an annotation ()

That is not the only example. There is also this:

http://www.sloughexpress.co.uk/news/1831...

and this:

http://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/134...

There are other examples of wrongdoing in the housing service that have yet to come to light. Council officers fear retribution for reporting these matters.

_Freedom of Information, Slough Borough Council

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email which is receiving attention

show quoted sections

Cummins Lesley, Slough Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Janik

 

Please find attached response to your e-mail of 17^th May.

 

Lesley Cummins
PA to Interim Chief Executive

 

Slough Borough Council
Tel 01753 875017

 

www.slough.gov.uk
Please don't print this email unless you really need to - think of the
environment.

 

 

http://www.slough.gov.uk/business/regene...

'Disclaimer: You should be aware that all e-mails received and sent by
this Organisation are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and
therefore may be disclosed to a third party. (The information contained in
this message or any of its attachments may be privileged and confidential
and intended for the exclusive use of the addressee).  The views expressed
may not be official policy but the personal views of the originator.  If
you are not the addressee any disclosure, reproduction, distribution,
other dissemination or use of this communication is strictly prohibited. 
If you received this message in error please return it to the originator
and confirm that you have deleted all copies of it. All messages sent by
this organisation are checked for viruses using the latest antivirus
products.  This does not guarantee a virus has not been transmitted.  
Please therefore ensure that you take your own precautions for the
detection and eradication of viruses.'

Slough Witch left an annotation ()

By giving a straightforward and honest response to the original request, the authority could have saved itself a considerable amount of trouble.

Why are they so keen to avoid answering this particular FOI? Not forgetting that Mr Janik is not the first person to ask the authority these questions. The fact is, the authority failed to comply with the first request as well, by deceiving the requester into believing they do not hold the information. That is not true, they hold the information on the Capita system. The information is used for internal performance reporting. The authority doesn't want to disclose it.

Why is the authority so keen to avoid disclosing this information?

Might it be because housing stock is not always properly allocated?

Is it because they were caught out a few years ago when a whistleblower discovered and disclosed to senior management that inappropriate and unlawful allocation of council housing stock had been going on for years? Was the whistleblower rewarded for their diligence and public spirit? Er, not exactly, no.

It is still going on. Conscientious and honest staff are concerned, but don't disclose their concerns. They have seen what happens to people who do.

Michael Hart left an annotation ()

The following is presented as part of the reason for denying the request.

"Often your requests appear to be part of a completely random approach, lack any clear
focus, and seem to have been solely designed for the purpose of ‘fishing’ for information
without any idea of what might be revealed. "

This is unacceptable as under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 , applicants do not have to give a reason for their request.

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