Request for findings and outcomes of Independent Review of Humphrey's Café at Campus West

The request was partially successful.

Dear Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council,

I am writing to you again in respect of "Humphrey’s Café" at Campus West. On 27th March 2017, I wrote to you to ask for information in respect of the excessive costs incurred by this café. You provided a response to that request on 24th April 2017, but your response left a number of questions unanswered. You subsequently made a statement to the press in response to my further questions about the operation, as follows:

“Costs were allocated to Humphrey’s for multi-skilled staff working in many other parts of the business and a breakdown of figures for the café only would not accurately represent its performance. We are, however, reviewing how the budget is presented in the future to help make it clearer.

“Improving income at Campus West and managing costs more effectively remains a top priority. An independent consultant is in the final stages of a full review which will make recommendations on how we can raise revenue and reduce costs, without impacting on the quality of the facilities we know so many people enjoy.

“The findings of this review will be considered by the cross-party Campus West Cabinet Panel, before taking recommendations to cabinet.”
That statement was issued in May 2017, so now, 8 months on, I would hope that the independent review (that was in its final stages at that time) has now been completed and its recommendations acted upon.

I would therefore like to ask for the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000:

• When was the independent review completed? If it has not been completed, when is it expected to report?
• Has the report been made publicly available? If so, where has it been published? If not, can you please provide a summary of the key findings and recommendations (whether or not adopted by council)
• How much did the independent review cost and by whom was it undertaken?
• Were the findings given due consideration by the cross-party cabinet panel and what recommendations were ultimately made to cabinet? Could you please provide pertinent dates and any available minutes for relevant meetings of either cabinet.
• What changes have been made or are planned to reduce costs and/or increase revenue as a result of this independent review?
• What are the target savings and/or revenue increases and over what timescales do these targets apply?

Please note: this is an entirely new request and not an extension of my request of March 2017.

Could you please provide the requested information in electronic format , preferably as a device independent plain text document.

Yours faithfully,

Crispin Driver

Ian Colyer, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Classification: Unrestricted

 

Dear Mr Driver,

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 18^th January 2018.

 

The Council’s policy is to release information unless an exemption can be
reasonably applied. The Council will respond within 20 working days by
either releasing the information or letting you know why it cannot release
the information. If for any reason it is not possible to respond within
the 20 days, we will let you know as soon as possible with the date by
which we anticipate we are able to respond.  

 

For your information, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 defines a number
of exemptions, which may prevent release of the information you have
requested. There will be an assessment of your request and if any of the
exemption categories apply then the information may not be released. You
will be informed if this is the case, including your rights of appeal
against the refusal to disclose the information.

 

If the information you request concerns a third party then they may be
consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release the
information to you. You will be informed if this is the case.

 

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact Ian Colyer,
Freedom of Information Officer, Welwyn Hatfield Council, Council Offices,
The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts. AL8 6LA, Tel: 01707 357413, Email:
[1][Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council request email]

 

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
at:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane

Wilmslow,

Cheshire,

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

[2]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

Ian Colyer,

Freedom of Information Officer

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Telephone: 01707 357413

Email: [3][email address]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ian Colyer, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

1 Attachment

Classification: Unrestricted

Dear Mr Driver,

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 18^th February
2018. Please see the response set out below.

 

•       When was the independent review completed? If it has not been
completed, when is it expected to report?

The independent review of CW Entertainment was completed in July 2017.

 

•       Has the report been made publicly available? If so, where has it
been published? If not, can you please provide a summary of the key
findings and recommendations (whether or not adopted by council)

The review report is internal to the council and it has not been made
publicly available. This is because it contains sensitive financial and
operational data which the council does not intend to share with CW
Entertainment’s local competitors.

 

•       How much did the independent review cost and by whom was it
undertaken?

The independent review was undertaken by a specialist leisure consultant
who was recommended to the council by the East of England Local Government
Association. The cost of this was £8,000.

 

•       Were the findings given due consideration by the cross-party
cabinet panel and what recommendations were ultimately made to cabinet?
Could you please provide pertinent dates and any available minutes for
relevant meetings of either cabinet?

The findings and recommendations of the independent review, including a
presentation from the consultant, were given due consideration by the
cross-party Cabinet Panel when it met in July 2017. The Panel’s minutes
were then reported to a Cabinet meeting in September 2017 with a
recommendation to adopt all key findings and approve their
implementation.  These Panel minutes have not been published by virtue of
paragraph 3 (private financial or business information) of Part 1 of
Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

•       What changes have been made or are planned to reduce costs and/or
increase revenue as a result of this independent review?

A programme of cost reductions has been ongoing since September 2017.
These include a review of all current fees and charges which have been
publicly reported as part of the setting of the council’s budget for
2018-19; a streamlining of marketing costs to make it more targeted and
effective in promoting CW Entertainment; and seeking better financial
deals for the goods and supplies needed to support all businesses within
CW Entertainment.

 

•       What are the target savings and/or revenue increases and over what
timescales do these targets apply?

The council will be able to reduce the overall cost of operating CW
Entertainment by approximately £200,000 for 2018-19.

 

I hope this satisfies your request but if you have any queries or concerns
then please contact Ian Colyer, Freedom of Information Officer, Welwyn
Hatfield Council, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City,
Hertfordshire AL8 6LA, Telephone: 01707 357413,
Email:[Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council request email]. I attach a copy of the Freedom of Information
complaint procedure.

 

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
at:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

[1]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Ian Colyer

Freedom of Information Officer

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Telephone: 01707 357413

Email: [2][email address]

[3]www.welhat.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

You can report missed bins, abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping, litter,
graffiti and flyposting as well as tell us about problems with litter and
dog bins Online. The information in this email is intended for the named
recipients only. It may be subject to public disclosure under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000. Unless the information is legally exempt from
disclosure, the confidentiality of this email and your reply cannot be
guaranteed. This email and any attachments may contain confidential
information and intellectual property (including copyright material). It
is only for the use of the addressee(s) in accordance with any
instructions contained within it. Please treat any personal and
sensitivity data that may be contained within this email in accordance
with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act). Such data
should only be processed and retained where there is a legitimate need to
do so. Should you have a legitimate need to share this information please
make the recipient aware of their responsibilities for handling this data
in accordance with the Act. If you are not the addressee, you are
prohibited from copying, forwarding, disclosing, saving or otherwise using
it in any way. If you receive this email in error, please immediately
advise the sender and delete it. Sopra Steria may monitor the content of
emails within Welwyn Hatfield Council?s network to ensure compliance with
the Council?s policies and procedures. Emails are susceptible to
alteration and their integrity (including origin) cannot be assured.
Welwyn Hatfield Council and Steria shall not be liable for any
modification to a message, or for messages falsely sent.

The full Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council email disclaimer can be viewed at
www.welhat.gov.uk/emaildisclaimer.

    

References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.welhat.gov.uk/

Dear Ian Colyer,

In the interests of transparency, and as no minutes are available, could you please confirm who was present at the cross-party Cabinet Panel meeting that was held in July 2017.

Could you also please confirm who undertook the independent review, as per my original request.

Yours sincerely,

Crispin Driver

Dear Ian Colyer,

On 17th February, I sent you the following, asking for clarification to your reply of 15th February:

"In the interests of transparency, and as no minutes are available, could you please confirm who was present at the cross-party Cabinet Panel meeting that was held in July 2017.

Could you also please confirm who undertook the independent review, as per my original request."

As of the time of writing, I have received neither acknowledgement of nor response to my question. Could you please acknowledge receipt of this question and provide the answers as requested. If it is your intention to provide no further information in respect of this request, could you please indicate this fact.

Yours sincerely,

Crispin Driver

Ian Colyer, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Classification: Unrestricted

Dear Mr Driver,

I can confirm that the Councillors present at the cross party meeting of the Cabinet Panel were Tony Kingsbury, Bernard Sarson, Nick Pace, Helen Beckett and Alan Chesterman.
I can also confirm again, as stated in my last response, that the review was undertaken by the East of England LGA.

Ian Colyer
Freedom of Information Officer
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Telephone: 01707 357413
Email: [email address]
www.welhat.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Ian Colyer,

Thank you for confirming the attendees at the Cabinet Panel meeting that held in July 2017.

However, your response to my second question, asking for confirmation of who actually who undertook the independent review, is at variance to your original response . Initially you stated that "The independent review was undertaken by a specialist leisure consultant who was recommended to the council by the East of England Local Government Association." However you now say the review was actually carried out by the East of England Local Government Association themselves.

Did Welwyn Hatfield enter into a contract with the East of England Local Government Association or with the specialist leisure consultant for the purposes of this review? If the latter, could you please confirm who the specialist leisure consultant was.

Yours sincerely,

Crispin Driver

Dear Ian Colyer,

I am still awaiting a response to the clarification that I requested on 27th February, namely:

"Did Welwyn Hatfield enter into a contract with the East of England Local Government Association or with the specialist leisure consultant for the purposes of this review? If the latter, could you please confirm who the specialist leisure consultant was."

Could you please provide an answer ASAP, so that I can mark this request as complete. If it is your intention not to answer this specific question, could you please let me know this, along with your reasons for withholding that information, again, so that I can mark this request as complete.

Yours sincerely,

Crispin Driver

Ian Colyer, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

I am out of the office from Monday 5th March 2018 returning to work on Tuesday 3rd April 2018. If you would like to leave me a message, I will get back to you upon my return to work.

If your email is in connection with a Freedom of Information request please email [Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council request email] and a colleague will acknowledge your request.

Thank You

Ian Colyer, Principal Governance Officer & Freedom of Information Officer, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Dear Ian Colyer,

On 12th March, I emailed to request a response to my email of 27th February. You replied with an automated response advising me that you would be out of the office until 3rd April.

As it is now 11th April, and I have heard nothing further, could I remind you that this request remains unresolved, so could you therefore please provide a response to my email of 27th Feburary as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely,

Crispin Driver

Dear Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council,

Could you please acknowledge and provide an answer to my email of 27 February 2018, requesting clarification of the nature of the contractual relationship between the East of England LGA, WHBC and any other third party involved in the audit of the operation at CW Entertainment.

Could you please respond by Friday 20th May, either with an answer to my question or with a statement that you decline to provide the requested information.

If I do not hear either way by close of business on Friday 20th May, I will have no option other than to mark this request as unresolved and to request a formal internal review.

Yours faithfully,

Crispin Driver

Ian Colyer, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Classification: Unrestricted

Dear Mr Driver,

I have now checked the information given to me re the above review and clarification is set out below.

The consultant was sourced through the East of England Local Government Association after the Council approached them. We have decided that we will not release the consultants name as this information is not in the public domain.

Ian Colyer,
Freedom of Information Officer,
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
E: [email address]
T: 01707 357413

show quoted sections

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