Responding to media and customers outside normal working hours

Mr F T Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Guildford Borough Council

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

The request was partially successful.

Dear Guildford Borough Council,

Please provide documents that describe or relate to those
procedures in place for responding to enquiries from media
organisations or customers by telephone, email, your website,
Facebook or Twitter accounts during those hours outside of your
normal core working times.

Please provide documents that relate to the above procedures in the
following instances: 1. routine enquiries, 2. civil emergency
situations, 3. business continuity situations that are not civil
emergencies

Please provide documents that describe or provide information
about:
a. Any out of hours staff rotas the council operates in the above
context (please release documents describing the schemes)
b. Who participates in these rotas (please release documents
including job titles of individuals and number of participants
involved)
c. What duties those participants are expected to perform (please
supply documents describing their roles and responsibilities in
these out of normal working hours instances)
d. Whether participation in these rotas or other schemes is
voluntary or compulsory (state which)
e. What remuneration or other benefits staff receive for
participating in the rota or scheme including standby allowances
and further payments in the event of being called upon to do some
work

Please note that I am not interested in individual officers or
their names. I want to understand the schemes the council has in
place, who is involved and how the schemes work.

I’d be happy to provide clarification if necessary. Please let me
know if so. I would prefer to receive this information
electronically. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Mr F T Smith

Tina Bradshaw, Guildford Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Smith

 

I apologise for the delay in responding to your Freedom of Information
request below.  I have had to re-log it and send it to all services as it
was handled incorrectly when it first came into the customer service
centre.

 

I have sent it to all services today, urging people to send their answers
directly to me as soon as possible.

 

Best wishes

 

Tina

 

Tina Bradshaw

Customer Service Team Leader

 

Tel 01483 445081 Fax 01483 444444

 

[1]www.guildford.gov.uk

Guildford Borough Council

Millmead House

Guildford

Surrey GU2 4BB

 

Follow us on Twitter [2]@GuildfordBC

 

We want to know what you think about our customer service – please let us
know by clicking [3]here to complete a short survey. Thank you.

 

 

[4]Guildford Policy event logo no text tinyGet involved and have your say
on the new Local Plan

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Send us your details at: [5][email address]

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Guildford Borough Council UNCLASSIFIED INTERNAL

 

 

 

 

 

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Tina Bradshaw, Guildford Borough Council

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Smith

 

Thank you for your email.  As you made your request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 or Environmental Information Regulations, the format
of this response is formal in order to meet our legal requirements.

 

The Freedom of Information Act relates to recorded information.  The
Council’s duty is to confirm or deny whether it holds a record of the
information you have requested and, if it does, to provide the information
unless it is exempt from disclosure.  The rights under freedom of
information do not apply to ‘head knowledge’, and would not be the
appropriate means to seek advice, speculation on hypothetical scenarios or
make routine enquiries and so on. I have therefore asked each of the
Council’s services to confirm or deny whether they hold records of the
information you have requested and I have attached any relevant
documents.  The Council does not hold any further information relating to
your request except that which is exempt from disclosure (described in the
next paragraph).

 

The Business Systems and Housing Advice services have their own business
continuity plans but will not disclose them as they contain information
that would assist unscrupulous individuals to commit crimes against the
Council and society under computer misuse and other legislation.  The same
is true of the Council’s main business continuity plan. We believe
releasing this information would prejudice the prevention and detection of
crime and is therefore exempt from disclosure under S.31 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

                    

Operational Services have provided two documents which they believe hold
information relevant to your request (see attached files marked ‘OUT OF
HOURS SERVICES’ and ‘Parking Services standby rota’)

 

Neighbourhood and Housing Management Services look after over 5,500
residential properties along with a number of operational properties
ranging from offices to public WC’s. As landlord they have an obligation
to our tenants to deal with urgent defects that need to be dealt with
outside normal working hours. There is also a need to provide similar
cover for the operational buildings. Therefore we believe that, the
Service operates outside of normal office hours as a matter of routine and
therefore they do not hold information relevant to your request.  However,
by way of advice and assistance the Service has provided the following
explanation:

 

·         a standby service for the above and other emergencies which may
need the intervention of maintenance staff. Examples include dealing with
dangerous structures or helping police secure properties. A number of
staff based in Neighbourhood and Housing Management Services provide out
of hours cover on a rota basis to respond to such situations. These staff
will receive calls and decide on what the response should be. This will
range from general advice to commissioning a contractor to attend site. 
This cover is provided by technical staff with their agreement. The cost
of the payments made was around £32,000 last year.

 

·         trade staff who will attend site and carry out certain repairs.
These staff are required to participate in the rota and receive a payment
for being available and an additional payment for work on site. The total
cost of this element of the service was £26,300.

 

The Council also holds the document, “Surrey Major Incident Plan”, which
is attached.

 

I trust the above information addresses your enquiry but you are welcome
to contact me if you need clarification.  The Council, like most public
authorities, receives a high number of requests from the media and from
commercial organisations for research and for marketing purposes and this
places a considerable burden on our limited resources.  We apologise if
our response has taken longer than you expected as a result of this.

 

If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled you
may write to the Council’s Acting Monitoring Officer: Martyn Brake,
Guildford Borough Council, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford GU2 4BB or
by email [1][email address] (please include all relevant
correspondence relating to your request).

 

You also have the right, under Section 50 of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, to ask the Information Commissioner to decide whether your
request has been dealt with in line with the requirements of the Act. His
address is: The Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

Best wishes

 

Tina

 

Tina Bradshaw

Customer Service Team Leader

 

Tel 01483 505050 Fax 01483 444444

 

[2]www.guildford.gov.uk

Guildford Borough Council

Millmead House

Guildford

Surrey GU2 4BB

 

Follow us on Twitter [3]@GuildfordBC

 

We want to know what you think about our customer service – please let us
know by clicking [4]here to complete a short survey. Thank you.

 

 

[5]Guildford Policy event logo no text tinyGet involved and have your say
on the new Local Plan

Make sure you keep up to date by signing up to the Local Plan mailing list

Send us your details at: [6][email address]

Like the Local Plan on Facebook at:
[7]http://www.facebook.com/GBCLocalPlan

Follow us on Twitter @GuildfordBC : [8]http://www.twitter.com/GuildfordBC

 

 

 

Guildford Borough Council UNCLASSIFIED INTERNAL

 

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