Staffing of Control Room

The request was refused by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

Edward Michaels

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,
Could you please advise me how many members of staff were on duty for all of the month of April for each shift in your Control Room and Community Patrol and the length of shift
For clarity this is what I am looking for 30 days of data that says:
Control Room Weds 30th April days 8 hours 3 staff eves 8 hours 3 staff nights 8 hours 3 staff, but obviously with the correct information!
And seperately within Mobile Community Patrol,out on patrol, not filling in the gaps in the Control Room, the same information please.
If this is claimed to take than 18 hours please complete until the limit is used up.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Michaels

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon,

 

Thank you for your recent request made under the Freedom of Information
Act.

It is the opinion of the Council that disclosing information regarding
shift work into the public domain could potentially expose the sites
looked after by the service to the risk of criminal activity. Your request
is therefore refused under Section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Section 31 Law enforcement

(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to, prejudice—

(a) the prevention or detection of crime

 

Section 31 can be viewed in full at [1]this link.

 

Section 31 is a qualified exemption and is therefore subject to the public
interest test. In weighing up the Public Interest test the Council is of
the view that the disclosure of this information could allow for
opportunity for illegal damage to property.  In addition, the disclosure
of staffing levels, into the public domain, allowing shift patterns to be
identified could again offer the opportunity for vandalism or damage to
property.  Balancing this view, it is the Council’s decision that a
refusal to disclose outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

 

In addition to Section 31, the Council has also relied on the exemption
contained within Section 38 of the legislation – Health and Safety.
 Section 38 can be viewed in full at [2]this link.

 

Section 38 is also a qualified exemption and subject to the public
interest test.  The Council is of the view that disclosing information of
staffing levels/shift patterns into the public domain could endanger the
health and safety of its employees.  The health and safety of its
employees is paramount to the Council and when balancing the Public
Interest Test has made the decision that the refusal to disclose outweighs
the public interest in disclosure.  The Council therefore refuses your
request for information and has relied on the exemptions contained in
Sections 31 and 38, as explained above.

 

Please be advised that you have the right, under Section 17 of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 to ask for an internal review of the refusal to
supply the information requested. Please direct any request for an
internal review to [3][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any internal review you also
have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office,
details of which can be found [4]at this link.

 

Kind regards,

 

Sent on behalf of

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to
use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge.

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Edward Michaels left an annotation ()

You currently have four different sources of workforce in your Control Room working 4 different shift patterns.Supervisors, Agency staff,Patrol Officers and Dog Fouling Officers. It would be impossible to identify any shift pattern from the requested information. Further your Community Patrol work a 14 week shift pattern. A snapshot of 30 days from this pattern does not in anyway make identifying 14 weeks possible. Further any shift pattern is for a full crew.Rostered Staffing numbers would always be affected by leave, sickness, swaps,slides,unforeseen circumstances and vacancies etc.
However, to alleviate your concern, please provide the requested information in a random order. For clarity , 30 days as per original request but put in any order you wish. Many Thanks

Edward Michaels

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Staffing of Control Room'
I fail to see how any shifts patterns can be identified from this request for historical data.
You currently have four different sources of workforce in your Control Room working 4 different shift patterns.Supervisors, Agency staff,Patrol Officers and Dog Fouling Officers. It would be impossible to identify any shift pattern from the requested information. Further your Community Patrol work a 14 week shift pattern. A snapshot of 30 days from this pattern does not in anyway make identifying 14 weeks possible. Further any shift pattern is for a full crew.Rostered Staffing numbers would always be affected by leave, sickness, swaps,slides,unforeseen circumstances and vacancies etc.

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

Yours faithfully,

Edward Michaels

C D-Gill left an annotation ()

I too would like to see this information, there seems to be something a bit strange and mystical about the whole control room and the staffing!

Robert Kenny left an annotation ()

The control staffing mystery, formerly the cctv control room or emergency control room who knows the real title, wirral council don't.
In September 2013 as part of the what really matters consultation the cctv control room was proposed to be shut down and the cctv passed to Merseyside police authority at the cost of eleven Emergency Central Control Officers positions being extinguished.
These officers had one group meeting were they were told that the council did not need to provide this service(Mr Platt,director of regeneration) before the consultation had even started, the staff members posed many questions about the other tasks carried out in the control room, many of them out of hour emergencies and important communication links for the community patrol service.The answer given was that they had been given reassurance that all alarm monitoring could be done with new technology and out of hour emergencies would be passed to other departments, staff asked many more questions with that favourite line"we will get back too you with that".Ten days later an email was sent to the control room informing staff that they had one week to take the voluntary redundancy severance or risk seeing there offer diminish from 1.8 weeks per years service to 1.0 per years service this still during the consultation period.
So put yourselve in the position of staff who have already been told your job is going and if you don't take the early voluntary severance you will leave with a flat rate redundancy package three months later on average a loss of up to £10,000.Eight members of the team had over fifteen years service with the remaining three less than three years council service.All the control room staff knew what they were told about the new technology was rubbish but every door was closed when questions were asked.Four or five of the staff had one to one meetings with Mr Platt and suits from H,R still during the consultation process and before the public had their say and it was more of the same negative feedback how the job was not needed,no mention of the previous 25 years of the service. Eight members of staff made the life changing decision to leave the council after a further email a week after the last once again threatening the reduction in severance if staff didn't take voluntary redundancy within the next seven days so no pressure then.On 18th December the cabinet voted to close the cctv control room which would happen at the start of the new financial year 1st April 2014(very apt).The eight staff left sporadically eventually leaving only three staff plus officers from community patrol covering shifts,two of the staff gained redeployment in other departments followed by the last who before leaving was offered a role in the control room carrying out the same job apart from cctv monitoring on reduced terms. The control room remains open carrying out the same duties as before less cctv monitoring, but still produces cctv data for Merseyside police and other agencies from their four digital recording devices, agency staff have been brought in too supplement the community patrol staff who are now based in Cheshire Lines.
As previous f.o.I requests have stated their is an agreed £209,000 budget from cabinet for the control room,not sure when this was agreed as can't find any link for it.
Eleven staff forced out of a job that still remains that is today's council for you no answers and no clue hopefully they answer to the solicitors letter when it lands on their desk.

Christine Ellison left an annotation ()

This unfortunately shows that there is no unity between remaining staff with those who lost their jobs. The unions are toothless tigers and have no power and no sooner than the original staff left than so called colleagues jumped into the still warm seats.

David Clarke left an annotation ()

I can't STRESS this enough, but hopefully any staff that have left will get some answers and due recompense. The same goes for any managers that have left,or remain in post, I'm sure they'll also get what's due to them.

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your email below, please take the contents of this email as
Council’s response to your request for an Internal Review.

As the Reviewing Officer I have taken into account the following:-

The information you requested

The reliance on the exemptions cited in the original response

Guidance on the exemptions from the Information Commissioner’s website.

 

Summary

Your request asked for numbers of staff on duty for the month of April/for
each shift in the Control Room and Community Patrol and also the length of
the shift.   You also asked about the Mobile Community Patrol.

 

The Council refused your request and placed reliance on exemptions
contained within Sections 31 Law Enforcement and 38 Health and Safety. 
The Council gave the view that the disclosure of the requested information
could allow for opportunity for illegal damage to property.   The Council
also gave the view that disclosure of staffing levels could also offer
opportunity for vandalism or damage to property. (Section 31)

 

The response also stated that the Council believed disclosure of the
requested information regarding staffing levels could endanger the health
and safety of its employees. (Section 38)  (The public interest test
considerations were given in the original reply.)

 

The Council still holds the view that disclosure of the requested
information could allow opportunity for illegal damage (Section 31) and
the health and safety of staff could be endangered (Section 38).  As the
Reviewing Officer I agree with the original response which was given to
you and the exemptions relied on to refuse your enquiry.  I have provided
links to the Information Commissioner’s guidance on Section 31 and Section
38 below, which I used when reviewing your request:-

 

[1]http://ico.org.uk/upload/documents/libra...

 

[2]http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guid...

 

If you remain dissatisfied with this Internal Review then you do have the
right to complain to The Information Commissioner at:-

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House, Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire SK9 5AF

[3]www.ico.gov.uk    

 

Kind Regards

Jane Corrin

Information and Central Services Manager

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to
use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge.

 

 

 

 

From: Edward Michaels [mailto:[FOI #209358 email]]
Sent: 15 May 2014 21:39
To: InfoMgr, FinDMT
Subject: Internal Review 783115 - Edward Michaels - Staffing of Control
Room & Community Patrol - Due 16.06.2014

 

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

 

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

 

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Staffing of Control Room'

I fail to see how any shifts patterns can be identified from this request
for historical data.

You currently have four different sources of workforce in your Control
Room working 4 different shift patterns.Supervisors, Agency staff,Patrol
Officers and Dog Fouling Officers. It would be impossible to identify any
shift pattern from the requested information. Further your Community
Patrol work a 14 week shift pattern. A snapshot of 30 days from this
pattern does not in anyway make identifying 14 weeks possible. Further any
shift pattern is for a full crew.Rostered Staffing numbers would always be
affected by leave, sickness, swaps,slides,unforeseen circumstances and
vacancies etc.

 

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on
the Internet at this address:
[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Edward Michaels

 

 

 

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show quoted sections

Stefan Ellis left an annotation ()

It should be made clear that rather than toothless tigers, the unions are the pet pussycats of the Labour Council, having teeth but choosing not to use them.

Chrystal Tip left an annotation ()

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.
Woody Allen

Robert Kenny left an annotation ()

"Essential services such as the cctv emergency control room are vital for the council to function out of hours"...Cllr Phillip Davies...