Stonepound House

Teresa Cooper made this Freedom of Information request to East Sussex County 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 Sir or Madam,

I would like the following information under the freedom of information act

How many girls were placed in Stonepound house East Sussex between 1969 and its closure?

What date did stonepound house close and why?

Who holds all the personal records of girls placed in Stonepound house by the local authority?

What capacity was the unit used for ie secure, children's home or other?

How many girls have in the last three years requested their care files/records whilst in your care during the 70's & 80's?

How many have since obtained their care records since their request?

Can you please state clearly how many files you currently hold on girls placed in stonepound house by your local authority and by any other local authority and seperate the numbers between yours and others

If you do not hold the records of girls please state why they have been refused and on what grounds

I am not asking for individual girls details

Yours faithfully,

Teresa Cooper

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

Dear Ms Cooper

FOI Request Ref 2009 / 563 / Cooper / Stonepound House

Thank you for your request for information about Stonepound House. Your
request was received on 25 November 2009 and I am dealing with it under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We always aim to respond as quickly as possible, and certainly no later
than 23 December 2009, which is the 20 working day deadline. The deadline
is counted from the first working day we receive it, not the date a letter
is written / posted or an email sent.

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

Please quote the above reference number in any communication regarding
this particular request.

Yours sincerely
Michelle Southgate
Freedom of Information Team
C6F, County Hall, St Anne's Crescent
Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1SW

Phone: 01273 481876 Fax: 01273 481208
E-mail: [email address]
Web: [1]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

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Dear Freedom of Information,

You have exceeded the time set out and would like to know why you have delayed a response?

If I do not hear from you in return I will pass this onto the ICO to look into further

Yours sincerely,

Teresa Cooper

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

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Dear Ms Cooper
FOI request ref 2009 / 563 / Stonepound House
Thank you for your email. I am very sorry that we did not get our response
to you by 23 December. As promised in our email of 25 November, I am
writing to advise the outcome of our search for the information you
requested on that date.

You asked for information regarding Stonepound House, East Sussex. Some of
the information you requested is not held by the County Council. Your
specific request, together with our response, is set out at the end of
this email.

I am sorry we have not been able to provide all the information you are
seeking. If you believe that the County Council has not complied with the
FOI Act in responding to your request, you may ask for an internal review.
If you wish to do so, please set out the grounds of your appeal in writing
to Andrew Ogden, Director of Law and Personnel, East Sussex County
Council, County Hall, St Anne's Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1SW, or
by email to him at [1][email address]. Please quote the
FOI reference number in any communication regarding this particular
request.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you then
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision
unless you have exhausted the County Council's internal review procedure
as described in the previous paragraph. The Commissioner can be contacted
at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  Tel: 01625 545 700. 
[2]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Jane Bartlett
Freedom of Information Officer
East Sussex County Council
C6F, County Hall
St Anne's Crescent
Lewes
East Sussex
BN7 1SW
Phone: 01273 482913    Fax: 01273 481208  
email: [3][email address].uk   web: [4]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

FOI request ref 2009 / 563 / Stonepound House
Request
1. How many girls were placed in Stonepound house East Sussex between 1969
and its closure?
2. What date did stonepound house close and why?
3. Who holds all the personal records of girls placed in Stonepound house
by the local authority?
4. What capacity was the unit used for ie secure, children's home or
other?
5. How many girls have in the last three years requested their care
files/records whilst in your care during the 70's & 80's?

6. How many have since obtained their care records since their request?
7. Can you please state clearly how many files you currently hold on girls
placed in stonepound house by your local authority and by any other local
authority and seperate the numbers between yours and others

8. If you do not hold the records of girls please state why they have been
refused and on what grounds
Response
Q1. How many girls were placed in Stonepound House East Sussex between
1969 and its closure?
This information is not held by the County Council.
Q2. What date did Stonepound House close and why?
This information is not held centrally by the County Council. However
research undertaken by colleagues in the East Sussex Record Office shows
that East Sussex County Council (ESCC) acquired Stonepound House ,
Hassocks as a remand home for girls aged 8-17 and this was opened in
1950. It became a children's home in 1952 and was again used as a remand
home in 1960. Certainly in the early 1960s there were other contributing
authorities - London, Surrey, Kent and Brighton, as well as ESCC. It was
still in use and run by ESCC in 1969. We believe that Stonepound House
passed to West Sussex County Council (WSCC) as part of the local
government reorganisation in 1974 but we have no definitive evidence of
this. We also made some enquiries to West Sussex Record Office which
suggests that it did pass to West Sussex; however I do not believe they
hold any information relating to the period in question.

Q3. Who holds all the personal records of girls placed in Stonepound house
by the local authority?
"Personal records" in the form of individual care files for each young
person would have been created and held by the relevant local authority.
ESCC holds files by reference to individuals, not to a specific home or
location (and I suspect this will also be the case for other local
authorities - as indicated at Q2, several other authorities also placed
girls in Stonepound House).

4. What capacity was the unit used for ie secure, children's home or
other?
See response under 2 above.
5. How many girls have in the last three years requested their care
files/records whilst in your care during the 70's & 80's?
6. How many have since obtained their care records since their request?
This information is not held centrally. Requests for personal information
may be made by individuals directly to the social care team, or by formal
requests under the Data Protection Act. Where requests are dealt with
directly by the social care teams, this will be noted on the individual's
care file, but is not recorded centrally. I co-ordinate response to
requests made under the Data Protection Act, but records are only held by
reference to individual names.

7. Can you please state clearly how many files you currently hold on girls
placed in Stonepound House by your local authority and by any other local
authority and seperate the numbers between yours and others

As indicated at Q3, any records would be held by reference to individuals,
not to a specific home or location. No electronic records case management
system was in place at the time that Stonepound House was under the
control of East Sussex County Council. Our current case management system
relating to social care files commenced in 2001; this replaced the
previous system which was set up in 1988.

8. If you do not hold the records of girls please state why they have been
refused and on what grounds
We can only provide access to information if we hold it. Until the passing
of the Children Act in 1989 it was considered correct practice to destroy
closed case files after ten years.

- response ends -

This message is intended for the use of the addressee only and may
contain confidential or privileged information. If you have received it in
error please notify the sender and destroy it. You may not use it or copy
it to anyone else.

E-mail is not a secure communications medium. Please be aware of this
when replying. All communications sent to or from the County Council
may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with
relevant legislation.

Although East Sussex County Council has taken steps to ensure that this
e-mail and any attachments are virus free, we can take no responsibility
if a virus is actually present and you are advised to ensure that the
appropriate checks are made.

You can visit our website at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

References

Visible links
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2. https://portal.eastsussex.gov.uk/exchweb...
3. mailto:[email address]
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