Chris Longley brings us up to date

From Chris Longley MBE

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOI) REQUEST PROGRESS: ROTHERHAM METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL (RMBC) INFORMATION

Dear Rothpol readers,

This note is to bring people up to date (September 10 2013) with the current state of release of RMBC information under my FOI request.

1 RMBC INFORMATION I HAVE NOW RECEIVED IN HARD COPY FORMAT

I have now received the majority of the Agendas and the Minutes of the Rotherham Child Safeguarding Board spanning the period 3 December 2002 to 3 December 2010, an eight year span.

I also have some reports relating to child sexual abuse that have been submitted to specific Meetings, but not all of them. I have asked for the missing Agendas and Minutes to be provided as well as the missing reports and I must make very clear that I have no reason to believe they will not be made available.

2 FURTHER INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED UNDER THE SAME ORIGINAL FOI REQUEST

It was agreed under the same FOI request noted above that when I had looked at this information (set out at 1 above) I would also be provided with those Agendas, Minutes and Reports to the RMBC Cabinet where matters related to the activities of the Rotherham Child Safeguarding Board were concerned. I have now confirmed to RMBC in writing those RMBC Cabinet Agendas, Minutes etc that I would like RMBC to provide to me under that original FOI. If any separate reports about child sexual abuse were also submitted to Cabinet I have asked for those too.

Again I must say to you that I have no reason whatsoever at the time of writing to believe that the arrival of these additional materials will be delayed.

3 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION I HAVE NOW REQUESTED FROM RMBC UNDER A NEW AND SEPARATE FOI REQUEST

I have asked RMBC recently – and in writing at their request – for details of the allowances and expenses paid to (the then) Councillor Shaun Wright in each of the following Council Years during which he held office as RMBC Cabinet Member responsible for Children (his title apparently varied during this continuous period of Office):

2005/6
2006/7
2007/8
2008/9
2009/10

RMBC have already confirmed to me in writing that these are the Council years during which Ex Councillor Wright held office.

I must absolutely make clear that I have asked only for those allowances and expenses paid to Ex Councillor Wright in connection with his responsibilities as Cabinet Member for Children. I have made it clear that I am not interested in the allowances and expenses he was paid in respect of his ordinary responsibilities as an RMBC Councillor: I am only interested in those allowances and expenses that arose from his additional responsibilities as an RMBC Cabinet Member for Children

4 GENERAL COMMENTS

I am grateful to RMBC officers for their co-operation in these matters and I look forward to my being able to establish the timeline of “who knew what, when they knew it, and what they instructed to be done” in due course. The public domain is of course replete with information about the cruelties that were being visited upon many many innocent children in Rotherham during this span of years and a comparison of those publicly known, vile and traumatic events with the recorded actions of RMBC and its various partners during these times will be instructive.

You now know the structure of what I know and what I expect to know. I will keep you all up to date as further information arrives from RMBC. When my note is completed it will of course come here first, followed about 30 seconds later by its transmission to The Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP and all the members of his Home Affairs Committee at the House of Commons.

And my thanks to everybody who called or emailed their support to me, as well to all who blogged it here on Rothpol. It means such a lot.

Kind regards

Chris

Chris Longley MBE

We are in your debt for the work you are undertaking, trying to bring out some truth in this sorry mess. Rothpol.

13 thoughts on “Chris Longley brings us up to date

  1. It would be interesting to know Jo Burton’s claim whilst holding the position of Vice Chair also whilst sitting on the committee as a member.

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    • I think people need to remember that this appears to be a national failure. No one works harder than Jo for her constituents especially young women.

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      • Is that the Labour line, it’s a National problem, nothing to do with Rotherham, then?
        Jo Burton is condemning the victims of exploitation to further suffering by her continued silence, along with the other 56 members of Labour Group!
        They are all a disgrace to the Labour movement, they should all hang their heads in shame, Jo Burton among them!

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  2. Do you requests include the minutes of the relevant licensing committee meetings where taxi drivers are granted or refused licences and where disciplinary proceedings are heard and adjudicated upon?

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    • From Chris Longley MBE

      Dear Will Ewart

      No they don’t include requets for Minutes of the Licencing Committee.

      This is because my interest in these dreadful matters stems from two things:

      (A) The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections that were getting under way this time last year, and specifically Ex-Councillor Shaun Wright’s never respnding to any questions about these matters of systemic child sexual abuse during that PCC campaign whilst he was a candidate.

      and

      (B) that the anonymous messages about his involvement.kept coming even after the Election and his victory.

      My focus on “what he knew, when he knew it and what did he do” is therefore deliberately narrow because this man is now in charge of the safety and protection of every child across South Yorkshire. There are still many questions he must answer.

      I hope this helps, Will, because I am so very grateful to you and many others for your support.

      Kind regards

      Chris

      Chris Longley MBE

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      • From Chris Longley MBE

        Dear All

        Again, many thanks for the support I am being offered.

        But I must repeat that my interest here is solely the pursuit of the truth about what happened inside the Rotherham Child Safeguarding Board and the RMBC Cabinet in past times. I want the truth about how Ex-Councillor Wright with his responsibilities, duties, authorities and accountabilities discharged those vital aspects of public authority governance whilst systemic child sexual abuse, rape and trafficking were taking place across his Borough on an industrial scale.

        I want “what he knew, when he knew it and what he did” out into the public domain because the public of South Yorkshire are entitled to know how their Police and Crime Commissioner acted in those past times – and in the face of such massive criminalty visisted uopn the innocent – when he now holds the duty of care for all their daughters in 2013

        I must also repeat that I am a member of no political party and I never have been. I will never enter any party political debate about this matter. I simply want the truths I have set out above to see the daylight.

        Kindest regards to everybody

        Chris

        Chris Longley MBE

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  3. Well said Chris, if you spread the net too wide, something is bound to get lost. Will, further enquiries can be made after Wright’s involvement has been established beyond doubt.
    Keep up the good work, I’m sure you’ll get there in the end as there is no doubt there is plenty to expose about Wright.

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  4. Honstley Chris Longley MBE,I’m not only blown away but also confused with how you are able to access,or be provided ‘specific information’ upon your requesting this under the FOI act?
    ……………MY QUESTIONABLE POINT(S) BEING………
    I having from 2008 personally asked for the access to & RMBC employed representetives refusing to discuss & having been clearly ignored I formaly attempted to gain my legal rights to this information.I was eventually in 2011 provided with advice (from Parent Partnership worker).
    In November 2011 made a ‘SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST’ for the ‘access to/a copy of
    Specificly detailed records that RMBC hold.Also as in accordance with it’s legal duties placed upon “Under the DPA 2010”.
    I WAS THEN MADE TO WAIT??…AFTER HAVING TO CONSTANTLY E-MAIL (yes i have kept) for 12 MONTHS FOR THE INFORMATION. FINALY THE RECORDS WHAT I WAS PROVIDED BY THE LA’S GOVORNANCE OFFICER MEETING AT RIVERSIDE HOUSE INFORMED MYSELF OF HAVING RECEIVED ALL MY CHILDS RECORDS THAT THE LA HOLD…
    BUT?……”THEY SEEM TO HAVING LOST THE ATTENDED SCHOOL(S) RECORDS ALSO HIS CASE FILE(S) & EDUCATIONAL RECORDS”…..
    When I having questioned this “I was BLOWN out of the water with the response of LA’s representitive having over 5yrs personally met with.The Special Educational Needs manager (HB).
    “Go and get legal advice then Mr COX”. “you will only find there Now isn’t any good solicitor that would take my child’s case,as their being NO Legal Aid for this in Rotherham”….

    The background for making my FOI request is as follows….
    COVER UP OF IT’S (Local Authority) SERIOUS FAILURES ….
    My child from 2003-2008 registered being on school role/ receiving free school meals attending Thornhill Primary School,The LA FAILED to Identify my child,
    The LA FAILURES OF IT’S LEGAL DUTIES are that serious that My child was subject to EXCEED 75 exclusions…. over 45 days is both illegal & criminal.
    In total being ABSENT from Education for 2 (two) whole accademic school years.

    The Leaders of/for Rotherham Local Authority,it’s employed Service Representitives & Managers FAILED TO IDENTIFY my child,his special needs also his/any Learning Disabilities.This ongoing from 2006-upto present day…& still deny & refuse his any and every legal child education rights as in accordance with our british uk law?..
    Sorry for ranting…This subject is so complex…
    KEEP LOOKING BECAUSE I HAVE TO GO PUBLIC WITHOUT ANY DOUBT..I HOPE TO GET SOME INTEREST AND HOPE THIS NEGLECT STOPS…FULL STOP.
    Anthing & everything i written is true actual fact.
    I have records that show conspiring to deny legal rights.
    Altering of recieved files/records by service managers stated as being an ILLegal & Criminal act in the DPA.

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    • From Chris Longley MBE

      Dear Dave Cox

      Apart from minor administrative stuff, pretty well all my letters to and from Rotherham Council about my FOI requests are already on this Rothpol blog.

      I started with a wide request but after I spoke with the RMBC Freedom of Information team I narrowed down my request simply to matters of child rape, trafficking and sexual abuse so that the cost of replying to me was more reasonable. For example I made plain that I was not interested in questions of adoption, fostering or other issues.

      I also made an agreement with the RMBC Freedom of Information team that when I had found out what additional information I would need (specifically the Cabinet Minutes and the reports to Cabinet about child rape, trafficking and sexual abuse) my original Freedom of Information Request would cover those also.

      The only new and additional FOI request is for details of the special responsibility allowances (and directly associated expenses) paid to Ex Councillor Shaun Wright when he was Cabinet Member responsible for children for five years from 2005/2006 to 2009/2010.

      I now have the majority of Agendas, Minutes and Reports (about about child rape, trafficking and sexual abuse, that is) of the Child Safeguarding Board between 2002 and 2010. I await the Cabinet papers that match with them.

      It has simply taken time.

      Kindest regards

      Chris

      Chris Longley MBE

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      • So on making a request under the FOI (keeping costs at a minimum) giving a minimum breakdown of ‘specific subject records I was requesting’,giving reference to exact dates 2006-2008 period,LA childrens young peoples meetings with service representatives,giving each professional.
        Would a 12 month waiting time be an acceptable timescale.?
        To then receiving ONLY 100’s & 100’s of DUPLICATE COPIES of LA Representatives exchanged e-mails that was never asked within any sentence of my Freedom of information request.
        The records having clear alterations with penned notes?
        THEN TO DISCOVER NONE OF THE INFORMATION REQUESTED HAD BEEN PROVIDED AT ALL.
        Further meeting with Rotherham LA’s Local Governance officer (JK),along with LA’s SEN manager (HB) & Myself at Riverside House.James & Helen claim “They (LA) Have Lost ALL The School Education/SA &SA+ & SEN’s Records of my child.
        Is this said within the DPA 1998 as a Breach and a Criminal Act?

        Thank you for reading Chris.:-)

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  5. This is an update.

    From Chris Longley MBE
    Dear Rothpol
    I have received today the following information from RMBC:

    QUOTATION BEGINS

    “Dear Mr Longley

    Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request for Information 547

    I refer to your request for information dated 9 September 2013. Please find our response below.

    1. The annual allowances paid to Councillor Shaun Wright in recognition of the additional responsibilities held by him as the RMBC Cabinet Member responsible for Children in each of the years between 2005/6 and 2010/11.

    The annual Special Responsibility Allowances received by Councillor Shaun Wright for being the Cabinet Member, in addition to the basic allowance, are shown below:
    2005/06 £14,859
    2006/07 £15,297
    2007/08 £15,297
    2008/09 £15,676
    2009/10 £16,108
    2010/11 Mayoral Year (stood down as a Cabinet member)

    2. Those annual expenses paid to Councillor Shaun Wright in recognition of expenses incurred through his discharge of the additional responsibilities held by him as the RMBC Cabinet Member responsible for Children in each of the years between 2005/6 and 2010/11. I am not interested in the annual sum totals of all expenses claimed by Councillor Wright – just those claimed and paid in connection annually with his additional duties as Cabinet Member for Children.

    From 2005/06 to 2010/11 there were no expense claims submitted by Councillor Shaun Wright in connection with the additional responsibilities held by him”

    QUOTATION ENDS.

    This means that Ex-Councillor Wright received £77237 between 2005/6 and 2009/10 in Special Responsibility Allowances for being RMBC Cabinet Member for Children, but claimed no extra expenses at all during the discharge of those special responsibilities.

    I am told the balance of my recent FOI Request proceeds apace.

    Kind regards

    Chris

    Chris Longley MBE

    Like

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