FOI 2012.19.12 – Lack of a response from RMBC to DoH consultation


Dear Sirs,

As an active and empowered citizen with an interest in the costs and activities of those who seek and enjoy public service at considerable financial expense to the local taxpayer I read the following item – – with considerable interest and thought I would establish what had been the response from those elected members with responsibility for the health and social care of me and my family, within Rotherham MBC.

I was astonished, very disappointed, but not in the least bit surprised to find that there appears to be no recorded formal response from RMBC, unlike Wakefield Council, Sheffield City Council Health Scrutiny Committee, Leeds City Council Health Scrutiny Board, Chesterfield Borough Council and Barnsley MBC to name a few local statutory authorities who did provide a formal response.

It seems like I’m living in a disadvantage postcode lottery area in comparison to those citizens whose elected members and statutory authorities did provide responses on behalf of the communities they are elected to serve.

I therefore require you to provide me with the following information –

1. Why Rotherham MBC Elected Members and Officers fail to respond to the consultation?

2. Who, why and when, within Rotherham MBC decided not to respond to the consultation.

3. Were Rotherham MBC Elected Members and Officers aware of the consultation?

4. If Rotherham MBC Elected Members and Officers were not aware of the consultation, specify in detail why not.

5. Did Rotherham MBC Elected Members and Officers discuss the DoH Consultation with members of NHS Rotherham and/or Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group?

Please provide the above information in electronic format and within the timescale prescribed in the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours Sincerley,
Donald H. Buxton

Responding to enquiries – Ken Wyatt shows how it should be done

Don Buxton has let Rotherham Politics have this email exchange he has had very recently with Councillor Ken Wyatt. We bring it to you as it serves to demonstrate how it should be done, with courtesy combined with simple straightforwardness. Rothpol is glad that Ken Wyatt is one of his local Councillors.

On Tue, 10/7/12, DON BUXTON wrote:

To: KenWyatt ,
Date: Tuesday, 10 July, 2012, 16:42

Dear Cllr Wyatt,

Many thanks for your most courteous and positive response to my suggestions which may further enhance the worthy work of your Board.

As a very regular NHS service user I would value any future opportunity to be of assistance to you and Health and Well Being Colleagues and the work that you do.

Yours Sincerely,
Donald H. Buxton

On Tue, 10/7/12, Wyatt, Ken wrote:
From: Wyatt, Ken
To: DON BUXTON, “ChiefExecutive”
Date: Tuesday, 10 July, 2012, 11:43

Dear Mr Buxton.

Thank you for your email and your interest in the work of the new Rotherham Health and Wellbeing Board (H&WBB).

You make a fair point regarding the use of acronyms in public documents and I will draw this to the attention of the H&WBB this week under the agenda item ‘communications’.

It is very easy for people inside organisations to slip in to the use of acronyms and language which may not be fully understood by people on the outside.

Best wishes and thank you once again for your kind words of support for the Board.

Councillor Ken Wyatt J.P.
Elected Member for Swinton Ward.
Cabinet Member Rotherham MBC.

Sent: 07 July 2012 07:30
To: Wyatt, Ken; ChiefExecutive


Dear Cllr Wyatt,

As a very active and empowered Wickersley resident, voter and ratepayer with a keen interest in the work of RMBC Elected Members and Officers, I have lately perused the following documents – – of the Health and Well Being Board of which I note you are the Chairman.

As a critical friend of RMBC I would like to offer the following observation and advice to you which I believe will positively enhance the public’s future understanding of your Board’s reports and documents and the very worthy work which it undertakes on behalf of Rotherham ‘s population.

1. Please will you instruct your RMBC Elected Members and Officers, and partners and stakeholders, to refrain from the prolific use of unexplained acronyms in your public documents, i.e. “CCG” “NAS” “NHSR” “RDaSH.

The unnecessary use of such a plethora of acronyms, particularly when unexplained, only further serves to alienate, confound and confuse the unempowered citizen, particularly BME and elderly citizens, from gaining a full understanding of such documents and runs the risk of them possibly failing to engage with healthcare professionals to the detriment of their future health and well-being.

I offer you the above advice in a spirit of constructive dialogue and hope that you will take onboard my advice.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance to you and your Board.

Yours Sincerely,
Donald H. Buxton

Coining it in!

The list so far, of Rotherham Borough Councillors that are paid, at least twice, for the same period of time, is this form of abuse acceptable?

Cllr Shabana Ahmed: Works for Sheffield CC.

Cllr Dominic Beck: Works for Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber.

Cllr Maggi Clark: Linda McAvan a Y&H Labour MEP, employs her in the Wath Labour Office.

Cllr Emma Hodinott: A North Yorkshire County Council ‘Pilgrim’*, Seconded to UNISON full time.

Cllr Mahroof Hussain: Works for Leger Homes, an ‘arms length’ organisation, managing Doncaster’s public housing.

Cllr Neil License: Works for HMRC. PCS NEC member.

Cllr Chris Read: Works for York Labour Party, duties unclear.

Cllr Kath Sims: Works for Denis MacShane, who is currently suspended from PLP.

Cllr Brian Steele: Works for Barnsley MBC and is another ‘Pilgrim’* seconded to Unison.

Cllr Shaun Wright: Works for Barnsley MBC. Additionally he is paid for being a member of the South Yorkshire Police Authority, £6,948 for membership and an extra payment of £12,132 in recognition of his Vice-Chairmanship.

Should readers have other nominees for this list please let us know?

Note*: Pilgrim,

On Guido Fawkes’ Blog: Pilgrim Consultation Due to Start Imminently

and Whitehall Pilgrims Exposed