REVEALED: The damning FOI report council bosses kept secret

REVEALED: The damning FOI report council bosses kept secret

REVEALED: The damning FOI report council bosses kept secret

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , News editor

>>> Read the report here 

A SECRET report has revealed the extent of City of York Council's failure to comply with information laws.

In-house officials carried out a Freedom of Information audit last October and identified seven key concerns, but their detailed findings were not made public.

The council's failure to respond to the public's requests within the legal deadline of 20 working days was identified as a "fundamental system weakness" that presented unacceptable risk and required urgent attention.

The council says it has taken the actions demanded and performance has since improved, but it has come under fire for not having published the damning report at the time.

The Press obtained it through the Freedom of Information Act, itself, and it can be read in full here 

It is the second such secret in-house audit to be made public in recent weeks, following the emergence in June of another report into decision-making systems at the council.

The report reveals that in the year to last October, only 65 per cent of FOI requests were responded to on time, far below the national expectation of 85 per cent and below the 77 per cent figure reported to councillors last September, although the council says its compliance rate has since improved to 81 per cent for 2013/14.

The report says almost half of the late responses had been delayed because the council's communications team "vet some responses before they are sent out".

Veritau said: "The communications team's role is to provide media advice and they should not decide what is exempt."

When the separate secret audit emerged last month, the council said it was usual for such reports to be summarised for meetings of the audit and governance committee, rather than presented in full.

But Maurice Frankel, director of the national Campaign for Freedom of Information, said: "It absolutely should have been made public. I can see no reason why it should not have been."

Veritau, the council's in-house auditors, raised concerns over:

  • Non-compliance with the 20-day deadline
  • The allocation of requests and quality assurance
  • The limited detail of how the council was performing
  • Lack of clarity over who was responsible for complying with the FOI Act
  • The council's publication scheme not being maintained
  • Previously-released information being hard to find on the council's website
  • Information not being published proactively, causing people to have to resort to the FOIA

The first of those was rated most as the most serious problem, the second and third were "significant weaknesses" and the other four were non-significant risks that nonetheless merited attention.

Veritau gave the council an overall rating of only "limited assurance" for its handling of FOI requests, the second-lowest of five ratings, defined as "poor management of risk with significant control weaknesses in key areas".

The Freedom of Information Act became law in January 2005 to grant the public greater access to information held by public-sector bodies, but there have been talks in recent years on diluting it.

City of York Council has faced mounting criticism in recent months over a lack of transparency and openness, from the Local Government Ombudsman, Information Commissioner's Office and opposition parties.

Comments (44)

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3:40pm Fri 18 Jul 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

Mrs England and those responsible should be sacked now for failure to comply with the law. All trust has been lost.
Mrs England and those responsible should be sacked now for failure to comply with the law. All trust has been lost. ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 70

3:49pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Salsaman says...

"although the council says its compliance rate has since improved to 81 per cent for 2013/14"
Would this be why I had to raise an official complaint with the ICO last month! I have not received a response to my request for information relating to Lendal Bridge submitted in April re-submitted in May and again in June also being copied to Cllr Alexander with no response for him either?
Since the introduction of the FoI act I have submitted a number of requests to a number of organisations with varying degrees of success each of which had been because of personal interest in the subject area that the request related to. But CYC has consistently been one of the poorest in responding. If these organisations made public the information being asked for through a publication scheme then this would reduce the number of requests for FoI's, As the act states it is the duty of the organisation to help individuals in obtaining the information they are looking for.
"although the council says its compliance rate has since improved to 81 per cent for 2013/14" Would this be why I had to raise an official complaint with the ICO last month! I have not received a response to my request for information relating to Lendal Bridge submitted in April re-submitted in May and again in June also being copied to Cllr Alexander with no response for him either? Since the introduction of the FoI act I have submitted a number of requests to a number of organisations with varying degrees of success each of which had been because of personal interest in the subject area that the request related to. But CYC has consistently been one of the poorest in responding. If these organisations made public the information being asked for through a publication scheme then this would reduce the number of requests for FoI's, As the act states it is the duty of the organisation to help individuals in obtaining the information they are looking for. Salsaman
  • Score: -10

3:56pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Dave Ruddock says...

there are a few analogizes, the 1930 govt , FOI for FOI for reasons way both FOI where not released (Laurel and Hardy), and of course "The Clangers" lot of noise, nothing said.
Is it Far Far Right or Far Far Left Labor
As for the council meeting, SEEMs no point having one as the power that is Do Not Listen...
there are a few analogizes, the 1930 govt , FOI for FOI for reasons way both FOI where not released (Laurel and Hardy), and of course "The Clangers" lot of noise, nothing said. Is it Far Far Right or Far Far Left Labor As for the council meeting, SEEMs no point having one as the power that is Do Not Listen... Dave Ruddock
  • Score: -17

4:04pm Fri 18 Jul 14

julia brica says...

No response from Councillor Alexander ? Surely not.
He is a man of the people and draws lines under things and put himself about.
Are you sure we are talking about the same Alexander.
No response from Councillor Alexander ? Surely not. He is a man of the people and draws lines under things and put himself about. Are you sure we are talking about the same Alexander. julia brica
  • Score: 38

4:09pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Knavesmire view says...

At the end of the day there is only so long they can keep these things quiet and get away with it.

After 2 and a half years of disastrous running of the council, these stories and details are emerging on a daily basis, and I expect there will be many more to come.

History will judge Alexander, Merrett and TSL to have been the worst leaders of our City.
At the end of the day there is only so long they can keep these things quiet and get away with it. After 2 and a half years of disastrous running of the council, these stories and details are emerging on a daily basis, and I expect there will be many more to come. History will judge Alexander, Merrett and TSL to have been the worst leaders of our City. Knavesmire view
  • Score: -23

4:14pm Fri 18 Jul 14

meme says...

Its all symptomatic of this bunch who hold us all in contempt and have done for the last few years
No wonder Richardson/Wooley left pronto.
it has not improved as I have an issue with a FOI request not answered at all!
It stinks of a cabal who are becoming more defensive and secretive by the day and we need change. if they had any decency they would go rather than be pushed
Its all symptomatic of this bunch who hold us all in contempt and have done for the last few years No wonder Richardson/Wooley left pronto. it has not improved as I have an issue with a FOI request not answered at all! It stinks of a cabal who are becoming more defensive and secretive by the day and we need change. if they had any decency they would go rather than be pushed meme
  • Score: -26

4:43pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Cheeky face says...

Salsaman,

My complaints/questions re the prohibited traffic schemes, started in August last year. Coppergate issues clarified and amended slightly still with Alexander and Devene and Transport team since 3.6.2014; despite 2 reminders. My Lendal Br arguments are ready to go via FOI; because an earlier route via LGO resulted in me not being allowed answers because I do not live in York and/or I was not out of pocket. But I lived in York for 49 years including my office work near Lendal Br and in Coppergate.

The council people should each have two ears; one to hear with and the other to listen. If Van Gogh was alive and listened to some of their excuses he would cut his other ear off!

All along we need them to co-operate with and not at us. If they do that we can move forward.
Salsaman, My complaints/questions re the prohibited traffic schemes, started in August last year. Coppergate issues clarified and amended slightly still with Alexander and Devene and Transport team since 3.6.2014; despite 2 reminders. My Lendal Br arguments are ready to go via FOI; because an earlier route via LGO resulted in me not being allowed answers because I do not live in York and/or I was not out of pocket. But I lived in York for 49 years including my office work near Lendal Br and in Coppergate. The council people should each have two ears; one to hear with and the other to listen. If Van Gogh was alive and listened to some of their excuses he would cut his other ear off! All along we need them to co-operate with and not at us. If they do that we can move forward. Cheeky face
  • Score: -30

4:56pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Cheeky face says...

Meme,

Bill Wooley knew Coppergate signage was wrong, as well the council being wrong in wanting to class it as a bus lane scheme. Yet they still asked for DfT to agree Coppergate bus lane scheme. That was refused by e-mail from DfT 14.8.2012!

Overall the report is not a surprise at all. If the council want to realize a dream then they first of all have to wake up!
Meme, Bill Wooley knew Coppergate signage was wrong, as well the council being wrong in wanting to class it as a bus lane scheme. Yet they still asked for DfT to agree Coppergate bus lane scheme. That was refused by e-mail from DfT 14.8.2012! Overall the report is not a surprise at all. If the council want to realize a dream then they first of all have to wake up! Cheeky face
  • Score: -26

5:15pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Dr Brian says...

I have been waiting since April for a reply from Jimmy No mates - just sent him a reminder, got an automated response saying he is busy and will eventually reply but at the bottom of the email is this

"The information contained within, and in any attachment(s), is confidential and legally privileged. It is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), please note that any form of distribution, copying or use of this communication, or the information within, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Equally, you must not disclose all, or part, of its contents to any other person."

In other words Alexander is running scared - if he does give an answer which may show him and the rest of his mob in a bad light if I tell anybody I may be committing an unlawful act.

You could not make it up with these clowns!
I have been waiting since April for a reply from Jimmy No mates - just sent him a reminder, got an automated response saying he is busy and will eventually reply but at the bottom of the email is this "The information contained within, and in any attachment(s), is confidential and legally privileged. It is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), please note that any form of distribution, copying or use of this communication, or the information within, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Equally, you must not disclose all, or part, of its contents to any other person." In other words Alexander is running scared - if he does give an answer which may show him and the rest of his mob in a bad light if I tell anybody I may be committing an unlawful act. You could not make it up with these clowns! Dr Brian
  • Score: -26

5:44pm Fri 18 Jul 14

bloodaxe says...

Knavesmire view wrote:
At the end of the day there is only so long they can keep these things quiet and get away with it.

After 2 and a half years of disastrous running of the council, these stories and details are emerging on a daily basis, and I expect there will be many more to come.

History will judge Alexander, Merrett and TSL to have been the worst leaders of our City.
Since the Libdems.
[quote][p][bold]Knavesmire view[/bold] wrote: At the end of the day there is only so long they can keep these things quiet and get away with it. After 2 and a half years of disastrous running of the council, these stories and details are emerging on a daily basis, and I expect there will be many more to come. History will judge Alexander, Merrett and TSL to have been the worst leaders of our City.[/p][/quote]Since the Libdems. bloodaxe
  • Score: 32

5:45pm Fri 18 Jul 14

bloodaxe says...

Dr Brian wrote:
I have been waiting since April for a reply from Jimmy No mates - just sent him a reminder, got an automated response saying he is busy and will eventually reply but at the bottom of the email is this

"The information contained within, and in any attachment(s), is confidential and legally privileged. It is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), please note that any form of distribution, copying or use of this communication, or the information within, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Equally, you must not disclose all, or part, of its contents to any other person."

In other words Alexander is running scared - if he does give an answer which may show him and the rest of his mob in a bad light if I tell anybody I may be committing an unlawful act.

You could not make it up with these clowns!
It would seem that you have no intention of so doing.
[quote][p][bold]Dr Brian[/bold] wrote: I have been waiting since April for a reply from Jimmy No mates - just sent him a reminder, got an automated response saying he is busy and will eventually reply but at the bottom of the email is this "The information contained within, and in any attachment(s), is confidential and legally privileged. It is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), please note that any form of distribution, copying or use of this communication, or the information within, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Equally, you must not disclose all, or part, of its contents to any other person." In other words Alexander is running scared - if he does give an answer which may show him and the rest of his mob in a bad light if I tell anybody I may be committing an unlawful act. You could not make it up with these clowns![/p][/quote]It would seem that you have no intention of so doing. bloodaxe
  • Score: 28

5:53pm Fri 18 Jul 14

gwen4me says...

In these days of financial cuts I don't blame the council for not prioritizing a lot of frivolous questions from obsessives. FoI requests should be chargeable at the going rate for the research required.
In these days of financial cuts I don't blame the council for not prioritizing a lot of frivolous questions from obsessives. FoI requests should be chargeable at the going rate for the research required. gwen4me
  • Score: 204

6:45pm Fri 18 Jul 14

RingoStarr says...

gwen4me wrote:
In these days of financial cuts I don't blame the council for not prioritizing a lot of frivolous questions from obsessives. FoI requests should be chargeable at the going rate for the research required.
MEEOOW!
[quote][p][bold]gwen4me[/bold] wrote: In these days of financial cuts I don't blame the council for not prioritizing a lot of frivolous questions from obsessives. FoI requests should be chargeable at the going rate for the research required.[/p][/quote]MEEOOW! RingoStarr
  • Score: -28

6:47pm Fri 18 Jul 14

bjb says...

gwen4me wrote:
In these days of financial cuts I don't blame the council for not prioritizing a lot of frivolous questions from obsessives. FoI requests should be chargeable at the going rate for the research required.
Could not agree more. Waste of time and money chasing up stuff for a group of sad individuals with too much time on their hands now they don't have to queue for their pensions.
[quote][p][bold]gwen4me[/bold] wrote: In these days of financial cuts I don't blame the council for not prioritizing a lot of frivolous questions from obsessives. FoI requests should be chargeable at the going rate for the research required.[/p][/quote]Could not agree more. Waste of time and money chasing up stuff for a group of sad individuals with too much time on their hands now they don't have to queue for their pensions. bjb
  • Score: 89

6:49pm Fri 18 Jul 14

marvell says...

You should have seen the arrogance of James Alexander last night in the Full Council meeting - no recognition that he done anything wrong - even tried to blame opposition parties!!!!

He should start looking for a safe seat outside York because he's a dead man walking as far as re - election in York next year.
You should have seen the arrogance of James Alexander last night in the Full Council meeting - no recognition that he done anything wrong - even tried to blame opposition parties!!!! He should start looking for a safe seat outside York because he's a dead man walking as far as re - election in York next year. marvell
  • Score: -6

6:55pm Fri 18 Jul 14

courier46 says...

Is there seriously, nothing that these lot can be charged with to get them sent packing.
Is there seriously, nothing that these lot can be charged with to get them sent packing. courier46
  • Score: -29

7:25pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Kevin Turvey says...

'The report says almost half of the late responses had been delayed because the council's communications team "vet some responses before they are sent out". '


Usual failing goverment/council trick to put spin on unrequired items in a vain attempt to stop the landslide against them.

Acting illegally, no public trust in them at all.
Despot regime.
Disgusting values from a council that is meant to work for the people.
Why are they STILL here, again!!!!!!!

To the individuals on here stating that FOI requests are a waste of time and money:
1. It's the law of the land.
2. Checks and balances of the people of the state are essential in a so called democracy.
3. Why would anyone trust any of these idiots and others in public positions that are able to excert power over us without any redress?
4. Do you want to live in North Korea?
5. If they had been proved to be trustworth in the past then the checks and balances of the people could maybe be scaled back.
6. Breach of trust.
7. They are wasting our money that we will have to service debt on raised by them.

My old matey Eric Olthwaite on comments on a similar story today has it right.
Time for a big big change in the system of representatives of the people in this country and they bring it in themselves!
'The report says almost half of the late responses had been delayed because the council's communications team "vet some responses before they are sent out". ' Usual failing goverment/council trick to put spin on unrequired items in a vain attempt to stop the landslide against them. Acting illegally, no public trust in them at all. Despot regime. Disgusting values from a council that is meant to work for the people. Why are they STILL here, again!!!!!!! To the individuals on here stating that FOI requests are a waste of time and money: 1. It's the law of the land. 2. Checks and balances of the people of the state are essential in a so called democracy. 3. Why would anyone trust any of these idiots and others in public positions that are able to excert power over us without any redress? 4. Do you want to live in North Korea? 5. If they had been proved to be trustworth in the past then the checks and balances of the people could maybe be scaled back. 6. Breach of trust. 7. They are wasting our money that we will have to service debt on raised by them. My old matey Eric Olthwaite on comments on a similar story today has it right. Time for a big big change in the system of representatives of the people in this country and they bring it in themselves! Kevin Turvey
  • Score: -29

8:36pm Fri 18 Jul 14

pedalling paul says...

One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables.
One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables. pedalling paul
  • Score: 34

8:44pm Fri 18 Jul 14

NoNewsIsGoodNews says...

courier46 wrote:
Is there seriously, nothing that these lot can be charged with to get them sent packing.
Misfeasance in public office would be a good starting point.
[quote][p][bold]courier46[/bold] wrote: Is there seriously, nothing that these lot can be charged with to get them sent packing.[/p][/quote]Misfeasance in public office would be a good starting point. NoNewsIsGoodNews
  • Score: -4

8:48pm Fri 18 Jul 14

piaggio1 says...

meme wrote:
Its all symptomatic of this bunch who hold us all in contempt and have done for the last few years
No wonder Richardson/Wooley left pronto.
it has not improved as I have an issue with a FOI request not answered at all!
It stinks of a cabal who are becoming more defensive and secretive by the day and we need change. if they had any decency they would go rather than be pushed
Thats it pp .grovel to em again...
And protect em.....
Wonder how many brown envelopes have bin used by this shady lot......?. Oh forgot we have.nt even gone there yet......
[quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: Its all symptomatic of this bunch who hold us all in contempt and have done for the last few years No wonder Richardson/Wooley left pronto. it has not improved as I have an issue with a FOI request not answered at all! It stinks of a cabal who are becoming more defensive and secretive by the day and we need change. if they had any decency they would go rather than be pushed[/p][/quote]Thats it pp .grovel to em again... And protect em..... Wonder how many brown envelopes have bin used by this shady lot......?. Oh forgot we have.nt even gone there yet...... piaggio1
  • Score: -26

10:35pm Fri 18 Jul 14

jay, york says...

pedalling paul wrote:
One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables.
What has that got to do with anything pathetic peddler. It honestly does not matter what compliance problems other councils may or may not have.
Here we are talking here of the pathetic and shambolic performance of the York labour council who seem to be totally incapable of carrying out anything successfully, competently or professionally. They are arrogant, ignorant and incapable beyond belief and have such contempt for the residents of and visitors to this wonderful City of York.
They tell us that they are listening to people, doing everything correctly and legally, they being open and comnpliant and honouring the legal system in this country. It is all lies, lies, lies.
Who do they fool with all their lies, contempt and deceit? Apparently nobody except for you pp. Do you get a bonus from the council when you post some senseless comment to try and detract from the real topic being commented on and try to distract peopl;e from the fact that York labour cyc are failing to do their job. All the cyc cronies seem able to do is post negative votes. If they disagree with what is being said on this site, it would be really interesting to hear their reasons - why dont they speak out?.
But that is never going to happen, because it means they may have to reveal some information about all their dodgy dealings and cover ups..
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables.[/p][/quote]What has that got to do with anything pathetic peddler. It honestly does not matter what compliance problems other councils may or may not have. Here we are talking here of the pathetic and shambolic performance of the York labour council who seem to be totally incapable of carrying out anything successfully, competently or professionally. They are arrogant, ignorant and incapable beyond belief and have such contempt for the residents of and visitors to this wonderful City of York. They tell us that they are listening to people, doing everything correctly and legally, they being open and comnpliant and honouring the legal system in this country. It is all lies, lies, lies. Who do they fool with all their lies, contempt and deceit? Apparently nobody except for you pp. Do you get a bonus from the council when you post some senseless comment to try and detract from the real topic being commented on and try to distract peopl;e from the fact that York labour cyc are failing to do their job. All the cyc cronies seem able to do is post negative votes. If they disagree with what is being said on this site, it would be really interesting to hear their reasons - why dont they speak out?. But that is never going to happen, because it means they may have to reveal some information about all their dodgy dealings and cover ups.. jay, york
  • Score: -125

10:45pm Fri 18 Jul 14

jay, york says...

Should have mentioned that the cyc and their cronies seem to have time on their hands this evening (unlike yesterday) and seem to choose to spend their time posting negative votes to anyone expressing a negative cyc comment. Would be really interested to hear the reasons why they all think this current "regime" is so wonderful, what the "regime" has acutally done to benefit this fine City of York and to benefit all the residents, If they can come up with anything positive I will be amazed. But they wont, because they cant - and it may mean they have to reveal something of all their dodgy scemes and dealings.
Should have mentioned that the cyc and their cronies seem to have time on their hands this evening (unlike yesterday) and seem to choose to spend their time posting negative votes to anyone expressing a negative cyc comment. Would be really interested to hear the reasons why they all think this current "regime" is so wonderful, what the "regime" has acutally done to benefit this fine City of York and to benefit all the residents, If they can come up with anything positive I will be amazed. But they wont, because they cant - and it may mean they have to reveal something of all their dodgy scemes and dealings. jay, york
  • Score: 6

11:31pm Fri 18 Jul 14

piaggio1 says...

And we ...the tax payers pay england how much?
Oh there.s a lot to come to light about her and her cronies....don.t worry luv we know....and do most of the clowncil........just dig a tad deeper....its all there....
And we ...the tax payers pay england how much? Oh there.s a lot to come to light about her and her cronies....don.t worry luv we know....and do most of the clowncil........just dig a tad deeper....its all there.... piaggio1
  • Score: -69

11:50pm Fri 18 Jul 14

eeoodares says...

pedalling paul wrote:
One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables.
If I lived in their authorities I would be concerned, but I do not.

I live in YORK and it is to this council I pay may taxes....Is it really acceptable to say our council are lying cheating crooks but Doncaster are worse? I really hope you never have to visit a hospital. Imagine if Doctors never had to reach an acceptable standard....it was OK as long as they were not Harold Shipman....ON YER BIKE MUG!
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables.[/p][/quote]If I lived in their authorities I would be concerned, but I do not. I live in YORK and it is to this council I pay may taxes....Is it really acceptable to say our council are lying cheating crooks but Doncaster are worse? I really hope you never have to visit a hospital. Imagine if Doctors never had to reach an acceptable standard....it was OK as long as they were not Harold Shipman....ON YER BIKE MUG! eeoodares
  • Score: -66

2:06am Sat 19 Jul 14

Badgers Drift says...

Why is the council's head of communications paid as a consultant?

CYC pay £103,000/yr for her services through agency Adecco.

This is the top pay scale for Director level staff.

Obviously it's a way of paying double the going rate for a head of a department.

Disgraceful!
Why is the council's head of communications paid as a consultant? CYC pay £103,000/yr for her services through agency Adecco. This is the top pay scale for Director level staff. Obviously it's a way of paying double the going rate for a head of a department. Disgraceful! Badgers Drift
  • Score: -55

8:29am Sat 19 Jul 14

notpedallingpaul says...

pedalling paul wrote:
One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables.
This FOI revalation must be one of your worst nightmares, along with car usage and constant criticism of your council friends I really don't know how you sleep at night.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables.[/p][/quote]This FOI revalation must be one of your worst nightmares, along with car usage and constant criticism of your council friends I really don't know how you sleep at night. notpedallingpaul
  • Score: -50

9:32am Sat 19 Jul 14

mutley12321 says...

pedalling paul wrote:
One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables.
Morning Paul,

Your point is totally irrelevant. The report relates to CYC failings, not other LA's. Again you try to shift blame Whitehall for local council failings, very poor show old chap.

I'll give you 3/10 for trolling.

Enjoy your weekend

Mutt.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: One wonders how many other Local Authorities have had similar compliance problems in the face of staffing cuts effectively imposed by Whitehall. Unfair to publish this without saying where York is in national league tables.[/p][/quote]Morning Paul, Your point is totally irrelevant. The report relates to CYC failings, not other LA's. Again you try to shift blame Whitehall for local council failings, very poor show old chap. I'll give you 3/10 for trolling. Enjoy your weekend Mutt. mutley12321
  • Score: -51

10:13am Sat 19 Jul 14

gmsgop says...

Badgers Drift wrote:
Why is the council's head of communications paid as a consultant?

CYC pay £103,000/yr for her services through agency Adecco.

This is the top pay scale for Director level staff.

Obviously it's a way of paying double the going rate for a head of a department.

Disgraceful!
It is a quandary indeed. I have been trying to find out the 'rationale' for this 'outlier' vast salary. The law requires disclosure & publication of all local government salaries on the web sites of councils. This particular position is not listed - nor of course the massive costs.

I have been trying to find out and have 'not finished that journey'.

I am escalating to internal and external audit and will be sharing what I have with them as well as the opposition councillors responsible for the central portfolios HR &, you got it, Kersten England's office ( I believe these to be cllrs Healey and Ayre.

This is worrying.

Gwen Swinburn
[quote][p][bold]Badgers Drift[/bold] wrote: Why is the council's head of communications paid as a consultant? CYC pay £103,000/yr for her services through agency Adecco. This is the top pay scale for Director level staff. Obviously it's a way of paying double the going rate for a head of a department. Disgraceful![/p][/quote]It is a quandary indeed. I have been trying to find out the 'rationale' for this 'outlier' vast salary. The law requires disclosure & publication of all local government salaries on the web sites of councils. This particular position is not listed - nor of course the massive costs. I have been trying to find out and have 'not finished that journey'. I am escalating to internal and external audit and will be sharing what I have with them as well as the opposition councillors responsible for the central portfolios HR &, you got it, Kersten England's office ( I believe these to be cllrs Healey and Ayre. This is worrying. Gwen Swinburn gmsgop
  • Score: -174

10:14am Sat 19 Jul 14

gmsgop says...

gmsgop wrote:
Badgers Drift wrote:
Why is the council's head of communications paid as a consultant?

CYC pay £103,000/yr for her services through agency Adecco.

This is the top pay scale for Director level staff.

Obviously it's a way of paying double the going rate for a head of a department.

Disgraceful!
It is a quandary indeed. I have been trying to find out the 'rationale' for this 'outlier' vast salary. The law requires disclosure & publication of all local government salaries on the web sites of councils. This particular position is not listed - nor of course the massive costs.

I have been trying to find out and have 'not finished that journey'.

I am escalating to internal and external audit and will be sharing what I have with them as well as the opposition councillors responsible for the central portfolios HR &, you got it, Kersten England's office ( I believe these to be cllrs Healey and Ayre.

This is worrying.

Gwen Swinburn
Salaries over £45 000 required to be published not all sorry
[quote][p][bold]gmsgop[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Badgers Drift[/bold] wrote: Why is the council's head of communications paid as a consultant? CYC pay £103,000/yr for her services through agency Adecco. This is the top pay scale for Director level staff. Obviously it's a way of paying double the going rate for a head of a department. Disgraceful![/p][/quote]It is a quandary indeed. I have been trying to find out the 'rationale' for this 'outlier' vast salary. The law requires disclosure & publication of all local government salaries on the web sites of councils. This particular position is not listed - nor of course the massive costs. I have been trying to find out and have 'not finished that journey'. I am escalating to internal and external audit and will be sharing what I have with them as well as the opposition councillors responsible for the central portfolios HR &, you got it, Kersten England's office ( I believe these to be cllrs Healey and Ayre. This is worrying. Gwen Swinburn[/p][/quote]Salaries over £45 000 required to be published not all sorry gmsgop
  • Score: -120

10:56am Sat 19 Jul 14

James Venamun says...

Gwen: My understanding, upon speaking with a journalist friend is that a six figure salary of this sort for someone leading a media /communications team in a local authority is completely off the scale , an anomaly, way above what someone in that position should be paid . As for Adecco, they are creaming off commission here, have a contract with CYC which essentially puts them in a position of "brokering" hourly rates across different agencies for workers the Council is looking to bring in. Having dealt with Adecco, I'm not at all sure they offer value for money (VFM) to CYC , and, IMO, it is ripe for the Veritau/internal audit team to look at this as to whether this contract is in fact delivering VFM for CYC and the people who pay local taxes.
The irony of all this ,of course, is that this communications team are not performing at all well, despite their mega salary team leader , it's clear from the post in the York Press , on Minster FM and elsewhere that York citizens are not fooled by this continual spin of so-called" good news "stories from CYC, they big, bad issues are coming out now, and that's good. More power to you Gwen(and others) for keeping up the pressure, but don't blow a gasket !
To refer to the old saying "the truth will out".
Gwen: My understanding, upon speaking with a journalist friend is that a six figure salary of this sort for someone leading a media /communications team in a local authority is completely off the scale , an anomaly, way above what someone in that position should be paid . As for Adecco, they are creaming off commission here, have a contract with CYC which essentially puts them in a position of "brokering" hourly rates across different agencies for workers the Council is looking to bring in. Having dealt with Adecco, I'm not at all sure they offer value for money (VFM) to CYC , and, IMO, it is ripe for the Veritau/internal audit team to look at this as to whether this contract is in fact delivering VFM for CYC and the people who pay local taxes. The irony of all this ,of course, is that this communications team are not performing at all well, despite their mega salary team leader , it's clear from the post in the York Press , on Minster FM and elsewhere that York citizens are not fooled by this continual spin of so-called" good news "stories from CYC, they big, bad issues are coming out now, and that's good. More power to you Gwen(and others) for keeping up the pressure, but don't blow a gasket ! To refer to the old saying "the truth will out". James Venamun
  • Score: -75

12:27pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Badgers Drift says...

James Venamun wrote:
Gwen: My understanding, upon speaking with a journalist friend is that a six figure salary of this sort for someone leading a media /communications team in a local authority is completely off the scale , an anomaly, way above what someone in that position should be paid . As for Adecco, they are creaming off commission here, have a contract with CYC which essentially puts them in a position of "brokering" hourly rates across different agencies for workers the Council is looking to bring in. Having dealt with Adecco, I'm not at all sure they offer value for money (VFM) to CYC , and, IMO, it is ripe for the Veritau/internal audit team to look at this as to whether this contract is in fact delivering VFM for CYC and the people who pay local taxes. The irony of all this ,of course, is that this communications team are not performing at all well, despite their mega salary team leader , it's clear from the post in the York Press , on Minster FM and elsewhere that York citizens are not fooled by this continual spin of so-called" good news "stories from CYC, they big, bad issues are coming out now, and that's good. More power to you Gwen(and others) for keeping up the pressure, but don't blow a gasket ! To refer to the old saying "the truth will out".
I hope you are right, James - that the truth will come out about this sly way of doubling the head of comms wages.

Bearing in mind that the comms dept have delayed/deferred reports etc coming out, sometimes indefinately, what (or who) is going to stop them doing the same with this..........?

Oh, I know - Gwen Swinburn - Governance (Scrutiny & Audit) expert of this parish!!!

Go get 'em, Gwen.......
[quote][p][bold]James Venamun[/bold] wrote: Gwen: My understanding, upon speaking with a journalist friend is that a six figure salary of this sort for someone leading a media /communications team in a local authority is completely off the scale , an anomaly, way above what someone in that position should be paid . As for Adecco, they are creaming off commission here, have a contract with CYC which essentially puts them in a position of "brokering" hourly rates across different agencies for workers the Council is looking to bring in. Having dealt with Adecco, I'm not at all sure they offer value for money (VFM) to CYC , and, IMO, it is ripe for the Veritau/internal audit team to look at this as to whether this contract is in fact delivering VFM for CYC and the people who pay local taxes. The irony of all this ,of course, is that this communications team are not performing at all well, despite their mega salary team leader , it's clear from the post in the York Press , on Minster FM and elsewhere that York citizens are not fooled by this continual spin of so-called" good news "stories from CYC, they big, bad issues are coming out now, and that's good. More power to you Gwen(and others) for keeping up the pressure, but don't blow a gasket ! To refer to the old saying "the truth will out".[/p][/quote]I hope you are right, James - that the truth will come out about this sly way of doubling the head of comms wages. Bearing in mind that the comms dept have delayed/deferred reports etc coming out, sometimes indefinately, what (or who) is going to stop them doing the same with this..........? Oh, I know - Gwen Swinburn - Governance (Scrutiny & Audit) expert of this parish!!! Go get 'em, Gwen....... Badgers Drift
  • Score: -139

3:05pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Badgers Drift says...

Read on twitter that the Head of Communications at CYC was hired and paid by City of York Trading Ltd (CYT Ltd).

Rationale for creating CYT Ltd was for "competitive advantage for retention of interim staff".

Put another way:

Dodging staff pay scales, and keeping the interim staff's pay a secret!

The Head of Comms has been in the job for four years!

That's a fortune for a 'spin doctor' whose job is to communicate the council's policies on fairness and against inequality.....

Hypocrisy on a grand (pay) scale?
Read on twitter that the Head of Communications at CYC was hired and paid by City of York Trading Ltd (CYT Ltd). Rationale for creating CYT Ltd was for "competitive advantage for retention of interim staff". Put another way: Dodging staff pay scales, and keeping the interim staff's pay a secret! The Head of Comms has been in the job for four years! That's a fortune for a 'spin doctor' whose job is to communicate the council's policies on fairness and against inequality..... Hypocrisy on a grand (pay) scale? Badgers Drift
  • Score: -30

3:57pm Sat 19 Jul 14

piaggio1 says...

Just been reading the 8 q put to the great leader...bangin on about gov cuts.
Then go.s n spends £8.000+ of OUR tax money on entertainin some non people at the uni.sooo will i be able to cut my poll tax/council tax .i certainly do not want to contribute to people who despise us...next month my council tax will be £30 short.
Just been reading the 8 q put to the great leader...bangin on about gov cuts. Then go.s n spends £8.000+ of OUR tax money on entertainin some non people at the uni.sooo will i be able to cut my poll tax/council tax .i certainly do not want to contribute to people who despise us...next month my council tax will be £30 short. piaggio1
  • Score: -48

6:03pm Sat 19 Jul 14

gmsgop says...

James Venamun wrote:
Gwen: My understanding, upon speaking with a journalist friend is that a six figure salary of this sort for someone leading a media /communications team in a local authority is completely off the scale , an anomaly, way above what someone in that position should be paid . As for Adecco, they are creaming off commission here, have a contract with CYC which essentially puts them in a position of "brokering" hourly rates across different agencies for workers the Council is looking to bring in. Having dealt with Adecco, I'm not at all sure they offer value for money (VFM) to CYC , and, IMO, it is ripe for the Veritau/internal audit team to look at this as to whether this contract is in fact delivering VFM for CYC and the people who pay local taxes.
The irony of all this ,of course, is that this communications team are not performing at all well, despite their mega salary team leader , it's clear from the post in the York Press , on Minster FM and elsewhere that York citizens are not fooled by this continual spin of so-called" good news "stories from CYC, they big, bad issues are coming out now, and that's good. More power to you Gwen(and others) for keeping up the pressure, but don't blow a gasket !
To refer to the old saying "the truth will out".
Hi James:)

Thank you for this additional input- this is really concerning, I agree & can confirm all your points made. There seems to be some 'special' arrangements here, Kersten's office again.....

My draft email to the internal ( & external) auditors has the point about audit of hiring practices & VFM - I will add a special section on Addecco. The Veritau audit plan for 2014/5 does have an audit of hiring of consultants so hopefully (I'll ask) all contract with the various agencies should be evaluated ( as well as work for york).

Re performance of spin team - I have never seen such behaviour, or seen such bias and spin or such unprofessional standards- please see latest response on the press team on whatdotheyknow- seems that £103000 for this 'special' arrangement is not giving us value for money at all - the opposite.

Re gasket, long way off blowing, sadly for CYC:) it's just a slog - but pretty heavy lifting right now - all ideas, support, input appreciated :) the truth will out - but like most things it needs some helping, supportive & sometimes brave hands. But it would be nice if CYC folks desisted spinning against me-makes them look - well- as they are.

Gwen
[quote][p][bold]James Venamun[/bold] wrote: Gwen: My understanding, upon speaking with a journalist friend is that a six figure salary of this sort for someone leading a media /communications team in a local authority is completely off the scale , an anomaly, way above what someone in that position should be paid . As for Adecco, they are creaming off commission here, have a contract with CYC which essentially puts them in a position of "brokering" hourly rates across different agencies for workers the Council is looking to bring in. Having dealt with Adecco, I'm not at all sure they offer value for money (VFM) to CYC , and, IMO, it is ripe for the Veritau/internal audit team to look at this as to whether this contract is in fact delivering VFM for CYC and the people who pay local taxes. The irony of all this ,of course, is that this communications team are not performing at all well, despite their mega salary team leader , it's clear from the post in the York Press , on Minster FM and elsewhere that York citizens are not fooled by this continual spin of so-called" good news "stories from CYC, they big, bad issues are coming out now, and that's good. More power to you Gwen(and others) for keeping up the pressure, but don't blow a gasket ! To refer to the old saying "the truth will out".[/p][/quote]Hi James:) Thank you for this additional input- this is really concerning, I agree & can confirm all your points made. There seems to be some 'special' arrangements here, Kersten's office again..... My draft email to the internal ( & external) auditors has the point about audit of hiring practices & VFM - I will add a special section on Addecco. The Veritau audit plan for 2014/5 does have an audit of hiring of consultants so hopefully (I'll ask) all contract with the various agencies should be evaluated ( as well as work for york). Re performance of spin team - I have never seen such behaviour, or seen such bias and spin or such unprofessional standards- please see latest response on the press team on whatdotheyknow- seems that £103000 for this 'special' arrangement is not giving us value for money at all - the opposite. Re gasket, long way off blowing, sadly for CYC:) it's just a slog - but pretty heavy lifting right now - all ideas, support, input appreciated :) the truth will out - but like most things it needs some helping, supportive & sometimes brave hands. But it would be nice if CYC folks desisted spinning against me-makes them look - well- as they are. Gwen gmsgop
  • Score: -104

6:30pm Sat 19 Jul 14

gmsgop says...

Badgers Drift wrote:
Read on twitter that the Head of Communications at CYC was hired and paid by City of York Trading Ltd (CYT Ltd).

Rationale for creating CYT Ltd was for "competitive advantage for retention of interim staff".

Put another way:

Dodging staff pay scales, and keeping the interim staff's pay a secret!

The Head of Comms has been in the job for four years!

That's a fortune for a 'spin doctor' whose job is to communicate the council's policies on fairness and against inequality.....

Hypocrisy on a grand (pay) scale?
Makes you wonder who paid before the 'trading company' was set up - and whether the list & head count was included in Kersten's departmental staffing costs.
Seems the stratospheric pay is out of line with industry standards - so queues tigons need to be asked - how did this happen, who recruited her, how can this recruitment modality go on for multiple years?

How often is it happening across the council? Who sanctions this and why? How has the pay changed over the years, and Addecco cut- who signed off on it? Ps did the staffing and urgency cttee agree - or was it just Kersten? Is it legal - not to publish salaries on +45/50k illegal....

Gwen
[quote][p][bold]Badgers Drift[/bold] wrote: Read on twitter that the Head of Communications at CYC was hired and paid by City of York Trading Ltd (CYT Ltd). Rationale for creating CYT Ltd was for "competitive advantage for retention of interim staff". Put another way: Dodging staff pay scales, and keeping the interim staff's pay a secret! The Head of Comms has been in the job for four years! That's a fortune for a 'spin doctor' whose job is to communicate the council's policies on fairness and against inequality..... Hypocrisy on a grand (pay) scale?[/p][/quote]Makes you wonder who paid before the 'trading company' was set up - and whether the list & head count was included in Kersten's departmental staffing costs. Seems the stratospheric pay is out of line with industry standards - so queues tigons need to be asked - how did this happen, who recruited her, how can this recruitment modality go on for multiple years? How often is it happening across the council? Who sanctions this and why? How has the pay changed over the years, and Addecco cut- who signed off on it? Ps did the staffing and urgency cttee agree - or was it just Kersten? Is it legal - not to publish salaries on +45/50k illegal.... Gwen gmsgop
  • Score: -135

7:52pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Jack Ham says...

gmsgop wrote:
Badgers Drift wrote:
Read on twitter that the Head of Communications at CYC was hired and paid by City of York Trading Ltd (CYT Ltd).

Rationale for creating CYT Ltd was for "competitive advantage for retention of interim staff".

Put another way:

Dodging staff pay scales, and keeping the interim staff's pay a secret!

The Head of Comms has been in the job for four years!

That's a fortune for a 'spin doctor' whose job is to communicate the council's policies on fairness and against inequality.....

Hypocrisy on a grand (pay) scale?
Makes you wonder who paid before the 'trading company' was set up - and whether the list & head count was included in Kersten's departmental staffing costs.
Seems the stratospheric pay is out of line with industry standards - so queues tigons need to be asked - how did this happen, who recruited her, how can this recruitment modality go on for multiple years?

How often is it happening across the council? Who sanctions this and why? How has the pay changed over the years, and Addecco cut- who signed off on it? Ps did the staffing and urgency cttee agree - or was it just Kersten? Is it legal - not to publish salaries on +45/50k illegal....

Gwen
Thanks for sharing Gwen/James/Badgers Drift.

My question: at what point does a collection of mysterious, 'secret' decisions on the spending of public funds become unlawful?

How does a criminal investigation begin? Who makes the initial report, investigate and decide to prosecute?

I'm not lawyer but the behaviour of CYC corporately and that of individual officers appears to be twisting, if not deliberately misinterpreting the intent of the constitution and democratic checks and balances.

Is this behaviour ultra vires? Could it be subjected to judicial review? Could officers be charged with malfeasance in public office?

It seems so radical but I'm not at a stage where I have absolutely no faith whatsoever in other the democratic process or the integrity of senior officers.

What they are doing to our city will have repercussions for an entire generation. Long after they have moved onto safe Labour seats and drawn comfortable public sector pensions.
[quote][p][bold]gmsgop[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Badgers Drift[/bold] wrote: Read on twitter that the Head of Communications at CYC was hired and paid by City of York Trading Ltd (CYT Ltd). Rationale for creating CYT Ltd was for "competitive advantage for retention of interim staff". Put another way: Dodging staff pay scales, and keeping the interim staff's pay a secret! The Head of Comms has been in the job for four years! That's a fortune for a 'spin doctor' whose job is to communicate the council's policies on fairness and against inequality..... Hypocrisy on a grand (pay) scale?[/p][/quote]Makes you wonder who paid before the 'trading company' was set up - and whether the list & head count was included in Kersten's departmental staffing costs. Seems the stratospheric pay is out of line with industry standards - so queues tigons need to be asked - how did this happen, who recruited her, how can this recruitment modality go on for multiple years? How often is it happening across the council? Who sanctions this and why? How has the pay changed over the years, and Addecco cut- who signed off on it? Ps did the staffing and urgency cttee agree - or was it just Kersten? Is it legal - not to publish salaries on +45/50k illegal.... Gwen[/p][/quote]Thanks for sharing Gwen/James/Badgers Drift. My question: at what point does a collection of mysterious, 'secret' decisions on the spending of public funds become unlawful? How does a criminal investigation begin? Who makes the initial report, investigate and decide to prosecute? I'm not lawyer but the behaviour of CYC corporately and that of individual officers appears to be twisting, if not deliberately misinterpreting the intent of the constitution and democratic checks and balances. Is this behaviour ultra vires? Could it be subjected to judicial review? Could officers be charged with malfeasance in public office? It seems so radical but I'm not at a stage where I have absolutely no faith whatsoever in other the democratic process or the integrity of senior officers. What they are doing to our city will have repercussions for an entire generation. Long after they have moved onto safe Labour seats and drawn comfortable public sector pensions. Jack Ham
  • Score: -27

10:18pm Sat 19 Jul 14

piaggio1 says...

Ahhhh .kersten .. where do we begin....?
Ahhhh .kersten .. where do we begin....? piaggio1
  • Score: -29

10:21pm Sat 19 Jul 14

piaggio1 says...

Only ~ 57 ?
Must do better....
The sooner this ars***le is named .the better.
Only ~ 57 ? Must do better.... The sooner this ars***le is named .the better. piaggio1
  • Score: -50

11:30am Sun 20 Jul 14

James Venamun says...

Ah, yes Piaggio, the Score troll was clearly on duty last night whilst you/ Badger/Gwen and Jack were posting. York Press: more power to you for allowing concerned citizens to air their views in this matter , but PLEASE get a grip on this troll?
As for Jack's points on the potential for the situation to enter a potential criminal arena, I am no lawyer, but I again refer to the responsibilities vested in Vertiau, an independent company, to ensure that fair and legally sound practice is in place within CYC as a public body.

Whilst Veritau Ltd are based at West Offices ,and part funded by CYC, their role is to periodically audit all CYC services, indeed many services across North Yorkshire. Ergo, if CYC's Head of Governance on the legal side has concerns about the legal integrity or propriety of anything that is going on in the Council, then they should IMO commission an investigation by Veritau Ltd, who in turn are obliged to inform the police if any practices are suspected to be illegal.

My own suspicion is that those so called high flyers hired as "consultants "on inflated salaries will be long gone before this matter ever hits the fan, in any case, there are, I believe, complexities in contract law which mean they may never have actually been legally employed by CYC and the money is effectively paid to a company . It just stinks. for the time being, Kersten, her directors and senior councillors seem content to bat away/ignore criticism , and I'd not be at all surprised if Kersten has her eye on her next vanity project away from York , it's the way she operates ( see Bradford MBC , Kirklees MBC )
Ah, yes Piaggio, the Score troll was clearly on duty last night whilst you/ Badger/Gwen and Jack were posting. York Press: more power to you for allowing concerned citizens to air their views in this matter , but PLEASE get a grip on this troll? As for Jack's points on the potential for the situation to enter a potential criminal arena, I am no lawyer, but I again refer to the responsibilities vested in Vertiau, an independent company, to ensure that fair and legally sound practice is in place within CYC as a public body. Whilst Veritau Ltd are based at West Offices ,and part funded by CYC, their role is to periodically audit all CYC services, indeed many services across North Yorkshire. Ergo, if CYC's Head of Governance on the legal side has concerns about the legal integrity or propriety of anything that is going on in the Council, then they should IMO commission an investigation by Veritau Ltd, who in turn are obliged to inform the police if any practices are suspected to be illegal. My own suspicion is that those so called high flyers hired as "consultants "on inflated salaries will be long gone before this matter ever hits the fan, in any case, there are, I believe, complexities in contract law which mean they may never have actually been legally employed by CYC and the money is effectively paid to a company . It just stinks. for the time being, Kersten, her directors and senior councillors seem content to bat away/ignore criticism , and I'd not be at all surprised if Kersten has her eye on her next vanity project away from York , it's the way she operates ( see Bradford MBC , Kirklees MBC ) James Venamun
  • Score: -63

11:56am Sun 20 Jul 14

Jack Ham says...

James Venamun wrote:
Ah, yes Piaggio, the Score troll was clearly on duty last night whilst you/ Badger/Gwen and Jack were posting. York Press: more power to you for allowing concerned citizens to air their views in this matter , but PLEASE get a grip on this troll?
As for Jack's points on the potential for the situation to enter a potential criminal arena, I am no lawyer, but I again refer to the responsibilities vested in Vertiau, an independent company, to ensure that fair and legally sound practice is in place within CYC as a public body.

Whilst Veritau Ltd are based at West Offices ,and part funded by CYC, their role is to periodically audit all CYC services, indeed many services across North Yorkshire. Ergo, if CYC's Head of Governance on the legal side has concerns about the legal integrity or propriety of anything that is going on in the Council, then they should IMO commission an investigation by Veritau Ltd, who in turn are obliged to inform the police if any practices are suspected to be illegal.

My own suspicion is that those so called high flyers hired as "consultants "on inflated salaries will be long gone before this matter ever hits the fan, in any case, there are, I believe, complexities in contract law which mean they may never have actually been legally employed by CYC and the money is effectively paid to a company . It just stinks. for the time being, Kersten, her directors and senior councillors seem content to bat away/ignore criticism , and I'd not be at all surprised if Kersten has her eye on her next vanity project away from York , it's the way she operates ( see Bradford MBC , Kirklees MBC )
Ageer. Its plain for all to see where Kersten and many of the senior team place their political allegiances, despite her being appointed to the post by the previous libdem administration.

I have no doubt that many them have seen the writing in the wall and are looking for a way out.

What puzzles me that how supposedly experienced and knowledgable local authority officers have allowed themselves to become so partisan and politicised they will be unable to form a constructive, trusting relationship with a changes administration.
[quote][p][bold]James Venamun[/bold] wrote: Ah, yes Piaggio, the Score troll was clearly on duty last night whilst you/ Badger/Gwen and Jack were posting. York Press: more power to you for allowing concerned citizens to air their views in this matter , but PLEASE get a grip on this troll? As for Jack's points on the potential for the situation to enter a potential criminal arena, I am no lawyer, but I again refer to the responsibilities vested in Vertiau, an independent company, to ensure that fair and legally sound practice is in place within CYC as a public body. Whilst Veritau Ltd are based at West Offices ,and part funded by CYC, their role is to periodically audit all CYC services, indeed many services across North Yorkshire. Ergo, if CYC's Head of Governance on the legal side has concerns about the legal integrity or propriety of anything that is going on in the Council, then they should IMO commission an investigation by Veritau Ltd, who in turn are obliged to inform the police if any practices are suspected to be illegal. My own suspicion is that those so called high flyers hired as "consultants "on inflated salaries will be long gone before this matter ever hits the fan, in any case, there are, I believe, complexities in contract law which mean they may never have actually been legally employed by CYC and the money is effectively paid to a company . It just stinks. for the time being, Kersten, her directors and senior councillors seem content to bat away/ignore criticism , and I'd not be at all surprised if Kersten has her eye on her next vanity project away from York , it's the way she operates ( see Bradford MBC , Kirklees MBC )[/p][/quote]Ageer. Its plain for all to see where Kersten and many of the senior team place their political allegiances, despite her being appointed to the post by the previous libdem administration. I have no doubt that many them have seen the writing in the wall and are looking for a way out. What puzzles me that how supposedly experienced and knowledgable local authority officers have allowed themselves to become so partisan and politicised they will be unable to form a constructive, trusting relationship with a changes administration. Jack Ham
  • Score: -44

7:52pm Sun 20 Jul 14

James Venamun says...

Well Jack, on your concluding point, perhaps it's because those directors and senior officers who did morally object to the direction of travel for CYC services have all now left before they were pushed, or are hanging on ,hoping not to be noticed ? CYC is no place for dissenters right now. There is now what appears to be a symbiotic relationship between the Leader , senior councillors , and the directorate and policy team . They refuse to betray any concerns at all in the public domain because they depend upon each other , each covering the others inadequacies with continual spin/"good news" stories by the CYC media team . It does make you wonder if there is anyone with enough backbone to break ranks and say what needs to be said.
Regardless of anyone's sentiments as regard officer time wasted with repeated FOI requests, it is nonetheless a right of citizens under UK law to use this facility, and as far as I can see, CYC are now attracting more requests simply because of the fact they are operating like a politburo at senior level , and showing contempt for the public in their appalling, shoddy handling of FOI enquiries.
Well Jack, on your concluding point, perhaps it's because those directors and senior officers who did morally object to the direction of travel for CYC services have all now left before they were pushed, or are hanging on ,hoping not to be noticed ? CYC is no place for dissenters right now. There is now what appears to be a symbiotic relationship between the Leader , senior councillors , and the directorate and policy team . They refuse to betray any concerns at all in the public domain because they depend upon each other , each covering the others inadequacies with continual spin/"good news" stories by the CYC media team . It does make you wonder if there is anyone with enough backbone to break ranks and say what needs to be said. Regardless of anyone's sentiments as regard officer time wasted with repeated FOI requests, it is nonetheless a right of citizens under UK law to use this facility, and as far as I can see, CYC are now attracting more requests simply because of the fact they are operating like a politburo at senior level , and showing contempt for the public in their appalling, shoddy handling of FOI enquiries. James Venamun
  • Score: -27

7:03pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Dr Martin says...

"Vote down" monkey, don't worry "vote up" monkey will spoil your fun!
"Vote down" monkey, don't worry "vote up" monkey will spoil your fun! Dr Martin
  • Score: -32

8:00pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Dr Martin says...

piaggio1 wrote:
Only ~ 57 ?
Must do better....
The sooner this ars***le is named .the better.
agreed
[quote][p][bold]piaggio1[/bold] wrote: Only ~ 57 ? Must do better.... The sooner this ars***le is named .the better.[/p][/quote]agreed Dr Martin
  • Score: -33

1:35am Sun 3 Aug 14

Dr Martin says...

Dr Martin wrote:
piaggio1 wrote:
Only ~ 57 ?
Must do better....
The sooner this ars***le is named .the better.
agreed
;-)
[quote][p][bold]Dr Martin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]piaggio1[/bold] wrote: Only ~ 57 ? Must do better.... The sooner this ars***le is named .the better.[/p][/quote]agreed[/p][/quote];-) Dr Martin
  • Score: -36

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