Islington Gazette letters, May 10
PUBLISHED: 12:23 24 May 2012
Bungling council breached confidentiality
It is shocking news that the council have encouraged people to make anonymous complaints against anti-social criminals, and then sent details of the complainants direct to the violent thugs.
The Labour Council is about to spend a whopping £250k on a brief pilot project on dog-fouling, yet cannot be trusted with safeguarding private witness details in a straightforward ASBO application.
Perhaps the money would have been better spent in tackling the anti-social behaviour directly, instead of putting residents at risk.
A full enquiry needs to be held, to establish why the documents were rushed out and on whose orders.
There ought to be some political accountability, not just hand-wringing and blaming the staff.
In the meantime, residents need to be very careful about what information they give where this council is concerned. As a lawyer, I have worked on ASBO cases across London since they were introduced, but cannot recall ever coming across a more inept, bungling performance than what we have witnessed in Islington.
Legally, there is a clear breach of confidentiality, Article 8, and the Data Protection Act. Some residents have already sought legal advice, others who may be interested in joining a group action can contact me on 07980846330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lawyer and Hillrise Ward councillor
Hornsey Rise Gardens, N19
Sensitive material wrongly divulged
I read your article and was taken aback as this is the second time in a space of two years that Islington Council have breached Data Protection of their residents.
I moved out of Islington in 2008 and in 2009 when living in another borough 17 miles away, I heard they breached my data by sending my complaint to another resident in the borough. My complaint was an old complaint made when living in the borough, and it contained sensitive information about my child who was under 18, a minor. The resident had my details and contacted me to inform me of the information they received.
That was the main issue of the blunder, but there were a couple of others too.
To cut a long story short, I reported it to the Information Commissioner and it took about a year before it was concluded and various breaches ruled against them.
Once I got the rulings, I took it to a county court and Islington settled £1000 in 2010 as an out of court settlement.
I am astounded with what I have read, but it doesn’t surprise me of the carelessness of the people of Islington staff and their partners
I just hope the people that were aggrieved by this recent DP Breach also follow suit.
Name and address supplied (NEEDS CHECKING)
Ofsted report to be proud of
I want to congratulate Hungerford School on their recent Ofsted inspection and report. The school has been rated ‘good’ with ‘some outstanding features’ and the associated children’s centre was also inspected and rated good. This is a superb result under the new, tougher inspection system.
I would like to thank the head teacher, Brian Bench, the teaching staff, the non-teaching staff, the volunteers, the parents, the children and, finally, my fellow governors for all their hard work that has made these excellent results possible.
Chair of governing body, Hungerford School
Everything seems to be going wrong
Since the Tories got back into power we have had record unemployment, especially youth unemployment, record increases in the price of food, gas, electricity and fares and now stamps are going up to subsidise the privatisation of the post office. Tory plans for health will do enormous damage to the NHS if not destroy it all together.
The Tories want to to increase rents to 80 per cent of market rents for council and housing association tenants, this would mean rents increased to £350 a week. Meanwhile private sector rents are going through the roof.
In neighbouring Haringey schools are being forced to become academies against the wishes of parents, teachers and school governors, so much for democracy.
Cannonbury Crescent, N1
Plea to find jobs for autistic adults
I want to encourage our MP to support the National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Undiscovered Workforce campaign to help adults with autism into employment.
The campaign is calling upon MPs across the UK to work together with local authority services, as well as local businesses and employment providers to improve job opportunities for people with autism in their own constituencies.
For many, employment is a crucial factor in living a happy and independent life. However, NAS research indicates that only 15 per cent of adults with autism are in full-time employment, despite the fact that 79 per cent of those claiming out-of-work benefits told us they want to work. Research with university leavers has shown that 26 per cent of graduates with autism are unemployed, by far the highest rate of any disability group. It is therefore vital that more is done locally to support these adults into work.
With the right support, people with autism can overcome the barriers to work that they often face. I hope the local MP will agree to work with other organisations in our constituency so that adults with autism living in the area have access to the same employment opportunities as others.
Andover Road, N7