Worcestershire Rough Sleeper Safeguarding Review Cost
In November 2022, the Cardon Banfield Foundation won a landmark information case through the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
After a number of rough sleeper deaths in Worcestershire between 2016-2019, we campaigned for a review to happen. In 2019, the Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board (WSAB) conducted a Thematic Safeguarding Review published in September 2020. Shortly after, we published a detailed response to the Review.
In 2021 the Foundation requested for the costs to the taxpayer of conducting the review from the Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board (WSAB). In its own right, the WSAB is exempt from Freedom of Information legislation and therefore because Worcestershire County Council funds 45% of the Board's function, we formally asked the Council to give us the amount using Freedom of Information.
This request was rejected first time round and in April 2022 the subsequent Internal Review upheld the original decision that the Council did not hold this information.
The Cardon Banfield Foundation invoked its right to refer this decision to the Information Commissioner in March 2022 and got a response back from the ICO in November 2022 upholding our request because the Council would hold this information at least for budgetary purposes.
Additional information: Our Policy Centre statement on the ICO ruling
The Council and WSAB confirmed the full cost to the taxpayer of conducting this Thematic Review was £11,669.03.
This is the first time ever an organisation has successfully got the costs of a Safeguarding Review. We hope to use this landmark decision to help assist other Safeguarding Boards and Councils be transparent in how taxpayer's money is being spent.
As a result of this ruling, we have created an 'Accountability and Transparency Benchmarking Tool for Organisations' which is available to view here.
The Foundation maintains a strong, positive, productive relationship with the WSAB and thank the Board for their transparency in this cost and publishing minutes of meetings they hold in relation to the Thematic Review.