Questions asked about Camden Council’s transparency after FOI discrepancy

PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 December 2014

Camden Town Hall, in Judd Street, King's Cross.

Camden Town Hall, in Judd Street, King's Cross.


Camden Council appears to be unsure of exactly what information it holds about children at its family of schools.

Earlier this month, the Ham&High reported that dozens of Camden families had defied new government rules banning pupils from going on holiday during school term time.

The story arose from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by reporter Tim Lamden who asked the council to break down the number of fines issued to parents for unauthorised pupil absence last year for each school in the borough.

Mr Lamden received an informative list of figures, albeit seven working days late, detailing the number of fines issued to parents of pupils for each primary and secondary school in Camden.

So it was with surprise that Heathman learnt of Camden Council’s obstructive response to an identical FOI request from journalism student Eleanor Bley Griffiths.

The 22-year-old, who is studying at City University London, asked the council in October to list the number of fines issued to parents for unauthorised pupil absences for each school in the borough over the past four years.

In response, council officer Tanya Bryant wrote: “We do not hold or collate this information. Schools should hold this information as schools are data controllers in their own right.”

It is a familiar reply for several Ham&High reporters who have met the same response to FOI requests relating to Camden schools in recent months.

It left Heathman asking: Are council officers given carte blanche to decide which statutory requests for information they wish to answer?

A council spokesman said: “We are looking into this matter.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:08

Barnet Council’s finances came under scrutiny last week as the fallout continued from the fraud that saw a Capita employee swindle £2m from council coffers.

Yesterday, 16:06

Haringey is “prostituting” Finsbury Park out for Wireless Festival and should scrap the event, neighbours argued at a licensing sub-committee meeting last night.

Yesterday, 11:41

A former council candidate and a management consultant have been chosen to stand for the Green Party at the next general election.

Mon, 16:23

Up to 100 children looted cheap sweets from a supermarket off Stroud Green Road and threw missiles at cars in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mon, 14:31

A third-floor room was badly damaged in a fire in Golders Green on Saturday night.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A “cowardly career criminal” who held vulnerable women at knifepoint during a six-week spree robbing shops has been jailed.

Friday, October 12, 2018

“It stank. It smelt like the goat pen at London Zoo.”

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Hampstead school has scrapped a pilot project that saw commercial helicopters landing on its playing fields after neighbours complained it was causing “quite a riot”.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now