Thank You to Ian for letting us post his.
By Ian McFerran
I am now legally cleared to publish this.
For reasons best know to themselves, Shropshire Council didn’t want this information released to the public. They claim, as you will see, that this was due to my part on one occasion where I acted as a “McKenzie Friend” to Robert Green at the High Court while he was representing Anne & Hollie Greig in their own case – which I obviously can’t go into here.
However, checks have now established that, as my Freedom of Information (a public request for information) request was nothing to do with that Closed Family Court Hearing and I was not asking questions about Hollie’s medical records, there are no legal grounds for me not to publish their response – which should have been public knowledge the moment I received it.
So, below are my questions, unedited and in full, that I submitted to Shropshire Council on 6th July 2011 (received by them on 7th July 2011) followed by their unedited and in full response.
My Freedom of Information request email to Shropshire Council…
Dear Mr Morris,
Further to your admittance below (albeit through some considerable pressure by myself and the Information Commissioner’s Office – and then only disclosed when it became obvious that an honest Police Constable in West-Mercia Police had confirmed that your Council had approach them prior to the illegal raid) that your Council was indeed party to the illegal raid on the home of Hollie & Anne Greig on 3rd June 2010, I now require the following information to be provided to me, under my right and your obligation via the Freedom of Information Act. This is, therefore, a ‘new‘ Freedom of Information request to the Council. It is presented to you with due regard to the matter you wish the Information Commissioner’s Office to agree with, in that the Council Officers who attended the illegal raid will not be named due to their ‘junior rank‘. As this FoI request does not address these two individuals at all, it would appear logical that such a reason cannot be used again to warrant the invocation of the Data Protection Act to protect any more identities as the people I shall be referring to in this FoI request are ‘senior‘ to those who attended during the illegal (according to Shropshire Council) raid and so, by default, CAN be named in response to this FoI.
In addition, for and on the record, Robert Green has neither instructed, hinted, nor requested that I carry out this additional Freedom of Information request to Shropshire Council and so his current draconian bail conditions remain un-breached! Indeed, by copying Robert Green into this email, this will be his first introduction to the matter.
- After the Council received the initial email from Mr Greg-Lance Watkins, which clearly indicated that there was no concern or alarm for the physical safety of Anne or Hollie Greig and gave no indication that their whereabouts was a matter for concern either… who, in Shropshire Council, initiated the investigating into this matter? If the Council is again going to try to hide the identity of its PUBLICLY PAID SERVANT by claiming the Data Protection Act prevents such information being provided to the public (even though it is clearly in the public’s interest to know how its money is being spent) then please inform me of the “department” and “rank” of the Officers concerned who initiated the investigation and justify the ‘lawful’ reason for their identity being withheld
- Once the investigation had been initiated, who, in the Council, first approached West-Mercia Police Force – and WHY? I ask this as the Police are another public resource/service, which has been drawn into this matter and the public clearly have a right to know why the Police were involved in this raid and why they were not out catching criminals or responding to 999 calls – for over 3 hours – on the day in question or during the Level Two meeting leading up to it
- Was the person(s) identified, in answer to question two, the same person who requested a Level Two meeting with the Police?
- Who, from the Council, attended the Level Two meeting with West-Mercia Police Force? Again, if the Council wishes to hide the identity of their publicly paid servants (for, I submit, unjustifiable reasons) then please indicate the rank and position within the Council that theseFOUR individuals hold/held
- As well as the four Council Officers and the Police, was anyone else present at the Level Two meeting?
- Did anyone from the Council, during the Level Two meeting, suggest or indicate – in any way – to the Police that Hollie Greig was under the ‘care‘ of the Council? Please note, I am not inquiring about the medical/health records of Hollie Greig, simply whether the Council gave the Police the impression that this was the case
- Did anyone from the Council, during the Level Two meeting, suggest or indicate – in any way – to the Police that Anne & Hollie Greig were ‘missing‘ or ‘in danger‘?
- If Anne & Hollie Greig were identified by the Council to the Police as being missing, in danger, or under the care of the Council, on what grounds did the Council consider this to be the case?
- What action, if any, did the Council request that the Police take at the conclusion of the Level Two meeting with West-Mercia Police?
- What date did the Level Two meeting take place?
Regarding questions 1, 5 and 6: I ask that very clear explanations are provided in respect of these and all questions, but these in particular, as the email from Mr Greg-Lance Watkins, which started this entire matter, appears to have been something which could have been addressed along the lines of “Thank you for your concern, Sir. If you have any substantial evidence to support your request for the Council’s intervention, please forward this to the Council as a matter of urgency“. I say that because it is perfectly clear, in reading the email which Mr Watkins took great glee in displaying on his website almost immediately, that there was nothing in that email to suggest Anne or Hollie were in any physical harm, at physical risk or anything else akin to that. In fact, Mr Watkins clearly states the opposite. All Mr Watkins was doing was moaning about the fact Hollie’s case was receiving so much attention and making so much progress towards convicting the paedophiles who repeatedly raped poor Hollie for years and years and years from the age of 6 onwards. So, you can, I’m sure, understand why I am so confused as to why the Council would appear to approach the local Police – as confirmed happened by the Police – and ask that they become involved in Hollie’s life on nothing more than an email.
Mr Morris, I think it only fair that I point out to you now, so you and your Council do not make the same mistake again by lying to the public in response to a Freedom of Information request, that it is well known what happened and uncovering the facts – with or without the input of the Council – is no longer difficult. So please, Mr Morris, in respect of Hollie Greig, who has been through more than enough trauma already, have a heart and please answer these questions quickly, honestly andopenly. By now it should be perfectly clear that each and every person accused in this case will eventually have to face Justice in an open Court of law and accept the inevitable lengthy sentence that will be handed down to them. It would be very stupid of you, at this stage, to withhold any more information as this would simply drag you personally into the same situation needlessly. Shropshire Council have been caught lying in a Freedom of Information response – please don’t let it happen again. In reading between the lines, it must be perfectly clear to you that I am not simply asking these questions out of curiosity. So please, Mr Morris, for Hollie’s sake and for the sake of your own personal dignity, answer the questions I have put to you above, as fast as humanly possible so that your Council can regain some level of dignity at this late stage.
Naturally, I will allow the Council the customary 40 consecutive days for Shropshire Council to reply, although a fast response with full, detailed and honest answers would be appreciated and would certainly improve Shropshire Council’s already shattered reputation for honesty and integrity.
As always, the lay-legal adviser to Anne & Hollie Greig, Robert Green, has been copied into this email, along with members of their legal team, members of the ‘Justice for Hollie Greig Campaign’, the mainstream media, and other interested parties.
Shropshire Council’s reply (4th August 2011)…
INFORMATION REQUEST: 2011070016
Dear Mr McFerran
Further to your information request received on 7 July, we reply as follows.
We have obtained permission from Mrs Greig to respond to your queries which would otherwise, in our view, largely be exempt from disclosure to you as they involve personal information. You were in Court on 14th June as Mr Green’s Mackenzie friend and as such would have had access to the Court documentation. We are, therefore prepared to provide you with the following response but you must not share this with anyone who is not a party to the Court of Protection proceedings.
Taking your points in order:
1. As is explained in the statement of Mr Johnston of 12th May 2010, the actions of Shropshire Council were initially precipitated not by Mr Greg Lance Watkins but by West Mercia Police. They contacted Shropshire Council on 19th January 2010 to raise certain adult protection concerns. The Court of Protection proceedings were commenced following specific concerns raised by the Downs Syndrome Association and their emails are also before the Court. They were authorised, as you already know, by Mr Chandler. The investigation into Anne and Hollie’s whereabouts was agreed upon at an adult protection meeting on 3rd June. West Mercia Police have provided an account of the process which is before the Court and which explains that it was a joint decision to visit the home of Anne and Hollie to conduct a “safe and well check” and that “if not found commence a missing persons enquiry”. That was the extent of the Council’s involvement in the process. The decision to subsequently enter 3 Birch Grove, Ruyton-XI-Towns was taken by West Mercia Police.
2. The Adult Protection meeting on 3rd June was called by Mr Chandler. It is not immediately apparent who physically contacted the police to request their attendance at the meeting but it was probably a junior administrative worker.
3. Please see the answer to question 2.
4. Mr Chandler, at the time Assistant Director (Adult Social Care), Mr Clarke, at the time Head of Adult Safeguarding, two more junior members of staff from the Adults with Learning Disabilities Team as well as a minute taker.
7. Please see the report prepared by the police and mentioned in the answer to question 1 above.
8. Please see the report prepared by the police and mentioned in the answer to question 1 above.
9. The action to carry out a “safe and well check” was agreed jointly.
10. 3rd June 2010.
Information Governance Officer