Newham Council reported over FOI response delay

The FOI request was about services for deaf children (picture: Chris Young/PA)

The FOI request was about services for deaf children (picture: Chris Young/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Newham Council has been reported to the information commissioner after failing to respond to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request within the 28 day threshold.

The request was submitted by the National Deaf Children’s Society in a bid to find out how much money is available to fund services for deaf children.

It comes as recent Government figures show nearly two thirds of deaf children are failing to achieve five good GCSEs and the attainment gap between deaf and hearing children has widened since 2013.

The charity fears deaf children could struggle further as councils across the country are forced to make budget cuts.

Jo Campion, deputy director of policy and campaigns,said: “Deaf children can achieve the same as any other child but the right support needs to be available to them.

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“The silence from Newham Council makes us fear the worst - that even more deaf children’s services will be falling under the axe this year, with parents being kept in the dark until it’s too late.”

A council spokeswoman called the claims “wildly unfair and inaccurate”.

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She said: “A response has been sent to the charity which makes clear that we are committed to the needs of deaf children and we have not reduced our funding towards services that help them.

“Like other local authorities, we receive a significant number of Freedom of Information requests.

“We will always endeavour to answer these within the deadline but however due to increased pressure on our officers and reduced resources due to funding cuts to our budget, this is not always possible. This was one such case.

“We apologise for this delay but attacking councils who do invest in services for deaf children via the media is unacceptable.”

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