A large dump of heavily redacted material has been released by Bristol City Council to local SEND campaigner and blogger Chopsy through a Subject Access Request – part of GDPR personal data rights regulations.
She’s one of the SEND parents severely harassed by senior council bosses through an ugly intimidatory campaign of systematic surveillance of her social media.
Despite their best efforts to cover-up their actions with redactions, this data release looks like even more bad news for council bosses. Revealing that they went beyond monitoring social media and were snooping on parents in ‘real life’ too.
In one email we now find the state openly collecting and circulating the names of people attending a small SEND protest at City Hall on 8 April 2001:
Another email suggests the council used covert human intelligence sources to find out what certain parents and third party organisations were up to:
Despite this type of intelligence gathering by the state being unlawful, a third party obtained information from persons unknown, sent it to a council boss who then circulated it among numerous colleagues.
Stasi, the KGB and Big Brother eat your heart out!
A random and incomplete selection of documents obtained under FoI shed light on what might be the point of the SEND spying affair.
Many of the documents released reveal that Education Director, Alison “Pervy” Hurley and her SEND managers were taking a lot of interest in FoI requests made by parents and in posts on social media between parents regarding legal action or judicial review.
For starters, council officers should not be interfering in the public’s use of FoI. This is laid out in FoI legislation as unlawful. Hurley and her spy team have therefore broken the law by obtaining evidence of FoI requests by parents and using them to discourage parents who were members of the Bristol Parent Carer Forum from making further requests.
On the question of legal action and judicial review, are People Director, Hugh “Cares” Evans and his Education Director Hurley running an informal demand management policy in SEND?
This is a money-saving policy used by public service managers to prevent take-up of services, often through obstruction. Council tactics may include slow and confusing processes, ignoring correspondence and communications, forcing people into long complaints processes and simply refusing people services they are entitled to.
The last thing Evans and Hurley need is parents taking legal action to obtain the services they are entitled to as this creates a double cost to the council. The cost of providing the service they’ve tried to avoid delivering and also the cost of any legal action.
Who agreed to pay our council bosses large sums to block people from asserting their legal rights to services?
We learn that the appalling Saskia “Hindley” Koynenburg, Bristol City Council’s Head of External Comms and one of the Reverend’s main council flunkeys has quit the council. Her last day was September 30. Was that a small cheer we heard from her long-suffering staff as she left the building?
Hindley’s days always seem numbered at the council after she shot to national notoriety on Youtube this summer for trying to stop the Nazi Post’s LDR journalist, Alex Seabrook, asking the Reverend a question at a press conference because that “wasn’t part of his job description” or some such nonsense.
Matters then got worse for the embittered failed journalist when she was discovered at the centre of the SEND spy scandal. It was Hindley’s sicko team trawling parents’ social media accounts and supplying juicy nuggets of personal information and photos of parents of vulnerable children to Bristol’s SEND managers.
It rather looks like Hindley is fleeing the scene of a crime doesn’t it?
Inactive “activists” and non-campaigning “campaigners” star in desperately shite sham report that council’s top lawyer is pretending isn’t anything to do with him
A little late but, as promised by outgoing Chief Exec Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson, Bristol City Council has published a heavily redacted ‘fact-finding’ report into their SEND spying scandal.
This is the scandal of senior education bosses casually obtaining personal information from the internet, including wedding photos, on parents with SEND children. With no regard for the law, this personal information was then gleefully shared among City Hall bosses and third party organisations to undermine the local Parent Carer Forum and the parents it supports.
The education bosses even appear to have attempted a spot of what’s popularly called “doxxing” by obtaining what they considered identifying information from the internet on parents and then outing them to third parties.
Luckily for the officers involved in this potentially unlawful conduct, their names have been redacted in the report. However, in order not to protect the guilty and help you avoid some massive tossers, we’re happy to name some of the key arseholes in the council’s senior education team involved in the spy operation: Alison “Purvey” Hurley, Director of Education; Vikki Jervis, Principle Education Psychologist; Virginia Roberts, WSOA/SEND consultant; Gale Rogers, Head of Children’s Commissioning; Jess Baugh, Commissioning Manager.
A number of unnamed individuals in the council’s external comms team, managed by failed journalist Saskia “Hindley” Koynenburg were also involved. Information on these individuals welcome. Why should they be allowed to skulk in the shadows and fuck with us?
The report, itself, is a grim farrago of half-arsed backside covering attributed to Bristol City Council’s “Legal Services”. Largely because legal boss “L’il” Tim O’Gara may not want his name anywhere near such a political document that may cost some of the idiots involved their jobs.
O’Gara’s report is just ten slim pages. Eight of which are wholly irrelevant and dedicated to a nakedly political and obsessive attack on the Bristol Parent Carer Forum (BPC), which two parents at the centre of the scandal are involved with. The council’s main angle on the pair is that they were “activists” and “campaigners” against the council and its SEND team and this was a conflict of interest with their roles at BPC.
The obvious response to this is, so fucking what? And what right do council managers and directors have to spy on “activists” and “campaigners” anyway? Do residents of Bristol effectively forfeit basic human rights and their dignity if the council randomly labels them “activists” and “campaigners” on the basis of unreliable evidence gleaned off the internet?
Having dehumanised their SEND spy victims as “activists” and “campaigners” with no rights, the council’s report fails to identify anything resembling a “campaign” or “action” from either parent. Instead the parents’ only apparent action was to discuss the poor quality of Bristol’s SEND offer on social media with each other!
When did conversing with friends, acquaintances and relatives become “activism” and “campaigning”? Who made up this nonsense, which is basically cover for a crude state assault on the free speech of Bristol SEND parents on the internet? And a blatant attempt to stop dissent and criticism of a failing local public service so that the incompetents running it can pump out cheery fake news about the service instead and continue to bank fat salaries they don’t deserve.
Helpfully, the report clearly indicates that this “campaigning”/”activist” schtick is all a load of bollocks. Para 16 says:
Remarkably, the report is openly acknowledging that its “campaigning”/”activist” concerns may not even be true but concludes that doesn’t matter because some fantasists at City Hall think they might be true! A piece of Alice in Wonderland logic that opens the door for council bosses to unlawfully investigate citizens on the basis of false facts and fictional concerns. So that’s all right then.
Another purpose of all this meandering drivel seems to be that it allows O’Gara to avoid the actual purpose of his report, which should be an investigation into spying on parents by council bosses.
A leaked email from the Bristol City Council education managers at the heart of the SEND spying scandal reveals them plotting over what information they would provide to Bristol Parent Carer Forum.
The email clearly indicates that Education Director Alison Hurley was personally overseeing what sensitive personal data from parents should be unlawfully released to third parties
At the time, Vikki Jervis was Principle Education Psychologist at Bristol City Council. What parents were saying on social media had to do with education psychology is something of a mystery. Although she appears to be the council’s expert on RIPA and GDPR and releasing personal information obtained through surveillance to third parties.
Virginia Roberts is a consultant brought in as SEND lead for Bristol’s Written Statement of Action for OFSTED. It’s her job to oversee an improvement in SEND in Bristol after its terrible OFSTED inspection. How does monitoring and sharing parents’ social media posts relate to improving Bristol’s SEND service? Has Roberts shifted her focus to silencing parents rather than improving her service?
Maybe SEND management are more concerned with monitoring parents’ social media and supplying gossip to third parties than doing the jobs they are handsomely paid to do?
Our postbag has been bulging since our shocking revelation yesterday about education managers at Bristol City Council circulating wedding photos of SEND parents around the Council House and beyond
I went round Alison Hurley’s house once and she showed me her attic. It is indeed covered in wedding photos skewered with pins and there’s a great big purple pentagon painted on the floor. She told me that she and her partner regularly perform sex magick rituals up there.
I thought the whole thing was a bit weird to be honest but at least I know where she got all the wedding photos from now.
Many thanks for all the hard work.
I went up to Alison Hurley’s attic the other day and imagine my surprise when I discovered Bristol City Council’s Executive Director for People, Hugh Evans, chained up there in a crotchless gimp suit masturbating over a photograph of a young woman in a wedding dress! Not a pretty sight I can tell you.
Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me, otherwise I’d have got a photo and circulated it around work.
Maybe next time? Keep up the good work.
I walked into Executive Director Hugh Evans’ office last week and he was on a Zoom meeting with Education Director Alison Hurley from her attic.
Imagine my surprise when I noticed he was completely naked below the waist and was aggressively stabbing pins into a wedding photo of a young woman that clearly wasn’t his wife!
I was so surprised I forgot to take a photo. If I had I would have circulated it among my colleagues
Why has Bristol City Council’s External Comms Team been supplying wedding photos of SEND parents to Education Director, Alison “Pervy” Hurley? Is this normal?
We told you so. Now here’s the evidence. Bristol City Council’s SEND department has been systematically spying on SEND parents on the internet and social media. Then collating and cataloguing the results and sharing them with senior Bristol City Council education managers, including that useless oaf and third class human being, Education Director, Alison “Pervy” Hurley, as well as various third party organisations. Who the fuck are these people? Bristol’s own Stasi?
The first document we can reveal is an email to Hurley and her freakish gang of unethical education bosses outlining the people spied on and the methods deployed to gather the information. A table of information and PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHS of the parents in question were attached to this email.
Of particular note is the comment at point 2 in the email ” … External Comms deduced this is XX as image is the same as wedding photos on XX’s personal Facebook site. Attached”
Yes, you read that right. Members of BCC’s creepy External Communications team, paid to communicate with the press and public, have been hunting through SEND parents’ personal photo collections on Facebook, downloading highly personal pictures (wedding photos FFS!)and sharing them with grateful Council House bosses.
Has Hurley now got wedding photos of SEND parents with large pins stuck in them all over her attic? Or is she up to something really weird and kinky with them?
We’re reliably informed that external comms staff would have had to search for the wedding photo in question. It wasn’t a Facebook profile photo in front of them. It was buried in the user’s photo folder with lots of other personal items.
Leaving aside that this is likely unlawful as it would classify as covert surveillance, it is also vile, anti-social behaviour and a wholly unacceptable way to be treating members of the public who pay your wages. All those responsible should be hanging their heads in shame and considering their positions.
Did no one involved in this think that the material they were accessing was way too personal and intrusive and complain to their bosses that the work was demeaning? What’s wrong with them? Would they want their wedding photos and details of their personal lives collected and randomly circulated, without their knowledge or agreement, to Hurley and her freakshow of Council House bosses to use for god knows what?
The Head of External Comms is, of course, The Reverend’s disgraced personal PR bully Saskia “Hindley” Konynenburg. When not bullying local journalists, it seems this unbalanced individual spends council time secretly rifling through strangers’ personal photo collections on Facebook and gleefully sharing the contents with her colleagues. Lovely stuff. What a wonderful person and exceptional public servant.
The second document is a table listing some harmless social media comments, mainly from just two SEND parents. A further three parents are also identified in the document as “critical commenters”. A number of local SEND campaigning groups are also thrown in and named and shamed for Hurley’s benefit.
The table was circulated to the Hurley education freakshow and to third party organisations. This type of surveillance and sharing of people’s social media activity is unlikely to be lawful. But, again, the critical issue is as much one of basic taste and sensibility.
What the fuck do these Council House freaks think they’re doing with our personal information and why?
There is a statement on this matter from the Bristol City Council and a response from the Bristol Parent Carer Forum here.
It’s farewell, then, to Alison Hurley “Burley” Bristol City Council’s Director for Education and Skills, responsible for SEND in Bristol. Alison arrived at the back end of 2019 and departs with zero improvement in SEND and an expanded bank account. What was the point?
As Alison scarpers, a persistent rumour follows her out of the door. Namely that her department has been collecting information about some SEND parents and activists from the internet and social media. This information has then been shared with council officers and others.
Let’s hope this is an unfounded rumour as such covert surveillance of parents is unlawful! Covert surveillance by councils requires authorisation under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). And, since The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, local authorities can’t authorise the use of RIPA. Instead it requires a magistrate’s approval.
RIPA states that council’s can only collect and record information for ‘the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder’ and other narrow reasons such as ‘in the interests of national security’. How does this apply to parents moaning about the council on social media?
Moreover, the ‘Covert Surveillance and Property Interference Revised Code of Practice 2018′ says, “If the study of an individual’s online presence becomes persistent, or where material obtained from any check is to be extracted and recorded and may engage privacy considerations, RIPA authorisations may need to be considered.”
But, if you can only get RIPA authorisation for ‘the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder’ and Ms Hurley has allowed personal information from parents to be studied, extracted, recorded and distributed, she has probably broken the law.
Well done for protecting SEND parents’ basic freedoms Alison, you revolting Nazi arsehole.