Council breaches privacy of 'rat run' campaigners with botched FOI

First published in News
Last updated
Haringey Independent: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Campaigners have accused the council of breaching their privacy by illegally publishing their names, addresses, phone numbers and private correspondence.

The private details of residents of Ringslade Road in Wood Green, who have been campaigning for 18 months to have the road closed to through-traffic, were accidentally published as part of a Freedom of Information request.

The council then took more than 24 hours to remove the information from the public domain, and failed to correctly redact the information a second time in response to complaints.

Resident Nick Blackford said: “It’s unbelievable that they’ve just published all of our information like this. I was recently burgled, so having my name and address out there just makes me feel really nervous.

“It’s annoying having that information out there in the public realm, after everything. I feel like I can’t really rely on the council for anything. We pay a lot of tax. Everyone makes mistakes, but with them it seems like it’s just all of the time.”

Mr Blackford said that after receiving an initial apology from the council, he asked how its Freedom of Information processes would change to prevent this from happening again, but received no response.

In an email to residents, a council spokesman said: “The officers that were responsible for this FoI request are aware of their error and have asked me to pass on their sincere apologies.

“We have also arranged additional training for all of the officers that handle FoI requests to ensure that they are aware of our data protection obligations when responding to FoI requests.

“I would also like to assure you that this matter has been taken very seriously by Haringey Council at the highest level. I apologise again for any distress or inconvenience caused.”

Comments (8)

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2:20pm Wed 14 May 14

Ringslade Resident says...

The Freedom of Information requests are only carried out because Haringey Council continually refuse to communicate by e-mail. Because they can't get the basics of communication right, they show themselves up for how incompetent they really are.
If Haringey Council had the decency to reply to emails, this would never have happened.
The Freedom of Information requests are only carried out because Haringey Council continually refuse to communicate by e-mail. Because they can't get the basics of communication right, they show themselves up for how incompetent they really are. If Haringey Council had the decency to reply to emails, this would never have happened. Ringslade Resident
  • Score: 26

4:16pm Wed 14 May 14

Warberry Resident says...

This is the latest in a run of blunders by the Highways Department at Haringey.

They've treated the campaigners and supporters with contempt from the very start.

Promises broken. Emails ignored. They've systematically misled the public with their vacuous statements.

The council needs to be held to account and serve the people.
This is the latest in a run of blunders by the Highways Department at Haringey. They've treated the campaigners and supporters with contempt from the very start. Promises broken. Emails ignored. They've systematically misled the public with their vacuous statements. The council needs to be held to account and serve the people. Warberry Resident
  • Score: 25

8:56am Thu 15 May 14

TomSouthern says...

Haringey has an election in one week - the only way to hold this shambles of a Council leadership to account is to vote them out. Enough of Haringey "Labour" (they're not recognisable as a labour party anyway), let's get someone competent in.

Whatever your political persuasion, the only alternative in Haringey at the moment is the Lib Dems. Give it a try, there is literally no way a Lib Dem administration could be any worse.
Haringey has an election in one week - the only way to hold this shambles of a Council leadership to account is to vote them out. Enough of Haringey "Labour" (they're not recognisable as a labour party anyway), let's get someone competent in. Whatever your political persuasion, the only alternative in Haringey at the moment is the Lib Dems. Give it a try, there is literally no way a Lib Dem administration could be any worse. TomSouthern
  • Score: 22

5:33pm Fri 16 May 14

sparkavenue says...

A bad Haringey fail. But most people in the area are thoroughly fed up with the Ringslade Road nimbies who want to banish traffic from their gentrified road without a thought for fellow residents in adjoining roads. It's also particularly shocking that Lynne Featherstone - who is supposed to represent All her constituents – is backing the campaign. Clearly, what the area needs is a coherent traffic management programme, not just a solution for one group of campaigners. It would be good to see the Independent cover the other side of the story.
A bad Haringey fail. But most people in the area are thoroughly fed up with the Ringslade Road nimbies who want to banish traffic from their gentrified road without a thought for fellow residents in adjoining roads. It's also particularly shocking that Lynne Featherstone - who is supposed to represent All her constituents – is backing the campaign. Clearly, what the area needs is a coherent traffic management programme, not just a solution for one group of campaigners. It would be good to see the Independent cover the other side of the story. sparkavenue
  • Score: -18

10:42pm Fri 16 May 14

Ringslade Resident says...

There are very much two groups here. Those who never did, and certainly no longer want, the traffic that should never have been routed down their roads in the first place. The other group, who don't want the traffic that should always have been using their road. Maybe 'sPARK Avenue' could clarify who the nimbies really are???
Yes we've all witnessed the waterworks, heard the terror stories of how bad the traffic already is on the B151 (Park Avenue). What we're yet to see is any of them getting off their collective backsides and doing anything about it.
As far as I am aware, Park Road has been the B151 for many years. As such it is a designated through route. It was the B151 when you moved in, and still is. We've had your traffic for long enough, now you can have it back.
So you want the Independent to cover your side of the story? Have you tried contacting them, or would that involve getting off your collective backsides?
There are very much two groups here. Those who never did, and certainly no longer want, the traffic that should never have been routed down their roads in the first place. The other group, who don't want the traffic that should always have been using their road. Maybe 'sPARK Avenue' could clarify who the nimbies really are??? Yes we've all witnessed the waterworks, heard the terror stories of how bad the traffic already is on the B151 (Park Avenue). What we're yet to see is any of them getting off their collective backsides and doing anything about it. As far as I am aware, Park Road has been the B151 for many years. As such it is a designated through route. It was the B151 when you moved in, and still is. We've had your traffic for long enough, now you can have it back. So you want the Independent to cover your side of the story? Have you tried contacting them, or would that involve getting off your collective backsides? Ringslade Resident
  • Score: 18

11:10pm Fri 16 May 14

Tony McLoughlin says...

Please... park ave nimbies get off your arse and ask haringey to alleviate your own traffic issues instead of objecting to those others attempting to hold a mirror into the face a local authority's very own published obectives into community safety, environment and well being.
Please... park ave nimbies get off your arse and ask haringey to alleviate your own traffic issues instead of objecting to those others attempting to hold a mirror into the face a local authority's very own published obectives into community safety, environment and well being. Tony McLoughlin
  • Score: 15

6:35am Sat 17 May 14

Warberry Resident says...

sparkavenue wrote:
A bad Haringey fail. But most people in the area are thoroughly fed up with the Ringslade Road nimbies who want to banish traffic from their gentrified road without a thought for fellow residents in adjoining roads. It's also particularly shocking that Lynne Featherstone - who is supposed to represent All her constituents – is backing the campaign. Clearly, what the area needs is a coherent traffic management programme, not just a solution for one group of campaigners. It would be good to see the Independent cover the other side of the story.
Dear sparkavenue,

There's a lot of anger here, towards the residents who've fought an uphill battle against the council to get it to deal with the 3100 vehicles a day which are NOT meant to be using a tiny street as the Wood Green bypass.

Towards the Editor of the local paper who is doing his job - reporting news. Note - the Haringey Independent hasn't offered an editorial opinion on this matter. It has been reporting news. Yep, the campaigners are making the news. SHOCKA!

Towards our MP who is trying to help the whole area -- who did what our Councillors, Pat Egan, George Meehan, Ann Waters and the council FAILED to do and that is to get TFL to look again at the junction at Wood Green to see if a right hand turn could be accommodated there.

I note not a single criticism of Pat, Anne or George. The people some voters elected 4 years ago to represent Woodside. Not a word about their inaction, their inability to help ALL residents.

So - lets talk about a 'master plan' for the area - ideas? What would it look like? What's YOUR idea.

It's dead easy to be an armchair general, shooting off with a keyboard, let's hear your proposals.

By the way, are you happy with the pavements which have been cut into on Park Avenue? The council should re-name it CAR PARK avenue.
[quote][p][bold]sparkavenue[/bold] wrote: A bad Haringey fail. But most people in the area are thoroughly fed up with the Ringslade Road nimbies who want to banish traffic from their gentrified road without a thought for fellow residents in adjoining roads. It's also particularly shocking that Lynne Featherstone - who is supposed to represent All her constituents – is backing the campaign. Clearly, what the area needs is a coherent traffic management programme, not just a solution for one group of campaigners. It would be good to see the Independent cover the other side of the story.[/p][/quote]Dear sparkavenue, There's a lot of anger here, towards the residents who've fought an uphill battle against the council to get it to deal with the 3100 vehicles a day which are NOT meant to be using a tiny street as the Wood Green bypass. Towards the Editor of the local paper who is doing his job - reporting news. Note - the Haringey Independent hasn't offered an editorial opinion on this matter. It has been reporting news. Yep, the campaigners are making the news. SHOCKA! Towards our MP who is trying to help the whole area -- who did what our Councillors, Pat Egan, George Meehan, Ann Waters and the council FAILED to do and that is to get TFL to look again at the junction at Wood Green to see if a right hand turn could be accommodated there. I note not a single criticism of Pat, Anne or George. The people some voters elected 4 years ago to represent Woodside. Not a word about their inaction, their inability to help ALL residents. So - lets talk about a 'master plan' for the area - ideas? What would it look like? What's YOUR idea. It's dead easy to be an armchair general, shooting off with a keyboard, let's hear your proposals. By the way, are you happy with the pavements which have been cut into on Park Avenue? The council should re-name it CAR PARK avenue. Warberry Resident
  • Score: 15

5:15pm Tue 20 May 14

Wrathful resident says...

Residents in Warberry and the top of Cumberland are not so affected by Ringslade rat run. If Ringslade Rd were closed it would make it harder for us to get home. We lose our short cut too.

But that's not the point.

It's so obviously and blatantly wrong to have a tiny narrow unclassified road used as a main road bypass catering for 3,200 vehicles a day, supporting the rat run closure is a no brainer.
Residents in Warberry and the top of Cumberland are not so affected by Ringslade rat run. If Ringslade Rd were closed it would make it harder for us to get home. We lose our short cut too. But that's not the point. It's so obviously and blatantly wrong to have a tiny narrow unclassified road used as a main road bypass catering for 3,200 vehicles a day, supporting the rat run closure is a no brainer. Wrathful resident
  • Score: 4

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