Hackney Council fail to meet deadline for National Deaf Children’s Society Freedom of Information request

London’s authorities make up half of the councils across England that have failed to comply with a Freedom of Information request to explain how much money will be available for deaf children’s services in this financial year.

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), based in Old Street, has been trying to find out how much money will be available for deaf children’s services for this financial year, after a third of all councils cut services for deaf children in the last two years.

There are fears that as budgets continue to be squeezed deaf children could be further hit by swingeing cuts.

Out of 150 Freedom of Information requests put into local authorities across the UK, 26 councils failed to respond by the legal deadline of April 2.

Jo Campion, deputy director of policy and campaigns at NDCS said the lack of response showed a “total disregard” for deaf children.

“This is not to mention a total disregard for the law, as councils are legally obliged to share information on budgets,” she added.

“This silence from councils in London 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 is too late.

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“This will have a serious impact on deaf children’s futures.”

A spokeswoman from Hackney Council said they are responding to the FOI request.

“It’s just there was an error when it was logged, so we thought we had longer to respond than we really did,” she added.

A NDCS spokeswoman said they would expect the council to their FOI requests more seriously and respond within requested time frame.

She continued: “Obviously mistakes happen, and we are looking forward to receiving the information from the council.”