In this index we will clear up who is who and what is what in terms of the complex Cardon Banfield case, with the aim to help people understand the case better.
Cardon Banfield – Cardon was a 74 year old homeless man who was living in Worcestershire on and off for a number of years prior to his death. Cardon had previously been supported by the Worcestershire Homelessness Intervention Team (WHIT) run by St Paul’s Hostel, Worcester (funded by the taxpayer) and other agencies prior to April 2016. He was found in a tent on the banks of the River Severn in Worcester by a warden of the cricket club on July 5th 2016, partially mummified and smelling.
Worcester City Council – the Local Authority that oversees the geographical area that Cardon was found in. Worcester City Council also manage the taxpayer-funded homeless services in the City/County in a process called commissioning.
- David Blake – The now-Managing Director of Worcester City Council and previous “Head of Place”. David was directly responsible for the homelessness department of the City Council at the time of Cardon’s discovery and his staff created the environment which is crucial to the Cardon Banfield case.
- Nina Warrington – As Strategic Housing Manager of the City Council, Nina has been the person who has overseen homelessness and housing policy for a decade. Nina has been leading and directing the policies and contracts of the City in terms of homelessness.
- Ben Bradley – Ben is a homeless worker for the City Council responsible for commissioning, de-commissioning and managing taxpayer-funded homelessness services in Worcestershire. Ben was the person who wrote the badly-worded contract for the CCP contract which was enforced from April 2016.
- Worcester Conservative Party – Worcester Tories were in political control of the City Council before and immediately after Cardon was found and was responsible for the de-commissioning of WHIT and commissioning of CCP. The Worcester Conservatives have never spoken out in relation to Cardon’s death.
- Cllr Lucy Hodgson – Lucy was in the Cabinet of both Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council and was the person to instigate the cuts to funding for the WHIT and authorise the creation of CCP. Lucy single-handedly authorised the CCP service that would cut Cardon’s support for getting housing, off.
- Robin Walker MP – Robin is the elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Worcester (City) and was publicly vocal about the need to learn lessons from Cardon’s death with a full investigation.
- Worcester Labour Party – The Worcester Labour Party took political control of Worcester City Council shortly after Cardon’s death and have held it ever since. They have overseen the majority of the scandalous response and denial by the City Council in response to his death. The Party did however break silence 3 days after Cardon’s identity was discovered and spoke out about the tragedy.
- Cllr Joy Squires – Joy Squires, Deputy Leader of the Worcester Labour Party, came to the Cardon Flower Vigil on the 5th July 2017 to pay respects a year on from Cardon’s discovery.
St Paul’s Hostel/WHIT – St Paul’s Hostel based in the City Centre is the organisation that ran the previous support contract from the City Council called the WHIT. Cardon was supported by the WHIT for a small number of years and they helped him get accommodation, especially in the YMCA Worcester hostel in 2014. WHIT were contracted to walk around the streets of Worcester once a day, sometimes more, and support rough sleepers in the place they were residing. Through this service was Cardon picked up and supported.
When the contract with the City Council was ended, and the new service started with CCP in April 2016, St Paul’s no longer had any responsibility to support Cardon and WHIT had vanished. There was no structured transfer of information or clients over to CCP from St Paul’s, and this has been central to the controversy about how and why Cardon was allowed to fall through the cracks and not be supported.
CCP – Caring for Communities and People (CCP) is the organisation that holds the current taxpayer-funded homelessness service in Worcestershire, starting in April 2016. CCP were the agency responsible for supporting rough sleepers like Cardon in the 3 months before Cardon’s discovery. CCP’s contract for the service stated that they were to run a “Light Touch” outreach service from the start of their contract, but what this meant was not defined in the official Contract from the City Council, written by Ben Bradley.
CCP and the City Council have since agreed that this “Light Touch” service would be once every 4 weeks minimum and this is contractually still the case. There has still been no release of the transition plan between the City Council and CCP in regards to clients being bought across from WHIT.
Maggs Day Centre – Maggs Day Centre is an organisation which does not receive substantial or core money from the City Council to run. They have no current contract with the City Council to provide a service on behalf of taxpayers.
However, Maggs Day Centre are crucial in the story around why Cardon wasn’t supported from when WHIT was wound up to CCP. It was widely reported and confirmed that Cardon visited Maggs at least once in the time of having his support stopped by the winding up of WHIT and his death in at least mid-June 2016 – however Maggs did not pass on any information to CCP about him.
With safeguarding a key responsibility of any organisation working with the homeless, it is therefore reasonable to suggest that Maggs’ should have passed on any concern they had about Cardon to CCP, who held the contract: By the point in time that Cardon had visited Maggs, he was living in a tent and not in any housing or lodgings.
- Mel Kirk – Mel Kirk is the Chief Executive of Maggs Day Centre and the person responsible for the service being delivered by Maggs. Mel’s running of the organisation means that no rough sleeper was, and still is not, automatically referred onto CCP or an agency because they have had contact with Maggs.
Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board/Safeguarding Adults Review – The Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board (WSAB) is the statutory body which safeguards adults in Worcestershire, including Worcester City. A member of the public can report any safeguarding concerns they have about an adult in the County to this Board and they must make further inquiries.
If there has been a suspicious death or serious consequences around a death of an adult in Worcestershire, a member of the public or Members of the Board itself may request a Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR). This is a new name for what was called a Serious Case Review. A purpose of a SAR is to establish facts around the individual, the lead up to the death and the lessons that can be learnt to stop something similar happening again.
In November 2016, the case of Cardon Banfield was referred to the WSAB however it was concluded in December 2016 that a SAR was not going to happen, due to the fact that Cardon was not known to statutory services. We have challenged this and have since gained evidence to submit another request for a SAR in 2017/2018.
Healthwatch Worcestershire – Healthwatch Worcestershire are the legal body that represents the voice of clients in services, like homeless services and the NHS. They have been involved since mid-2017 in helping to get a SAR into Cardon’s death. Healthwatch believe that lessons can be learnt around safeguarding homeless adults in Worcestershire in response to the failings of organisations to support Cardon.
Healthwatch have publicly stated that they have no confidence in safeguarding practices in Worcestershire and said there were serious failings in the de-commissioning and re-commissioning of homeless services in Worcestershire and Worcester. Healthwatch are helping to push for another SAR after the first one was rejected by the Adult Safeguarding Board.