It is with pride that the Hugo’s Earthquake Campaign can announce that we have submitted new evidence to the Chair of the Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board this week.
You may remember that in late 2016, Hugo’s Earthquake submitted a request for a formal review into Cardon’s death but this was rejected because of the following reason:
“Firstly, Mr Banfield was deemed to, at his own choice, only have had very limited involvement with services in Worcestershire. Secondly, it became very clear from the information gathered that he had actually spent very little time in Worcestershire prior to his death…..We do not believe there to have been a lost multi-agency opportunity to work with the gentleman”
Since this disappointing news, the Campaign has been fighting tirelessly to get the evidence, which in turn helped pile pressure on Worcester City Council to do a small review which was released in May this year but we have not stopped. Shortly after the decision, we launched a public petition to help reverse this decision – you can view and sign it here.
Over the last year and a half we have been collecting evidence from Worcester City Council – uncovering a deep web of lies, non-accountability, misleading Councillors, non-following of Policy, covering up and obfuscating.
Through the Freedom of Information Act, we uncovered damning evidence which shot the following City Council’s public statement:
The evidence? Cardon Banfield’s Housing Benefit Form from when he lived at the YMCA in Worcester – paid for by the very same Local Authority that has not held themselves accountable:
Uncovering this was the first in the long (and continuing) journey to get Justice for Cardon, and we have since published on our Campaign website the full Tender CCP, the organisation that took over the county-wide homeless service in Worcestershire 3 months before Cardon was found dead, however the plans for transition were redacted. This is crucial information if we are going to find out why Cardon slipped through the net and was not supported in the last few days, weeks and months of his life.
These documents, plus others, have this week been submitted to Derek Benson, the Chair of Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board which hold the authority to decide whether a Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR – formerly known as a Serious Case Review) should be held into Cardon’s death. With the help of Healthwatch Worcestershire, Derek Benson was encouraged to review the decision for not holding a SAR into Cardon’s death but remained in agreement with his predecessor Kathy McAteer not to hold one.
It is important to note that the decision not to hold a SAR was not just taken by the then-Chair Kathy, but was decided by a sub-group of people from member organisations of the Board, with the final recommendations being passed to the Chair to make the decision.
Derek Benson sent our Campaign a letter in the last month suggesting us to send in any new information we may have collected which could be reviewed as part of an “ongoing review of decisions” not to hold SAR’s. In submitting the new evidence we have collected, we have also asked for the names of the organisations and the positions/office of the people in those organisations who decided not to hold a SAR in 2016 to be released, with the hope of uncovering any collusion between the agencies involved in the processes/decisions which led to Cardon falling through the net and the decision taken not to formally investigate his death.
Since the decision not to hold a SAR was taken and our uncovering and publishing of paper after paper which points towards poor commissioning, bad management, lying and a fatality they never foresaw happening – we have had much media coverage about the case of 74 year old Cardon Banfield and our battle for answers. This has included the case being heavily highlighted in May by The Guardian and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Whilst we have submitted new evidence for a review of the SAR decision to take place and this remains a positive step closer to getting justice, it is important we do not lose sight of the fight we have undertaken. Cardon’s death is the unfortunate catalyst which has led to months of arguments, email exchanges, a threaten of legal action and locked battles between an activist and a Local Authority.
It is important we do not think we have won even if a SAR takes place, as Worcester City Council, Maggs Day Centre and CCP still have the same officers in place with still no change of services in Worcester since 2016 to stop another death on our streets happening again.
The Campaign wants to keep fighting, and we encourage you to help us: Not by money, not by taking to the streets but instead spending 60 seconds putting your signature on the following petition and sharing the link on your social media:
We are not giving up. Cardon has family who want rightly know what happened to him, and this is one reason why we keep fighting and campaigning.
Thank you for supporting us, and thank you in advance for signing and sharing our petition.