#JusticeForCardon IMPORTANT UPDATE: Safeguarding Adults Review request number 2

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:

City Council false statement in WN

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:
Cardon Banfield HB Form.png

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:

Make Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board investigate Cardon’s Death

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.

 

The Justice For Cardon Campaign
Cardon Banfield: 1942-2016

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“2 years on, and it hurts more than ever” – @HugoSugg, #JusticeForCardon Campaigner

It hurts so much. Knowing the situation Cardon was found in totally breaks my heart. I write this to try and clear my head a little, and also get more people to know about his case.

Cardon was 74 years old when he died and his body discovered on the 5th July 2016. He was rotting, smelling, partially mummified and alone. I think about that and it makes me feel sick. How could he be left like that and his sister, who recently got in touch with me, asked “what were his last thoughts?”. Hearing this question from Cardon’s sister utterly destroys me. There have been many a time where I thought about packing in the Justice For Cardon campaign because even though it’s had coverage and raised awareness – it has been emotionally draining.

2 years on, and it hurts more than ever. Knowing what he was like when I knew him for the matter of weeks at the YMCA, he didn’t ever deserve the treatment he got in life – let alone in death.

Worcester has not been the same since Cardon’s body was discovered, whilst life for the Banfield family has been turned upside down since November 2017. I’m sorry that it’s taken a death of a pensioner who has worked and helped to build this country for us to highlight the huge issues with homelessness we have in Worcester and beyond.

As I write this I have the voice of Chester Bennington, the late lead singer of Linkin Park, playing out loud. He sings amazingly and endlessly about struggles we can go through and our own thoughts. It seemed relevant to have this playing for both myself but more importantly for the memory of Cardon. It brings me to tears that no one will ever know exactly what happened to Cardon in his final days nor what people did or didn’t do to help him when he most needed it.

I sit here with tears rolling down my cheek, but the memory of this great man is never going to stop me pursuing to get justice. I am determined to do it, for everyone’s sake – especially of course, Cardon’s.

The last 2 years have been really tough for many, for many reasons – however I want this Thursday and the anniversary to be a benchmark where we are closer than we are further away to getting the answers we need to the questions which remain unanswered.

Thank you for reading this. I hope I see you in Worcester tomorrow and appreciate all the support you have shown me, his family and Cardon’s memory.

 

Cardon – this is for you. You’re sorely missed and still loved and cherished by the many.

Rest in Peace,
Hugo Sugg x

PRESS RELEASE: Cardon Banfield – 2 Years On

03/06/2018 23.15 BST


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

There is a memorial taking place in Worcester High Street tomorrow (Thursday) to mark the two year anniversary of the discovery of Cardon Banfield, a member of the so-called Windrush generation.

74 year old Mr Banfield was found 2 years ago in 2016, alone and partially mummified in a tent by a warden from, and near, the Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

Hugo Sugg, Homelessness Campaigner from Worcester, set up the #JusticeForCardon campaign to help get answers to the mystery of why Cardon was left for so long.

“I want to mark the two year anniversary with a reminder to the people of Worcester that homelessness is still a huge problem in the city and we all have a duty to tackle it.

I don’t want another death like Cardon’s to happen because we can’t afford to lose another human to lack of shelter or care.”

From 12pm onwards on Thursday, the team from homeless campaign Hugo’s Earthquake will be in Worcester’s High Street.

You can follow their campaign on Twitter – @HugosEarthquake and on the website hugosugg.wordpress.com

-END-

FAMILY REACTION TO @MYWORCESTER CARDON REVIEW:

“This is sad all over again Hugo. Since 2013 he was reaching out. And no one took the time to check up on him or look in on him. They said they couldn’t really get a fixed place on him. But if they would have provided something for him..especially as he was aged. It would have made his last days more comfortable. I so wish we had known where he was. I am sure that there are also other persons looking for loved ones . I hope they find them before something like this happens to them. Persons must just hold themselves accountable..and actually do something to improve and make sure no one else suffers. We need to take care of each other.”

Faith Felix – niece of Cardon Banfield

FULL STATEMENT BY CAMPAIGNER HUGO SUGG ON @MYWORCESTER CITY COUNCIL CARDON REPORT

Made and published – May 22nd 2018 – 19.30 BST via Twitter
“I’m not satisfied with the review – as it raises more questions than it answers. It doesn’t look into crucial questions around the commissioning and decommissioning, and fails to hold people responsible. Cardon was a human being and the fact not all the questions have been answered yet coming on 2 years to the anniversary of when he was found is shameful.
I have written to the Managing Director of Worcester City Council, the ex-Director who was in charge of the Homelessness Team whilst the service changed, David Blake asking for answers to fundamental questions by the 6th June 2018. After receiving these answers, I will be reigniting my calls for him to resign or be sacked from the City Council as he oversaw this from start to finish.
This review should also trigger a Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) immediately, and I will be pushing that – along with others.”

You can read the full report here

PUBLISHED: Response to @myworcester City Council Review into Cardon’s death #JusticeForCardon

This email has been sent directly to the City Council Managing Director (ex-Director of Place) David Blake, Director of Place Andrew Round, Strategic Housing Manager Nina Warrington, Homeless Officer Ben Bradley, the current City Council Leader Marc Bayliss, Worcester City, and County, Councillor Lucy Hodgson, and the City Council Communities Committee Chairman James Stanley.
Also copied in is the MP for Worcester Robin Walker BBC News and BBC Hereford and Worcester, Worcester News, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire MP, the Minister for Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP, and the Guardian newspaper.


Sent: 21 May 2018 at 20:59

Dear all,

After a thorough read of the attached report into the death of Cardon Banfield – I have a list of questions I’d like answering about the case of Cardon Banfield and the report itself:
  • Why wasn’t the commissioning and de-commissioning of the homeless support service/s looked into in this report?
  • Why haven’t the political connections behind the cuts to services for homeless people in Worcester been examined and criticised?
  • Why weren’t the documents I sent in, that I have acquired over the last 18 months, been reviewed as assured by Andrew Round, Director of Place?
  • Why did the review not incorporate evidence from the Police investigation into Cardon’s death?
  • Why is there STILL no accountability as to who is responsible for the circumstances around Cardon’s tragic death? and lastly:
  • This report was meant to be “independent”, however this Campaign has uncovered the fact that Neelam Sunder is connected to the City Council via Homeless Officer Ben Bradley’s brother Dominic Bradley. Who authorised this in the City Council, when and why?
Firstly – I’d appreciate answers to these questions in full and in writing to this email address by June 6th 2018 so I can pass these on to the family of Cardon Banfield.
Secondly, a comprehensive justification as to why and how Neelam Sunder, who is a Trustee of Spring Housing Association in Birmingham (the CEO of which is Ben Bradley’s brother) was chosen. Did Ben Bradley declare his brother’s company has Neelam on their Board this when this review was undertaken, and if so why was this not mentioned in the final report?
Within this time period also, please can you also issue a public apology on the Worcester City Council website, and in the media, for claiming that you hired an “independent” person for this review – as quoted by a City Council spokesman in the Worcester News on 9th February 2018 – when you did not.
In my opinion, this review has not evaluated the key elements to this tragic case, not approached the Police and has relied on glance/oversight, rather than formal analysis. I sent in many documents, some of which make obvious the non-following of City Council Policy, however these have not been reviewed – as assured by Andrew Round in the attached (image of) email to me. I also would like to put on record that I was never interviewed for this review, even thought I personally knew and worked with Cardon during his stay at the Worcester YMCA.
Please note that I will be formally submitting another Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) on Cardon Banfield’s death with the Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board very shortly – and will be using this report as evidence, utilising the thresholds to hold a SAR, to back up my request.
On behalf of Cardon himself, his family and the legacy he has left behind – rest assured that I will leave no stone unturned in the campaign to get answers into why Cardon was left alone to die, rot and decompose to the point of Partial Mummification on the banks of the River Severn in Worcester in July 2016 – meters away from your offices at the City Council and the town centre.
Cardon was a human being first and foremost, then a son, father, uncle, brother, husband and friend – and should be treated with the due respect a 74 year old man should be treated with but still isn’t being.
Your co-operation to fully answer the questions posed above before the June 6th will help in being able to bring this matter to a close, allowing Cardon to rest in peace but never forgotten. No one should ever die this way and have a “review” just short of two years later.
Your acknowledgment you have read this email would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to the answers to my questions, the City Council public apology and justification as to why Neelam was hired, even though she is not independent.
Regards,
Hugo Sugg

photo

Hugo Sugg
Director, Hugo’s Earthquake & C&S Earthquake Ltd.
An epicentre of homelessness awareness since November 2015.

#JusticeForCardon EXCLUSIVE: @myworcester City Council report into Cardon death RELEASED

Worcester City Council report into the case of 74 year old rough sleeper Cardon Banfield has been publicly released.


READ IT HERE:
http://committee.cityofworcester.gov.uk/documents/g4243/Public%20reports%20pack%2030th-May-2018%2019.00%20Communities%20Committee.pdf?T=10


After a year and a half of tremendous pressure, Worcester City Council commissioned and have released a report looking into the “interactions” Cardon had with services in Worcester in the run up to his death. This report’s aim is as follows:

The aim of this review is to enable lessons to be learned, identify any missed opportunities for intervention and to prevent avoidable deaths of people sleeping rough in the future. The intention of the review is to identify opportunities for learning and service improvement; to improve outcomes for people sleeping rough. This review aims to learn from the incident rather than investigate it and does not seek to apportion blame.

In our opinion, this doesn’t go far enough and doesn’t investigate the key elements to why he was left for so long – however this was never looked into by Neelam Sunder, the report author. We believe that this report raises more questions than it answers – and we have listed some questions below:

  1. Why wasn’t the commissioning and de-commissioning of the homeless support service/s looked into in this report?
  2. Why haven’t the political connections behind the cuts to services for homeless people in Worcester been examined and criticised?
  3. Why weren’t the documents I sent in, that I have acquired over the last 18 months, been reviewed as assured by Andrew Round, Director of Place?
  4. Why did the review not incorporate evidence from the Police investigation into Cardon’s death?
  5. Why is there STILL no accountability as to who is responsible for the circumstances around Cardon’s tragic death? and lastly:
  6. This report was meant to be “independent”, however this Campaign has uncovered the fact that Neelam Sunder is connected to the City Council via Homeless Officer Ben Bradley’s brother Dominic Bradley. Who authorised this in the City Council?

Cardon Council Investigation web

SEE THE FULL GUIDE TO WHO’S WHO AND WHAT’S WHAT IN THE CARDON BANFIELD CASE BY CLICKING HERE

This investigation does not answer what it needs too, and we will be uncovering the key bits of the report on our website and our @HugosEarthquake Twitter.

Ryan Atkins is hired as Safeguarding Officer for Campaign

Our Parent Company C&S Earthquake Ltd. has held a recruitment drive for a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) to lead on our Safeguarding Policy.

After a successful application, a clear Enhanced Police check and with suitable qualifications required for the role, we are very pleased to announce Ryan Atkins has been recruited as DSO.

For transparency, Ryan’s role includes the following:

• In the event of a Safeguarding Concern, be the representative to contact and liaise with the appropriate agencies concerned.

• Ensure the C&S Earthquake Safeguarding Policy is kept up to date and understood by all staff and volunteers.

• Attend regular training courses in regards to Safeguarding.

• Work with Directors to ensure all work the Company and subsequent branches/partners complies with safeguarding legislation and best practice.

• Help our recruitment department install the necessary checks in place when hiring volunteers or staff for roles which work with external contacts.

We have recently approved our Safeguarding Policy and Ryan’s details will be updated to reflect his appointment.

Ryan is currently contactable for via Hugo Sugg (C&S Earthquake Director for HR and Development) – hugo@hugosearthquake.org.