2nd August 2012.
What on earth are our elected Councillors doing to oppose this Government’s policies of cruelty against those least able to defend themselves. Have they become so used to their inflated Allowances/Expenses, that they are afraid to speak out to defend the ill-housed, the homeless, the sick and disabled etc? Are they so afraid of being de-selected by their Political Parties that they have lost their voices and any semblance of Principle or Humanity. Have they forgotten that they are supposed to represent the electorate?
You recently highlighted the case of a family of five whom the council had decided had made themselves “intentionally homeless”. Despite their best efforts they could not get Legal Aid and representation to appeal the decision until it was too late. The council then challenged and defeated their application for their case to be heard ‘out of time’ in the County Court on 31st July, thus leaving the family homeless and desperate as they do not have the deposit nor a guarantor to rent in the expensive Private Sector. Their Member of Parliament apparently could do nothing. The Cabinet Member for Housing apparently could do nothing. All the family wanted was the right to be interviewed, to defeat the false allegations made against them which led to the perverse initial Council decision. It is a travesty of justice and a display of bureaucratic cruelty to beggar belief.
Their treatment is not unusual. Despite the best efforts of the depleted and demoralised Housing Staff and in spite of the promises of the Councillors to defend Front-line Services and the weakest in our community; the hardship inflicted on our most vulnerable people increases daily.
A young man with Aspergers, homeless since June and having been awarded Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with the Higher element of Care, has been offered a room in a private house with shared facilities. The rent for this one room is £178 per week including Management costs! The room was offered by a Management Company acting on behalf of the Council, a ‘Privatised’ Management Service, which was supposed to be cheaper than that offered by the now redundant public spirited Council Employees.
I am dealing with many such cases of hardship and injustice which would break any heart and the repeated response is that there is nothing that can be done because of government policies and the lack of Social and Affordable housing. Sadly we have seen nothing yet as only 15% of the cuts have yet been implemented. These vicious ideological policies to destroy the Welfare State must be defeated. The real cost in hardship, ill-health, family breakdown and suicide increase weekly. 32 sick and disabled people who have been found ‘fit for work’ – die every week as the super-rich get richer and the bankers bonuses return to be stashed in off-shore tax-havens. Community Spirit, The Big Society, All in it together, Active citizens – pure callous, meaningless humbug.
Yours faithfully, Wally Kennedy, Hillingdon Against Cuts.
27 Townsend Way, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 1TG.