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Archive for August, 2008

$hitheads?

Another shocking example of a cretinous Local Authority Housing department at work with this recent ombudsman’s report. 

I wish more complaints would get to the Ombudsman but it can be a very time consuming process.

Apologies for the title but I couldn’t resist, so many possibilities!

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Looks like Foxtons and Countrywide are on the rack. Rather unsuprising but having dealt with both I won’t be shedding too many tears.

Article 1 – Foxtons

Article 2 – Foxtons and Countywide

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Why should I have to sit outside?

Why should I have to sit outside?

There was a little piece in today’s Metro paper on page 26 about a blind man ordered to leave a Tesco store for having a guide dog. The guard had apparently told him ‘Animals are not allowed in here’ and wished to escort the blind man out. In bemoaning the guard’s actions the blind man told the paper ‘What I would like to know is does the store know there’s a Disability Discrimination Act? Are these security men told about it? Vance is my eyes.‘ Tesco apologised and gave the man some store vouchers.

Now it may be that in fact the security guard was totally up to date with the Law in regards to the DDA. Perhaps he’s an avid reader of Nearly Legal and had noted his post Lewisham v Malcolm and knew that he wasn’t in fact discriminating against the blind man at all. Perhaps he should have been commended by Tesco’s for enforcing their no dogs policy. Most people would find that shocking but sadly post the cop out that was Lewisham v Malcolm the security guard did nothing wrong at all.  

To quote Lord Bingham of Cornhill

 ‘The problem, I repeat, was the dog’.

 

*Disclaimer! DDA isn’t my favourite area so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong 🙂

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Mr Flack

Mr Flack’s latest post is well worth a read.

I don’t think a Housing Officer who followed the spirit and wording of Part VII and the Code of Guidance would be allowed to last a minute in a Local Authority.

Anyone think differently?

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A means test at Court?

Ramble rating 7/10

The LSC seem interested in the possibility as they will require a means test to be done for ‘research’ purposes for each person seen at those Courts that are currently listed on their new tender round.

I’m not sure if this research is new and if it isn’t I’d like to hear from anyone who runs a Court scheme where means tested forms need to be filled out. They can also feel free to rubbish my concerns listed below.

Having run our CAB’s Court Desk Scheme it’s hard enough to get the time to get a client to fill out a DPA form let alone even spend a few minutes filling out a means test form. Minutes are precious things when most clients tend to turn up with only minutes before they are due in Court! My first concern would therefore to be that clients are going to get less of a service than they would without these forms being filled in. True I haven’t seen the form, but I can’t imagine it taking less than a few minutes to complete! I guess they could be filled in after the client has been in before the Judge but I wouldn’t really want to have to force a client who may just have lost their home to fill out a form! Additionally I’m usually accosted by the Court Usher who wants me to see the next poor victim whose hearing is only a few minutes away.

These concerns might be trivial compared to the consequences of actually having a means test. I’m not sure how you could ever get clients in to bring evidence of their means to Court. Getting them to bring even their notice or particulars of claim is hard enough. Even if they were on means tested benefits getting through to the local jobcentre to confirm their entitlement is often a rather long process to say the least!

Stating the obvious but these are people who may well be about to lose their home, it’s the last chance saloon for many of these people. I would hate to think that one person lost their home because the adviser couldn’t check their means at Court.

For many reasons people turn up at Court without representation, many of these reasons such as a lack of CLS providers aren’t their fault. To further restrict the provision of advice at Court, advice that can and often does help prevent the loss of a home would be rather harsh indeed.

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To absolve herself and the government of any of the responsibility for the rise in possession orders.

Taken from a press release regarding the LSC’s new tenders for Court desk schemes*

 

Housing Minister Caroline Flint said:

Whilst the rate of repossessions is not on the same scale as the early 90s, we want to ensure that the right support is in place for those who might need it now because of global economic pressures. That’s why we are expanding free legal representation at county courts, which can make a real difference in ensuring that repossession is only ever used as a last resort.”

Right so the domestic shortage of housing and banks not stopping to think that people might not actually be able pay back their unaffordable subprime mortgage which they only took out by lying about their income has nothing at all to do with it then?  Quick to take the credit when things are going well oh so quick to take no responsibility  for why they went wrong.

What a load of old baloney. Grrrr.

*Some credit should I guess be given for the new tenders. Better late than never.

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Rather amused at this search that popped up in my blog stats;

‘what to say to council to get rehoused’

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