Anybody’s Child – ChatBack Production

Very busy evening last night. Two important functions attended. First of all the Premier of the latest Chatback Production.

This film group is made up of kids in care. The latest film “Anybody’s Child” was written & performed by kids from the group. A very emotive film about how easy, how fast & how kids can easily become embroiled in Child Sexual Exploitation.

The kids as ever did a fabulous job. The DVD will be no doubt for sale & it is something every family should be aware of. As soon as the DVD is out on sale I will let people know.

A close family friend is involved with the film so I will be quite happy to send people their way to get a copy. I really hope every school will be buying a copy to show to each year group.

I was very proud to be invited & to see the kids doing something very poignant. I’ve had the pleasure of attending the last 2 premiers. By the way Josie Lawrence has again given her time to be in the film. She is such a great supporter of the things the kids have done she’s been in every film I think

Then we were off to UKIP Stourbridge branch event at the Hare & Hounds. The ever lovely & thoughtful Margot Parker MEP gave up her time to speak at the event.

She told people about how she became involved in politics, the hardship endured by those who don’t have private means to fall back on however sheer determination can see you through on relatively little because you invariably still have more than those who come to you for help.

It was a message of hope. That no matter how financially poor you are, in UKIP you must graft, work with the intention of helping make life better for those locally, get involved nationally etc. The key message being that UKIP is an extended family whereby we all look out for each other.

We help people in all regions in every practical way possible whether it be sorting out ASB or the ever glamourous litter picks. There is always a way to help & help people a few at a time.

I’m with Margot & am fully on board with the UKiP family. It’s how we work, it’s how we can support each other to do what we do.

Ps; pain meds worn off so I’m awake waiting for time when I can take my next does. Must remember to get to the chemist later, I’ve run out out of a few of my meds so need to get them or I will be bonkers barmy with pain later!

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Diabolical situation in Social Housing/Private rental properties

Over the past year or so I have helped a number of families and residents. I will not reveal any details of the people as that is a breach of their confidentiality, so I will give basic details so that I can show how they and countless others no doubt are living in conditions that quite frankly are no better than the old slums of the 1890’s!

Family number One

This family had been on the waiting list for over 8 years. They had a notice to quit their current accommodation yet they were put on the lowest band so no matter how often they bid on homes they liked and would like to live in they were never considered. It was apparent that the band was incorrect and they should be actually in Band 2 rather than Band 6.

With a few e-mails, a few weeks, a bit of investigation and some legalese contained in the letters this family were eventually offered a suitable property and moved in on the day they would have been made homeless.

Family number Two

This family lived in a completely unsuitable property. Due to disabilities and illness the property was simply not fit for purpose. One family member was unable to use climb any stairs at all. They were reduced to descending the out stairwell on their bottom and crawling back up on their hands and knees. This was not only undignified but was also extremely painful. Inside the property the family member could not access the upper floor, they had no option but to sleep on the couch in the living room. They also had to have a commode brought so that they had some sort of toilet facilities, as they couldn’t access their bathroom! It was a very dire state of affairs. Again rules stated were that one had to be a resident of good standing for two years before an application could be made for a property exchange.

I don’t know about you but I knew how different life can change in two years and this seemed like a rather arbitrary period of time. This family had been contacting the relevant people and departments but each time they met the same barriers. After a good few months of trying and getting nowhere they contacted me.

I started the ball rolling, had to get other agencies involved but I am happy to say the family have now got the keys for a disabled adapted property and move in very soon. The family member will now have access to a bed, toilet and washing facilities etc.

UPDATE

This family have now moved into the new property, they are very happy despite a few odd remedial repairs to be undertaken but they have now got access to a bathroom with the adaptions required so things are looking up for them.

Family Number Three

This a particularly harrowing situation for anyone to find themselves in. The family have been in private rented properties for a number of years. Sadly having to move every now and then due to the Landlord’s property being required for use by the owner or in some situations the property being repossessed.

The Landlord of their latest property, despite being aware of the problems and being present at the Pest Control Officers inspection, allowed the family to live in a house that was infested with rats. The family had become severely ill on a number of occasions, they had put it down to various possibilities like a bug picked up from school, work or a dodgy burger/take away the things we would all think of first. None of us would think any different.

The family had been taking medication and doing all they could to keep the infestation under control but it was like trying to turn back the tide (think King Canute) they and their young children were suffering to such a degree that the Landlord should in my humble opinion be prosecuted.

I remained hopeful that this family would be soon found a home, free from non-contributing unwanted guests RATS. They needed a home to start to live normally together and to enjoy a real family life, without moving so often. Alas before the family could think about their future things in the here and now got worse! I had previously suggested that the family contact environmental health and to make an emergency appointment with their GP. I was concerned about health issues, namely Wiels Disease which is a killer.

A member of the Environmental Health team came out and raised worries on a number of issues regarding the property. The rats were one issue but even more worrying was the boiler. Transco were called and within an hour or so the Boiler was condemned. So the family were facing the prospect of not only being infested with rats but also being cold and having no access to hot water to wash in or to clean with.

This was now a matter of life and death there was a boiler that was condemned but due to its position and some faults with its installation it was highly likely the family had been suffering the effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

This did escalate the matter somewhat and the council did get the family booked into a hotel as there was category 1 breach. The council where actually on the ball when it came to ensuring the health and safety of the family. This is one time when I can see that Health and Safety laws really do help.

Update

I have fantastic news, the family have now been successful in the bidding process. They have been to view their new home and they accepted it immediately. The family are ecstatic and are looking forward to a more secure future in to their “forever” home.

It has been a slog but must say the council staff have been very helpful and accommodating. The family now have the keys to their new home and are moving in.

There are so many families on Council Housing waiting lists, some living in conditions such as this family or indeed even worse. Most families are forced into private rented properties because there simply are not enough Social Housing properties available for those who need them. Families are being charged rents by these slum landlords that aren’t cheap by any means. Many rents are more than it would cost per month to pay a repayment mortgage on the property, most places in my local area are at least £475 a month! This is for the cheapest properties in the area, rents on average are around £650 for a 2 bedroom house.

Working families find the rents crippling, they can’t save to get a deposit to buy their own home which would cost less per month than the rent. Obviously things a different in the South or in very sought after areas.

Families like those above and many others who find themselves in this situation must fill out countless forms, they often have made request for help from their Councillors and MP but their pleas did not produce any sort of help or assistance. What are these people doing? They are paid to help, support and take up such issues but all to often I hear that despite contacting the elected officials the help is not forthcoming and I suppose that is why people search me out and ask for my help. I am helping people all over the country not just my local area.

Obviously this is just a snapshot of the issues people are facing and in fairness to those involved I have diluted their stories and given scant information. It would be wholly unfair to them, the council area they live in and a breach of confidence.

What is the solution to the housing shortage and slum landlords?

I firmly believe that on the brown field sites in every town and city it would be the best course of action for councils to build houses and to retain them as a real asset. Ok the initial capital outlay could be high but it will give the council assets that could be mortgaged if need be. It will put more social housing in to the system which will save more families from slum style landlords.

Why should the taxpayer fund the pension plans of Slum Landlords
The people who are the usual inhabitants of the slum properties are those on low incomes and those on housing benefit. Why should they be forced to live in such disgusting properties that are full of mould, damp, rats, faulty boilers etc.

Sadly many of these landlords do not even perform the basic checks undertaken such as gas safety! How can they allow people to live in a home that could be killing them? So many people die in winter due to Carbon Monoxide poisoning, they need to put the heating on more often
in cold weather and the results can be disastrous for the inhabitants and others who are close by. It is criminal that families who aren’t well off must suffer at the hands of unscrupulous, uncaring, money grabbing, slum landlords.

No matter how we may wish for a smaller state there are some things in a civilised society that must be controlled by the state. The rise of slum Landlord’s in the past 20 years or so has been exponential. The councils have sold many properties off to residents or Housing Associations. Instead of replenishing stock the councils didn’t, the Government didn’t push that agenda either, it seems they were more interested in collecting the massive revenues from stamp duty on the ever increasing values of houses.

At least there are now 3 families with a secure and stable home, I wish I could help more people and families but I am just one person. I will continue to help all who ask, sadly I cannot ever guarantee outcomes that would be unfair and wrong.

I will always try my best to help those in need. Maybe one day the families will reveal the full details but that is for them to do!

If you need help please contact me I will try my best to give you the help, support or best agency to assist you.

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Big Benefits Row

Ok have just tried to watch the #BigBenefitsRow. I know many others on twitter and other social media have done the same.

I make no secret of my physical ill health and disability nor my mental illness. I refuse to hide it because it’s part of me and I believe in honesty.

I am on benefits, no I don’t like it, yes I’d love to be well enough to get back into work. I do apply for jobs still, I do have a lot to offer but being realistic my health issues make it basically impossible for any employer to give me a chance unless I could do it all from home at times to suit me and my illness/medication.

I like many others want to feel useful and not surplus to societies requirements. I am able and do try to help people via e-mail, telephone, at times to suit me. It pays nothing but i do get that glow of satisfaction that I’ve helped make life a little better for another person or family.

Some people can’t do what I can for many reasons, they do feel down, it can lead to a spiral of depression this is one of the mental issues people want to talk about & get help via sorts of talking therapies such Psychotherapy. Alas access to good mental health help varies throughout the country. With help being so sporadic & ranging from great to being put on a waiting list for years! Surely it is better to treat the person via immediately accessible mental health services then they would be able to get well, have the help and return to some work slowly and eventually they would be able to work full time and not be reliant on benefits. All of these approaches must have a caveat, some people with all the help possible are simply not able to cope in the world of work. So this will work for some but not all.

I am all for working if you are able bodied and not suffering from a severe or mental illness. We have read and seen how people in a coma, in severe kidney failure and on dialysis, people who have had strokes, brain tumours etc who are told they are fit for work because they can lift an empty cardboard box, put a pen in their top pocket and hold a 2litre milk carton. This does not take into account the way the illness/disease actually prevents them from being available to work for certain amounts of time etc.

Yes there are some people who do abuse the system, yes there are some who pretend to be single parents when they have their partner live with them. This is because the rules make it financially beneficial to be “a single parent” rather than valuing marriage, cohabitation etc which is really the best for any kids to live in a two parent family.

Some people are told at the Job Centre they will be worse off by £x.xx if they take this or that job. That is wrong and people should be better off in work than on benefits. However, when we take a view of it like “if I take this job I will lose out on time with my child, most money will go on childcare, the cost of travel to work, and with all taken in to account I will be £3 per week worse or better off”

In the above scenario you will get many people who would rather be in work and will take it because being on benefits and not having a routine, a place to be, a reason to get up and get outside can leave a person really isolated. There are more than just money that is gained when a person takes employment. These other really positive aspects aren’t discussed. I humbly suggest they are.

I think people are brassed off with those people, small minority, who have never worked and seem to have a much nicer lifestyle than the person working on minimum wage. It can get vey upsetting and it can be irksome.

However, those people may have “invisible” health conditions that mean they cannot work, again this aspect is overlooked in any discussions.

I had until I got sick, 5 years or so ago, I had always worked and or been in education. I am only just coming to terms with the steep decline of my health and it’s still no fun and I don’t like being in this position. I’d give anything to be able to control my illness (there is no cure) so that I could maybe work part time. I know lots of others I a very similar situation.

There is no easy answer to this but I do feel that putting pensions into the same calculation does give a very warped view of the money spent on benefits. Maybe it would be helpful if the costs were put into their respective headings. It may help.

We have had a really terrible down turn, recession, double dip recession and during that time many thousands of people have lost their jobs, in some areas they have found it almost impossible to find any other job. Lots of people have moved to find work. Many cannot due to children being in eduction at a critical time such as SATS, GCSE’S or at College undertaking education or training.

Anyway remember 99% of people who are out of work, wish they were in work. We have graduates on the checkout at supermarkets, alas this is a state of the employment market BUT I respect everybody who takes a job they are vastly over qualified for because they would rather have some money coming in rather than being on benefits.

Benefits street as a programme focused on such a tiny microcosm that is it impossible to to actually use that as an example of the norm for all those who are out of work and claiming benefits.

Maybe there should be a programme on showing how hard many people try to get a job, any job. Showing the people who send off vast numbers of applications per day yet don’t even get an email/letter/phone call back to acknowledge their application or to say thanks but no thanks.

Most of all you must for the most part think “There but for the grace of god go I” because sadly illness and injury can change your life over night.

Well that’s my 2p’s worth if it’s worth anything at all?

Lies, Liars & the appeasers

This week has seen the culmination of a very long, very lengthy trial costing us the taxpayers in region of £5m pounds!

I am unable to comment on the person who was found guilty on one count & may well possibly face a retrial due to a certain person who should have known better! The concept of subjudicy appears to have escaped pone who should know better but of course the MSM too!

They have hounded, harangued & essentially, I could well be argued, put themselves & a certain person who is at the top of the political monkey puzzle tree; in a position to force a possible retrial or as is very likely to happen a complete vindication on 2 of the 3 charges they were being tried for!

So this £5m show trial has a scapegoat BUT the person found guilty of the first act is likely never to have to face any further criminal proceedings on 2 other very important & serious charges.

So the media have their sacrificial lamb but he won’t be sacrificed in the usual way he is likely to limp around the field with one of those little wheelchair harnesses for his back legs! So no likely he’ll face no prison time due to the actions of a former employer! Hack on Tag – possibly a new column in the Phoenix from the ashes “News Of The World”!

All of this sorry & distasteful costly trial could have been better used to get rid of the Under Occupancy Charge, sanctions on disabled people, big families caught in benefit cap (it shouldn’t have been retrospective as the children already exist & they will be the ones to suffer) and/or any manner of things. It would also have been better remaining, for the most part, in the Budget for Criminal Justice or better known as Legal Aid. So many people now do not qualify & are unrepresented in court! As happened to an octogenarian accused of murder in the past few weeks!

so much for the great work done by Garrow a few centuries ago which instead of assisting the accused to fight their case; it appears now to be sadly returning to the style of justice often portrayed in period dramas.

Sorry about that side step, as you regular readers will no doubt know I am a bit of an Anorak on certain things.

Back to the ex-employee of extremely high standing who could have possibly used his contacts or lists of who is who to seek out information which may or may not have allowed them access to the personal telephone number of others working in the same “Mother of All P_R_I_M_N_T’s” (bit of an easy crossword to break up the monotony of Sudoku – play on again now) whom they could hack then more easily? It’s possible, don’t you think??

Now back to our very prominent person, whom is disliked in all of the EU countries including the UK. Yesterday he knowingly gave an interview about how he had been taken in by this Swiss Tony of Fleet Street, given him a 2nd chance (wasn’t aware he’d been previously been caught, cautioned or indeed prosecuted when asked to do the job he did inside 10 Downing Street). It shows such people & an associated agencies (Not in an outside manner) in their true colours!

However, this interview has basically been given and has thus automatically has scuppered any chance of getting a “fair trial”! Or indeed a retrial! Funny how things pan out when your sibling is the Counsel for one of the accused, one could jump to conclusions of words possibly said over Sunday Lunch but we wouldn’t do such a thing because we mere functionaries and taxpayers wouldn’t dare think such a thing and if we did we know better than to comment.

I shall leave you to the inevitable media scrum or three to make your own views. For this is my mere 2p’s worth and no doubt some will likely reply saying it’s not worth tuppence, I take such “constructive criticism” with the pinch of salt each deserves by the rate of salt collection I dare say will keep my path free of snow for a while in the winter months.

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PayPal Scam – Please Share

Just received this supposedly from PayPal – it’s a scam. Luckily my firewall protected me so I had time to check into it.

I don’t use or have Skype so was very suspicious. If you receive the following, report it as phishing e-mail & do not give your details; they don’t even have PayPal as it should appear there is a space between the Pay and the Pal: see below;

You sent a payment of 44.99 GBP to Skype (support@skype.com)
Merchant
Skype
support@skype.com
Instructions to merchant
You haven’t entered any instructions.
Shipping address – Unconfirmed
United Kingdom
Postage details
The seller hasn’t provided any postage details yet.
Description Unit price Qty Amount
Online Number, 3 month subscription
44.99 GBP 1 44.99 GBP
Subtotal 44.99 GBP
Total 44.99 GBP

If you haven’t authorized this charge, open a dispute at:
https://www.paypal.com/Dispute_Centre/webscr?cmd=xpt

Please share this so others don’t get stung.

Thanks

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Cameron’s Referendum Script

Over the past few weeks I have watched and listened very carefully to the words of David Cameron, Manuel Barrosso and a plethora of Pro EU commentators.

It appears from listening to the real syntax of David Cameron’s statements about the 2017 In/out Referendum Promise is a mere advertising puff (as we say in the legal world). Sadly this is a promise that will ONLY happen IF the following all happen in the next 3 years;

1). IF the Tories win a Majority in 2015
2). IF there can be renegotiation with the EU
3). IF the renegotiation brings about changes to our membership
4). IF the renegotiations bring about Treaty changes
5). IF the renegotiations give more power to the EU

Then and Only then will Cameron and Co give the British People a chance of actually having a say about our country.

This is a conditional promise and he uses his words very carefully, please watch and listen carefully to him and you will see his main prepared sentence is {and I paraphrase} If I am Prime Minister after 2015 then I will set about renegotiating our relationship with the EU, if I am successful in those renegotiations then of course the British People must have a vote on whether they want to stay in or out of the EU based on the renegotiations I achieve.

Now to most people that means he will give a referendum in 2017 but we are in 2014 why is he not starting those talks now? Why is he still saying that no matter the result of the renegotiations that if there is a Referendum he will campaign to stay in! Sorry but that really isn’t the way to start off any renegotiation. Your stance must be we want this, this and this OR we leave. That is the basis is negotiations, you start high and meet at a level whereby you gain a the most for the people or company you represent. It is the old case of bartering, something most British people are not comfortable with.

So he has handed the upper hand to the EU, Barrosso has stated that he wants to see the UK stay in the EU, he has said there may be a small set of policy areas where the UK could possibly be allowed to have a few concessions. He has said many times that there WILL NOT be any treaty renegotiations and the concessions that may be on offer are minor. So that’s it really. The deal has been done by playing on words, just as he and his crew trot out every time about the “cast iron guarantee”. He states that his guarantee in 2009 was only if the Lisbon Treaty had not been signed. The Tories often tell us that there cannot be a referendum in retrospect, what complete rot! The referendum held on June 5th 1975 was in relation the Economic Communities Act AFTER the UK had joined the EEC. We have not had any say whatsoever in the last 39 years regarding the treaties which took us deeper in to a political union creating a type of Federal State. One could describe it is conquest via stealth!

So please remember Cameron is a slippery fish not to dissimilar to Mr Bliar! His words are measured and controlled to always give him the YES BUT CLAUSE so he is able to get out of the pie crust promises, easily made and easily broken.

So if you decide to vote for the Tories based on that so called promise then you are being conned by the Con’s! Please feel free to check out what I have said regarding the Referendum promise, look for the ifs, buts, maybes and other conditions and then make your mind up.

No party is perfect, none have all perfect people in, they are made of human beings and in some parties the way they can entice votes on a promise to deliver something and renege on them is a very well practised art. They learn at the feet of ministers during their move from University to being an intern, then special adviser, then MP.

It is part of the training, which is good in some ways because you do need people of knowledge to be in the Government and Parliament BUT you also need people with real life experience, of business, of work, of all areas of life to be in the House of Commons.

Only with people from a wider pool can we get a parliament that really represents the population and who will speak in plain simple language without putting all the ifs and buts used as conjunctives in order to deceive the people.

So be very careful and listen intently so you can pick out the “conditional” parts of the statements made by Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg and Mr Miliband.

Those of you who have heard, seen and watched Mr Farage and his UKIP People’s Army will note he does not use the covert conditions hidden in his responses to any of the questions he is asked. He will say it as it is, like of or not he doesn’t spend 10 minutes spewing out words that when analysed really mean nothing at all, to much hot air is blown by such MP’s.

So the choice is as ever yours, it is your vote, it is up to you to use it in a way that you think will bring about the best for you and your family. If you refuse to vote then don’t complain about the Government, Council and EU elected people because you didn’t cast a vote. However, for those who do vote then I hope that the outcome is something that will be good for all of us in the UK.

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Tory Mayor likens Rape to a New Housing Development

This week my attention has been drawn to a number of examples where elected #Conservative Cllrs and Mayors have said things that are ridiculous, offensive & obviously haven’t a clue nor a care for the people who elected them;

Case Number 1

http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Cheltenham-councillor-apologises-rape-comment/story-20949337-detail/story.htmlhttp://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Cheltenham-councillor-apologises-rape-comment/story-20949337-detail/story.html

Now how can any housing development be compared to rape? How can it be right for her to say that during a rape that a person should lie back & wait ’til it’s over!

The two are not any thing I can see are related. I would never countenance any person to lie back & wait ’til it’s over if they were (and I would never wish this vile act on any person) raped.

Each rape happens differently but I think the best thing is to think sensible & ensure that if in this diabolical situation would be to attempt to get DNA under your nails, pull hair, save any evidence at all and no matter how violated you feel, however much you want to scrub yourself down with bleach & a scrubbing brush, DON’T!!!!

It’s very difficult & you may feel you wish to pretend it didn’t happen, you may think it was your fault, you may feel ashamed at what has happened to you BUT please please GO STRAIGHT TO THE POLICE Or Rape Crisis Centre.

You will be believed, you will be helped, you will be supported. You may have all the evidence on you at that time which would secure a prosecution.

So I’m confounded how any person could liken a housing development to a rape. Let alone someone who is elected to represent the people and holds a high profile role in the area.

If this had been any elected or candidate of #UKIP then the media would be baying at the Council House Door, at the persons home, checking their life history etc etc

Alas for the people of Cheltenham this will not happen and many possibly will never know about this comment! Quite sad really because the media should treat all parties equally, without bias, without favour but that’s obviously only going to happen in a parallel universe.

Just remember when she is up for re-election & think if you really want someone who advocates that a person lays back and waits ’til it’s over when subjected to the violation of rape.