Archive for October, 2011

HOW COUNCILS DELIBERATELY SET OUT TO ABUSE HOUSING LAW

October 20, 2011

AND TO WILFULLY DESTROY PEOPLE’S LIVES WITHOUT A THOUGHT TO THE CONSEQUENCES

Dear Mr ……………,

Apologies for this being so long, but all these points mentioned are so inextricably entwined it is difficult to disentangle them to make this shorter.

I have just received this email from from the council official ………… to you below. 

She seems to be making no sense at all to me and I cannot understand why she is making problems where none would normally exist. The only reasonable explanation is that it appears she is oblivious to the facts surrounding this matter. Viz:

– She smugly announces in her email to you below that the Council has… ‘so far paid a lot of public money to store…………. belongings and he has made no attempt to arrange to pay this money back or to sort through the containers and dispose of what he will not be able to take to a 2 bed property’.

She is utterly disregarding the immense extra expenditure of public money which she has been unnecessarily responsible for in behaving in the manner she has done. So far well in excess of £10 000 of public money has been unnecessarily spent when a mere fraction of that amount could have been applied to sort the problem out differently.

– This Council official is suddenly and suspiciously stung into life by your contact with her today and on being informed the indications are that I might well be moving into settled accommodation within just seven days or so, she suddenly says, “I will confirm with the removal company tomorrow when they can make the containers available for collection and I will let you know.  If they have not been collected or payment taken over by that date, they will be disposed of the next day’.  I think you will agree that the Council has been very patient in this case and allowed far more time for storage than the statutory requirement at a significant cost to the public purse.’

She seems quite unaware that not paying a mere £63 for the final seven days of storage prior to my imminent move, measured against the existing investment in storage is an expression of pure, mindless, bureaucratic spite which I cannot help but think is quite, quite deliberate.

This Council official is also displaying incredible and obviously deliberate unpleasant inconsideration by explaining that the storage containers ‘must be collected by a certain date otherwise the goods will be disposed of the next day’.

She is consciously and deliberately inventing hurdles which she must know are insurmountable so that there can be a guarantee that she can dispose of my possessions without me having the slightest prospect of retrieving them . This is venal, dishonest and nasty.
 

The containers in which the goods are stored are specially designed to be carried around by the Removal company’s lorries and remain on those lorries while they are loaded up with items to be stored.

The lorry then returns to the removal company’s warehouse where the large sealed containers are lifted off the lorries by large machinery and placed in permanent, storage where they cannot be accessed without reversing the process and using specially designed heavy machinery to move the containers back onto lorries to drive to the location where the contents will be removed from the containers while they remain on the lorry.

These containers are likely to never be available for collection at all as they belong to the removal company and they cannot be moved without special equipment and specifically designed lorries specially designed to carry them for delivery and unpacking at the final destination.

It is not practicable or feasible to unpack the containers at the removal company’s premises and re-pack the goods in some other vehicle for delivery elsewhere, even if the removal company would allow it – which I doubt.

The only sensible option is to pay the removal company their fee for delivering the goods to their end destination.

– I currently have no means whatever of paying £2000 plus. 

– I have had no means of ‘sorting through these containers’  until I am properly accommodated. 

– All of the household goods stored came out of what was effectively a two bedroomed property as the third bedroom in that property was so microscopic it merely contained one single bed and one small pinewood storage box doubling as a bedside table and absolutely no other items at all. 

As a quid pro quo to compensate for the cubic volume of that bed & box, I left behind  quite a significant volume of items when I was forced out of the house at 24 hours notice with no time to pack etc. Included were a very large, bulky double futon  style sofa and or double bed, at least one large & bulky armchair and sundry other items which escape me at present. 

This meant that the third and very small bedroom contents of the house I vacated could be ignored as being irrelevant. It therefore follows that with just the contents of a very small kitchen, two not very big bedrooms and one lounge in my previous house, that the contents of those rooms could, should and would fit into a two bedroomed property with a kitchen & lounge.

Whether it might be desirable or not for me to root through everything I own and chuck some of my possessions out is entirely a matter for me, without the necessity of council officials  interfering and becoming involved in micro-managing my personal domestic life on my behalf. That is quite ridiculous.

It is therefore the case that the Council official is entirely misinformed on this point she raises.

– The Council  led me to believe that I was eligible to be housed by the Council by virtue of priority housing need and that this included the storage of my household possessions by the Council. The Council housing officer and other council officials told me unequivocally on more than one occasion that this was the case and I was never, at any stage, warned that the Council were seeking to avoid their legal duty as proscribed by Parliament. There was also an absolute and clear statement by the housing official to me that the Council would bear the cost of household goods storage and she specifically told me to make a list of all my possessions with this in mind.

Her precise words were ‘the Council will pay for the removal and storage of your possessions, but only an amount which will be able to fit into a two bedroomed property, as that is all you will get. So you will have to get rid of some of your things as you have far too much and it will not all fit into a small two bedroomed flat’.

When I asked her for clarification of this as she, as far as I am aware, had never visited my house, and could not possible know anything at all about the contents, she repeated that I should make a list of everything I owned and intended to take to another two bedroomed property and forward it to herself for her approval and determination that, in her opinion, there were not too many items for a two bedroomed property. She made a categoric statement that she needed to approve my list of possessions and tell me exactly what I could and could not take.

I was unable to make a list of everything I owned and this request had the effect of exacerbating the state of stress I was already experiencing to produce a state of mental and physical paralysis which could only be dealt with by completely blotting out such mindlessly destructive bureaucratic nonsense and doing something more useful, while taking great care not to even think about such ludicrousness because if I did allow myself to think about it, it immediately had a very damaging effect on me.

– Having completely misled me (as I only now realise for the first time) as to my position in terms of being housed and the storage of my household goods and who would be paying for them, it is the case that nobody at the Council ever informed me at any stage of anything concerning the correct procedures or lawful rights etc that might be relevant, and should be taken into account by me in terms of whether I might or might not have to pay for my household effects, and whether the Council might seek to weasil out of accepting any legal liability for priority housing need by virtue of mis-applying previous case law surrounding other cases of Councils turning to the courts in seeking ways of carrying out Central Government instructions to turn away people in otherwise legitimate ‘priority housing need’ to leave them to fend for themselves with a blatant disregard of the obvious intentions of the Housing Act.

Specifically, for instance, that absolutely no explanation was given to me about the fact I might be refused housing by the Council on spurious legal grounds or that the Council would refuse to pay for the storage of household goods, having already expressly told me they they would, in fact pay for that storage, and that I was being told I was obviously in ‘priority housing need’ by virtue of having a child to look after.

With hindsight, I can now see it would be normal human decency for a council housing official to point out that although I was on the face of it guaranteed housing by virtue of priority need, there was a minefield of legal hurdles I knew nothing about, specifically conjured up by many Councils seeking to avoid housing people in manifestly obvious ‘priority housing need’ as defined by the Housing Act, because they had been told by Central Government to reduce housing costs by arbitrarily refusing to house various categories of people previously granted priority need council housing accommodation.

And that also, common human decency would dictate that council housing officials would advise people as to the true nature of what may happen in terms of paying for the removal and storage of household goods and not mislead them in the outrageous manner I was misled.

There was at no time any statement to me of what the law or council rules might have applied about what might or might not happen to domestic house contents in situations like this. In fact I was even further misled by many people I talked to who had experienced similar situations of priority housing need and subsequent re-housing by the Council, who told me all their storage and removal costs were paid for by the council, even including the costs of kenneling dogs or cats.

I was at some point also informed by the housing charity that the Council had a legal obligation to remove and store all domestic possessions, and that also included pets such as dogs.

This issue of kenneling dogs seemed to be confirmed when the Council at first produced a wide variety of excuses and difficulties to not provide any assistance whatever to kennel my large dog, but without ever making any clear statement of outright refusal to assist. And then subsequently, appearing to accept their liability to house my dog when the housing charity made vigorous representations to them.

The Council continued to fail to do anything about paying for the kenneling of the dog by claiming they required a vaccination certificate – although the dog was already placed in kennels by me and the kennels had already inspected a vaccination certificate to their satisfaction which was still valid for at least the next six months.

Even when the Council were given a copy of a current duplicate vaccination certificate they still claimed not to have seen a vaccination certificate (which they did not require anyway) as a spurious, purely imaginary, bureaucratic excuse not to pay for the kenneling.

When the housing charity advised me the Council did, in fact have a legal duty to keep safe all of my domestic possessions, and this included pets as indicated by the very large number of cases whereby Councils do take on this obligation to house pets without trying to avoid it, I never for one moment imagined the Council would become increasingly truculent and determined to refuse to accept any of their legal obligations as set out by statute.

– Furthermore I also have several previous money claims against the Council  which have not yet been resolved. These claims exceed by a large margin the amount that the Council have spent and are spending on the storage of my domestic goods.

– It is also the case that I am challenging the unlawful decision of  ‘intentional homelessness’ dreamed up by this Council in the courts and if it this matter is found in my favour the Council will be asked to both pay compensation and damages for their behaviour as well as the costs of storage.

– That it is a deliberately and immensely spiteful  and a breathtakingly monstrous decision of the Council that, after taking these domestic household effects and storing them for seven months, misleading me into believing they would store them until I was properly accommodated, to then wilfully and maliciously deprive me of all my Worldly domestic possessions by giving them away to a charity shop just a few days before I can move into settled accommodation is a gross abuse of their power and obviously malicious and must therefore be actionable in law under the circumstances. 

– It would also appear to me to be an obvious abuse of the Human Rights Act in terms of both proportionality and the concept of a respect for a right to unfettered domestic and family life which the Council seem to be going out of their way to unnecessarily destroy, which has been amply demonstrated in every aspect of my housing application to the Council.

This final declaration by the Council Housing Department in the shape of this housing official, for it is her that makes these decisions and issues these diktats, really takes the biscuit for it’s wicked spite and deliberately constructed awkwardness designed to do nothing but obstruct, obfusticate and deliberately leave me entirely destitute by the brazen wickedness of stealing all my possessions; as well as thwart my moving into the unfurnished accommodation which has been arranged.

This will, of course, ensure I will become street homeless and my son will be obliged to move into Council care at a vast cost to the State, which this spiteful, braindead woman will have deliberately engineered with a pious whine that she was ’just doing her job’ and just obeying the rules’ etc etc.

Idiots like this deserve to be shot, at least metaphorically so, for the immense harm they do to society as this horrible and nasty person will be doing to me and my son – destroying his family life in it’s entirety and forcing lifelong disadvantages upon him which will colour his whole existence and dog him for his entire life.

What a thoroughly miserable, nasty person this Council Housing official is.

LETTER FROM THE COUNCIL HOUSING OFFICIAL TO OTHER PARTY

Dear Mr…….

 
I confirm that the Council is not prepared to further fund storage or removals for Mr…….
 
We have so far paid a lot of public money to store Mr …..’s belongings and he has made no attempt to arrange to pay this money back or to sort through the containers and dispose of what he will not be able to take to a 2 bed property. 
 
To date, the Council has not acted on the Section 41 notice served on Mr …… stating that his goods would vest in the interest of the local authority on August 1st as the outcome of the review had not been determined.  This authority can no longer justify paying £63 per week storage for Mr…………’s belongings. 
 
Given that the Council is not prepared to pay any more money to fund Mr…………., the options as I see them are:
• Mr …….. pays for himself
• Social Services pay
• The housing charity pays
• Combination of the 3 options above
 
I will confirm with the removal company tomorrow when they can make the containers available for collection and I will let you know.  If they have not been collected or payment taken over by that date, they will be disposed of the next day.  I think you will agree that the council has been very patient in this case and allowed far more time for storage than the statutory requirement at a significant cost to the public purse.
 
Regards
 
A miserably, mean minded and destructive Council Housing official

October 7, 2011

POVERTY, DEBT & INEQUALITY
THE ECONOMY
POWER & DEMOCRACY
HOUSING

Download the Foreword and Overview for Free

Where Does Money Come From?, co-authored by Positive Money’s resident expert Andrew Jackson, explains exactly how money is created in the UK, based on over 500 original documents from the Bank of England and other banking authorities. With a foreword by one of the leading authorities in banking, Prof Charles Goodhart, this is the most comprehensive and authoritative guide to how money is created ever published, and reveals that most of the textbooks are very much out of date.

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Two of the authors, Josh Ryan-Collins and Tony Greenham from the New Economics Foundation, discuss the book and its findings below:

There is widespread misunderstanding of how new money is created. This
book examines the workings of the UK monetary system and concludes that
the most useful description is that new money is created by commercial banks
when they extend or create credit, either through making loans or buying
existing assets. In creating credit, banks simultaneously create deposits in our
bank accounts, which, to all intents and purposes, is money.

Many people would be surprised to learn that even among bankers,
economists, and policymakers, there is no common understanding of how
new money is created. This is a problem for two main reasons. First, in the
absence of this understanding, attempts at banking reform are more likely
to fail. Second, the creation of new money and the allocation of purchasing
power are a vital economic function and highly profitable. This is therefore a
matter of significant public interest and not an obscure technocratic debate.
Greater clarity and transparency about this could improve both the democratic
legitimacy of the banking system and our economic prospects.

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Defining money is surprisingly difficult. We cut through the tangled historical
and theoretical debate to identify that anything widely accepted as payment,
particularly by the government as payment of tax, is, to all intents and purpose,
money. This includes bank credit because although an IOU from a friend is
not acceptable at the tax office or in the local shop, an IOU from a bank most
definitely is.

We identify that the UK’s national currency exists in three main forms, the
second two of which exist in electronic form:

Cash – banknotes and coins.
Central bank reserves – reserves held by commercial banks at the Bank of
England.
Commercial bank money – bank deposits created either when commercial
banks lend money, thereby crediting credit borrowers’ deposit accounts,
make payments on behalf of customers using their overdraft facilities, or
when they purchase assets from the private sector and make payments on
their own account (such as salary or bonus payments).
Only the Bank of England or the government can create the first two forms of
money, which is referred to in this book as ‘central bank money’. Since central
bank reserves do not actually circulate in the economy, we can further narrow
down the money supply that is actually circulating as consisting of cash and
commercial bank money.

Physical cash accounts for less than 3 per cent of the total stock of money in
the economy. Commercial bank money – credit and coexistent deposits –
makes up the remaining 97 per cent of the money supply.

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There are several conflicting ways of describing what banks do. The simplest
version is that banks take in money from savers, and lend this money out to
borrowers. This is not at all how the process works. Banks do not need to wait
for a customer to deposit money before they can make a new loan to someone
else. In fact, it is exactly the opposite; the making of a loan creates a new
deposit in the customer’s account.

More sophisticated versions bring in the concept of ‘fractional reserve banking’.
This description recognises that banks can lend out many times more than the
amount of cash and reserves they hold at the Bank of England. This is a more
accurate picture, but is still incomplete and misleading. It implies a strong link
between the amount of money that banks create and the amount that they
hold at the central bank. It is also commonly assumed by this approach that
the central bank has significant control over the amount of reserves banks hold
with it.

We find that the most accurate description is that banks create new money
whenever they extend credit, buy existing assets or make payments on their
own account, which mostly involves expanding their assets, and that their
ability to do this is only very weakly linked to the amount of reserves they hold
at the central bank. At the time of the financial crisis, for example, banks held
just £1.25 in reserves for every £100 issued as credit. Banks operate within an
electronic clearing system that nets out multilateral payments at the end of each
day, requiring them to hold only a tiny proportion of central bank money to
meet their payment requirements.

The power of commercial banks to create new money has many important
implications for economic prosperity and financial stability. We highlight four
that are relevant to the reforms of the banking system under discussion at the
time of writing:

Although useful in other ways, capital adequacy requirements have not and
do not constrain money creation, and therefore do not necessarily serve to restrict the expansion of banks’ balance sheets in aggregate. In other words, they
are mainly ineffective in preventing credit booms and their associated asset price
bubbles.
Credit is rationed by banks, and the primary determinant of how much they lend
is not interest rates, but confidence that the loan will be repaid and confidence in
the liquidity and solvency of other banks and the system as a whole.
Banks decide where to allocate credit in the economy. The incentives that they face
often lead them to favour lending against collateral, or assets, rather than lending
for investment in production. As a result, new money is often more likely to be
channelled into property and financial speculation than to small businesses and
manufacturing, with profound economic consequences for society.
Fiscal policy does not in itself result in an expansion of the money supply. Indeed,
the government has in practice no direct involvement in the money creation
and allocation process. This is little known, but has an important impact on the
effectiveness of fiscal policy and the role of the government in the economy.
The basic analysis of this book is neither radical nor new. In fact, central banks
around the world support the same description of where new money comes from.
And yet many naturally resist the notion that private banks can really create money
by simply making an entry in a ledger. Economist J. K. Galbraith suggested why this
might be:

The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. When
something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent.

This book aims to firmly establish a common understanding that commercial banks
create new money. There is no deeper mystery, and we must not allow our mind to
be repelled. Only then can we properly address the much more significant question:
Of all the possible alternative ways in which we could create new money and allocate
purchasing power, is this really the best?

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Download the Foreword and Overview for free

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