Friday 22 January 2010

"MALADMINISTRATION": Ombudsman Slams H&F Council As Pregnant Domestic Violence Victim Is Forced To Sleep in Park

The Local Government Ombudsman yesterday condemned H&F Council and determined it must pay compensation to a pregnant woman fleeing domestic violence, after the Conservative run authority refused to provide her with support and temporary accommodation. The terrified woman was later found seeking shelter in a park.

The Ombudsman found that "she was not provided with the level of support and assistance she could reasonably expect as a person who was homeless and in priority need”. You can read the Ombudsman's report here.

The sharp practices detailed by the Ombudsman are a now regular occurrence and go some way to explaining why H&F Council only accepts less than half the numbers of homeless people it had under Labour back in 2006. Regular readers will recall how the Conservative Administration tightened acceptence criteria so that more homeless people would be turned away.

A leading Conservative Councillor gave an insight to the attitude being taken behind this policy change when he described the homeless as a “law and order issue” while explaining why he had banned the BBC and Crisis from running a Christmas shelter. The Tory Administration has also cut funding to local homeless charities and sold off twelve homeless hostels.

I have written to those responsible seeking a full explanation about this case and called for a review of the policies that brought it about. I will let you know when I get a response.

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