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Herefordshire Council (housing solutions team)


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I have had to send a letter of complaint to Herefordshire council as they tried to close the Housing Solutions Team early on Monday and were potentially turning homeless people away unlawfully....for anyone interested here's my letter of complaint plase feel free to ask any sensible questions...anything unconnected to the topic or about me personaly will be reported to Colin so please behave fairly and sensibly or leave my post alone:

Dear Christine,

I write further to my telephone-call and I confirm that I wish to complain about the fact, that I found the Housing Solutions service closed early on Monday and people presenting to Franklin House were being told by untrained and inexperienced receptionists to return the following day (see link to my Facebook page:)

.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203943757248913&set=a.10203942151368767.1073741832.1071611993&type=1

I noted that after having taken the photo, four members of the Housing Solutions team, managed to come down and clear the back-log of people waiting to use the Housing solutions Service, so it is clear to me that the sticker should never have been placed on the machine.

I also wish to complain about Kevin Badham approaching me outside of Franklin House to demand why I took a photo of the sticker.  My personal business has nothing to do with Mr Badham or any other member of the Housing Solutions Team and I would have preferred it, if he had left me alone especially as I was busy supporting a homeless person outside of your building.  It should be remembered that I no longer make direct contact with your colleagues from the Housing Solutions Team because of the complaint that is with the LGO and also because Mr Hughes has asked me not too.  So I cannot for the life of me, understand why Kevin would approach me, unless he intended to provoke me and belittle me in front of members of the public.  If that was indeed his intention, then he succeeded and it was for that reason I told him to, "Shut up and go away from me."
 
This kind of behaviour by the Housing solutions Team is outrageous, wrong and indicative of everything that is rotten with this service.  As I pointed out to the receptionists yesterday, if someone vulnerable had read that sticker, they would have probably left and returned to the streets or to some other place that was unsuitable, life threatening or down right dangerous to live-in.  And your organisation would be responsible in part for any DEATH that would have happened.

I want something done about the Housing Solutions Service and I want it done quickly because they have proved themselves to once again be unfit for purpose and I should not be having to micro-manage this service, especially as I am untrained, uninsured and ill equipped to police them.

I will be happy to have a full written apology from Collette and Kevin and I would like a letter of thanks from Helen and Geoff for once again, having saved Herefordshire Council from breaking the law and being involved in unsavoury and potentially life-threatening practices.

Yours truly,

Phil Smart  

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I have had to send a letter of complaint to Herefordshire council as they tried to close the Housing Solutions Team early on Monday and were potentially turning homeless people away unlawfully....for anyone interested here's my letter of complaint plase feel free to ask any sensible questions...anything unconnected to the topic or about me personaly will be reported to Colin so please behave fairly and sensibly or leave my post alone:

 

Dear Christine,

 

I write further to my telephone-call and I confirm that I wish to complain about the fact, that I found the Housing Solutions service closed early on Monday and people presenting to Franklin House were being told by untrained and inexperienced receptionists to return the following day (see link to my Facebook page:)

 

.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203943757248913&set=a.10203942151368767.1073741832.1071611993&type=1

 

I noted that after having taken the photo, four members of the Housing Solutions team, managed to come down and clear the back-log of people waiting to use the Housing solutions Service, so it is clear to me that the sticker should never have been placed on the machine.

 

I also wish to complain about Kevin Badham approaching me outside of Franklin House to demand why I took a photo of the sticker.  My personal business has nothing to do with Mr Badham or any other member of the Housing Solutions Team and I would have preferred it, if he had left me alone especially as I was busy supporting a homeless person outside of your building.  It should be remembered that I no longer make direct contact with your colleagues from the Housing Solutions Team because of the complaint that is with the LGO and also because Mr Hughes has asked me not too.  So I cannot for the life of me, understand why Kevin would approach me, unless he intended to provoke me and belittle me in front of members of the public.  If that was indeed his intention, then he succeeded and it was for that reason I told him to, "Shut up and go away from me."

 

This kind of behaviour by the Housing solutions Team is outrageous, wrong and indicative of everything that is rotten with this service.  As I pointed out to the receptionists yesterday, if someone vulnerable had read that sticker, they would have probably left and returned to the streets or to some other place that was unsuitable, life threatening or down right dangerous to live-in.  And your organisation would be responsible in part for any DEATH that would have happened.

 

I want something done about the Housing Solutions Service and I want it done quickly because they have proved themselves to once again be unfit for purpose and I should not be having to micro-manage this service, especially as I am untrained, uninsured and ill equipped to police them.

 

I will be happy to have a full written apology from Collette and Kevin and I would like a letter of thanks from Helen and Geoff for once again, having saved Herefordshire Council from breaking the law and being involved in unsavoury and potentially life-threatening practices.

 

Yours truly,

 

Phil Smart  

 

Hmmm, first of all I am confused and picked up the story half way through because your link does not work. Secondly, I see you are making demands again and asking for apologies which you appear to be fixated and thrive upon, almost as if by apologising to you is absolute proof that you were right. You go on to complain about being approached and questioned but it's okay for you to do the very same thing to others, I have noticed this in several of your posts, is this not double standards? I realise that you are trying to help people but I still think you go about it the wrong way if I am totally honest, you come across too intense and full on, maybe you should take a step back and have a slightly more polite approach, you are too keen attempting to prove that everyone else is wrong all the time and that you know better. You have asked for comments and I have tried to be as honest as I can be with the information available. 

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Bill's reply to you is fair and to the point. I agree with Bill, far too many demands for 'apologises and thanks' required on your part and suggesting that their organisation would be responsible for any death is quite ludicrous. If I received this letter I think I would be very tempted to make a paper aeroplane with it to be frank. Your intentions I am sure are very sincere but your whole approach and demeanor are the opposite.

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Guest smartieno1

I asked if you could talk about the topic in question that being Homelessness, the closing of the service early...people being turned away unlawfully ect

I am not the topic in question nor is my behaviour...or my alleged "Double Standards" or anything else that you have written about.....

Please try to stay on topic or leave my post....lol

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Phil, you have posted your letter on the forum, I have commented on this topic, if you do not want comments then you should not of posted your letter, you should of just asked a question about the Hereford Housing Solutions Team. You do not like criticism that is evident, I have no words because what ever people write you attack if it is not want you want to read. I am not being nasty at all, I am merely commenting on what is in front of me.

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It is my post...cos I posted it and I am laying legal claim to it because of my intellectual property rights....

That's three of you sat on the stairs!!

 

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It is my post...cos I posted it and I am laying legal claim to it because it is my intellectual property....

 

That's three of you sat on the stairs!!

 

 

 

Any creditability that you had with me has diminished recently and now especially with all of your comments above including your letter. You are not interested in helping the homeless, you are more interested in your own self appointed importance and ego! You find it difficult to deal with, when you are criticised, particularly by any type of authority, I recently read your attack on a local judge, who was a good person when he was agreeing with you, yet as soon as that changed so did you. You are not interested in any advice offered from anyone. 

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Hello H Wilson...I hope you've had a lovely day today...

It was closed until I got there and then  it miraculously re-opened, the sticker was removed too and five people including one with a small child were able to be seen and get out without having to wait for an hour or more...

That's a great result in my book and demonstrates the amazing power of my EGO and letter writing..lol

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Hello H Wilson...I hope you've had a lovely day today...

 

It was closed until I got there and then  it miraculously re-opened, the sticker was removed too and five people including one with a small child were able to be seen and get out without having to wait for an hour or more...

 

That's a great result in my book and demonstrates the amazing power of my EGO and letter writing..lol

 

Oh I see, so do you think it was your attendance that prevented the inevitable closure? What is the point of your letter if the place was actually open?

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The fact I took a photo of the sticker made all the difference...and the Council suggested that I write a letter of complaint because they want to investigate the matter...

 

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Interestingly I am on Facebook helping a local lady with a disabled daughter who is sofa surfing unlawfully and Housing Solutions are well aware of her status

I have referred her to a solicitor and signposted her to Adult Social Services.....but I should not be having to do this......so more tax payer money will be wasted so think about that when your moaning about the cost of the Council Tax

Perhaps you should all start writing letters and complaining instead of having a pop at me for making a real difference...

I hope those on naughty step have learnt their lesson.....any repeat and you'll be straight up the stairs without supper too

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I noted that after having taken the photo, four members of the Housing Solutions team, managed to come down and clear the back-log of people waiting to use the Housing solutions Service, so it is clear to me that the sticker should never have been placed on the machine.

 

Having seen the photo (thanks Colin) I think smartieno1 has a point ~ if 4 members of the Solutions team did indeed come and sort out the queue then why was the sticker on the machine? I'm not sure the situation is as simple as that tho. In addition the reception staff could possibly have been briefed with an answer to give if asked 'why' the relevant department was closed early. 

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Well said Colin, the only issue here to be debated would be the question of why the Housing Solutions team were unable to man the front line service, we should try and stick to the facts and try not to attack our fellow posters who bring Council failings to our attention. I for one, wouldn't want to dissuade people from posting important issues such as the one in this topic, which unless I'm mistaken is the closure of the front facing housing solutions service.

 

 

Customer services provide staff for front line service of the housing solutions team, front line staff are stretched to capacity and under enormous pressure. The Customer Services Department have been cut to the bear minimum and despite repeated warnings that they were crippling this service they took absolutely no notice and continued to swell the management ranks and increase upper level salaries. The housing solutions team are also running on reduced numbers of staff and are under enormous pressure. All of those staff are 100% dedicated "in my opinion" to the needs of their service users please you can trust me on that.

 

Councillor Vaughan Powell if you want to get to the bottom of what's going on you could start with the following questions

How many members of staff from Customer Services are paid for by the housing solutions team to run the front line service

How many members of front line staff were dismissed during the last round of redundancies in customer services

How many managers were there before the redundancies took place and how many are there now, I think you will find they increased the management structure.

Did supervisors and managers recieve a pay rise, I.e. Did they go up a grade in salary?

 

Finally and most importantly

Were any Councillors including Cll Johnson warned this department was heading for 'melt down?'

 

Cllr Morgan might also want to explain why Customer Services is unable to man the housing solution front line service, since she will be responsible for presenting the 'new model' of service to cabinet who then rubber stamped it!

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For what it's worth I would guess that the button on the screen was 'closed' as any remaining staff in that area were dealing with a deluge of paper/emails or whatever in a back office ... The very same areas which everyone says are overstaffed and need trimming. Very ironic ... 

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I told you I would post the reason this happened (see post 19)

 

quote:

 

The closing of the desk was a temporary measure, it was closed for approximately 15 minutes to allow the duty officer and back up officers to deal with a number of people that were waiting. As there were a number of families with young children we needed to reduce the waiting time for them. We

re-opened as soon as we cleared the backlog of people waiting. Because of this we remained open late.

 

END

 

Having worked alongside the Housing Solution team of officers for three days in 2010 I wanted to see the workload they were working with and stress they were under trying to cope therefore I can understand why on this occasion it was necessary to close the desk.

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Thanks for that, Glenda. Could you possibly answer a few more questions related to this.

 

Is this a regular occurrence?

 

Would do you say they are understaffed?

 

Has this department suffered redundancies, or a re structure, or both?

 

Many thanks for your time, it's always appreciated.

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Dippy. the short sharp answer to your questions.

 

1. not really, but when I worked along side them it really opened my eyes as to their caseloads. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes that the public doesn't see phone never stops ringing, by mid afternoon on the first day I was tired out, imagine coping with that day in day out.

2. In my opinion yes!

3. Both over the years.

 

Going back to my post 23, when people went to reception they were told there was a backlog of people waiting to be seen, the only way they could clear it was to close for a while. when most people was told this they understood, but there is always others who cause problems because they never ask why the situation arose in the first place.

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Hi Glenda.

 

Many thanks for your prompt responses - I really do appreciate it. I also appreciate the fact that you are always so willing to help answer the many queries that come your way via this forums pages, and you aren't afraid to speak your mind and voice an opinion.

 

It's all too rare that we see this.

 

There was an issue, it was bought to your attention, and you have endeavoured to get an explanation. No mess, no fuss.

Thank you.

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To be honest I think we are fortunate that there is still a place or point of contact let's hope it remains. With so much of our communication restricted to the telephone or internet I fear that the future maybe very different.

 

As a society we have come to expect everything today but the changes have started. This treadmill we call life here in the UK is changing , getting faster with an increased degree of difficulty. More and more people are falling off as the resources diminish.

 

Marry this against an increased number of people coming into the county and a ballooning request for healthcare at home the challenges are immense. With this in mind we need to give a little and accept that for those left employed in front line roles within HC these are also difficult times.

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  • 7 months later...

I have had to send a letter of complaint to Herefordshire council as they tried to close the Housing Solutions Team early on Monday and were potentially turning homeless people away unlawfully....

 

So how could the system cope with housing Syrian arrivals ? .... Who haven't even arrived in any numbers. 

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It wouldnt need to - refugees are sent to an immigration centre until their status id decided.

Unfortunately my understanding is that currently most of our 'reception centre's ' are already full as the processing of an individual's right to stay takes a long time. The government is not prepared and has actually been caught on the back foot. Because of cuts there is very little slack in the system be it support from charities, social welfare, housing,healthcare, police even military and this with only a small number of visible migrants seeing UK shores.

We are witnessing dark times and only today I overheard a conversation in a hospital restaurant between a number of multi national docs and it was the only topic ..all agreed that any additional pressures in the healthcare system could break it.

I know my learned friend AV would say that I,m scaremongering but years of cuts have brought us to this place and without opening up the government kitty once again if anyone could offer suggestions about additional resources please let me know.

Most of us are hoping for non eventful weather events this winter.

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