Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Red herrings and legal quagmires

Thought I'd chance my luck this morning and go to the Law Centre about the letter for Dobbie.

Chance my luck... ha ha very fecking funny. Came out in tears didn't I, so frustrated I am.

If I hadn't written so many posts I'd locate for you now the one where I wrote the housing councillor here in Camden told me the policy change I wanted wasn't up to the council, it was a legislative matter for which I'd need an mp to get and modify a statutory instrument.

Over at the law centre, I was told that it is up to the local council to define their allocations policies; there were no statutory instruments to do with the points families and individuals aren't given (though they'd won a case recently arguing for a hostel family to be given overcrowding points which will have a wider effect. Good news but I'm still not taking my son to one if I can fecking help it)

They like to talk lawyers, don't they. I shudder with the cuts to legal aid and people having represent themselves because you have to represent yourself to a lawyer to get them to help and represent you in the first place. I've failed and failed again on that score. I did ask her, when she said cases were taken on 'merit', why my son and I didn't 'merit' legal help when we were being evicted. We could've gone for the lack of overcrowding points, lack of instability points, all sorts. She didn't like that much, and said it's done on 'a first come first serve basis'. That didn't make me feel better as I thought of the last time I came to them for help and was behind a bangladeshi dad in a temporary flat who wasn't being evicted. You can't help but wonder even though you're not allowed to wonder.

Anyway, I'm upset so capable at running off on all kinds of tangents.

Housing councillor lied to me. He had, he has the power to change the policy I asked him to change. Why did you lie to me???? Lawyer told me to go back to him and ask for the statutory instrument he's talking about, so there's an email I have to write but don't want to because I know he won't reply. I've been published in the local press haven't I? I'm no longer one to trust. Besides, no-one likes to admit they sent you up the garden path to catch a fish on a bicycle.

Yeah, so Dobbie wasn't wrong getting me to get a lawyer to write him a letter but I'm not getting one from the law centre.

There are statutory instruments she said, the two main ones being:
Priority groups within housing framework are set by government and homeless are one of those, as are those with unsanitary housing ('how do you decide who needs it more' lawyer asked rhetorically)
The other is to encourage the private sector as a way of preventing homelessness. I know that's a sham.

Write a letter. Say what needs changing. Too fucking complicated isn't it.

The law centre run their own campaigns, and achieve small inroads with successful 'case by case' cases, she explained.

They won't help me run my campaign. They won't take me on as a case.

Why did I start crying?

I saw me and my son being evicted again in two years time and being well and truly fucked.


' Red herring' was the lawyer speaking, 'legal quagmire' is me. Ironic I was talking to the lawyer just as shoutforjustice's let them eat cake protest was taking place outside parliament. Lawyer said housing wouldn't be affected by legal aid cuts. I just stared at her, rendered mute by the whole damned thing.

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