Finally word arrives from Housing Service Director, Nick “Drooper” Hooper, on this small matter of the RAW SEWAGE in the basement of one his private sector homeless hostels showered with public money that he personally authorises.
Drooper confirms that, yes, there was indeed a load of human shit in the basement of the hostel. However, – possibly exposing a few flaws in his expensive education here – he goes on to claim “there are NO HEALTH RISKS from what was found.”
Really? No health risks from raw sewage you say? You’d probably have to go back to the 19th Century to find the over-privileged and powerful so IGNORANT on matters of human sanitation and the poor.
On the matter of the poor quality building work at the hostel – where two buildings have been joined together so uselessly you can put your hand through the outside wall and into the kitchen – Drooper appears to have forgotten to respond!
Odd, when the first line of his email claims it will deal with the “OUTSTANDING ISSUES”. Except the ones it doesn’t presumably? However, rest assured we’ll be chasing Drooper up about this.
What will his response be? That the hostel is fully compliant with 19th Century building regulations as they apply to the poor?
Drooper also managed to address the vexed issue of Anthony Palmer’s housing priority as an ex-serviceman. He claims:
“We changed our allocation scheme in 2013/14, following extensive consultation, and this was introduced in May 2015. We give additional preference (increase by 1 band) if someone has served in the forces and had been discharged within the last 5 years and also come within a reasonable preference category.”
Alas, we’ve read Drooper’s Bristol HomeChoice Allocation Scheme a few times now and find no mention of this five-year limit on ex-services receiving additional preference. Neither does it appear in the Housing Act (1996) or its Amendments (2012) as Drooper’s staff have claimed.
Where on earth is this five-year mystery clause of Drooper’s? It’s almost like he’s making it up!
Here’s latest Drooper’s email and Steve Norman’s response:
From: Nick Hooper <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: 23 May 2016 09:49
To: ‘steven norman’
Cc: Mary Ryan
Subject: FW: RE:RE: MR ANTHONY PALMER
Mr Norman – further to my e-mail below to you I am now able to advise you on the outstanding issues.
We have checked Mr Palmer’s services record. This confirms that he was 16 when he signed up. He left the Army on 21/6/2007 (8 years 11 months ago), a week before his 18th birthday. Regulations were introduced in 2012 which said that local authorities should give additional preference to applications from certain serving and ex-members of the armed forces (and reserve forces) who come within what are called the ‘reasonable preference’ categories. We changed our allocation scheme in 2013/14, following extensive consultation, and this was introduced in May 2015. We give additional preference (increase by 1 band) if someone has served in the forces and had been discharged within the last 5 years and also come within a reasonable preference category.
With regard to the puddle of sewage water at the North St property this has been inspected by our private housing team. Their finding was that there was a small puddle of sewage in the basement (1m by 100cm by 1cm). The leak had been fixed some days before. The small puddle of sewage did not smell. The door to the basement had a padlock on it so access could not be by an unauthorised person. There was no one living in the basement and it was not being used for storage. The puddle was cleaned up last week by the property manager. There are no health risks from what was found.
Service Director – Housing Solutions & Crime Reduction
Bristol City Council
100 Temple Street
Tel. 0117 922 4681
On Mon, May 23, 2016 at 10:53 AM, steven norman <email@example.com> wrote:
Thank you for your latest email, which I’ve now had time to consider and consult the Allocation Scheme you refer to.
To make this easy, I’ve attached a copy of the scheme. Perhaps you could print this off, mark the section which says you only give additional preference (increase by 1 band) if someone has served in the forces and had been discharged within the last 5 years, scan the document again and return it to me by return (say, within 24 hours) with this simple proof?
I’ve checked the scheme and I can find no reference to a 5-year limit.
The section relevant to Anthony appears to be ‘4.4 Band 1’:
k) Armed Forces Personnel (Additional Preference)
Applicants that meet The Housing Act 1996 (Additional Preference for Armed Forces) (England) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/2989) and one of the reasonable preference categories in band 2 are given additional preference in priority by one band.
With reference to your claim in relation to raw sewage that “There are no health risks from what was found”, I find this surprising. The health risks of raw sewage are well known. Your knowledge of science appears even more limited than your knowledge of your own Allocation Scheme.
Mr Stephen Norman