So, A Question: What Do You Think The Prospects Are…

…of a man on a £45,000 salary, who has moved out of the family home after splitting from his wife, getting a council house?

OK, I thought that would be the response. If you can all stop laughing a moment, how about if I told you his 14 year old son was going to live with him?

Still not convinced? What if I told you he was leader of the council?

Yeah. Thought that might do it:

Labour’s Liam Smith, of Barking and Dagenham council in east London, was given the property just weeks after splitting from his wife Emma.

But it’s only for two years!

Cllr Smith told The Sunday Telegraph: ‘My son wanted to stay with me so we were rehoused by the council. When he turns 16, I’ll be out on my ear.’

You should already be out on your ear! You earn £45,000 FFS!

…Terry Justice, a former Conservative councillor from the borough, added: ‘It’s utterly disgraceful that the leader of the council has jumped the queue and tried to use his son to get around the rules.’

Mr Justice said he knew of ‘countless’ cases of families who waited for years in sub-standard properties to be allocated a new home.

Well, quite…

On its website, Barking and Dagenham council says council houses are awarded on a discretionary, case-by-case basis.Housing officers usually decide whether an applicant has made themselves intentionally homeless.

If not, and the child is not in need of being taken into care, then they are usually placed in temporary accommodation until a permanent home can be found.

Cllr Smith, however, was allocated his two-bedroom flat within six weeks of leaving the marital home.

Fishy? Oh, yes.

Barking and Dagenham council said: ‘The arrangements made for Mr Smith would be the same for any other personwho found themselves homeless and in priority housing need.‘There is no question of any special treatment.’


2 comments for “So, A Question: What Do You Think The Prospects Are…

  1. nisakiman
    February 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    “Barking and Dagenham council said: ‘The arrangements made for Mr Smith would be the same for any other personwho found themselves homeless and in priority housing need.‘There is no question of any special treatment.’”

    Goodness, the thought never even occurred to me that any special treatment was meted out. I’m quite sure if I had been in Mr Smith’s situation, I would have been given a nice two bedroom council flat within weeks too. 😯

  2. Able
    February 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Oh yes “no question of any special treatment.”

    Let’s see now. I and my ex-partner were living in private rented accommodation. I had to leave work to look after my son, as she was ‘depressed’ and out drinking and sleeping around. She emptied my bank account, ran up substantial debts in my name and then left.

    She, of course, was given custody of my son (despite having ignored him for years, mental health problems, drink problems, criminal record, etc.). She was housed immediately in a three bed-roomed property. Why when the waiting list in our area was constantly touted as being in excess of three years, when we applied together? Because she had my son, because she had been advised (by CAB and social services) to make a spurious statement of violence about me to the housing departments (say that and the woman is housed immediately, don’t and she waits, what do you think that all women applying say? Now you know why all those claims of the thousands of women suffering violence are at least questionalble).

    So I apply for housing. The response? Sorry, you have no chance. The criteria on which you get points are children with you (if you have shared custody the woman gets full points, the man nil), gender (woman yes man no), race (white no, anything else yes), disability, sexuality (homosexual yes, straight no), nationality (British no, anything else yes). I got zero, surprise, surprise. I was informed I would never be housed as there would always be someone ‘more in need’ than I.

    So I would have been offered a place in a shelter except all the shelters were closed so that the funding could be made available for a new ‘womans refuge’ (yes, only women get homed here).

    I spent close to two months sleeping rough (not good without any equipment, which in the past the council would have loaned, but guess what? Yep, they’d locked it away when they closed the shelters, sorry). Hundreds of men were left in my position last winter, some were lucky enough to get the last bed and breakfast places in the area. I had to impose on my former employer to remain hygienic, finally found a job that didn’t ask my address and am now back on my feet (ish! still all those debts she ran up of course).

    So laughing about this hypocrisy, manipulation and outright corruption in favour of some rich council worker is the last thing I’m doing. I’m F***** Furious!!!

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