HOW CORNWALL COUNCIL CORRUPTS CORNWALL HOMECHOICE.
Blog entered 10 March 2014.
HOW CORNWALL COUNCIL CORRUPTS CORNWALL HOMECHOICE.
The 1 Bedroom Ground Floor Flat at Timber Close, St Austell, was advertised through Cornwall Homechoice between 18 to 22 January 2014, and available to all Bands. As with most properties within walking distance of town bidding would have been keen based on previous records.
The Landlord is Sanctuary Housing and the picture showed houses in Timber Close despite me advising Cornwall Council numerous times in the past the picture was misleading, unhelpful and un-representative of a “Flat”.
So what became of the Homechoice Flat after the closing date of 22 January 2014 ?
Although there are currently over 28,000 applicants registered with Cornwall Homechoice and only a small number of vacancies each week, according to the Council’s website information, this Homechoice property has now remained empty for in excess of 50 days. It has not been declared on the Council’s ‘Recent Lets’ ‘Outcomes for CBL’ website information to assist Homechoice bidders and it has not been re-advertised. It has just simply disappeared off the radar.
One likely reason for it’s disappearance concerns my allegation Cornwall Council and it’s housing partner Sanctuary Housing have knowingly conned Homechoice bidders into bidding for properties through Homechoice which were ringfenced and already allocated to certain types of applicants not indicated in the advertisement.
Another reason is Cornwall Council has recently been investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman. The LGO’s provisional view is “The Council has not unfairly allocated properties in favour of certain applicants or breached its housing allocation policy”, unquote.
On the issue of ‘ringfenced’ properties Cornwall Council’s Strategy & Initiatives Manager Mark Vinson said “These are generally leased from private sector landlords and not ever advertised through Homechoice”, unquote. Which, in reality, is untrue.
Homechoice Property Ref : 2797 (18/12/2010 – 22/12/2010), Ref : 5090 (06/08/2011 – 10/08/2011), Ref : 6629 (04/02/2012 – 08/02/2012), Ref : 6690 (11/02/2012 – 15/02/2012), and most probably Ref : 13728 (18/01/2014 – 22/01/2014) were all ‘ringfenced’ in favour of certain types of applicants.
On the issue of the Council using the same misleading picture of houses in Timber Close for all the above Flats since 2010, the Council has failed to clarify it’s position. A picture of the Flat in question can be found on Twitter: pic.twitter.com/x8R9au8CcV and was taken, loaded and available for net use in less than 10 minutes.
In reply to the LGO’s provisional view I would reject any notion the Council did not breach its housing policy or covertly place certain types of applicants in Homechoice advertised properties, or that the Council did not discriminate against disabled Homechoice applicants in allocating specially adapted properties to certain types of applicants who had no need of the adaption. Adaptions which the Authority itself payed to have installed out of public funds.
Having suffered injustice over this issue, in unfairly being subjected to anti-social behaviour from most of the certain types of applicants which have been covertly dumped here since 2010, I acknowledge Homechoice bidders have been treated even more unfairly in being unjustly denied a home. That Cornwall Council has wilfully and unlawfully abused the housing policy and the rights of those it is supposed to serve.
I would therefore reject any suggestion by the LGO not to take formal action against Cornwall Council and would consider any such leniency as again being one sided and a failure to protect the public interest.
The latter based partly on the fact Homechoice property Ref : 13728 was advertised weeks after Cornwall Council and Sanctuary had been forwarned of my allegations in writing by the LGO.
So why is the Flat still empty after nearly 2 months ? Is there really no demand for a 1 Bedroom Ground Floor Flat within a 10 minute walk from town and with there being thousands of Homechoice applicants in desperate need of a home ? How many Homechoice bidders bidded on the Flat and were any told the property had been withdrawn or for what reason ? Is the Council compensating Sanctuary £77.80 for every week the Flat remains empty out of public funds ? or will Sanctuary recoup it losses and balance it’s books with an already agreed increase to the Rents/Service Charge to Timber Close residents in July 2014 ?
UP-DATE : 18/03/2014. In reply to an official complaint I lodged today, Jon Warner, Cornwall Homechoice Manager/West, stated that the Council had “made a nomination to Sanctuary Housing and they are considering this applicant”, unquote. If this is true I do not think Sanctuary wants to play ball at the moment because the ball is more crooked than round and is in the Council’s net.
30/03/2014 : The Homechoice property is still empty despite all those in desperate need of a home.
Footnote : If I have stated anything you consider libellous you have the right to take legal action against me and you will find my details at the bottom of this page. What you will not do is waste my time threatening me with legal action because I can no longer remember how many times I have been threatened with legal action by corrupt Organisations simply as a means of harassment.
If it is your intention to involve the police please be advised there are already 3 corrupt police officers awaiting investigation by the IPCC for attempting to unlawfully protect Sanctuary Housing, TPAS, Oonah Lacey, and Cornwall Council.
I am very grateful I have found this site. I have been fighting Cornwall Housing and some of its ill thought out policies for five years. I am not a church goer as such but my local vicar was concerned enough about me to attend a meeting at my council bungalow
recently. In one sentence, he demolished manager Mark Vinson, who was left looking like a whipped puppy. I have a meeting with Director of Hsg, Peter Jarman here on Mon 4th Aug. Would like to keep in touch with others who have bad problems with C Hsg. I am hoping someone can advise me. I was right to keep insisting this isn`t about me – it is about every other tenant out there who cannot fight back
Hello. Thank you for your comments regarding Cornwall Housing. For more information/Blogs you need to visit my main site at http://www.geoffscameras.co.uk. I am sorry to hear you have also experienced problems with the Council over the same period of time and since it became a unitary authority in 2009. If I can be of help I will do my best. Geoff
Hello Thank you for writing about the corruption of Cornwall’s homechoice.
I have two children aged 3 and 18 months and am expecting our third and we are living in a run down, open plan, mould ridden 1 bed room flat and the council still insists we are low priority. My 18 month old is having breathing problems and has required and ambulance 4 times this year already, GP says its due to asthma aggravated by the mould and the council wont listen.
I don’t know where to turn, it affecting my husbands mental health, and my children’s development. I feel that I’m failing my family by not being able to get out of this situation. We are a local working family, and cant find a kind face to turn to.
Hello. Sorry to hear about the problems you are having. The first thing you have to do is get your MP on board whether you agree/disagree with the political party they belong to. He/She is your representative. I also feel your GP should be more pro-active. You should contact the Council’s Environmental Health Department to assess the mould problems, and the Council should consider if there may be a potential overcrowding issue regarding your 3 year old who may need a separate bedroom. You could also consider a Freedom of Information request from Cornwall Council if you think the Assessment/s which determined the “low priority” status may not have been conducted fairly or properly. Whenever possible do not phone these people/departments but use email/letters in order to keep an ongoing written record and avoid ambiguity and denials creeping in. Instruct them that your preferred method of contact is email/letters. Take photographs of mould/damp problems etc. and keep a record of GP/hospital appointments. If you feel the Council is ignoring you send your written requests to the Council’s CEO Office and send a copy (CC) to your MP. If you do have to send anything through the post in connection with the above use a signed for service like Recorded Delivery whenever possible. Hope this helps and best wishes, Geoff