A heavily pregnant woman who reported to H&F Council having been savagely beaten by her own husband was told she was not a priority for emergency housing and was advised to seek a private landlord somewhere instead.
I cannot even imagine the utter dejection of the scene as this woman, who'd just had her only hope of safety denied her by some jumped up jobs-worth, must have slowly shuffled awkwardly and dejectedly out of the building, presumably in great pain and discomfort from her wounds and the fact she was just weeks away from giving birth. Did the officials, surveying this scene of misery, have a change of heart and call her back? No.
This is despite the fact that the police, themselves concerned for her safety, had referred her to the council for help.
She spent four nights on a park bench courtesy of our Council, washing in a fast food restaurant toilet.
In fairness to the Council they have held their hands up, paid compensation to the woman who amazingly still lives in the borough and admitted that they deserved to be found guilty of 'maladministration' by the local government ombudsman as they have been. They even put this in the most recent edition of Pravda, which must be the first negative story about the Council that has ever made it in there.
A fairly predictable row has broken out among local politicians about who is to blame. Labour point out that this is the same Conservative council that have cut homeless services in their quest to deliver council tax cuts. The Tories for their part accuse Labour of being "shameless" in trying to politicise the matter and argue that the last time the Council was found guilty of 'maladministration' was under Labour in 2005.
Personally I just feel sick even thinking about it. I notice that not one official responsible appears to have been sacked as a result of this. If that's not a sacking offence could someone please tell me what is?