Monday, 15 November 2010

Homeless charity closed

A pregnant woman forced to sleep on park benches was hardly the image our Council wished to project of a modern compassionate Conservative council, but when they were found guilty of "maladministration" by the local government ombudsman and forced to pay compensation they had little choice. The woman, who had turned up after a beating from her abusive partner and was visibly both pregnant and injured, was turned away. 

She spent four nights trying to maintain a modicum of dignity by washing in a McDonald's toilet nearby. 

Not one official was held accountable for their actions with no disciplinary action having been taken, the jobsworths were just following the rules apparently. Now the Council, which in fairness held its hands up and even allowed reporting of the case to feature in Pravda, has withdrawn funding and therefore led to the closure of the homeless service that supported this woman.

Supporters point out that Threshold Housing Advice referred the Council to the local government ombudsman, causing embarrassment to the administration. They link that action with the decision to close the service in this round of spending reductions. According to the Hammersmith & Kensington TimesCllr Stephen Cowan, leader of the Labour opposition, said: “It is hard not to reach the conclusion that the removal of all Council funding to that organisation is anything other than cold-hearted revenge.”

But Cllr Carlebach, Cabinet Member for Community Care, said: “The council received 89 applications from 68 organisations requesting £6.5million - around three times what we actually have to spend. We recognise that some unsuccessful groups will be disappointed that they were not funded on this occasion but 35 groups were successful, including 14 newly funded projects.”

I don't know whether malice played a role or not. I'd like to think not and on balance don't think it did, but you can understand why others might suspect otherwise.  

1 comment:

  1. "If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it
    Help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!