In early June Mummy D1 moved away from the borough to spend her twilight years on the Kent coast and be close to my brother. As with all her bills they were paid on time and on the 1st of June her last installment of council tax was duly paid. She moved on the 7th of June and a few days later I contacted Havering finance dept to ask for a refund form so she could get the rebate on the excess and the guy I spoke to was very helpful (for Haverings usual piss pore standards) and confirmed she was entitled to a rebate as she always paid in advance and sent her a form to complete and return which she received the following day. As she is in her nineties she struggles a bit with forms so my brother helped her out and she sent the form back circa 21st June. Nothing arrived within a month so I contacted them on her behalf and was told she would receive the refund by the end of July as it took a month to process. Now first full week in August she has received nothing. When Little Miss D1 and I visited her a couple of weeks back a letter did arrive from Havering but it was the bill for her home helps which she duly paid. The irony is when you are even a day late the dirtbags at Havering will resort to threats intimidation and bullying to make you pay up as a friend of mine found out.
They will be getting an ear bashing from me unless they cough up what Mummy D1's entitled to.
I'll let you know how I get on.
Although Mummy D1 aint short of a few bob I dont see why as someone who payed her way for 20 years she should have to wait this long for an amount which wont cripple Haverings finances.
Thank you. It will be interesting to know how you get on. They managed to make the mons up of all time with my friend despite taking about three months to sort out a pretty minor issue! Where do they find these people?
I've just sent an e-mail to the cabinet member responsible for finance so here's hoping it does the job.
If the boot had been on the other foot and my mum owed them money she would have been sent a summons by now and been subject to all kinds of threats and intimidation.
Recently a friend of mine a young mum with a little boy didn't pay her CT on time for a couple months was sent a summons.
The scumbags made even her pay a court charge of £160!
Well at least she pays her dues unlike many others including three serving Havering councillors.
Ah all's well that ends well!
Mummy D1 has received her refund and with an added bonus that they messed up and paid her plus the amount she would have paid if she didn't receive a discount!
Well their balls up not hers!
Gratifying to hear that your mum has her problem sorted - no doubt thanks to your input. Her plight reminds me of another thing that pisses me off about councils - the mantra about making services "accessible" while, at the same time, they increase dependence on internet communication. I understand the money argument but if a significant number of residents haven't got internet, or aren't comfortable with it, then the "accessible" chant becomes questionable. There are other ways of reducing council expenditure - reducing the number of councillors and senior staff for example.
Howwould you propose informing a housebound person suffering anxiety .They do not use the web do not go to meetings read no newspapers.In the end you have to accept some people can not be involved or donot want to be.Look at the Elections only 40% bother to vote and activists are very rare.
Percy, I'm talking about service delivery, not activism. I'm referring to the council's duty to ensure that all its residents are able easily to access its services. My point is that not everyone has internet and not all people feel comfortable using it. Councils which maintain that they're "committed to accessibility" and then quietly move away from communication methods other than internet are deceiving the people who pay for their existence. And I'd guess that many people don't vote because they have no faith in the "political process". And that's the fault of politicians.
I deal with all my 92 year old fathers bills etc.There are clubs and voluntary services that help.I appreciate there are a few a very few who are unable to access services but how can you find them what service would you supply. So far as I know most services are available on the phone and you can pay council tax at the town hall.What else can they do?
With respect Percy, I think we're really on the same wavelength. My understanding is that access by phone is being curtailed and people are being moved towards service delivery via the internet. Fine! - I'm happy with that (because I find it convenient) as long as communication channels are available for people who don't want to use the internet. Remember, these residents are usually among the most vulnerable and have the right to expect a service which suits them because they pay for it via their council tax. You ask - "What else can they do?" They can ensure that they maintain high-quality service standards for all residents, regardless of internet access. If that costs money, then find savings from salaries, councillors expenses or cut the number of councillors. Residents are paying customers - councillors and officers are not.
In all honesty Michael I would never have let this council keep her money even if she's not hard up.
I got the ball rolling and insisted she followed it through and my brother helped her with the paperwork which she's not too good at. I totally agree with you about councillors but I'm not convinced its the number of councillors more the over inflated allowances some of them pay themselves like White Dervish and Ramsey but as for the SLT as they laughingly call themselves how can five individuals trouser two thirds of a million quid of our money presiding over a pisspore administration like Havering council. What I found to be the biggest insult to the people of this borough is when former CE Cheryl Coppell received an OBE for services to local government. During her time in charge multi millions were lost in housing frauds dodgy Icelandic bank deals the Homes for Havering fiasco and probably other things and now she's involved with an organisation called the Centre for ageing better. Well with her gold plated pension funded by the Havering CT payer she wont have to worry about means tested home help like many of our seniors do.
Thanks Mister d. I didn't have the pleasure (or otherwise) of dealing with Cheryl Coppell. Interesting that all the "VIP" people in local government seem to land huge pensions and move on to other (presumably) highly paid jobs! CC landed an OBE as well. For services to local government finance?? It's tough at the top.