Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Barnet Council paper admits discrimination against Blacks and Asians

Barnet Council has admitted that it discriminates against black and asian people in a recently released Council briefing paper. The paper states the following :-
You can download the whole paper here - http://committeepapers.barnet.gov.uk/democracy/reports/reportdetail.asp?ReportID=9350

So what do the council propose to do?

So if you've finally worked your way to the top of the waiting list after years of stress, tough luck. They are going to suspend the list pending its full abolition. There is one clear issue a lack of Council housing. Does the paper discuss how the reall problem may be addressed. Of course it doesn't.

The most damning passage was the following  :-
This is a complete scandal. The Tories have had eight years in charge. They have allowed the system to be discriminatory and not fit for purpose. They've even allowed one poor soul to apply 1,000 times for a home with no hope of getting one. How much does each bid cost the taxpayer? How much grief has she suffered and energy has she wasted? Has she received an apology?

The CEO of Barnet Council, Nick Walkley owes the people of Barnet an apology, as does Council Leader Lynne Hillan. All they are planning to do is abolish the list so there is no audit trail of their failure. This is a disgrace and a scandal. This is one subject which should be exposed nationally on BBC News


Mrs Angry said...

It is time there was an independent investigation of the circumstances which have been allowed to create the longest housing waiting list in the country. There also needs to be an urgent review of the Homechoice rent deposit scheme run by the council, as discussed in my blog.

Broadway Blogger said...

Just a small point - can you explain why Barnet Conservatives won the election recently ? Surely that means the majority of local people favour their policies ? Democracy is preferable surely than the BBC or newspapers ( or blogs ) deciding what is popular or not. We are taste shapers but the acid test is whether the public vote with their feet or cross on the ballot paper. We get what we vote for - so presumably most people voted for TORY councillors. I actually voted for LIB DEMS in Mill Hill BUT I concede that the TORIES had more votes and therefore the majority of people want their policies.
Investigation yes - but lets not rush to judgement too hastily.
and by the way there is a MUSIC SPECIAL on Broadway Blog today with some links and an invitation to discuss the local music scene and add more links in the comments. Please all come over and post some positive stuff :-)
You are right to point this out Rog and it will be interesting to see whether your view is backed by an investigation which there should be I agree with Mrs Angry ( Independent of course )

Mrs Angry said...

Broadway Blogger: I think it is fair to say that people often vote locally not on local issues but rather on a general point, especially as in this case when the two elections coincide. I am sure that most Tory voters in Barnet want the nice touchy feely Dave Cameron version of Conservativism rather than the rabid, intellectually challenged version we have here ... as for housing policy and the serious failings highlighted in this report, no one likely to be affected by such difficulties is going to be a Tory voter anyway. When the easyBarnet/Futureshape nonsense really gets going, I can guarantee you that the first residents to voice their outrage at the effect on their lives will be those who voted Tory in the first place: only when their frail and elderly mother is left without a warden in her residential home, or other previously essential services are cut will the inevitable result of the election sink home. And then it will be too late.

Moaneybat said...

The "Rent Deposit Scheme" is a way of securing a deposit for those in need of accommodation who are deemed by the Local Authority to be in "PRIORITY NEED" or who are claiming benefits or are on a low income. It replaces the cash deposit usually required by a landlord.

Barnet call their Rent Deposit Scheme "Homechoice" quite why the spin or distortion of the language is beyond comprehension, if the property is within another borough Local Housing Allowance applies the same as in Barnet and, quite correctly the other 2nd borough will apply the "two or three year residence qualification" rule. That other borough will not want to be lumbered with the obligation to house somebody homeless after one year, when previously one lived in Barnet for a number of years and "with some local or family connection." Barnet's other "Homechoice" scheme
quite correctly is a "choice based lettings Scheme" called Home Connections and sad to say, equally flawed.

Mrs Angry is quite correct to suggest a review of "How Barnet fails to appropriately manage this scheme and attempt to throw grief on local law abiding residents and other councils, knowing full well, that "tests" for making oneself "Intentionally Homeless" will apply in every local authority since the "Right To Buy" destroyed any chance of housing the kids whom do not ask to come into a world of working poverty.

Given Barnet's number crunching, and it is their's, I accept they regard the overall policy is discriminatory towards black and asian people.There appears to be something wrong, it's obvious that Barnet is largely a white European Borough. Racial Discrimination is racial discrimination, but it's housing policy discriminates regardless of colour and creed against anybody with low-income or none.

Roger is absolutely correct when he says " There is one clear issue a lack of Council housing. Does the paper discuss how the real problem may be addressed. Of course it doesn't." I would like to add neither did a Labour Government in thirteen years. However, there is a temporary entente cordiale Government, maybe they will accept the advice of many.

The question Barnet and their Housing association Partners avoid. Those Housing Associations whom have contracts with other private homeowners for an agreed rent, acting as an " Agency", How much do they in turn, raise the rent in a seperate tenancy agreement with Barnet, to temporarily house the councils housing benefit entitled waiting list applicants?

Nothing like wealth maximisation when it's taxpayers money.

Mrs Angry said...

You make some very interesting points, Moaneybat. Those in the greatest genuine need should have help to find decent, clean and safe accommodation. It puzzles me why so much money is spent on subsidising high rental properties in the private sector rather than accepting a responsibility to invest in new social housing. The only people who seem to benefit from the present system are unscrupulous landords.

Rog T said...

Dear Broadway Blogger,

In answer to your question. Nope. I haven't got a clue as to how the Tories won in Mill Hill. I knocked on hundreds of doors and I can't remember a single person saying they had a positive reason to vote Conservative in the Barnet Council elections. Our canvassing indicated we'd win comfortably so the result was a complete surprise. I'd suggest you ask John Hart next time you see him, because everyone I've spoken to has been as surprised as I was. Maybe he has some idea.

I've no problem with the result. Just as the Tories were kicked out in 1994, the Lib Dems had no god given right to get in. If they do a good job, they'll hold the seats, if they don't they'll lose again. Given the demographics of Mill Hill, it is an indictment of the Tories that the Lib Dems ever got in.

Having said that, on a personal level I like John Hart and Brian Schama (not really talked to Sury Khatri enough to form a judgement) and I wish them well.

Broadway Blogger said...

Thanks Rog and Mrs Angry.

I must admit I expected the Lib Dems to breeze the local elections. We were kept informed via the newsletters etc. and the Lib dems were the only party who ever called around on the Broadway for instance.
So I agree the result is a bit strange and probably had more to do with the National Election being on the same day.