Winchester City Council continues to deny me my rights, as defined by such Laws as The Human Rights Act, in particular Article 8 -The Right to a Private and Family Life.
I received through my door, back in October, two letters. Neither of which where inside envelopes. The reason for this being that I am unable to open post due to medical reasons and since my Care Worker left a number of months ago the Council refuse to replace her. And knowing my inability to open letters, they decided to trick me into reading the content. Which caused no end of anxiety to be caused. Plus the accompanying feeling of total inadequacy that one feels when presented with such an inability.
From the letter:
We have serious concerns regarding the storage of a hot tub in the garden area of your current temporary accommodation at Lent Hill Court.
Storing a hot tub in this area causes a Health & Safety hazard. This is because:
• Electical wires for the hot tub are coming from the front and back windows of your property at Lent Hill Court leading into the garden area. This causes great concern as it is a dangerous electrical hazard and could result in a fire.
• A hose pipe is coming from your bathroom window, leading into the garden area.
• They are being permanently stored in a area, which can be accessed by anyt resident or visitor as the gate to garden area at 2a Lent Hill Court is not secure.
• The hot tub parts can become old and worn, which poses a risk to anyone who uses it.
• Who uses the hot tub and the use of the hot tub is not regulated at all times, which means they would be able to be misused or used irresponsibly
• The garden area belonging to 2a Lent Hill Court is included in the grounds maintenance contract to maintain. The grass around and under the hot tub is dying and the grounds maintenance contractor is unable to maintain all areas.
Written permission is always required by a resident who wishes to store / use any items such as a hot tub. I am unable to grant permission. Because of the reasons listed above, the wires leading to the hot tub or any other electrical device in the garden area of 2a Lent Hill Court will need to be removed immediately. The hot tub is to b emptied and put away by Monday 21st October. A Tenancy Support Officer will carry out an inspection on Tuesday 22nd October 2019.
Well, how is one supposed to respond to such a letter?
First, I was explicitly told, by the Local Agent, that I could not do anything in the area outside my garden, however, I was free to do what I wanted to inside. Furthermore, I told this Agent, when they demanded to know what I was doing, exactly what was going on. I was installing a cheaply sourced Hot Tub for medical reasons. They gave no objection to me about this.
Next, they are accusing me of putting other peoples lives at risk, something which causes great horror in me.
And finally, they are accusing the manufacture of the product of not making something that is safe – which is a very great accusation to make to a huge, multinational company, Lay-Z-Spa.
And so, given no choice, I had to obey the Councils orders.
However, what makes this so insidious, is that I was not offered any help before the inspection to make sure that I was going to pass.
Which means, I was set up to fail.
And, to this day, despite multiple attempts at finding out, I still do not know whether I passed.
From the letter:
We have serious concerns regarding the storage of a dismantled trampoline in the communal garden area at Lent Hill Court. Further concerns have also been raised where you have placed a two seater sofa. Which is now situated outside the fenced area of the communal garden.
Storing and placing the dismantled trampoline and sofa in the communal area causes a Health & Safety hazard. This is because:
• They are being permanently stored in the communal area, which can be accessed by any resident or visitor.
• The trampoline and sofa parts can become old and worn, which poses a risk to anyone who uses it.
• The grass around and under the trampoline is dying and the grounds maintenance contractor is unable to maintain all areas.
Written permission is always required by a resident who wishes to store any items or make changes to any communal area. I am unable to grant permission to anyone to have or store such items in a communal area/garden. Because of the reasons listed above, and previous letter sent out to you on the 12.06.19 the dismantled trampoline and two seater sofa will need to be removed from the communal area by Monday 21st October. A Tenancy Support Officer will carry out an inspection on Tuesday 22nd October 2019. If the items remain after this date, the Council will arrange for a removal and the items will be disposed of, for which you may be re- charged.
Once again, how is one supposed to respond?
First, I am not the only person to be storing stuff in communal areas. One other Tennant stores stuff on the walkway beside the road, meaning that one cannot use it and has to walk down the road, something that makes me feel very uncomfortable about doing since being run down by a car. However, for what ever reason, they are still allowed to store their stuff there and we are supposed to deal with it.
Next, the issue about me causing damage to the communal area, well, it is not exactly like anyone really cares about the quality of such areas. For example, I have had to, at my own expense, replace all the damaged grass with turf in my area, something which is supposed to be the responsibility of these people. And that is on top of me finding a bucket load of broken glass and a syringe! When telling the Council about the syringe I was told a special team would need to come in and fully search the area – well, a significant number of months later and I am still waiting for the team.
And then to the amount being charged for the removal. As it is beyond my currently physical and mental health to deal with a lot of matters I said, a while before, that depending on the amount being charged I would happily pay for the Council to remove the stuff. The problem was they came back with the fee of £130 to do so. An amount which has to include a huge amount of profit.
And so, once again, given no choice and suffering from a bad back, a heavy cold and a PTSD that was in full fight, I had to remove all the stuff.
And again, I was offered no help in making sure that I would pass the test.
Meaning I was set up to fail, again.
And, I hope by now this goes without saying, despite multiple attempts at finding out the results of this inspection, I still do not know whether I passed or failed.
After checking with a specialist whom knows about this type of Law, I had it confirmed that this breaches such Laws as The Human Rights Act. Information passed over to the Council, only for them, as per normal, to ignore anything I say.
Whereas when it comes to the Council dealing with me, I am forced into doing exactly what they say, no matter what the Law states, what they have previously said nor concern over my Mental, Physical or Emotional Health.
Bottom line, do not become so ill that all your friends and family turn their back on you, leaving you to the fate of the State – because the State don’t care.