Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Spine chilling stupidity


There is nothing more terrifying than stupidity with a bit of authority. The above picture is doing the rounds on Twitter which is seemingly an extract from the Rotherham report. The hyperventilation has it that this is the smoking gun proof of multiculturalism in action. I'm not buying it. What you have there is your typical low grade public sector supervisory stupidity and cowardice. These second rate councils do not attract high flyers and thinkers.

Combine natural back office public sector stupidity with the mill town mentality of the North and you get a particular brand of authoritarian jobsworthery where initiative and free thought is frowned upon and actively discouraged. My short time at Calderdale Council informs this view, where ex-field "workers", who are too expensive to sack, are stuffed into places of administrative authority where it doesn't matter too much that they spend more time in Benidorm or slipping away for doctors appointments with weeks off sick in between.

We see the product of Welfarism on our streets every day but the lowest of the low, the worst of the parasitical vermin, can always be found in council offices on foot deodorizers, stressing even the most robust office chair and sucking up precious oxygen that could be put to better use elsewhere.

We can weave complex and sinister conspiracies into the Rotherham scandal if we like, but it's always going to be better explained by the breathtaking dull-wittedness of our local councils - and those "dedicated, hard working" public servants therein.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Rotherham: rinse and repeat


I said I wasn't going to get sucked into the Rotherham scandal debate but it is relevant to this blog. The reason for my lack of enthusiasm is that all we see is the same white noise and extruded verbal material from our media, which is nothing that couldn't have been written about any shithole Northern town, every year, for the last twenty years. It still goes on, the plod know who's responsible, and the establishment goes out of its way to marginalise anyone who complains. Sound familiar?

This latest scandal largely has nothing at all to do with Islam and, like the epidemic of bailiff fraud, has everything to do with a bloated, anti-democratic system of local government which has a culture of denial where complaints are concerned. My experience with South Gloucestershire Council taught me everything I need to know. It's the same dynamic behind the NHS Staffordshire massacres.

Hugh Muir is the closest I've seen to sense on this, writing about a similar scandal in Rochdale, while carefully avoiding the cultural aspects. Apart from that, all we'll get is a stream of pontification from London hacks who couldn't find Rotherham on a map and have panic attacks if they go North of Watford. You'll get an adequate but superficial analysis from Spiked Online, but The Harrogate Agenda has it right, and coincidentally, The Harrogate Agenda is what we need to stop this from happening. Anything else is is just the same bland waffle we have heard many times before, where we are assured that "lessons will be learned".

As to South Gloucestershire, there exists the same arrogance of office. Sooner or later all of their skeletons will start falling out of the closet, and readers of this blog won't be in the least bit surprised if Amanda Deeks, Sue Mountstevens and her merry band of thuggish enforcers are also peadophile enablers and rape deniers.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Their contempt for us is absolute


Here follows a paraphrased extract from a BBC report...
Conservative MP Chris Skidmore has claimed that an extra charge to collect green waste amounts to a council tax rise which should have triggered a referendum. "The £36 charge in South Gloucestershire was above a 2% threshold which should have led to a vote among residents". A council spokesman said residents were not obliged to pay the charge. "Fortnightly green waste collection is an optional service for residents, rather than a tax, and those who do not wish to pay are not obliged to do so," a spokesman said. "There are a number of free alternatives for residents who do not wish to use the opt-in service, including home composting and disposal via our Sort-IT centres."
It's funny, because the tagline of this blog "pay up, we're above the law" refers to South Gloucestershire Council's stonewalling attitude toward bailiff fee fraud, but it seems this is their attitude in all things. The law states that a referendum must be held for any council tax rises over 2%, so instead of obeying the law, they now subvert it by making basic services charagble, when those basic servces are the very reason local authorities exist.

Our councils started in life as public sanitation authorities, not least to prevent the spread of disease, and to control rats and other vermin. Now the vermin are in charge. They now view this most basic function of government as an optional extra.

Further to this, we see the arrogance of office in an unnamed council official, telling us in earnest that we are free to dispose of waste at our own expense - or obey their own eco-agenda. Rather than the grossly overpaid council chief executive, Amanda Deeks, having the courage to put her name on the record, she hides behind a "council spokesman", whom we are not allowed to know the identity of.

Your masters have spoken. They will only allow democratic expression when it suits them, and as to the law... well that's just for us plebs. This of course raises three questions:

1) If councils are not spending our money on what we pay them for, what are they spending it on?

2) If we now have to pay fees for the services for which we pay council tax, what is council tax for - and why should we pay it?

3) If we had anything resembling local democracy, why would our MP have to raise a matter of local bin collection in our national parliament?

Methinks councils have forgotten what they are for.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Councillor Adam Monk: Mouthpiece of the machine


Over the last three years I have written to South Gloucestershire councillors a number of times regarding their grand larceny on liability order costs.  Only Ukip Councillor Ben Walker took any interest in it, and coincidentally I have finally received a reply from our Labour Councillor.  You know, those famous protectors of the vulnerable.  Here's what he had to say...

Mr North

Thank you for your email, I am Adam one of Councillors representing Filton and I sit in the committee making decisions on Council Tax Support and therefore the best to reply to your question. The issue of Local Council Tax Relief is a very difficult one to deal with.  Ian Roger & I are very aware of the real impact this is having on those requiring support.

With regards to the costs & fees incurred by the Authority collecting Council Tax, those fees are passed on.  For example in the year 2013/2014  7,495 cases  were charged £55 each in costs. Of these only 4,436 actually went to court to obtain a liability order and those cases incurred a further £30 in costs. The authority has to pay HM Court Service per summons issued.

Surcharges to use a credit card are imposed by the bank at 1.8%.   The surcharges for last year were £8,561.87.  The Council doesn’t make a single penny from these surcharges.

The Council charges each customer that goes into arrears up to £85 in summons & liability order costs. These costs are calculated by the finance department, a breakdown is available to the court if they request to see it, to cover such things as;
Staff hours to process those accounts that are in arrears and what action to take once the order has been granted by the Magistrates court.
IT/Computer processing time.
Stationary 
Postage and post room costs, to print & pack notices.
Magistrates fee.

The council has a duty to collect the maximum through annual council tax. Those people that fail to pay in accordance with their demand do have recovery action taken against them to protect the interest of the council.  The court costs charged are by comparison with other local authorities not the highest, for example Bristol City charges £103 on the issue of a summons.

With regards to the increase of people visiting Citizens Advice I am sure there will have been a significant surge in demand as the relief available on Council Tax has been reduced. The reason for this is simple Central Government have imposed a year on year reduction on the support grant provided to authorities and this means that  the most needy in society will be effected. South Glos supported the 1st years reduction in funding by utilising funds from reserves but that is not a sustainable position. 
                                                          
The councillor workshop for the new scheme for next year will start in July as there will be a legal requirement to consult with the public and the scheme is required to be voted upon in December.  I will ask that you directly contacted during the consultation period.  

I appreciate that you will not have received the answer that you are looking for but I can reassure you that all Labour Councillors are fighting to protect & support the most vulnerable in society.


Cllr Adam Monk
Filton Ward.
01454 864056
07801 999699
You won't be surprised by my reply...

Dear Mr Monk,

A few points...
 
A system to administer council tax would have to exist with or without defaulters or people in arrears.  Speaking as an enterprise scale database developer, I know full well that creating and running a check query for those in arrears is a very simple operation that requires no great programming talent.  Moreover, it is reasonable to assume any such process would be written into the software as a primary requirement, which would have economies of scale over the database life-cycle. In fact, such a system would run quite comfortably off a standard SQL database server which can be procured from HP for less than £10k. I run bigger databases than South Gloucestershire Council.

So even factoring in public sector waste, the whole system could be built (even in-house) on one years liability order takings alone, which (even using your revised figures) still amounts to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Meanwhile, the actual court costs amount to £3 per order. Further to this, you state that there are staff hours involved in assessing each case. This is a lie. Given that enforcement was directed against me for the matter of nine pence, this tells me that absolutely zero human interaction is invested in the process whatsoever.

Essentially you have sought to fob me off with the litany of boilerplate excuses and lies I have read many times before, which I could have got as a press release from any council in the land. Councillors should be cutting through this dishonest mantra rather than repeating it. If not, what exactly are you for? We vote for representation, not press officers. Your inaction makes you a defender of state larceny, rather than a representative of the people. You have forgotten who you serve and are acting as a spokesman for the machine. And by the way, that Bristol Council is greedier than South Gloucestershire is not a mitigating factor.

As for your reassurance that "all Labour Councillors are fighting to protect & support the most vulnerable in society", I have great reason to doubt your sincerity since you have clearly no interest in pressing the council on their (unlawful) use of "costs" as a revenue stream. The system is piling masses of costs on those who can least afford it, and our trigger happy council is pushing thousands of people through the courts and into the hands of profiteering thugs like Rundle & Co, while your own recovery officers turn a blind eye to unlawful behaviour. If you were at all sincere you would be ripping into our local kleptocracy, but your inaction is tacit consent to it.

I take the view that the measure of a good councillor is one who will defend the public against authority, not be the voice of it. You have clearly decided which side you are on. And it is not ours. It is the moral obligation of every councillor to minimise the footprint that government has on our wallets, yet the council is running a huge deficit, reducing services and yet bills only ever go upward - sucking money out of our wallets and our community. Far from protecting and supporting the vulnerable, you are creating more of them. Shouldn't you get your own house in order before demanding more from us?

You complain that central grants have been reduced, but councils do have the autonomy and authority to mitigate this, and that does not excuse the fact this grubby little "costs" scam has been going on for years. Where is the value in piling on costs for those who are already struggling to make ends meet?

Peter North.

Friday, 20 June 2014

South Gloucestershire Council climbdown

Councillor Ben Walker
Readers will recall this from a couple of weeks ago where our favourite council attempted to charge "costs" of £85 for 9p in council tax arrears. Well it so happens that an email making mention of this was sent yesterday by Ukip Councillor Ben Walker, to the BBC, the council chief executive and a selection of other council members.

Coincidentally, this morning, I received an email from SGC recovery officer Ms D Hooper (she who denies bailiff fraud without investigation) saying "I have on this occasion only, cancelled the costs incurred".

I'm a little disappointed. I was prepared to take this as far as the courts because I do wonder what a judge would make of this council's intemperate greed. It is not then surprising that SGC have climbed down. They don't need this in the media as this "costs" scam is a nice little earner.

A recent Freedom of Information request reveals that South Gloucestershire Council netted £412,22 last year in "costs" from council tax Liability Orders. Of the £85, the courts take their cut of the profits, but the council charges £55 for the act of sending a letter. 7,495 of them last year. The law allows only for "reasonable costs", but councils clearly disregard this and use arrears as a source of revenue. Further to this, it has also collected nearly £10k in credit card surcharges on those same payments.

It is little wonder then that new figures have revealed that between January and March, one in five people reporting debt problems to Citizens Advice were presenting council tax arrears issues. In the first three months of this year 27,000 people with a council tax arrears problem got help from Citizens Advice – a 17% increase on the same period last year. Councils are causing more debt problems than pay-day loan companies. Our own council is creating debt problems and dumping them on the private sector, the courts and debt charities without taking responsibility for the mess they are making.

I make special note of Ms Hooper's words in that she has "on this occasion only" dropped the charges. So I do not see this as a victory. It still means South Gloucestershire Council is willfully ripping off the less well off, having now demonstrated they do have the authority to quash them, or better still - cease to be engaged in this grand larceny in the first place.

It should be noted that this issue has been raised with our local Labour councillors (for three years in a row) and not a single one of them ever replied. Councillor Walker on the other hand seems to be a man who gets things done. Hopefully he will be instrumental in bringing this grubby little scam to an end.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Police on the retreat

UK Police: Now an occupying force
A Bristol MP has said plans to close 27 police stations across the Avon and Somerset force area leaving no police presence in some areas is "a mistake". Something of an understatement. This marks a total retreat from neighbourhood policing - and not just in Bristol. This is happening everywhere. Across the nation, local police stations are closing and police are moving into mega-fortresses out in the sticks, changing their operations from neighbourhood policing to being an occupying force.

One of the more alarming examples is Bath. With Bath, a city in its own right with its own policing needs, losing its own police station and instead being serviced by Keynsham near Bristol, much of a police officers time will either be spent processing criminals or making the 30 minute journey between the two cities. Criminal lawyer Ed Boyce said the move could turn police into "expensive taxi drivers". That is exactly how I see it.

Bath Police Station is a main station in the very centre of Bath, near to a very busy railway station. Under the plans anyone arrested, instead of being held in Bath, will be taken to one of three new "police centres" at Bridgwater, Keynsham and Patchway (not within walking distance of any major population centre), which house "custody suites" - even though stations with perfectly adequate "custody suites" are to be closed.

Sue Mountstevens, Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, said "the new police centres would enable officers to serve people better". Which people exactly? Certainly not the vulnerable people that police thugs lock up for speaking out of turn, and certainly not the taxpayer. As much as local police stations are necessary for obvious reasons, they are also places of storage for equipment not carried by patrol cars. Ms Mountstevens seems to think that having police fighting through rush hour traffic to central booking stations at excessive speeds (in pimped out BMW's), causing a noise nuisance, to retrieve equipment in an emergency, somehow better serves the public.

"People are not using some of the buildings we have got - the public are not visiting them," she said. In fairness in the age of internet and smartphones there are fewer reasons to go to a police station, and in an emergency, the telephone is the first point of contact, but even so, it is unlikely that police stations will be used to report crime when for some years they have been keeping irregular desk hours. Further to this, when reporting crime largely means a fat tattooed thug issues you with a crime number, why on earth would you bother? But supposing you were in central Bath and been mugged or raped and your phone stolen, are the citizens of Bath supposed to walk to Keynsham, or use one of the non-existent payphones?

But this is about more than just bean counting. This is about a retreat from our neighbourhoods. The excuse used is that police have faced cuts since 2008 but in reality, this has been the direction of travel for a very long time.  It has been happening so slowly that few have noticed. It is only now that local and central police stations are closing for good, being sold or demolished, coinciding with the opening of police fortresses like Patchway, that the retreat is visible.

Rather than policing being integral to the community, policing is now abstract to the community - and is set only to get worse.  The policing tactics now more resemble an occupying force, similar to that of the Iraq occupation. We will now have central heavily defended police barracks with flex-squads sallying out at night to do snatch operations - probably to arrest people who said the wrong things on Twitter.

Neighbourhood policing has died a death, with day to day offences and minor breaches now dealt with through use of fixed penalties and fines, rubber stamped by magistrates court computers, without any intervention by a human beings, enforced by private bailiff companies (who have free license from the police to break the law), the public henceforth will be the cash cow by which to finance their para-military operations.

Ms Mounstevens would argue that this reconfiguration makes for a more efficient police force, but one would ask "more efficient at what"? It is an efficient way to manage livestock but it is not an efficient way of policing a community. And for all the "efficiencies", why are council tax bills going up? Now that the police are totally divorced from us and our communities, offering a figleaf of community policing over a Twitter account, it creates a separation that makes policing an "us and them" equation. This is totally at odds with the Peelian principle that the "police are the public and the public are the police".

Of course our police commissioners may pretend they have an influence in this, but this was decided long before Police and Crime Commissioners even existed. Being that the case, there is no way we can pretend that the appointment of a commissioner through a voting ritual (based on less than 10% of the electorate) is democratic - and certainly not for a region larger than a hundred countries in the UN - with a population several times larger than Iceland. They are overpaid press officers in place to pretend there is some kind of democratic accountability, and to manage expectations when complaints are made.

This all makes me wonder if this retreat coincides with the purchase of water cannon by the London Met. Now that the police are retreating into their mega-fortresses, it suggests the police are preparing a move into a defensive role - and that they are afraid of us.

Just this week I had a visit from a policeman who himself was a fat, ill-mannered, tattooed thug, just itching to start a fight, who had come to my house not to offer any help, but to reiterate that the police will not investigate an epidemic of fraud I have complained about (even when government guidelines have categorically specified that fraud by state enforcement agents should be reported to the police and treated as a criminal offence). Said police officer was clad in riot gear and bulletproof vest (as far as one can tell the difference).  Just now I have seen three obese plod in bulletproof vests crammed into a Ford Focus, and recently I saw a policeman at the local Tesco filling station carrying a sidearm. Does this suggest community policing to you? This is Filton, not Camp Bastion. 

The picture this all paints is that the police are being re-tasked not as servants of the public, but the defence force for the oligarchy that now rules us, with a slick PR operation designed to give the impression they are still public servants, who will serve the public if it serves their PR needs, but only if the victim fits the demographic of their latest targets.

In most cases now, certainly reflecting on my own experiences, the police profession has been slowly hollowed out to the point where any decent, moral and capable individual would never want to join the police. Consequently we are now at the stage where police lapel cameras are being rolled out to officers because the police simply cannot be trusted, and calling the police now has the potential to make a bad situation much worse and the public need the footage for protection from the police.

For most people, they who live largely apolitical lives, pay what they are told when they are told to pay it, and rarely encounter any serious crime, this gradual shift in the make-up of our society is barely noticeable. It is the result of a decade of salami slicing public services. It only becomes noticeable when you stick your head above the parapet and stop behaving like docile cattle.  It is then one realises that the police are not public servants. They are policy enforcers who, when not serving the oligarchy, are serving themselves. They are the enemy. Perhaps then it is better that the police are retreating into barracks. It makes them all the easier to contain when the people wake up and realise what is being done to them. We do not want this filth in our neighbourhoods.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Greed like no other

It's official. There is no limit to the greed of South Gloucestershire Council. They have actually taken me to court, adding £85 in "costs" for the sum of £0.09p. That's right. NINE PENCE!!! Unless I pay £85.09 within 14 days, they will send the bailiffs who will add £310, bringing the total sum to £395.09. This is the contempt with which they treat us.




Tuesday, 10 June 2014

House Guests


Just had a fat, thick, tattooed plod come to my house to shout at me, to categorically deny that bailiff fraud is police business. I read out the following ministerial guidelines...

"5.8 The Government consider that any fraudulent practices should be reported to the police as a criminal offence under the Fraud Act and that Local Authorities should terminate any contract with companies whose activities are proved fraudulent."

He kept raising his voice shouting over me as I tried to explain, yelling "It's a civil matter". I got the message loud and clear that the police are not in the least bit interested in taking on a massive epidemic of fraud, so I basically told him to get lost because nothing he said is anything I didn't know already: The police have no interest in upholding the law.


I showed him the ministerial statement and he replied "Well the minister can represent you in court then can't he?"  He then got aggressive and said "You can take a pop at me if you want and see how that works out". He has been outside blocking me in for the last twenty minutes.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the face of our modern police force.  "La La La, we can't hear you". It's a shame that plod didn't have a lapel camera because I would have his badge for that. Wilfully disregarding ministerial instructions is pretty gob-smacking even from Avon & Somerset's knuckle-draggers.

UPDATE:

Having complained about this individuals conduct, his colleague (yes, the police investigate themselves) stated that the plod in question was "scared that I was going to push him down the stairs". On reflection, I probably should have. That is the contempt they deserve.

Avon & Somerset Greed


According to the Bristol Post "Fresh arguments have erupted over the effectiveness of speed cameras, after it was announced that the yellow boxes in South Gloucestershire could be turned back on." Avon & Somerset Police want to turn them back on, "despite data showing accident rates at camera sites have not changed since they have been off."

This is because Avon and Somerset Police have no interest whatsoever in actual police work, especially if it means getting up from behind a desk. All around the Avon & Somerset region police stations are closing as the force is centralised.  Even Bath is losing its police station and will now be served by Bristol. Bath is a city in its own right with unique policing needs but Avon & Somerset doesn't think so.

This is due to the effectiveness of their new policing strategy, whereby if a crime is reported and a government agency is not the "victim", they passs the buck onto voluntary organisations and close down the case without investigating.  They have discovered that if they don't look for crime, they will not find it - which explains a huge drop in crime in the region.

From now on Avon & Somerset Police will now take up a new role as a feeder agency for petty & victimless crimes courts which generate up to £10,000 in revenue per offence. Magistrates will be replaced by a speak-your-weight machine also capable of handing out fines

Community safety and public order has proven inefficient and expensive - and it's a total mugs game when you can sit behind a desk taking no risks for the same money. The plebs might whinge a bit but who are they going to complain to who cares? Not their MP, and certainly not their police commissioner.

If this model proves successful I suggest a merger with the HMRC, for it is difficult to tell the difference between the two agencies already - and if it means fewer fat, tattooed uniformed thugs on the street, then I'm all for it.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Theft on a massive scale

The reason I have a criminal record is because, according to a judge, I am supposed to surrender to fraudsters making unlawful demands rather than cutting off a wheel clamp with an angle grinder. My own view of what constitutes a "reasonable act" differs in that I do not think that bailiffs should be allowed to get away with this - and I do not think councils should be turning a blind eye to it. There is also the issue of theft writ large by councils who charge obscene and unlawful fees for the act of sending a letter to those in council tax arrears.

We are told that councils only resort to bailiffs as a last resort, but today we (yet again) learn from the Money Advice Trust that this simply isn't true.  According to the their findings, Birmingham City Council was shown to have referred the largest number of debts to bailiffs (on 82,329 occasions) in 2013, accounting for 17 per cent of properties in the city. That's £4.5m in liability order charges in one authority alone. There is an automatic assumption of guilt and greedy councils are using poverty as a revenue stream.

Not for the first time I have written to three local councilors on this matter using figures obtained from South Gloucestershire Council on this very issue.
Dear Adam Monk, Roger Hutchinson and Ian Scott,

A Freedom of Information request this morning reveals that South Gloucestershire Council netted £412,22 last year in "costs" from council tax Liability Orders. The council charges £55 for the act of sending a letter. 7,495 of them. The law allows only for "reasonable costs", but councils clearly disregard this and use arrears as a source of revenue. Further to this, it has also collected nearly £10k in credit card surcharges on those payments. This isn't right.

New figures have revealed between January and March, one in five people reporting debt problems to Citizens Advice had a council tax arrears issue. In the first three months of this year 27,000 people with a council tax arrears problem got help from Citizens Advice – a 17% increase on the same period last year. Councils are causing more debt problems than pay-day loan companies.

While council tax benefit changes have caused an upsurge in council tax arrears, councils have the authority to write this off and make cuts elsewhere.  But if SGC does intend to collect this money, there is certainly no way that sending a letter costs £55, and if anything, economies of scale should mean those costs go down significantly. Councils should not be pushing the poorest deeper into debt and profiteering from it.

Moreover, it does not cost councils anything to chase up late payments because councils themselves do not do the chasing. They instead subcontract to the multi-million pound enforcement industry who are allowed by law to charge £310 simply for knocking on the door. There is big money to be made from council tax arrears and it is a handy source of income for councils and bailiffs alike. This is dishonest, amoral and parasitic.

Yours sincerely,

Peter North.
Not a single one of them has replied. I have also asked the Communities Minister, Brandon Lewis,  directly for a response.  He also did not see fit to reply. Every council is engaged in a mass theft against the people and our so-called democratic representatives are not in the least bit interested.

I have been reporting on this for years now and have since taken the view that if councils are going to charge us council tax then it is our duty to make it cost them more to collect it. When the authorities investigate themselves and find themselves innocent and police feel free to pass the buck, there is nothing left in the "reasonable" inventory for ordinary citizens.

It is interesting that the magistrates court where I was originally convicted lost a days trade last week due to an arson attack. I don't know what the motive behind this is, but I suspect it is some other citizen who has been treated in a shoddy way by the justice system, which in itself is not fit for purpose. One does not go to these lengths without a feeling of being wronged.

This sort of action does not surprise me. When the system is as bent out of shape as it is, with zero legal protection and no democratic resource, fear is a weapon to which the ordinary citizen will resort. They treat us with contempt because they do not fear us - so those who want change can hardly be blamed if they use the tools available to them. They realise that fear is the only language their persecutors understand.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Taxpayers Alliance are part of the problem

As our political masters and pathetic media once again ponder taxing plastic bags, one wonders if they occupy the same planet as the rest of us. Last week it was reported that council tax arrears is now the biggest debt problem reported to Citizens Advice.

"New figures have revealed between January and March one in five people reporting debt problems to the charity had a council tax arrears issue. In the first three months of this year 27,000 people with a council tax arrears problem got help from Citizens Advice – a 17% increase on the same period last year."

So much so, that even councillors appear to be falling behind. An unnamed Sutton councillor had to be threatened with court over unpaid council tax while nine others had to be reminded to pay up last year. Andy Silvester, of campaign group the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "It costs the council money to chase up late payments and councillors should really know better. "Every penny of avoidable spending unnecessarily puts up local residents' council taxes."

It is Andy Silvester who should know better. A Freedom of Information request this morning reveals that my local authority alone netted £412,22 last year in "costs" from council tax Liability Orders. The council charges £55 for the act of sending a letter. The law allows only for "reasonable costs", but councils clearly disregard this and use arrears as a source of revenue. Further to this, it has also collected nearly £10k in credit card surcharges on those payments.

Moreover, it does not cost councils anything to chase up late payments because councils themselves do not do the chasing. They instead subcontract to the multi-million pound enforcement industry who are allowed by law to charge £310 simply for knocking on the door. There is big money to be made from council tax arrears and it is a handy source of income for councils and bailiffs alike. There is no link between the relatively small amount of council tax arrears and cuts to council budgets, which are in themselves minuscule - even in these times of so-called austerity.

It is bad enough that our Uncle Tom media uncritically report what they are told, but rent-a-quotes like Silvester mouthing fact-free platitudes is not very helpful. The TPA is supposed to be an organisation that sticks up for taxpayers and advocates low taxes, but all too often can seen in our local rags cheering on the rampant greed of councils. They speak the same language as rags like the Daily Mail who, on the basis of figures cooked up by private bailiffs, claim that "Council tax bills could be cut by an average £100 per household if authorities chased up debts properly." - The message being that "council tax dodgers" increase the burden on others. This is not so.

Jean Baptiste Colbert, a French finance minister once said “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing”. If we had anything approaching democracy, taxation would never have reached present levels, and councils would not be running deficits to fund their CEOcracy, their vanity projects, their final-salary-pensions and worthless non-jobs. So in the absence of democracy it is time to hiss, and those who do are the canary-down-the-mine who prevent bills soaring ever upward.

But mostly, those who don't pay are those who can't pay, yet TPA is egging on councils to be as greedy as possible, when every council has a moral obligation to reduce its footprint on our wallets. If thousands of people are being summoned to court in every authority, each accumulating further debt of up to £85 each time (before it is even sent to bailiffs), then it is a broken system and it is exploiting the poorest. If the TPA had a genuine concern for taxpayers it would be campaigning to stop councils pushing the poorest deeper into debt - and to stop profiteering from it.

While council tax benefit changes have caused an upsurge in council tax arrears, councils do have the authority to write off this debt, and should make cuts elsewhere. As the TPA is very often keen to point out, there is plenty fat to be trimmed and still an army of non-jobbers to fire, yet they join the ranks of the other Uncle Toms in calling for councils to be more aggressive in stripping the public of their every last penny. With friends like the TPA, who needs enemies?

Friday, 23 May 2014

Contempt of court

Today I was instructed by a judge to take down a Youtube video where I accused Nicola Spring of being a liar.  This was because I read out a statement by Nicola Spring.  It is difficult to see how removing the video after the trial serves any purpose. It would not be prejudicial to a fair trial since it is over, thus I view this order as an act of censorship.  Though I cannot let my voice be censored. Nicola Spring as far as I'm concerned is a liar, I said so then and I say so now.

So in light of that, I have removed the previous video and recorded a new one after the trial that says more or less the same thing, only adding that today she admitted Rundles had inflated their fees from the outset.  I wouldn't bother watching it unless you are familiar with the case and have an interest in this. Uploading it is merely a token gesture to say I will not be censored. A judge can find the act of uploading the previous video during trial as an act of contempt, but no power on this earth will ever prevent me from saying what I think afterwards. I think Nicola Spring is a vile piece of work and a liar.

The final report - until next time

Yesterday I was convicted of criminal damage.  The short version being that I refused to pay my council tax for a number of perfectly valid reasons, but also with a view to catching bailiffs in the act of unlawfully inflating fees. As predicted, that is what happened. But in late 2012, when I paid my council tax, the bailiffs clamped my car, demanding that I pay their unlawful fees. I cut it off with an angle-grinder. I made a complaint to the police and they then charged me for criminal damage - and refused to examine the evidence of fee-fraud. I complained to the council and they also upheld the unlawful fees, without investigating.

I represented myself at the magistrates courts and kept the proceedings running for a full day. I failed.  Yesterday it finally went to appeal and I failed yet again.  But we did establish that the bailiff firm, Rundle & Co did inflate their fees unlawfully. So folks, you are now reading Bristol's newest convicted criminal.  I stand before you guilty as charged. I knowingly and wilfully destroyed property belonging to Rundle & Co. This is what happened...




I lost.  But there are few reasons to be despondent.  Today we got a frank admission from the "truthful and honest" Nicola Spring, that unlawful charges had been added in the first instance - and the judge observed there were significant inconsistencies between the paperwork issued and their records. Rundles failed to follow proper procedure. Spring admitted she had no idea why the charges had been added. I have my suspicions why this might be the case but one couldn't possibly comment.

In that respect it was worth going to appeal, if only to have it on record that Rundles had attempted to extort fees not permitted by law. That then confirms what I have so often said, in that South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) are complicit in this fraud epidemic by way of failing to properly investigate, which lends weight to the notion that there is a culture of denial in the public sector - where complaints are wilfully ignored. SGC failed to properly investigate and have upheld charges not permitted by law. It is that same shameful attitude to complaints that kills people in NHS hospitals.

My barrister is confident that were this a civil case, the chances are that Rundles would be facing fraud charges and SGC would be in some way liable for allowing it to happen on their watch. But I would have had to capitulate to Rundles in order to bring that case about - and it may not have been as successful as this trial in getting at the truth. On principle, I could not capitulate and this way, at least the arguments have been heard.

The Verdict

The Judge upheld the phantom visits even though it was put to him that there was no possible way they could charge for a visit without having confirmed residency, but even if one were to acknowledge that these visits took place and the correct paperwork had been issued, there was still no lawful basis for the charges amounting to £192.50 by the time of the first provable visit.

I knew the charges were unlawful even then, and that is why I elected to pay my council tax directly to the council, rather than striking a deal with bailiffs. I don't think the Judge was any more taken in by James Cohen's "butter wouldn't melt", yessir no-sir Uncle Tom act any more than I was, but sadly, this was not a trial as to whether Rundle & Co are fit to consume oxygen, nor was it a trial to establish whether they are fly-by-night thieves who make up their charges on a whim. That is rather a pity, because this trial would have demonstrated precisely that. This trial was whether my removal of the clamp was a reasonable action to take. There the judge and I have a difference of opinion.

I take the view that when the council is unwilling to mount any kind of proper investigation, the bailiffs inflate their fees unlawfully - and use tactics of harassment and intimidation, then the system is not functioning. The police are a liability in such matters, often assisting bailiffs in the commission of crimes, therefore self-defence against a wrongful trespass on property is the most expedient and reasonable thing to do. The judge disagreed.

It was his view that I should have capitulated to James Cohen, paid for the release of the vehicle, and pursued it as a civil case. That is, in his view, a reasonable course of action. The fact that council tax recovery regulation grants no authority to bailiffs to clamp vehicles was of little consequence to the judge.

Regardless of the fact I need my car for my job, and regardless of the fact I have a ministerial letter confirming that bailiffs may not levy goods in excess of the value of the outstanding amount on the liability order (which was zero), the judge was not swayed by these arguments either.

As per the magistrates conclusion, his view was that I could have called the police (who regularly assist bailiffs in committing crimes) or phoned Rundles (who had already misrepresented their powers and inflated their fees unlawfully). Rather than deal with unreasonable people I elected to remove the clamp - which apparently was an unreasonable act. In effect the judge opted to invoke the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law.

Rather than addressing the fundamental issues at play this was a case that focused on my specific actions at the time. It stands that Rundles are liars. It stands that Rundles attempted fraud. It stands that SGC are incompetent and it stands that there is a culture of denial in the public sector - and Williams and Hooper of SGC are complicit in that. They facilitate the crimes of James Cohen and his ilk. But it was I on trial, not they. Thus I am guilty.

So who is to blame?

There is plenty of blame to go around but ultimately I am at fault for my naivety. When discussing matters of crime and punishment we describe it as the "Justice System". From that one assumes the purpose of that system is to serve justice. Justice has not been done here today. Not by a long shot.

Today there was an opportunity for a judge to send a message that bailiffs may not clamp unlawfully, that bailiffs will be held accountable for fraudulent fees - and citizens have a right to protect their property. But today the judge gave a free pass to state-sanctioned habitual criminals - and instead of meting out justice threw the book at the victim.

For sure that may sound like a feeble pronouncement by a guilty man, but by criminalising me, he diminishes the stigma to criminality and cheapens the very word. I am a citizen who has committed no act of theft or violence upon another and stand as a criminal for the simple act of defending his property against a wrongful trespass.

A word has yet to be invented that properly describes how little this criminal record means to me. So many have been criminalised now that it is now a largely meaningless label that is not the barrier it once was now that ordinary citizens are criminalised for petty administrative transgressions. It is ironic that the state makes a criminal of those who resist having their money taken without consent. Taxation without proper representation is an act of theft.

If anything, a criminal record is now a badge of pride because it means I stood up for myself and, unlike the rest of the bovine population, I stood up and defended my property against a state that grants more rights to the homeless than it does property occupiers.

The nature of council tax is that you are not a free individual unless you pay for your freedom. You are out of jail on license. Your crime against the state is to have a roof over your head. There is far too much to debate surrounding this issue, but I will expand upon this experience on my other blog. This is not over. I just need to change tactics.

Contempt of court

There was a suggestion of contempt of court. These charges were all thrown out. The only condition being that I take down the Youtube where I read a part of a statement made by Nicola Spring and called her a liar. I am unsure what value there is in taking the video down after the trial - and I view this an act of censorship. But no matter.  I have taken down the Youtube that says Nicola Spring is a liar and instead will film a new one that also says Nicola Spring is a liar - because she is a liar. She knows it and so do I.

As to witness intimidation, the CPS were at least smart enough to drop that one because I would have had a field day with it. That is because I have evidence that Nicola Spring is a liar and were I allowed to present that evidence the trial might have gone differently.

So what did I achieve?

Well that's a philosophical question that entirely depends on my objectives. The rule of the North insurgency is that whatever you pay in taxes, it must always cost the state more to get it than it costs you. I have occupied three whole days of court, occupying judges, many court staff, many officials, magistrates, a dozen plod, the council chief executive, council recovery officers, the police commissioner and a couple of chief inspectors. So did it cost them more than it cost me? Oh you betcha. I now face costs in excess of £1000 but less than £50 goes to Rundles, which is considerably less than what they were trying to extort, so that is a win. I also kept James Cohen and Nicola Spring off the streets for three days.

I am completely satisfied that whatever I paid in council tax since then has been spent on handling this case. More than that I would like to think this case blog caused some ripples in the back offices that now mean bailiffs are monitored more closely, and maybe bailiffs think twice about clamping. The next person they clamp might be another Pete North.

The problem of rogue bailiffs has not gone away and the police are still ducking complaints but perhaps all this noise brings us a little closer to the day when councils and the police take these matters seriously. One more notch on the crime statistics might just trigger action.

Legal costs

Thanks to the incompetence of Bristol Crown Court, I ended up paying two days fees to my barrister Steven Fitzpatrick. But if one were to pay that just for the pleasure of his company, it's still a bargain and I consider him a friend for life, a super bloke, and though he did not win he can be forgiven since he had a me as a client. I still spent less than the state did - and Steven forced the admission from Nicola Spring that the fees were wrongfully inflated. More than I managed at the magistrates court.

Would I do it again and what would I do differently?

Yes I would do it again in the same regulatory environment. Perhaps I would have made a couple of calls to the council and Rundles to give them the opportunity of removing the clamp before I did, just to have it on record, but we all know what that would have achieved.  I think it might have been nice to have smacked James "Uncle Tom" Cohen squarely in the mouth with a house-brick, because that is the nearest you get to justice, but that is just a fanciful mental image that gives me a great deal of pleasure.

Donations

I knew what I was getting into this when I started this. In my heart of hearts I never expected to win, because the system looks after its own. I knew this would be expensive and I knew there would be consequences to fighting a system where the game is rigged.  I accept that responsibility and the consequences are mine alone.  But if you feel this fight was worth fighting as I do, hit the donate button. Just a small, nominal sum says you think this was worth doing.

Where next?

This fight is never over.  While that state steals from us with zero accountability and we have no democracy, a permanent state of war exists between the people, the state, and the private enforcement goons employed by them. We may have lost this battle, but the war continues. That is why we have convened The Harrogate Agenda.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Hissing Geese


Tomorrow we go to trial over the Rundles affair.  I have just had a long chat with my barrister. I was feeling a little pessimistic earlier this week but my barrister knows the judge and apparently he's quite a good stick, so we have better than average chance of winning. And I really could use a win. I am sick of losing to these bastards and just for once it would be nice to take the fight to the enemy.

Propaganda rags such as the Daily Mail claim that "Council tax bills could be cut by an average £100 per household if authorities chased up debts properly." - The message being that we "council tax dodgers" increase the burden on others. This is not so.

Jean Baptiste Colbert, a French finance minister once said “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing”.

If we had any semblance of democracy there is no way in hell taxation would ever have reached the level it is presently at, and councils would not be running deficits to fund their CEOcracy, their vanity projects, their final-salary-pensions and worthless non-jobs.  So in the absence of democracy it is past the time to hiss - and I have hissed. I have drawn a line in the sand that says if you want my money, you will have to spend more money to get it - because without democracy, our local government is wholly illegitimate.

I may lose tomorrow, but if your council tax isn't going up this year, it is because of people like me (and the good and kind people who have put their hands in their own pockets to support this effort), that you are not paying more. We have hissed.

Special mention must be made of Matt Davies, Mez Fioravanti, Richard North, Jason Bailey & Amy at DWB and Dave Chapman especially, to whom I am eternally greateful. They are the people who made this fight possible - and tomorrow, win or lose, this battle was worth fighting - and I would not do a single thing differently.  If nothing else it has exposed precisely how corrupt local government now is, even if we have no legal recourse.

Given how bent out of shape British justice is, there is always the possibility of losing, where I shall face a large bill, but one way or another the fight will continue.  But if I win... this is only the start.  So all that is left is to wish me luck, for my win is your win.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Busy day!

Fan-mail from Rundles as well this morning!

This below is regarding a liability order from 2012 which was settled directly with the council.  Thus Rundles are harassing me with spam - or they still intend on pursuing me via enforcement action in pursuit of unlawful fees and levy fees for an invalid levy.  Those with good eyes will note the phrase "The above debt remains outstanding despite previous applications for payment." 

You will note that nowhere do they state the "above" amount.  This is the fourth such letter I have had following their attempted fraud, none of which specify an actual outstanding amount.  Thus Rundles are engaged in a form of passive aggression - or are simply amateurish and unprofessional in the extreme. 

Rundles do this because they cannot keep their lies straight between them.  There are disparities between the charges they post through the door - and the version of events they keep on their official log.  This I have seen with my own eyes.  It is entirely deliberate because they benefit from sowing confusion.  Rundles are not honest players.  They are distinctly crooked. 




I got email!

I got fan-mail from Bristow & Sutor...
 
Please quote: SGC-T 7929
Case ID: 1564-3498104
Client ref: 421788726
Dear Sir,
Re: Outstanding Council Tax Arrears owed to South Gloucestershire Council
We write with reference to the above and acknowledge receipt of you recent email, the contents of which have been noted.
We must advise that following your payment of £700.00 to the council on 14/03/14 you still had an outstanding balance of £42.50, hence the enforcement agent visit to your property.
The action we have taken is correct as you did not pay your account in full.
On this occasion, we would be willing to waive the enforcement fee of £235.00 but only upon receipt of payment for £42.50. This must be paid by no later than the close of business 08/05/14.
If we do not receive payment of £42.50 by 08/05/14 we will continue with recovery action against you for the amount of £277.50.
We trust this clarifies the situation.
Bristow & Sutor

My reply is below...

Dear anonymous correspondent,

The Liability Order had an outstanding balance of £700. I checked with the council. You only have lawful authority to levy or act in regard to that amount - which has already been paid, thus you have no further business with me.

£42.50 is the amount allowed by the previous regulations for two visits. You know the rules as well as I do (though your reputation online suggests that you may not).

Prior to 14/03/14 no visits were made to my address and no documentation had was left to suggest they had. The reason the balance was paid on 14/03/14 was because I was made aware that day that Bristow & Sutor were handling the case - by way of the attached document.

This is the document on which the bailiff, who refused to properly identify himself, stated an incorrect balance - and as you can see, stated that there was a charge of zero for that first visit. Thus you are losing money through the improper conduct of your enforcement officers. But I am afraid I am not liable for your chap's ineptitude.

I have a letter from the Minister for Communities and Local Government (Brandon Lewis MP) that states attempting to charge for phantom visits is indeed fraud. This essentially restates the DCLG's own guidelines on the matter. I can send you a copy if you like. Consequently, as you have not made a valid demand for fees that could stand up in court, we take the view that there is no outstanding balance - and no fees.

As to the inflated fees, in adding a further £235, you are attempting to charge fees based on the old rules and the new rules concurrently. The liability order was passed to bailiffs before April 06 when the new regulations came into force, so you may only charge by the old rules for this liability order. Attempting to charge these fees is a misrepresentation of power which is also fraud. The law is Schedule 1 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Consequential, Transitional and Saving Provision) Order 2014.

It really is dull read and anyone would think this stuff was written by aliens, but it does check out, so I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and just assume you are mistaken, rather than accuse you directly of fraud. Given how badly written the law is, I can understand how you could make that mistake.

That being the case, I am sure you are anxious to avoid any confrontations or drawn out court cases. That would waste your time and mine, and further tarnish your reputation - so if we leave the matter here, things need not get ugly or expensive. You would be better investing the time and money in training your bailiffs not to make the kind of careless mistakes that could be construed as fraud.

As you are aware, your industry has become quite complacent in recent years because councils have a culture of denial where complaints are concerned, and the police would rather not get involved, but this is likely to change soon because even the CAB is reporting an upsurge in phantom visits. CCTV is now being deployed to detect such attempts at fraud. You might well be caught out one of these days and I understand the consequences are rather expensive and damaging.

I trust this clarifies the situation and I need not reiterate the general thrust of my previous email.

Regards,

Peter North.

Avon & Somerset Liars

Remember this?  That court case was sabotaged at the last minute by Avon & Somerset Police.  It has been some time and were wondering if Avon & Somerset would come up with the goods.  This morning I received a letter from the plod stating that they have requested this blog and this Youtube video be brought to the attention of the judge in consideration of the offence of contempt of court.

You can read the letter by clicking on the images below.  My first observation is that they appear to have dropped the witness intimidation angle.  They have at least shown that much good sense, but there is a problem here below.  PC 2948 Jackson states that "In September 2013 CPS direct were consulted in relation to this and they have requested that this be brought to your attention believing Mr North is in contempt of court by posting the statement on his blog which is accessible to the public."

In this statement PC Jackson makes a liar of herself.  On the 1st of September, a plodette from A&S telephoned me to tell me that I was potentially in contempt of court because of this publication and that I may face charges unless I took it down.  Showing her ignorance of internet she referred to the blog as a website and could not provide me with the specific URL.  She made reference only to a scanned document - of which there are many.  I told her that I would investigate as soon as I could reach a computer but asked her to clarify.  She never called back.  In good faith, I eventually found the offending blog post and, as per her request, took it down and it has not been accessible to the public for many months.  No mention whatsoever was made of the Youtube video.

So not only have Avon & Somerset broken an agreement in pressing for this to be considered, they have omitted this and claim that the document is still available to the public which makes them and PC Jackson dishonourable to say the least, but in this instance - outright liars. But at least now the judge will watch the Youtube video and read the blog. He will be able to review the evidence for himself.  Something which the police have never done - and persistently refused to. Avon & Somerset Police should reflect.  Had they done their jobs in the first place, we wouldn't even be here.

I notice they do not supply the exact URL where the alleged post is located - only the blog address.  Why?  Because it isn't there. Also interesting note how much energy A&S plod are devoting to this, just for a mere pleb who cut off a clamp.  What are they afraid of?  It would have taken less effort to investigate the bailiff fraud.



Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Corporate spin masquerading as news

CIVEA: A thieves guild
REVEALED!!! Says the Daily Mail.  "Council tax bills could be cut by an average £100 per household if authorities chased up debts properly."

This is according to analysis by CIVEA, the bailiff trade association.  This is the same organisation who investigates complaints against bailiffs - and is made up of those very same bailiff companies.  The self-investigating (no faults found) complaints body.

Steve Everson, director general of CIVEA said: 'These figures show that those local authorities that take a more proactive approach to the enforcement of council tax are helping to ease the financial burden on taxpayers and protecting revenue for vital public services on which vulnerable people depend.' His concern for the vulnerable is touching.

What we are looking at is another example of our Uncle Tom Media unquestioningly reporting what is essentially corporate PR spin.  CIVEA would like nothing more than for councils to be more aggressive in collecting "debts".

Presumably, with his new found concern for the vulnerable, he will be barring the likes of James Cohen from his organisation and disassociating himself from fraudsters Rundle & Co and Bristow & Sutor?  I wonder, does it ever occur to Everson, or indeed councils, that there would not be so many vulnerable people were he and his clients not raping them for every spare penny?

They conclude that council tax bills could be cut by an average of £100.  But they wouldn't be, because our councils are nothing but greedy revenue collection machines who have long since forgotten who they are supposed to serve.

This matters not to Everson and his ilk.  There's millions to be made for him and his merry band of thugs if councils take a "more proactive approach to the enforcement of council tax".  Knowing that the police are not mentally equipped to deal with the vagaries of bailiff law, and that councils are staffed by would-be child-rapist enablers, (they who turn a blind eye to the thuggery and fraud of Mr Everson's members), there's every chance he and his ilk can be millionaires by heaping misery on those vulnerable people he is so concerned for.

Not that this troubles the junior hacks at the Daily Mail, or The Guardian for that matter.  It would take a real journalist to blow the lid off this grubby little scam.  And we know what happens to those these days.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sinister

Child rape: Probably fine with SGC
One of the very few publications who still bother with that awkward and time consuming of disciplines known as "journalism" is Private Eye.  In this latest edition they report on the culture of denial within Rochdale Council.
"After decades of denials Rochdale council began to reassess Knowl View school in 2012 after Chris Marshall alleged that he was forced to perform a sex act with Smith on school property while another “well-dressed man” looked on. More than a dozen former pupils are also identified as abuse victims of other men in internal council reports. They too have never received justice."
This is the same culture of denial that exists in the NHS.  In all areas of public service this same culture of denial exists.  That is why there are Staffordshire citizens pushing up daisies and children are being raped in Rochdale.  Whether Smith is guilty or not, we shall not know, because our councils investigate themselves and find themselves innocent, if they mount any kind of investigation at all.

Dorothy Hooper and "Mrs Williams" of South Gloucestershire Council should reflect.  They are part of that ilk that denies wrong-doing.  Were they part of Social Services, these monstrous crimes would be on their conscience. But as they are part of SGCs recovery department, the vulnerable are being raided for unlawful fees by bandit bailiffs like James Cohen - and Williams et al have nothing to say about it. Good going guys.  Hope you are proud of yourselves.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Developments

Bristow and Sutor have written to me making it known that they intend to use the new regulatory regime to charge me £235 to collect the £42.50 they allege I owe for their phantom visits.  The regulated fee of £235 only applies for the enforcement of debts ordered by a court. As no court has ordered me to pay £42.50 to the bailiffs, their case is non-starter.  If a bailiff says he has a court order for the £42.50 when he has not, then he commits fraud and will be reported as such.

Under the new regulations I owe nothing because paragraph 58(1) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 says when the debtor pays the debt in full (which I have) enforcement action must cease forthwith and no further enforcement steps can be taken.  When enforcement action ceases bailiffs cannot enforce the recovery of fees, Paragraph 31 of the National Standards for Enforcement Agents 2014. As we understand it, under the new regulations a bailiff cannot even sue you for fees let alone levy distress for them.  If Bristow and Sutor want a court case, I will give them one.

Meanwhile, I've not bothered to pay anything on this years council tax either.  The council have sent me a letter threatening a Liability Order unless I pay £112.09, incurring costs of £85.  So South Gloucestershire Council are still profiteering from unlawful fees.  It's about time someone tested this in court.  If I can put the last two cases to bed this year then I will give it some thought.  But for Bristow and Sutor... it's game on.  Bring it.

Monday, 14 April 2014

A toxic cocktail

On Friday I received a reply to my letter to South Gloucestershire Council.

In a word: bullshit.
As predicted Mrs Williams has upheld the charges for the phantom visits.  She has asked the bailiffs if they think they are wrong, and unsurprisingly, they don't think so.  This is akin with asking Mr JT Ripper if he's murdered any prostitutes lately.

It is clear they have no intention of mounting any kind of investigation. The word of their bailiffs suffices for them, and our masters have spoken.  There are some deep flaws in her assertions. Delicious though they are, I do not wish to publish my observations just yet as I may rely on them in court, and don't want to give the game away.

My message to Bristow & Sutor and SGC is that if you think this £42.50 is due, then by all means you are welcome to try collecting it. Mrs Williams has already admitted malpractice but has chosen to take no substantial corrective action. I wonder how a court will view this?

This is now entirely typical of our parasitic public sector, to such an extent that even our MP's have started to notice.  "Britain will face another scandal like Mid Staffs, in which hundreds of patients died needlessly, unless there is a cultural “revolution” (in the public sector).  These are the findings of the Public Administration select committee in a report released today, highlighting a culture of hostility, defensiveness and denial where complaints are concerned.  It is not limited to the NHS.
"As things are, most people believe there is no point in complaining. The shocking collapse of care at Mid-Staffs hospital should be a warning to the whole public sector that too many managers in public services are in denial about what their customers and their staff think about them."
MPs found that managers are often in denial about criticism of the services they are in charge of and the public believes there is little point in making complaints, which is creating a "toxic cocktail".

It is just as well that South Gloucestershire Council recovery department staff are not NHS administrators.  Were that so, their hands would now be dripping with blood.  There are people now pushing up daisies because of low ranking officials like "Mrs Williams", who in their arrogance, indifference and incompetence cannot possibly enterain the idea that they may be wrong.  Their approach to complaints is that if they stonewall for long enough, the plebs will simply go away. I won't. I will give them a taste of that "toxic cocktail". See you in court.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Feeling the love

I got mail this morning. South Gloucestershire Council has instructed Bristow & Sutor to "continue recovery action" for the sum of £42.50.  But Mrs Williams and the gang in South Glos Recovery department are bit thick. Rundle & Co went away empty handed last year, and so will Bristow & Sutor. Only a magistrate can force me to pay this money, and only after the police are involved. I wll make that whole spectacle cost them a lot more than £42.50 if I am forced to pay.  I have never paid fraudulent fees to organised crime organisations, and I am not about to start.

If South Gloucestershire Council thinks it's a good press to get the police to force a taxpayer to give into known fraudsters, then so be it.  It will cost them more than it costs me. What we see here is petty vindictiveness by SGC, knowing the police won't investigate this fraud, - and they know full well I am not going to pay without a fight, so this is essentially a council wasting taxpayers money on a vendetta - when they are in the wrong.

Bristow & Sutor: Fraudsters