Sheffield tree inquiry: council misled the public and courts in ‘dark episode for Sheffield’ | The Star

Sheffield Council misled the public and courts in what was described as a ‘dark episode’ for the city, according to the damning findings of the street tree inquiry.


Trust in anything has to be earnt and can take considerable time to achieve, if ever, but this trust can so quickly disappear where actions happening are irrelevant, dishonest, unbelievable and much more. Then trust has to be re-earnt if it is ever possible to do, but large and assumed powerful organisations tend to believe that they can do as they wish and don’t show respect to others.

So, let’s hope this is taken by Sheffield City Council (SCC) as a warning to do better next time, but, in the past, there will have been other occasions of similar actions, so will ‘lessons be learnt’ we all hope so, but will they.

This is not just lessons for SCC but all other authorities and especially governments, for governments are seen to be so much more powerful and they do exert their assumed power on these other authorities which is not generally recognised by the population and the authorities are blamed when it should be the government.

It is not the authorities and government who should be powerful, but the populations, but in many instances the populations are discounted to the point of being irrelevant and that is so wrong.

Just relying on elections is way insufficient and many more ways need to be available for the populations voice to be heard and for it to be so much easier to do.

But, here the ability to bring these actions has been made so much more difficult has they can be expensive and the access to Legal Aid has been, over the years made so much more difficult to receive and the time it takes can, if when possible, is far too long.

We are supposed to live in a democratic country and while the UK is so much more democratic than some countries, there is still a much longer way to go for it to be fully democratic, will it, well only time will tell.


Source: Sheffield tree inquiry: council misled the public and courts in ‘dark episode for Sheffield’ | The Star

Council adopted ‘restrictive and wrong interpretation’ of Care Act in cutting brothers’ care, finds court – Community Care

A council wrongly stopped funding family holidays for two disabled brothers by adopting a “restrictive and wrong” intepretation of the Care Act 2014. That was the verdict of the Court of Appeal in a judgment last week, in which it rejected an appeal brought by Suffolk County Council against a High Court ruling last year that […]



Local Authorities (LAs) are so poorly funded after 10 years of austerity cuts and then substantial COVID costs that many do all they can to cut costs to spread the meagre funding for social care as far as they can.

This requires that many needs are left unfunded and in doing so risk legal action, but it is far from easy to undertake legal actions against LAs, due to the Government changing Legal Aid eligibility, so many persons with unmet needs fail because of LAs underfunding and them trying to spread costs further and then the person with unmet needs not being able to bring legal remedies due to the limited eligibility criteria.

This and previous Governments doing all it can to ensure vulnerable people will have many unmet needs outstanding.

But do they care, well not for the vulnerable people.


Source: Council adopted ‘restrictive and wrong interpretation’ of Care Act in cutting brothers’ care, finds court – Community Care

The decimation of the welfare state

A truly worrying situation and one that could be happening within the UK. The DWP situation with Benefit claims and while the appeal process is reversing many of the wrongful dismissed cases, will this always be so. Not if we implement the American system as we appear to be doing.

It is very worrying and this should be noticed by the DWP, but will it be, I fear not.

Following a leaked report, a government department is under criminal investigation

Great for Freedom of Information requests (FOI), for without them we would not know details as these.

Now we need to restore all the cuts to legal aid so those who have suffered miscarriages of justice have an avenue to bring back justice.

You’re losing everything – but you don’t understand why : BBC News

A run of bad luck leaves one man struggling to make sense of the UK benefits system. Very soon he is left with no income and at risk of losing the roof over his head. Can he find his way through a bafflingly complex maze of rules? Put yourself in his shoes.

Your name is Tony Rice. You’re the sort of bloke who gets along with everyone. Always making people laugh. Ever since you left school you’ve been in and out of all sorts of jobs. Manual labour, mostly – builder, dustman, crane driver, painter and decorator. Hawker Siddeley, the aerospace company – you like it there, until the factory shuts.

You split up with your girlfriend so you ask your mum to put you up until you can sort out a flat. Save a few quid. You’re very close to your mum and dad. They’re your best friends, really. Your dad has lung cancer and needs a bit of looking after. You take him for a drive most days because he doesn’t like staying in all the time. He’s like you, not a man to sit about. At one time he worked three jobs, all at once. Still does half an hour each morning in the garden.

So you’re back in the council house in Chingford, north-east London, that you’ve


Source: You’re losing everything – but you don’t understand why : BBC News

The right to choose your own care is the latest casualty of council cuts | Frances Ryan | Society | The Guardian

It is true that social care support is in decline due to the Governments austerity cuts to Local Authorities, thus requiring Local Authorities to make savings. Some councils are reducing care packages in part to achieve these savings, but the Care Act provisions should ensure that all local authorities met all unmet needs as identified through an assessment of needs and the creation of a support plan.

Where a council is not undertaking to cover unmet needs people requiring care should be using the look again process, followed by making formal complaints and if necessary instructing solicitors to commence a Judicial Review, for which legal aid, if the criteria is met, is still available.

Where persons employ their own Personal Care Assistants through becoming an Individual Employer and funded by having a Personal Budget which is accommodated by receiving direct payments. By being an Individual Employer you will have to abide by all the various employment legislation and you will require to purchase your own liability cover. There are specialised insurance providers who cater for the care sector and as well as providing liability insurance, they can also provide 24 hour information and support on employment law, cover costs of tribunals, provide draft documentation for the various legal and employment aspects and others, so in effect you are purchasing your own HR department.

The costs of these packages should be part of the assessment of needs and be included in the support plan, as should any costs relating to recruitment, managing supervision, producing the support plan, if this is achieved out with of the local authority then also the costs of this. If the person requiring care does not have the ability conduct any of this by themselves or does not have the capacity and do not have any family members who can do this on their behalf, then they will be entitled to receive the services of an independent advocate and again any costs relating to this will be covered by the respective local authority.

Unfortunately all of this will require pressures on time and perseverance, which can be extremely stressful.


Personal budgets were designed to give disabled people more independence. But the social care funding crisis is leaving families in the lurch

Source: The right to choose your own care is the latest casualty of council cuts | Frances Ryan | Society | The Guardian

Hillsborough crusader Margaret Aspinall: If police can cover up 96 deaths what can they do to individuals?

Margaret Aspinall speaks for all of us and she is right something needs to be done. In many public organisations and some private there is too much secrecy and closing of ranks, so transparency as to be achieved, as secrecy can and does breed coruption.

I do hope the politicians do both listen to Margaret and then act accordingly.

Private Eye on the Coalition’s Attempt to Make Prosecutions for Industrial Accident More Difficult

Is this Justice?

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Private Eye ran this piece in their issue for 3rd – 16th May 2013. I’m fairly certain Mike over at Vox Political also covered it at the time, so its might be worth going over to his blog and looking at through the posts for that time for more information.

Insult to Injury

David Cameron won applause from the Daily Mail in January last year when he promised “to kill the health and safety culture”. Move on to Spring 2013, and we can see what his pledge means: the coalition is to slash compensation payments to injured employees and the families of dead workers, which have existed since the 19th century.

In a sly manoeuvre, the Tories and Liberal Democrats waited until their Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill had passed the scrutiny of a Commons committee, the slipped in a clause to make it harder for injured men and widowed…

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