I will be the first to admit that I’m not of the Political Persuasion.
I’ve always felt it best to leave all that to the people who had a passion for it, who understood it all.
Don’t get me wrong; I vote. I spend the run up to elections feeling guilty for not taking more notice in the powers that be so I frantically start looking at policies and weighing up what they would mean to me. I’m sure this is how a lot of people do it but still…I have no loyalty when it comes to a party.
I try not to fall into the hype bandwagon of ‘tory bastards ruining our country’ kind of thing. Which is hard these days. But I try to make an informed decision.
But part of me never really trusts the party manifestos. It often feels like a whole heap of promises designed to lure people in. These promises are often abandoned as far as I can see. So that’s my jaded cynical view of politics at the top end.
But Local Politics? Local councillors held a certain respect from me. They were passionate about what they believed in and worked to take a stand. These are the people who speak for us Normal Local residents. Aren’t they?
So when this whole nightmare began, I decided to contact my Local MP. And then My local ward councillors. And then the Local Councillors who were part of the Local Housing Committee.
So that was:
2 Local Ward Councillors
10 Housing Committee Councillors
My MP’s secretary replied stating they would look in to my predicament. Weeks later I had heard no word so I asked again for some guidance or advice. I was then forwarded a copy of a letter. It seems my MP had asked the housing department about my situation. I got a copy of the letter they had sent in reply to his query. It was a simple timeline of events. And not totally accurate at that. No personal words from my MP. No ideas of what I could do or where I might seek other advice. Just a copy of the letter with a compliments slip from the MPs office. I am grateful he even asked in the first place but I can’t help feeling it was a case of ‘I asked.That’s all you can have from me’ No personal involvement or concern whatsoever. Add this to the ignored requests about any local surgeries he might attend.
I don’t know what I expected really.
So my Local ward councillors? Neither replied. At all.
And the Housing committee? The group of councillors specifically tasked with dealing with housing issues?
The chair of the committee wrote a reply saying she was sorry and would get back to me within a week. That was 6 weeks ago. She does however get brownie points for mentioning a local charity that might be able to help. She also asked the other members for their comments – but this transpired from the following reply – she did not state this herself.
I got this reply from a second member
“Thank you for your email. I’m sorry to hear about your situation. The chair of the committee has asked Housing officers for their comments. I will follow this up when we get a response.”
Maybe they never got a response because he never followed it up.
The third reply was worrying. This member of the Housing Committee had no idea how the system was working. She had no clue that the council was advising people to wait until after notice expired. This is very common practice here. In fact, you don’t really get any help until this has happened. I really thought the housing committee members would know this very basic policy. She asked for confirmation of the policy from a housing officer so at least she educated herself in the end. She copied the query to the lead commissioner of housing in the hope they could help me. So small brownie points there.
I also received an ‘out of the office on holiday’ reply stating they would look into it when they got back. I’m presuming it’s a round-the-world trip. By foot. Given the length of time I’ve been waiting for a reply.
So, technically, these committee members were asked about my situation twice. Once by me and once by the committee chair. I don’t know if the others ever replied to her.
Overall, it was a huge kick in the face really. I was not of any real concern to them. My problem ushered onto others to be dealt with or simply not worth any form of consideration or reply. Should I have followed up my emails and pressed them again? Maybe. Should I have had to do this? No. At a time when I was crying out for help I was desperate for some contact. I was shown just how important I was. And I was not at all keen to chase these people who simply did not care.
Overly sensitive? Me? Quite possibly. It’s been a long, fraught emotional roller coaster and I’ve long since given up control of rational thought to be honest. I’ll know better in the future. Don’t pin any hope of help from the people elected to stand for you. They are far to busy with the grown up world of real politics.