Friday, 14 December 2012

Lewisham Council lose Mental Health Court case

Some 3 years ago a local resident in New Cross who we will call Mr D, contacted People Before Profit, after having a real battle with Lewisham Council.
 7 years ago Mr D was given a council house in New Cross, however before moving into the house the council confirmed they would be carrying out repairs and would insure he would have heating and hot water. 7 years on, the works have still not taken place, and the way the Labour council have dealth with this case has been and is,  truly shocking. Mr D, has lost his wife, his job and has been made very ill with the stress of fighting Lewisham Council for 7 years.
Yesterday in Bromley County Court, the council was found to be unfair, and unreasonable and even though the Council put forward a Barrister and a legal team just me and Mr D, were able to secure the support of the Judge and win the case.
How did this come about?
 Lewisham Council once they had agreed that repairs needed to be carried out,  became aware of the fact that Mr D, had mentail health issues, instead of dealing with this with care and thought, the Council sort to take risk assessments and to deal with the the whole matter as if dealing with a dangerouse criminal, with police, solicitors letters and Court action, Mr D, with no money and no access to a lawyer specialist in mental heath issues to help, this was very much a case of a council over stepping the mark and behaving in s ashameful way.
When i started to get active with letters, the council refused to respond forwarding all my questions to their expensive private legal firm Glazer Delmar, why the Council could not save money by using its own legal department to save tax payers money is another issue.
Over the years Mr D, has had to see files built around him, full of information not based on fact and with no way of challenging them and causing further damage to his health, through stress, depression and lack of sleep.
People before Profit are constantly shocked at the poor level of service that Lewisham Council offers its weakest and people most in need, but i have also been shocked at how hard it is to get access and help from National Charity groups such as MIND and SANE, whilst both charities are easy to contact should you wish to give money, it is almost impossible to get help if you are a member of jo public with Mental Health issues.
 I had spent months prior to this case trying to get help and advice as i am not a lawyer and not experienced in dealing with Mental Health regulations but after no response at all from SANE, not even an email, i was forced to carryout my legal work on line. What had i failed to win this case? what if Mr D had taken his life had we lost?
Would Mind, Sane or Lewisham Council held up their hands in shame? i think not.
We will continue to help MR D and other local residents that hit hard times and are failed by the system, this is yet another example as to why we need elected People Before Profit Councillors, we see the issues, we note the problem, we have clear solutions, much has nothing to do with money, but how you spend it, and how you train your staff.
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