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U Turn Time?

September 14, 2012

What an astonishing two days. If I didn’t know what a head fuck was before today, I do now.

Yesterday, I was still despairing over the decision by Hillingdon to terminate our Housing Benefit with immediate effect. Then the angels stepped in:

On my five-minute walk from home to the bus stop, three angels appeared. Firstly, I bumped into one of our local councillor’s Wally Kennedy who was so supportive. Then I took a call from Anna Raccoon who has been there in our corner from the beginning and she agreed to write about the latest bombshell. Then, on the bus, Ben Conroy, our solicitor from last year phoned, having read my blog and said he would represent us immediately.

I had a gap at work around lunchtime and my old friend, Billy Kenber from The Times called and we did an interview over the phone. He promised the piece would go in today’s paper.

The response to my blog was phenomenal. In 24 hours, it had received 3180 views and all sorts of people were contacting me to offer advice. The great old gang from the Get Steven Home group turned out in force and I find their support really moving and inspirational. Good chats with my great friends, VJ and Ian also helped me clear my head.

This morning I was doing the early morning shop at Sainsburys and took a call from Radio London, inviting me on the Paul Ross and Gaby Roslin show at 8.40. They had interviewed me before, so I knew they would treat the matter fairly. Paul did a great introduction and got me to explain what happened on Wednesday. He quickly started to pursue the possibility that there may be a connection between the abrupt cessation of my claim and the recent award of damages. And then Linda Saunders, the director of social care and housing at Hillingdon came on. She said that she had personally intervened in the case this morning and had reinstated the HB whilst further discussions took place. I have been invited to a meeting on Tuesday to look at what options are available. It was an astonishing u turn in just two days. Paul came back to me for a response and I just said that I was gobsmacked but it was fantastic news.

What on earth have the last two days been about?



From → Social Care

  1. Brill news Mark, I just hope that in the ongoing ‘discusions’ that they now leave the subject of ‘independent living’ for Steven where it belongs. Best of luck for Tuesday xxx

  2. Audrey O'Keefe permalink

    Mark Neary *The Warrior King*

  3. wally kennedy permalink

    Mark, I am a former councillor … left in 1998. Since the I still hold an advice session in the New Angel Cafe in Northwood Hills every Saturday from 8am until noon. Housing, Benefits, Abuse, Debt etc, etc … You are an inspiration Mark … best wishes to you both.

  4. Suzanne permalink

    this is fantastic news but it goes to show that even though you won the battle against hillingdon the war still goes on for you and Steven well done for all of us who live supporting the ones we love who do not have the fight left in us. You are a true inspiration and your small win has made me realise that i have to get up and return to the fight.

  5. Lisa permalink

    I’m so very pleased. I’ve been following your story for a little while, and their institutional bullying is just dreadful. We’re currently in a legal battle to get our LA to change their unlawful social care policies for autistic children, and to get some help for my Aspie son. We’re just starting to experience the lies and bullying, and it’s deeply shocking. We all have this warm fluffy perception that in this country, when we need help from the powers that be, when we’re desperate, and when the law says that we’re entitled to help, it will be there. It’s not always the case, at all, as you know only too well, and as we’re finding out. Hang in there. xxx

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