Remember that time you were depressed. That time you were skint. The day you really struggled with your child, what about the day when you really really hoped that things would work out, but actually they didn’t. On that day, that really rough day, imagine that you had all the stress of moving. The boxes, the paperwork, the money! (Aww heck, lets try not to remember the money). The hoping, dreaming of something better, a new start. On that day, in that time of your life, is this what you would like to have been presented with, when you walk into your new property, with your small child
Yep, that’s right, it’s bird excrement, all over the wall. Lets go over that one again. Its faeces. All over your wall of your new property.
Now, if you want to read the full situation of of Clara from I Want My Mummy (and I highly recommend that you do) its all over at Mamasaurus’s blog. It’s well written and from the heart. There’s obviously more pictures than this, none of them make the place look like Kirsty and Phil are going to pop up any time soon.
My point is that actually, no one should be expected to live in a place that’s full of faeces. And I write this as someone who when I bought my property had the estate agent refuse to come in because the stench of urine was so strong, that was my choice though, and there’s a lot of difference between me making that choice and Clara having it forced upon her. So here’s what you can do.
Got 30 seconds? Share this story through twitter and facebook, who knows, maybe your BFF is Chief Executive of the council…(doesn’t have to be this blog, I’m not precious!)
Got 1 min? Tweet @NorwichCC and let them know (politely) what you think
Got 2 mins? There are 2 MPs in Norwich, Chloe Smith and Simon Wright both look nice, send them an email or tweet. There’s nothing like a bit of pressure from the wider community.
Got 3 mins? Contact Norwich Council using the Freedom of Information Act and ask them to explain themselves. I did training on how councils must respond to this this very week (don’t ask, but also who knew it would come in helpful!) All you have to do is give a name, an address(email is fine) and a sensible question and as long as its something they can answer with about 18 hours of research they have to answer it within 20 days. So, I’ve filled out the email us form here and asked “what are the standards a council property must meet in order for it to be deemed habitable by Norwich City Council. I would also like to know if the council has a budget for making properties habitable and if so how much this is and how much the council spent on this in the most recent financial year for which you have accounts.” I’m sure you can think of something else that would help.
Got 20 mins? Blog about it yourself. The more the merrier and the wider the pressure to change things for everyone.
I appreciate that council budgets are more than stretched these days. I appreciate that Clara’s council has given her a (small) amount of money to improve her property. I appreciate that many of us have lived in properties that are far from perfect. I also think it is not at all acceptable to place a family who are down on their luck in a property which has faeces in it and I believe that every council has a duty of care to ensure that vulnerable families are not placed in properties which could make them ill. If you feel the same please help, even if it’s just for one minute.