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> West Berks Council breaks a record
absolutebounder
post Feb 27 2014, 09:22 AM
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Is it not truly amazing the speed at which Gordon lundy and Nick Carter managed to get on their knees to bow scrape and grovel to our hopeless MP? Their reaction time in responding to their **** up must be a record. Its not like West Berks ever get anything right first time is it but when there is MP after your name it will get corrected very fast.
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blackdog
post Feb 27 2014, 11:25 AM
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Sorry haven't got a clue what issue you're on about? Any hints?
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Andy Capp
post Feb 27 2014, 01:18 PM
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QUOTE (absolutebounder @ Feb 27 2014, 09:22 AM) *
Is it not truly amazing the speed at which Gordon lundy and Nick Carter managed to get on their knees to bow scrape and grovel to our hopeless MP? Their reaction time in responding to their **** up must be a record. Its not like West Berks ever get anything right first time is it but when there is MP after your name it will get corrected very fast.

Yes it is amazing... if only we knew what you were on about.
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On the edge
post Feb 27 2014, 02:00 PM
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I think the front page of this week's paper NWN holds the answer. The Daily mirror has been basting our MP because the family firm receive housing benefit payments in respect of homes they let out. The Mirror quoted a very large sum - based on an FOI request to WBC. It seems WBC were mistaken and quoted the wrong figures, and on the MP's questioning, apologised.

The Mirror's article, as an avowed socialist paper, was 'fair comment' was is wholly wrong and frankly mysterious is how and why WBC got this wrong. Similarly, why they apologised before any investigation! One can just imagine what anyone of us would have been told. As indeed many were, when questioning the Council over the legitimacy of the Parkway bridge restrictions.

So, I don't blame the Mirror, I don't blame Richard Benyon, but WBC really needs sorting; big time.

Presumably, under its own rules, as Mr Benyon has to contact the Council a lot, he must be vexatious?


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gel
post Feb 27 2014, 02:20 PM
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See

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/richa...hest-mp-3183632
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motormad
post Feb 27 2014, 02:36 PM
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Haha, what a ****.

I don't like Benyon. I met him once, I was 17 or 18 at the time - so 4 or 5 years ago, and he was a **** then too.


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Cognosco
post Feb 27 2014, 06:52 PM
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I just wonder what figure is actually correct though? rolleyes.gif


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Exhausted
post Feb 27 2014, 07:29 PM
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QUOTE (motormad @ Feb 27 2014, 02:36 PM) *
Haha, what a ****.

I don't like Benyon. I met him once, I was 17 or 18 at the time - so 4 or 5 years ago, and he was a **** then too.


Whatever could have made you form such a negative impression of him. I'm sure he will be mortified as obviously his memory of your meeting with him will have had an adverse effect on his career. Was it something to do with the car he was driving perhaps.

Oh, by the way the mistake was made by WBC not him so he was perfectly correct to challenge it. I agree with him that he probably is not informed when tenants are in a situation where they need assistance to pay their rent and what would you want him to do anyway. He runs a business so is entitled to his rental income.
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NWNREADER
post Feb 28 2014, 01:37 PM
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A tenant in receipt of housing benefit is indeed not known (in advance) to the Landlord. First Landlord will know is when the rent comes as a payment direct from the Local Authority. The amount is exactly the same as if the tenant was paying, so the only 'story' is that Mr Benyon is renting out Estate houses.
Should they be demolished? Stand empty? Maybe he should declare they are only available to non-benefit claimants?

Non story...
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Rachel
post Feb 28 2014, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Feb 28 2014, 02:37 PM) *
A tenant in receipt of housing benefit is indeed not known (in advance) to the Landlord. First Landlord will know is when the rent comes as a payment direct from the Local Authority. The amount is exactly the same as if the tenant was paying, so the only 'story' is that Mr Benyon is renting out Estate houses.
Should they be demolished? Stand empty? Maybe he should declare they are only available to non-benefit claimants?

Non story...


I beg to differ; a landlord would know where a tenant's payments were coming from the initial references & many landlords choose not to accept tenants on housing benefit as there are some differences in deposit, payment terms etc. Other landlords prefer housing benefit tenants as, once set up, it can be more secure than relying on a tenant to pay. Of course, a tenant might start off by paying rent from earnings then, due to circumstance, become in receipt of housing benefit; in this case I guess the landlord might not know.

Back to the story. If a landlord has a housing stock, it makes good sense for him to rent out the houses he doesn't want to live in-he gets an income, people get a home without the need to build, everyone's a winner. Isn't that what housing associations do, & should they be frowned upon for taking tenants on housing benefit? In which case anyone renting a property better look out, because if you loose your income you won:t be able to find a house to rent!
I agree, this is a non story
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On the edge
post Feb 28 2014, 03:41 PM
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Yep, a non story

BUT for one very minor and perhaps inconsequential matter.....

How did WBC get a simple request for information so catastrophically wrong?

Is saying sorry good enough?


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Sherlock
post Feb 28 2014, 04:05 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Feb 28 2014, 03:41 PM) *
Yep, a non story

BUT for one very minor and perhaps inconsequential matter.....

How did WBC get a simple request for information so catastrophically wrong?

Is saying sorry good enough?


Overworked and demoralised staff under increasing pressure thanks to Benyon's government's cuts and zero/below inflation pay deals. And a further 40% will have gone mid 2013 and 2018-19. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/fe...bs-cuts-britain

Thankfully much of their work is being handed to unaccountable, often foreign owned, service companies which pump huge donations into the Tories' coffers, dodge UK taxes and ship their profits offshore.
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motormad
post Feb 28 2014, 04:22 PM
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QUOTE (Exhausted @ Feb 27 2014, 07:29 PM) *
Whatever could have made you form such a negative impression of him. I'm sure he will be mortified as obviously his memory of your meeting with him will have had an adverse effect on his career. Was it something to do with the car he was driving perhaps.


You really must be a very sad, bored little man to continually make sarcy comments towards me in particular.

Would love for you to come to one of the Newt meets - Maybe air your obvious dislike for me face to face over a delicious hamburger and some lemonade. Maybe you'll find I don't dislike people for no reason.

I was 17 and at the House of Commons actually, and I spoke to him there as part of a course I was on at the time.


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MontyPython
post Feb 28 2014, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE (Sherlock @ Feb 28 2014, 04:05 PM) *
Overworked and demoralised staff under increasing pressure thanks to Benyon's government's cuts and zero/below inflation pay deals. And a further 40% will have gone mid 2013 and 2018-19. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/fe...bs-cuts-britain


or Demoralised due to poor mid/senior management with no idea of designing good processes.
Perhaps that is where the cutss should take place - I think it is where a large number of the public would want them.

As for the pay issue many in the private sector have had the same, with the worry that they may also be made redundant, but with less generous pay off terms than in the public sector!

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spartacus
post Feb 28 2014, 06:19 PM
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QUOTE (MontyPython @ Feb 28 2014, 04:27 PM) *
As for the pay issue many in the private sector have had the same, with the worry that they may also be made redundant, but with less generous pay off terms than in the public sector!

That is such a crap generalisation... It's an easy stick to wave at the council but such a poor argument when you give it serious analysis. One of my neighbours works in 'the private sector'. His team was 'restructured' and he was paid off with 3 years salary equivalent and various bonus payments due to length of service. He was back in working at the same desk within 3 months as a contractor doing the same job for even more money!

And he wasn't even in the banking sector. THEY are 'private sector' and I doubt whether they smart too much (financially) if they're shown the door...
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MontyPython
post Feb 28 2014, 06:45 PM
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QUOTE (spartacus @ Feb 28 2014, 06:19 PM) *
That is such a crap generalisation... It's an easy stick to wave at the council but such a poor argument when you give it serious analysis. One of my neighbours works in 'the private sector'. His team was 'restructured' and he was paid off with 3 years salary equivalent and various bonus payments due to length of service. He was back in working at the same desk within 3 months as a contractor doing the same job for even more money!

And he wasn't even in the banking sector. THEY are 'private sector' and I doubt whether they smart too much (financially) if they're shown the door...


I didn't say no one in the private sector gets a good pay-off. Some where their business goes bust will get virtually b*gger all - just a state minimum handout. The public sector will get a full payout whatever- even if their has been a colossal waste of taxpayers money more will be used to fund redundancies in full.

I take it you agree with the Mid-Senior management argument then!
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NWNREADER
post Feb 28 2014, 09:31 PM
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QUOTE (Rachel @ Feb 28 2014, 03:08 PM) *
I beg to differ; a landlord would know where a tenant's payments were coming from the initial references & many landlords choose not to accept tenants on housing benefit as there are some differences in deposit, payment terms etc. Other landlords prefer housing benefit tenants as, once set up, it can be more secure than relying on a tenant to pay. Of course, a tenant might start off by paying rent from earnings then, due to circumstance, become in receipt of housing benefit; in this case I guess the landlord might not know.

Back to the story. If a landlord has a housing stock, it makes good sense for him to rent out the houses he doesn't want to live in-he gets an income, people get a home without the need to build, everyone's a winner. Isn't that what housing associations do, & should they be frowned upon for taking tenants on housing benefit? In which case anyone renting a property better look out, because if you loose your income you won:t be able to find a house to rent!
I agree, this is a non story


In many cases the owner/Landlord is detached from the intending occupant as the initial legwork (maybe all) is done by an agent..... My limited experience of Mr Benyon and his tenants is that he is amnok landlord, but I say that because of what I have seen/heard, not because I think he is an ace bloke.
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Lolly
post Mar 11 2014, 09:43 PM
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It seems Richard Benyon is hitting back, but not at West Berkshire Council.

http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2...rdbenyonmp.html

The main focus of his criticism appears to be the FOI Act itself. All seemingly based on information given to him by West Berkshire Council!
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MontyPython
post Mar 11 2014, 10:40 PM
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QUOTE (Lolly @ Mar 11 2014, 09:43 PM) *
The main focus of his criticism appears to be the FOI Act itself. All seemingly based on information given to him by West Berkshire Council!


Interesting that quotes 4 or 5 a day for WBC. Whilst some are no doubt frivolous I wonder how much it would be reduced if they were less selective with the documentation they publish for any given scheme. If they published both the positives and negatives for their proposals, consultations and projects (rather than a PR style "happy sheet") the public would be better informed and would have less to complain about - ( x may still be happy by the result, but the method of decision making would be Open)
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Andy Capp
post Mar 11 2014, 11:18 PM
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Perhaps a part of the problem is how data and documents are stored and accessed? Also, while it might raise costs to 'manage' the FoI requests, I wonder of the 'fear' of it being actioned might be helping make less visible activities more readily accountable.
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