The weather keeps teasing us with glimpses of spring doesn't it? Sunshine and showers here today.
We spent a lovely morning yesterday with our 2 grandchildren I and E at Attingham Park - a national trust property which is quite close to us, we go regularly, the walled garden is our favourite area, such a peaceful but productive place. We've joined the National Trust this year and I will be taking my older grandchildren there during the Easter holidays as the playground is brilliant for their age group.
Returning to my days spent as an ASB Officer, we were responsible for going out to dirty properties and telling the customers to get a grip and clean them up. This was usually after one of our work men had refused to undertake a repair in a property. One Thursday morning we'd had a call from one of the workmen to say that they were at a property and were unable to get the scaffolding up for the amount of rubbish in the garden. One of my Housing Advisors H went out and told them to get the garden cleaned up by the following Monday morning so that we could get the scaffolding put up and whilst she was there she undertook a property inspection and the internals were as bad as the garden - they were literally told to get off their backsides (both dole dossers, nothing wrong with their health and neither of them working) and to get and clean the house as well and that we'd be back to inspect the following week.
On the Friday morning I received a phone call from this couple who said that they wanted to come in to the office to complain about how they'd been told to get and clean the property up so I booked them in to see me the following Tuesday morning - I totally trusted H's opinion and that if she'd said that the property was a dirty tip then it was a dirty tip, so they were going to get short shrift from me on any complaint that they thought that they were going to make!
On the Monday morning the garden had been cleared and the scaffolding went up. About mid morning an old lady came into the office with some photo's on her phone of someone fly tipping rubbish in the lane to the rear of her bungalow........guess who it was? yes the above customers. We asked the lady if we could print off the photo's and she agreed - I then sent another officer up to go through the fly tipped rubbish to see if there was anything in it that would give their address and lo and behold we found one of her bank statements in the rubbish!
They came in on the Tuesday morning, all fired up and ready to complain.... I let them go on and then told them that I trusted H's opinion and that if she'd said that they were living in a tip then I believed that they were living in a tip. She tried to say that she had 3 children and that it was difficult to keep the house tidy - I informed that I had 3 children and worked full time however my house wasn't a tip!
I then asked what they'd done with the rubbish from the garden and he said 'Oh we had it took away' so I said 'Really?' and then proceeded to put the photographs slowly down in front of him - all of them of him, fly tipping this rubbish and then with flourish I followed with her bank statement. I said ' That is your car isn't it? and that is you dumping that rubbish in Pear Tree Lane and I think you'll find that this is your bank statement, isn't it?..........You have until 4pm this afternoon to remove that rubbish to the tip or I will have it removed and you will be charged £250.
He didn't say a word - just stood up and pushed his chair backwards so hard it landed on the floor and walked out of the office she got up to follow him and said 'we came here to make a complaint' so I replied 'Yes you did - but you know what they say about people who live in glass houses?' She went to go through the door then came back and said 'Can I have my bank statement back please?' So I said 'Yes with pleasure but please ensure that you dispose of it this time in the right manner!'
The rubbish was removed by 4pm and wasn't found dumped anywhere else.
I'm sure that by now you now that I don't have much time for immigrants - the ones that come here and work and pay into the system are fine but the ones who come and think that can fleece the system makes me so angry. I do believe that immigrants shouldn't get any NHS care, any benefit payment whatsoever and no council housing until they have paid in at least 20 years worth of NI and full tax contributions. That would stop the idle ones from coming here.
We had housed a Romanian family into a 3 bed house, I was reliable informed that they weren't living in the property and had been given another social housing property in Birmingham. I knew they were on benefits because their rent was being paid by Housing Benefits. So one Thursday morning I went a walk over to the property and found the lady of the property there and hardly any furniture in the house.
It looked like they were in the process of moving out. It was winter and there was no heat in there, she told me that they were waiting for furniture to be delivered (they'd been there a number of months) when I asked why the property was so cold - she told me that the gas board had cut them off because they owed over £1,000 to them - it was obvious that it wasn't their main residence, so I left and went back to the office to prepare a notice as their tenancy agreement states that it should be their main residence.
Whilst I was doing this, the police phoned saying they'd picked up 2 Romanian pickpockets and they wanted to be bailed to this address - did I as the land lords representative agree? The answer was No I don't - they are not to be bailed to that address. Could you have imagined what the neighbours would have had to put up with if I'd allowed that.
On the Friday morning I walked over to the property and served the notice to quit - on the Friday afternoon Mr and Mrs Romanian arrived in the office. He was little, with jet black, slicked back hair which had a widows peak and wore his mac on his shoulders which blew out at the sides, as he walked in.
For all the world he just looked like Dracula striding in there as fast as his little legs would carry him.
I took them into an interview room that was adjacent to the front desk area, the reception area was packed and it was the only one free - trouble was it meant that everyone sitting in reception heard all the conversation. He asked what the notice was and I explained that I'd had reliable information plus I'd seen for myself that they weren't using this house as they're main residence. He said 'You no throw me out' and I said 'Yes we are' He then looked at me and had the check to say 'This country do nuthin for me - Nuthin!' I thought you cheeky bugger, I knew that everyone in reception would be able to hear so I said very loudly - 'This country has given you a 3 bedroomed house, benefits, health care and education for your children, plus a thousand pounds worth of gas that you've failed to pay for! - (then I practically yelled) This country has given you plenty!.
He stood up, (all 5ft of him) still looking like a miniature Dracula and said 'I see you in court' so I said 'I'll be there' He then stepped out into the packed reception area and the great British public sitting there had their say as he tried to make his way out - he went to the tune of 'Bugger off - we don't want your sort here!' and 'Coming here claiming our benefits!'
I put my head round the office door to the reception area to make sure that he'd left the office to comments of 'You throw him out love' ' You go to court and throw him out' I smiled at them and said 'I will'
I went to court - Dracula didn't - I got possession of the property back and when I did the eviction they'd gone.
See you next time.