At 46 with little formal education having left school with 4 Scottish o’ level passes and a higher from many moons past. I decided to take up the government’s offer of further education and began a foundation degree in health and social welfare from
It was a decision made resulting from finding that the area of employment I was interested in both from a personal and career prospective geared, on the higher levels towards those with a university
Or higher academic background and since the shift patterns that these jobs insisted on it was only at managerial levels that I would be able to fit the shift patterns to fit my personal circumstances as a single parent with two sons. One who alleged has learning difficulties according to education authorities. And undeniably has behavioural issues resulting from social issues I have inflicted.
Therefore I felt that the sensible thing to do was get myself the necessary qualifications to be able to get a decent job that would adequately provide for myself and my three children’s future security.
On 20th September 20006 I started my course and informed what I believed was all the relevant local and government agencies as to my change in circumstances. & Wrekin Housing trust, from whom I have rented my house for 8 years ( formally Telford and Wrekin council), the DHSS, The JOB centre, The department of work and pensions, and the NHS, I had previously been on incapacity benefit for the two years proceeding my decision resulting from alleged severe clinical depression. And local education department because my change in circumstances obviously affects my children’s entitlement to free school meals EMA grants etc.
I loved the course and found it enlightening and very interesting and realised so much about the effects of government policy on all of us however I had no idea just how all of this would affect my own life given that my soul purpose for beginning the course was to improve my long term financial security for myself and children.
Everything seemed to going fine and I was managing, I believed to be finally starting to get my finances under some kind of control.
To cut a long story short, as a result of the way my grants were paid into my account as it got close to the new payment being received there was generally a period of struggle however given that I knew when amounts would be paid when these period were coming round and I knew I would be late with payments for rent etc I contacted my local housing shop and informed them when payment would be made however this was never acceptable and despite prove being show and alleged empathy with my situation I was informed on each occasion that policy dictated I would be taken to court and was threatened with eviction on each occasion which as you may imagine added additional stress and worry, not to mention the £ 250 court costs that I had to pay each time on top of the arrears I was paying in full each time anyway.
These court cost have in the 2 years since commencing university amounted to in the region of £1670 my grants, my income is made up of student loans and grants amounting to £10244.00 and I pay full rent of £380 a month as I am not entitled to benefit assistance according to the relevant agencies who make these decisions as my circumstances don’t fit the criteria based on my income. I have when possible tried to supplement my income with part time work however this has not generally helped or worked out as I would have liked.
On the 28 July 2008 I appeared at court and read the following statement to the judge.
I have been advised by everyone I know to keep my mouth shut and let someone else speak for me today as a result of the language I use a I could be deemed in contempt of court and sentenced to 28 days in prison.
However my mother taught me to stand up for myself and what I believe is right.
I would like to ask the court to refer my case to the high court and counter claim against Telford & Wrekin Council and the burocrasy it represents as in accordance with THE BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998 and as affective from 2000 which is intended to protect individuals from abuse by any public body including local authorities, police, and government departments.
The data protection act 1998
The mental health act 1983
The child protection act 1998
The chronically sick and disabled persons act 1970
And the NHS7 Care in the community act 1090
And I shall provide government statistics and polices to support my claim/ allegations, which I have with me today.
I was informed by the judge that I had a valid case and right to have it heard. He advised me to seek legal representation and advise to file this case independently thought the courts, as he had to deal with the present case as presented at the time. He also advised me that I was entitled to legal aid as a student and as at the time between courses I was in fact registered as unemployed and had not decided as to whither or not take up the third year option on my course to up grade to a BA honours degree in social care and social policy as a result of the problems my last to years have caused financially.
Since then I have contacted several lawyers, councillors, the CAB and the law society to try and find representation however as soon as I explain what I want help with and why I am told they don’t deal with these types of cases the law society has yet to acknowledge my email.
I have even tried contacting the press to no avail.
I have now received on the 7th October 2008 notification from Telford and Wrekin council that I am in arrears again, despite the fact that I have for the period they are claiming been in receipt of housing benefit.
As I have an outstanding balance of £141.42 AND will again be liable to pay court costs of £230.
I have also contacted several press and media sources in hope of some advise before trying to file my counter claim myself however no one ones to know.
With this in mind I shall now post this on the internet and wherever else I feel someone who may be able to advise me as to what someone has to do to receive justice in the U.K.
JUNE REID MACKENDRICK