Screwed up priorities…

Back in February, two homeless people pleaded with Basildon Council for help when temperatures were plummeting down to zero. What was the response of the council? They gave the two homeless people one way rail tickets to Harlow via London so they could be accommodated for one night only at the Oasis Hotel which has been used as temporary housing since 2012. See here for the full story in the Echo: Homeless stranded 30 miles away after council gives them one-way train ticket to emergency accommodationhttp://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/15183290.Homeless_stranded_30_miles_away_after_council_gives_them_one_way_train_ticket_to_emergency_accommodation/ The two homeless people were effectively dumped in Harlow, a town they didn’t know with no support network. Fortunately, they both managed to make their way back to Basildon…

In our view, a local authority has to be judged by the way they treat their most vulnerable residents. Leaving two homeless people effectively stranded in a strange town thirty miles away is barbaric – there’s no other way to describe it. This incident shows in crystal clear clarity how twisted the priorities of Basildon Council are. A civilised society would ensure that vulnerable people are treated with dignity and respect, not swept out of the way in an offhand, callous manner. A truly civilised society would ensure that no one is homeless in the first place…

The Tory leader of Basildon Council, Cllr. Phil Turner, bangs on about how Basildon is changing and makes no secret of his desire to transform the place into a Tory voting commuter town. There’s a lot of building going on in Basildon ranging from the estate of executive homes going up at Dry Street to a rash of apartment developments aimed at commuters around the town centre. It’s pretty clear the kind of demographic that Turner and his mates want in the town – tragically, it’s also clear that they have no time for the homeless and vulnerable.

With all the construction that’s going on in Basildon, you would have thought that building a few complexes of sheltered housing staffed with people who can offer professional support to vulnerable people wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the council. In addition, build genuinely affordable social housing units so that once these vulnerable people have got their lives back together, they can move onto a more independent way of living. It’s not asking a lot is it?

Tragically as things stand at the moment there’s no chance of this happening – the Basildon Council Mafia have made it pretty clear who they do and don’t want in the town. They have no time for anyone who for whatever reason is not contributing to the bottom line. ‘Hard working’ commuters are welcome – anyone who for whatever reason has fallen on hard times and is vulnerable is most definitely not welcome and will be treated accordingly. This is the start of the slippery slope to a very dark and disturbing place…

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