Westminster Council guilty of “unlawful and unacceptable” action on families in B&B accommodation

Westminster City Council has been told by Housing Minister Mark Prisk MP that its continued placing of families in Bed & Breakfast for more than six weeks is “unlawful and unacceptable”. The letter from Housing Minister Mark Prisk MP to Karen Buck on 29th November follows a letter in April 2012 from former Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP to Council Leader Philippa Roe making a similar point.

Now Labour Group Leader Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg has written to Council Chief Executive Mike More;

“As you know, there are now 140 families in B&B for more than 6 weeks. You will recall that in April 2012, when there were 36 families in B&B for more than 6 weeks, Mr Shapps wrote to Councillor Roe to inform her that he had ”instructed my officials and local homelessness practitioner advisers…to offer their help and support in reducing levels of B&B use”. It is obvious that whatever help and support offered by Mr Shapps has had the reverse effect.

You will be aware that I have raised this matter at every Council meeting and every Housing Scrutiny Committee since April. I am writing again to register my extreme concern at the Council’s continued unlawful activity and to ask;

  • Whether it is the Cabinet Member for Housing, the Cabinet or Councillors collectively who are responsible for this unlawful action?
  • Whether Council officers have any responsibility for this unlawful action, and if so, whom?
  • Given what the Minister says, whether a family who has been placed in B&B accommodation for more than 6 weeks would have a case against the Council for unlawfully housing them in this way?
  • If the Council were to lose a legal case brought by such a family, what the cost to the Council might be in settling with the 140 families currently in B&B accommodation for more than 6 weeks and the other families who have in the past been housed in this unlawful manner?

I would be grateful if you could give this your most urgent attention.”

B&B Prisk letter Nov 12

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This entry was posted in B&B accommodation, Children, Conservative Broken Promises, Families, Homeless Families, Housing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Westminster Council guilty of “unlawful and unacceptable” action on families in B&B accommodation

  1. Pingback: B&B families in Westminster: ‘unlawful and unacceptable’ says Tory Minister | Red Brick

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