My council are breaking the law and ignoring my complaints — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

My council are breaking the law and ignoring my complaints

Nystagmite
Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
This has been going on since February 2015 and there's no sign of them budging on the issue at all.

Short version:
- Registered partially sighted with them since June 2007
- Moved out of parents house in February 2015, which now makes me liable for council tax
- I asked the council for all letters to be in large print
- They have never done this once
- I put in a complaint and told it costs them money and there isn't enough demand for this service, therefore, they won't do it
- Got RNIB involved who sent me a pack which has a template letter, which was ignored completely
- I've been told each time it will happen. It hasn't
- They've managed to send a letter with my SS310 registration card in large print; but no letters about council tax / housing benefit 

I've just written to my MP. What are my other options now please? Going to contact RNIB again and explain I'm not getting anywhere. I've gone into the council office each time (which is completely impractical now) and begged for my letters in large print. I've been told it will happen. It hasn't. But everyone else can do it if I just ask. (but I have received apologies - because a few have sent letters the previous day, therefore, when they arrive, they won't be in the format I want)
«1

Comments

  • AlexW_Scope
    AlexW_Scope Scope Posts: 216 Pioneering
    You are right - all health and adult social care providers in England must now provide medical information in a format that blind and partially sighted people can access. For other people in the same position, go to the RNIB website for the template letter. Let us know how you get on with your MP.
  • Andy_Scope
    Andy_Scope Scope adviser Posts: 46 Courageous
    Might be worth a read from the Equality and Human Rights Commission web site 
    https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/multipage-guide/written-information

  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,384 Disability Gamechanger
    @Nystagmite have you made a formal complaint to the council about this?

    I ask because if you have followed through with the councils complaint procedure and still not getting anywhere you can complain through the council ombudsman.

    http://www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    Yes. Complained in October. Told it costs too much money and there isn't enough demand. Not received an excuse for the current complaint.
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,384 Disability Gamechanger
    I would take your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman as linked above.

    The council is refusing to make a reasonable accommodation for your needs and providing important information in a format you cannot access. It is not difficult to provide a letter in large print format, the only real additional cost would be to use A3 rather than A4 paper. Twice a year we send out several thousand letters to leaseholders for their service charges and while most are done by external printers we pull out a small number where large print is required and do them in the office.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    They claimed with my previous complaint, the software doesn't allow them to just do that. They have to contact the providers and ask them to do that. But it costs too much, apparently. According to the Equalities Act, you can only use that as a reason, if it would mean you'd lose a lot of money. I don't see how that's the case here. And they've managed it a few times. So why can't they do it again?

    A3 is a pain for me and it doesn't really enlarge it. It has to be large print on A4. They know that and have supposedly made a note of it every time I go in and have a whinge at them.

    Anyone would think I'm asking the impossible.
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    They've finally responded and said it will happen. Will believe it when I see it again.

    They probably got fed up of me walking into their office every few months and whinging at them.
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh I hope it all happens for you 
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    Ombudsman process is long; painful and not especially competent. 

    Better option is a solicitor interested in EA 10 issues (there are many) and look at a letter before action followed by a judicial review if necessary. 
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    I received a letter from my MP. The council seemed to blame me and were spouting some rubbish about how I could have just used their online portal thing. That wouldn't have stopped the unreadable letters, would it?

    Anyway, it does appear to have been sorted, finally. But it's utterly ridiculous that I had to get my MP involved for them to do what the law says they had to.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected

    One reasonable adjustment alternative to large print is indeed to go online but that would depend on the accessibility of their site to you not in general. So, they would have needed to have that conversation with you before concluding it was a more reasonable version of a reasonable adjustment.

    I would strongly suggest you get an EA 10 friendly solicitor and look at a letter before action.

  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    You've read the part where it's been sorted, haven't you?
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    I have, but it hasn’t. I guarantee it’s a matter of time before the backtrack or mess up and revert to normal type. Not had a case where it hasn’t happened. The only way to sort it permanently is through legal action. 
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    They've sent me two letters in the last week (council tax and bus pass) and both are in a format I can't read.

    Am I really asking the impossible?

    I knew this was going to happen.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,748 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,748 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,748 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    Victoriad said:
    Why don’t you get an advocate to get involved in putting forward your situation to the council......perhaps a different approach could work.

    Live found in my last dealings with a local council, that if things start to rise “temperature wise”,  then the others involved at the other end tend to back off and do very little to help you.

    Its a case if slowly,slowly....catchee  monkey!

    I shouldn't have to do that though.

    I've contacted RNIB again to see what they can do. I'm not holding my breath on things changing though.
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    Good grief. So, I sent them a really **** email on Friday. (because I'm fed up of politely asking them to do what the law states after 3 years) They've just sent me a letter in the format I require.

    I know this isn't the end of it though and I know the next letter won't be in the format I require.
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    They sent me two letters in this morning both saying the same thing. One in large print and one in standard size print. Apparently, I've got to request my letters in large print each year? has anyone heard of this? No-one else (DWP, bank, etc) has told me I need to do this.

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.