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  1. Your mother would have a natural claim to the tenancy as your father's wife and/or partner. If you go on your council's website which can be found following links http://local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/index.jsp?LGSL=711&LGIL=0 you can request a change of name although they might wonder why your mother failed to change the name during the past twenty-five years, it doesn't stop her right to have the tenancy changed to her name as long as the property remains suitable to her needs (as shown in the quoted section below common to council tenancies). Does she have utility bills such as water, council tax, gas, electric, telephone in her name? If she has any or all of these, then supplying the council with some of these from the past twenty-five years as evidence will go a long way to prove she was living at the property during the period your father was not and establish her right to have her name put on the tenancy.
  2. From CAB this quote regarding complaints about council tax decisions: I think a complaint is justified given the circumstances as their decision to award your ex-tenant apparently living in the property at the time seems wrong, from my own layman's interpretation of the way council tax liability seems to work however I may be wrong and someone with correct knowledge can put me right here, as surely any discount that tenant could have applied for was only for single person discount of a property and nothing else? If the property was empty during any period of the tenancy then surely the council has to take reasonable steps to ascertain who is liable for the property before making any assumption in accordance with the The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 and in this case I would suggest they possibly should have served inquiries to both tenant and owner to ascertain responsibility - or would that be beyond reasonable? I think what might affect any decision in regards to a complaint is the length of time it took the owner between finding the tenant did a runner after trashing the property and notifying the council that the property was empty. Depending on how bad the damage, is there not an exemption such as Class A: New or requiring/undergoing structural alteration or major repair and for up to six months after completion. This is only limited to one year or failing that, Class C: Unfurnished (exempt for up to six months) if the repairs needed do not warrant major restoration. I think though consider making a formal complaint as "an aggrieved person. This is someone who is directly affected by the decision," and supply them with any evidence you have to see if their decision can be overturned. Maybe someone with more knowledge on this subject will come along and be of better help to you. Good luck anyway.
  3. children's clothing are listed as an essential from searching online (can't put site addy down here as automated abuse notice comes up but it is a typical-household-expenditure. pdf from a debt technical manual ) with the figures corresponding to each subject i.e. single retired will be the first figures in the list and so on down the line with the last figures for two adults and no children : It looks as if these could be monthly figures in some cases, such as water, telephone, utilities etc and some might be for quarterly, such as clothes, I think using one's discretion might be the way to go when putting down costs in respect of these but I do feel children's' clothes are essentials and suggest you write and query why they would feel otherwise. Hope this helps.
  4. This thread in GAG may help http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?306203-Am-I-right-No-levy-no-removal-of-goods&highlight=can+recall+council+liability+debt - it explains to pay an amount that can be afforded direct to the council every week. It is vital she does not miss ANY PAYMENTS as this is to set up a good standing in payments BEFORE attempting to have the debt recalled. Once a history of good payment has been established, say 12 weeks, then the next action of getting the council to recall the debt can be started. Another thread I found on GAG which may also help: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?343005-Seriously-vulnerable-family-bullied-for-over-5hrs-by-bailiffs&highlight=can+recall+council+liability+debt The advice on how to deal with bailiffs as well as how to get the council to recall a debt from these may be of use to you. Hope this helps.
  5. I wouldn't trust Argos with a bargepole – several times wrong goods sent, abusive staff on telephone unwilling to own up to mistakes and have them sorted, from my experience. They used to be great some fifteen years ago.
  6. One way to try and verify an email if unsure of sender’s origin, is to check the source. To do that using Windows, right-click the email and go to ‘Properties’. Click the tab named ‘Details’ and then ‘Message Source’ It will show the paths the email took to get to you as well as sender’s origins. So if someone sends an email supposedly from MSN and the sender’s origins shows it is actually from, for example, [email protected](dot)coetc or whatever, you have the information to send to that service provider to forward a complaint if you so wish.
  7. Good luck with the non-smoking effort. I shall be joining the non-smoking ranks soon too, I hope, so I hope you will let us know how you got on.
  8. Potato and pea soup is rather tasty and good for sensitive stomachs. You can add celery and if you like orange colours, even carrot. So you get 4 soups, each with a subtle change in flavour when adding these additional vegetables. Soup 1: Potato and Peas on their own. Soup 2: same as above but with celery Soup 3: Potato, Peas and Carrot Soup 4: All of the above. For around 4 servings, If you like onion and garlic, peel and thin slices or diced one onion and same again for about 5 cloves of garlic. 2lbs of potatoes chopped in quarters or as small as you like depending on how ‘smooth’ you want the soup. around ½ lb peas (can use frozen) if you want to mix and match with celery and carrots – around 3 or 4 sticks of celery and 6 carrots – depending how ‘rough’ or ‘smooth’ texture you want, chop or dice the celery; chop or grate the carrot Your usual oil and usual herbs and spice (sprinkles) and ¼ teaspoon turmeric Around 2 and half pints of hot vegetable stock For a more creamy consistency, you can add a half-cup or more of milk or a milk substitute. Par-boil the potatoes until they are soft enough to run a fork partway through then put into a colander and rinse under cold water. If using the other vegetables and a ‘rough’ texture for the soup is wanted, add chopped celery and carrots with the potatoes and par-boil as above. Rinse the pan and return to the stove. Use about a tablespoon of your usual oil in a pan and gently warm it through on low heat. Add whatever seasoning you usually use as well as whatever herbs you usually use and the turmeric. If you have the onion and garlic, now is the time to add to the pan and gently stir until the onion is soft, almost ‘melting’. Add the potatoes/vegetables, blending them in the seasoning until they are starting to go very soft, about 3-5 minutes should do it. Add the stock and bring the whole pan to a boil. As soon as it is boiled, turn down the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes, shouldn’t be any longer than half an hour, Keep an eye on the contents and stir regularly. During the last few minutes, no longer than five, add the peas and stir in. You can eat as is unless you adding milk or milk substitute for a creamier taste. Depending if you want a rough texture, you can add the milk or milk substitute now and gently keep stirring until the soup is blended, say around 4/5 minutes. If you want a smoother consistency with the creamy taste, mash up the contents of soup and then add the milk.
  9. Cushelle are a good brand; I wait for the 'sales' or when they go 'half-price' at the supermarket and stock up. We use toilet roll for everything, including wiping noses as it works out cheaper than face tissues, obviously from the pack and not the bathroom. I never buy paper towels either, just use toilet roll to mop up after someone has spilled tea for example.
  10. I'm sorry you and your daughter had such a rough time of it, homless1. I think perhaps a complaint to the head of the council listing all the things that went wrong might be the way to go first, maybe your local CAB can help you draw up a complaint. If the council doesn't respond satisfactorily, then a letter to the Ombudsman would be next. If you go to direct(dot)gov(dot)uk to the Human Rights section, the information on that page might help aspects of your case.
  11. Glad to hear that, clemma. I have had similar problems with my own council in the past whereby they have issued court summons willy-nilly without any form of warning. The last time it cost me over £300 to buy a scanner/printer, inks, papers etc just to be able to copy and print a full ten years of council tax payments amongst other evidence to the court. I also had to send copies as part of my complaint to the head of the council, a councillor and for my records. The councillor was useless and simply deferred to whatever the head of the council decided to do. I got the council to back off, not for the first time, because I showed they were clearly in the wrong but I didn’t receive an apology, instead I got a terse letter from the council head demanding it had been dealt with and I had no right to complain. Yeah - dealt with after I took immediate action because they hadn’t done their jobs in the first place. I found out they hadn’t updated my records in six years and refuted all my claims that they should have received paperwork which should have been added to my file, even those that had been sent recorded delivery. I’ve lost confidence in my council.
  12. It can prove difficult to have the council recall the debt however it can be done and I shall look for relevant threads for you.
  13. Thank you, Ploddertom, for your reply. The only reason they give is, and I quote: "In order to ensure this information is being provided to the correct person the Council would require you to bring..." Surely the fact they address me by my first name on the letter, as if we are pals, and have sent it to my home address establishes their belief that they are dealing with the person requesting the data. It makes no sense to me and as a person who has very little money, living in extremely poor home conditions (damp, no heating, no hot water) life is miserable enough without having to deal with more misery. Unfortunately, Councillors in my area are somewhat ‘slow’ to respond to cries of help, if they respond at all – personal experience.
  14. After serving my council with a Subject Access Request via recorded delivery royal mail in May, to which were attached copies of my current utility and council tax bills as proof of my identity. I have just received their response. Their letter addresses me by my first name (I don’t know the letter writer) and say they have the files ready but want me to go and collect them in person. Not only that, they are demanding I supply them with a minimum of two identification items and insist one of these pieces of evidence bear my photograph. Around six weeks ago, I received a surprise home visit from someone at the council to discuss an aspect of one my grievances against the council where this person soon established I have enormous difficulty walking (arthritis of the spine). I would assume the result of this visit is noted on my file. As a fifty-year-old, I don’t have any photographic evidence of identity, I don’t drive or own a car, and no passport. For almost 12 years, I have communicated with this council on various matters, including complaints, in written form, by telephone and in person, so there is a long history of their responding to me as the person who served them the SAR. The fact that I haven’t changed my name or address and the council have only been too willing to serve me with court papers and council tax demands etc, at my address during this time surely should be more than enough proof that I haven’t suddenly changed identity? Is their insistence for these additional proofs of identity even reasonable? In light of past and recent communications accepting me as the named person who served them the SAR as their response is addressed to me, at my home address. Is their demand that I travel a fair distance to their main offices, which will cost me around £30 in fares to and from their offices (I will need a taxi and help to walk) reasonable? Does anyone have any suggestions how I should deal with this latest tactic the council have sprung on me; I think they have realised I am looking for legal redress of a situation they have contributed towards through their negligence and disregard of their duties, but that’s another problem. Thank you for your advice.
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