Friday, April 01, 2016

Just to keep a roof over our heads: After two County Court actions, we are now looking at a third High Court action against the Mayor of London's Greater London Authority in two years

Mayor of London Boris Johnson

Your efforts have been successful to date and Sally and I have no doubt some sensible higher authority will ultimately see the disgraceful treatment you have been accorded.
- Two friends in Washington DC

What will it take to get a draft version of the agreement for support we will be asked to sign this month before our supported housing tenancy is up for renewal next month? For two years we have been fighting the Greater London Authority (GLA) in the courts on the issue of coercive support that breaches the terms of our tenancy agreement. Following the jurisdictional hearing of Declan's latest County Court action against the GLA, it was finally agreed in writing last February that going forward our support would be voluntary; however, the Mayor of London's Clearing House service, operated for the Mayor by St Mungo's, informed us on 9 March that a meeting will take place in the next week or so to discuss an agreement for support - as if such a meeting had not already taken place and an agreement struck. We, therefore, may be left with no option but to challenge the GLA in the High Court for the third time in two years for the decision of GLA Clearing House to breach its February 2016 agreement with us. With this in mind last Friday Declan emailed his updated complaint to the United Nations under Article 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to no effect if the title of my blog post last night is anything to go by: "Our access to our Church and State website is blocked for the third time in three weeks, and the second time in two days".
Paragraph 39 of Declan's updated complaint to the United Nations re the suspected sabotage of our tenancy by the Mayor of London's Clearing House service, operated for the Mayor by St Mungo's

39. At the hearing on 3 February 2016, District Judge Silverman rebuked counsel acting for the GLA for saying that the Applicant had refused support, clarifying that there is a distinction to be made between refusing support and not accepting coercive support. He spoke in summation of the "home" the Applicant and his wife have made for themselves with their own money, how impressed he was with the Applicant's behaviour in court, and the commitment he received from the said counsel to arrange round table talks. The Applicant met with St Mungo's CEO Howard Sinclair on 25 February 2016, with the manager of the GLA Clearing House in attendance. It was agreed subsequently in writing that support would be voluntary (see annex 20 and 21, pp 60-65). However, by email of 9 March 2016 the manager of GLA Clearing House informed the Applicant that a further meeting would be arranged in April 2016 to discuss an agreement for support. The Applicant and his wife suspect that this is a manoeuvre to sabotage the renewal of their 2-year supported housing tenancy in May 2016, the week after Family Mosaic had emailed the Applicant a draft version of their renewed tenancy agreement for signing. In addition, St Mungo's has ignored a request from the Applicant for a draft version of the agreement for support that he and his wife will be asked to sign the month before their tenancy is up for renewal.

HEAVEY v. THE UNITED KINGDOM

COMMUNICATION SUBMITTED FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER
THE FIRST OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE
INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS

Court action 1: High Court v Greater London Authority (1 September 2014), para 37(iii), p 13.

Court action 2: County Court v Single Homeless Project (12 September 2014), para 37(iii), p 13.

Court action 3: High Court v Greater London Authority (18 June 2015), para 36, p 12.

Court action 4: County Court v Greater London Authority (10 September 2015), para 36, p 12.


Related blog post 1 (25 March 2016): "Threat to life: Updated complaint to the United Nations"

It's not like we do not have a long history when it comes to St Mungo's. They left us living on the streets for over a year despite the fact that we could pay a deposit on a flat and one month's rent up front (UN complaint, para 28, p 9). On 29 August 2013, Declan filed a claim in the High Court for judicial review against Commissioner of Police for the City of London Adrian Leppard and Home Secretary Theresa May following the decision of the former not to ask the charity (then called Broadway) to engage with us in relation to our welfare and access to its service for supporting clients to find accommodation in the private rented sector. Declan argued in his claim form that it was unreasonable for the City of London Police to refuse to ask the charity to help us find accommodation whilst at the same time threatening us with hosings by street cleaners (UN complaint, para 29, p 10).
Click to enlarge

Deputy High Court Judge Bidder ruled: "The refusal of the First Defendant to ask the charity 'Broadway' to engage or help the Claimant and his wife with their welfare or accommodation is not arguably unreasonable. It is not its job to intervene in any disagreement between a charity and those seeking that charity's help."
Click to enlarge
More recent history with St Mungo's (11 February 2016): "Complaint to the Mayor of London: Declan is engaged in a battle royal with the Mayor's Clearing House service (run by St Mungo's) over data held against us in defiance of a court order issued last May" (UN complaint, para 37(v), p 13).