I was delighted when I was asked to write an article for Inform describing life after directorship and speculating on how the future might be with Mencap. We often talk of ‘mixed feelings’ and I certainly had them when I stopped being a director of social services. There were so many aspects of the Property Depreciation Reports job that gave me a real buzz – the adrenaline rush from the variety that each day brought. opportunity to influence local political opinion and the growing evidence that we.
Ten years as a director was, however, my goal and after 31 years of continuous service I wanted time to reflect and do the things I had been promising myself for many years – cleaning out the garden shed.putting papers in order and a quiet unhurried time to think about the last few years and to determine how I might contribute in a different way in the future. The reflective time has allowed me to recall some of the highs and lows of the last 31 years.
The headline on this article comes from an incident some years ago when my father and I were working in the garden. My mother spotted my father’s vigorous efforts with the spade and she rattled on the window and said. It’s this kind of remark that really puts one’s influencing skills to the test. The last five months have been wonderful lots of play time, lots of rest and a chance to prepare for my new role at Mencap.
When I left Cheshire I had not intended to return to full-time work and I was keeping an open mind about the possible options consultancy. work overseas. But certainly something different and something that would involve my leadership skills. It has been a somewhat prolonged but invaluable induction. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that so many of the issues are familiar.
That said, differentiating between sectors inevitably raises questions about equality of treatment which would be avoided by having a uniform (across tenures) duty or power to enforce. It has also been said that a power to enforce would increase the risk of legal investment property depreciation challenge against local authorities. But provided they had regard to any statutory guidance given by the Secretary of State, it is open to debate whether there would be a greater risk of a successful challenge than under the present system.
The case for replacing the duty to enforce with a power to enforce, considering the role and purpose of the fitness standard (or fitness rating) in a discretionary grant regime. And if the duty to enforce were replaced with a power, whether the deferred action notice enforcement option should also be removed;Any enforcement procedure involves striking a balance between the powers of the enforcement authority and the right of the person against whom action is being taken.
In line with most other enforcement systems certain safeguards have been built into fitness enforcement procedures, such as allowing reasonable time to arrange to have repair work done before enforcement takes effect, and a right of appeal. Clearly there are occasions where some landlords and owners try to take unreasonable advantage of the procedural safeguards. Overall we remain to be persuaded that such occasions are so frequent as to suggest a major overhaul of fitness enforcement procedures is required. That said, we would propose to give consideration to the procedures for fitness enforcement alongside the development of a fitness rating – should the decision ultimately be to go down this route.
In so doing we should want to take into account views received in response to this consultation paper and the research commissioned to inform the review. In the meantime, there are a number of specific enforcement related issues -set out below – on which views would be welcomed. In the case of housing which is unfit an authority cannot require works to be carried out less than 28 days after the service of a repair notice;whereas in the case of a property in disrepair or an HMO which is unfit for the number of occupants the relevant period is 21 days.
Some of these results were very alarming and we want to stress the importance of anyone owning an electric blanket over 3 years old to have it checked annually by a competent electrical engineer. This confirms the message that many electric blankets are potentially lethal and that their owners are literally sleeping with danger. Elizabeth Murrish, the School Crossing Patrol for St Ives Infants school, is retiring after 26 years, during which time she has faced blizzards, heat waves and even a tornado. All School Crossing Patrols face bad weather in the line of duty, but Elizabeth has braved more than most. During a whirlwind a palm tree was uprooted and flew straight past her and out to sea, and she has even had to use her lollipop as a shovel to move thick snow.
Since she began in 1975 Elizabeth has become an important part of the community, helping children cross the road safely on the way to and from school, during her duty times every morning and afternoon. I have loved the job, and wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else. I love working with children and have been lucky enough to watch the St Ives children grow up and have children of their own. With the roads being so much busier these days, I do wish drivers would think more about pedestrians.
Good drivers make the job so much easier but inconsiderate drivers have children’s lives in their hands. It only takes two minutes to cross a child safely , less time than it takes to boil a kettle! Drivers need to be patient. Joan Mallard, County Road Safety Officer, depreciation tax shield will thank Elizabeth for all her years of loyal service and present her with a bouquet of flowers, during a school assembly on her last day on Friday, October 19th.
Although we are sorry to see Elizabeth leave, we can quite understand that after 26 years she is looking forward to having more time to play golf and travel. Elizabeth is one of several long serving SCP’s who have recently reached retirement age. I sincerely hope your new SCP’s will prove to be as loyal and reliable as Elizabeth. Head teacher Irene Tanner said We are very sad to lose Elizabeth, we have been very lucky to have her as our SCP for so many years. Luckily we won’t be losing her altogether because she will remain with us as a dinner lady.