Tenants of Northampton Borough Council would all have received a copy of the summer edition of ‘My Home’, which covers housing news (in my opinion spin) for Northampton tenants and leaseholders.
On page 9
An insider’s guild to tenant participation
In which a tenant writes a very flattering story of his experience of tenant participation and that it has led to him making a whole bunch of new friends.
So that’s one happy bunny, sadly the experience of others is missing from this council produced magazine
So Defend Council Housing sends this warning
In April 2013 the local paper published an article about a “despicable” husband and wife team that had been jailed after they admitted conning a vulnerable friend for cash and a free holiday. The court heard the pair made friends with the man at a (tenant participation) council housing meeting, but took advantage of his health ailments. When officers searched their home, 76 indecent images of children were found on a computer belonging to David Hills, who had previous sexual convictions against children.
What we find worrying is that in 2009 the council started to use tenants to visit other tenants homes with official Northampton Borough Council identification badges.
An email was sent to Northampton Borough Council raising our concerns on the need for CRB checks.
So when the article appeared in April this year I started to ask questions of the Director of Housing and Portfolio Holder for Housing of what actions the council had taken if any back in 2009
TO Director of Housing and Portfolio Holder for Housing
In November 2009 other tenants of Northampton Borough Council had raised concerns on the need for CRB checks, the Council issued both David and Samantha Hills with official identification badges?
This article from the Northampton ‘Chronicle & Echo’ states clearly that David Hills had previous sexual convictions against children.
a) Northampton Borough Council failed to take concerns seriously
b) CRB checks failed to note previous sexual convictions
That was sent on 23 April it is now 21 June I still have no reply.
BUT when dealing with a public authority we have recourse to Freedom of Information so a request was made for all the email with the subject heading Door Step Survey – CRB checks?
After reading them it would seem that no CRB checks were ever made BUT one interesting short email really does in my opinion require some explanation!
In December 2009
The then Housing Performance Improvement and Systems Manager instructs two members of staff with the following wording:
[i] “If this issue still remains outstanding, can the two of you please get together and concoct a reply”
[i] Source Information Request Challenge NBC1022-564