What do you think of our treatment of retiring service personnel? Until recently I didn’t really have much of an opinion. I thought they were treated fairly well – not anywhere near as well as they deserved, and certainly not as well as the Americans treat theirs. But as well as we could.
Then my friends father retired.
This is a man who has served his country for 34 YEARS. How many people can say they’ve stayed in the same job for 34 bloody years??? Well this man can.
He can also tell you about his two tours of Northern Ireland. And how his best friend was blown to pieces in front of him. Along with many other dreadful memories that haunt his dreams….He doesn’t. But he could.
So anyway, this man lives in service housing, on (what was) a base (before most of it was sold off to the highest bidder). He lives with his wife, his son, daughter and her little girl in a 4 bedroom house.
But believe it or not, he is currently in the process of being evicted. And I for one think it’s a bloody disgrace.
They (and we) are told that when a serviceman retires, he is priority for housing in the borough in which they currently live. What they don’t tell them is that they don’t give a shit about his family.
This is the same family who have moved from pillar to post when their father was serving. From living up north, to Germany, and now currently in London, with many more places in between, they have moved as a family, changing schools, leaving friends – and yet that means NOTHING to either the services or the council.
The services have told him to go to the council, the council have said they will house him & his wife, but his children and grandchild don’t qualify for housing. Even though his granddaughter was born in the local hospital.
Of course, the council have a duty of care to children – but not this 2 year old apparently. Because her mummy WORKS. 😱
If she gave up her job, they’d have to house her, but she wants to give her daughter a good work ethic. And she can’t do that when she’s sitting on her arse at home….
They haven’t lived in the area for 10 years, (because of having to move with his job) so apparently don’t have enough ‘ties ‘ to the Borough. They all work in the Borough, but working doesn’t get you housing ‘points’. 🙄
The more I hear, the more it sickens me. This family, who have tried desperately over the years to stay together, have effectively been told ‘tough’ by the authorities.
They can’t afford to rent in this area, where a 4 bedroom house is in excess of £2k a month. So they are having to move. Around 3 1/2 hours away from their friends, their employment. Their LIVES.
This governnent policy has failed them miserably – and successfully broken them. The son is staying in London with his partners family, while the rest of them move. They’ve ALL had to leave their jobs and are moving with no sure guarantees of employment when they get there.
The little girl hasn’t known any different. The family dynamic she is used to will now be shattered, the uncle she sang songs with daily now hours away. Her mummyand nanny won’t be working (at least for a while) and neither will her grandad.
So thank you, British government. For all your ‘help’ for this former serviceman and his family.
Ironically, had the council helped this family, we’d only be paying low housing costs for them, as the majority of the household would be working. The unemployment figures would be 3 less. And we wouldn’t have had to pay all their moving costs to ship them to a borough with high unemployment, but lower rents.
Something to think about perhaps?