Posted on January 8, 2009. Filed under: Housing News |

Justice Not Crisis would like to Congratulate Birmingham City Council’s Housing department (Officers and Staff) on achieving a 2 star rating in the recent Audit Commission Inspection.

We would also like to state that it is great news for the tenants of Birmingham City Council that the repairs service is at last starting to improve.

The housing department has had a rocky road over the last 20 years and tenants of the City have had an appalling repairs service under the previous Labour administration and not much better under the current Conservative led  Coalition.

We would sincerely like to congratulate Cllr John Lines for his excellent leadership of the Housing department…  Unfortunately we are unable to do so (Sorry John) as we believe the current improvements in the Housing Department are not as a result of the skillful leadership of John Lines.

The current improvements are down to the excellent work of the Housing Scrutiny Committee, under the Leadership of Cllr Emily Cox (Liberal Democrat) and her team. This Committee has continually held John Lines to account and set standards that have achieved this improvement. The Housing Scrutiny Committee have also requested an investigation into the current situation of lack of socially rented homes in the City and requested that the 35% levels of affordable homes built under sec 106 agreements be maintained or improved.

It’s not all good news though – At the last housing Scrutiny Committee on 16 December 2008 it was reported  that disrepair litigation cases were down saving the Council money.Then it became apparent that John Lines’s department now has dedicated teams of Solicitors working closely with the repairs contractors to challenge any tenant who takes the Council to Court over repairs. Cllr Mike Leddy (Labour) stated to the Council Officer from the City Solicitors department “It would be cheaper to just do the repairs” and the reply from the officer ???? ” Yes actually it would”      Amazing !! the officer then went on to blame the Solicitors who cold call tenants looking for outstanding repairs for the problem  THERE WOULDN’T BE A PROBLEM IF YOU DID THE REPAIRS JOHN!!

Finally some facts for John Lines’s Housing Department  – There ARE still 30,000 people on waiting lists in this City, there ARE homeless people living on the streets of this City, there ARE thousands of people living in overcrowded accommodation desperate for a property of their own, there ARE people living in Hostels and Bed and Breakfast accommodation in this City and finally there ARE people in this City living in horrendously poor damp cold City Council accommodation. Start to sort that out John and you will deserve 200 stars and will get our congratulations.

We would also like to thank the City Council for the recent closure of the Edgbaston neighbourhood office, Tylney Close, in this current credit crunch residents now have to spend £3.30 on bus fares to travel to the Bartley Green neighbourhood office!!

We live in hope!


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It is a bleak old miserable month is January. Dark cold winter nights, summer months away, nothing on the telly.

Thank you for brightening up our lives with what has to be the most colourful account of fantasy I’ve read for some time. I’ve called Terry Pratchett, and he says he didn’t write it for you, so I suppose I must thank the Mills & Boon of Birmingham reactionary politics….Moore & Austin ed. Coun Leddy.

With jokers like you lot, this Labour created recession might be bearable after all.

Hello George,
Haven’t heard from you for a while, the treatment hasn’t worked then, nice to have you back!!
We welcome your detailed account on which part of our article you consider to be fantasy. Perhaps it’s the homeless people that John Lines denies exist and have also escaped you. (We offer an invitation for you to join us one night as we accompany Simply Church, Kidderminster, as they distribute food parcels to the imaginary homeless people on the streets of Birmingham). There was actually one on the steps of the Art Gallery the other night, the Art Gallery is the building adjacent to the very large building called the Council House, perhaps you know it!
Or perhaps the fantasy part was the horrendous conditions of some of This City Councils’ properties, it may be the raw sewerage emitting into properties in Shelly Tower on the Masefield estate. It may be the damp crumbling properties in Longfellow Road. It may be the some of the Shard End properties recently highlighted in the Birmingham Evening mail as properties to be condemned.
The fantasy could be the 30,000 on the waiting list, incidentally each time John Lines has commented he has never actually denied our claim of this figure.
It may be the number of people in overcrowded accommodation, you are welcome to join us on a visit to Margaret’s property where 13 people including her 3 year old son live in a 3 bed roomed Council property in Highgate.
No fiction George, real people, real stories real mess!! Well done Birmingham City Council you should be ashamed of yourselves.

You still hide behind a pseudonym are you ashamed to have your identity known for fear the public will know who spouts such worthless drivel whilst ignoring the real issue?

Please don’t disappoint us by not responding or taking us up on our offer to see firsthand the problems we list. You could of course await our third movie which will show some of these issues, real pictures, real people, real mess!

Catch you soon


Where does Councillor Calthorpe get off does he not know there are people living on the streets, he should look round Dibeth and the City Centre at night. I was lucky and got into a hostrel not a flat but its a start. Good luck with the cause you have plenty of support mates.

I dont know any homeless people, i dont know anyone that has or does live on the streets, i dont know anyone that has to sleep rough on floors and in door ways…

(if they can lie why cant i?)

Honestly people like our ‘friend’ George Calthorpe really irritate me, wanna know why?


I know what its like having to live day in day out not knowing whats going to happen!
Whether im going to wake up and still have a HOSTEL roof over my head,
never knowing whats around the corner or if my breaks gonna come.

But this George Calthorpe whoever you are, do you sleep soundly in your nice big house? With your nice big garden? Nice big car on the drive hmm?

Geez i really think you need to get your priorities right cuz your living in cookoo land mate..

You havent got a clue,

I personally am 100% behind JNC because at least they are high lighting that there is a problem and trying to find a way of helping,
But YOU, Your words and snidy comments are worthless unless you count the fact that they give a great laugh to all who read.

Please keep them coming GREAT STUFF!!!

I hope that many more people with the help of JNC get a break like i have!!!


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