Dear Essex Police and Crime Commissioner,

How do you ensure that candidates for Essex PCC elections are fit people to stand for election to this responsible role?

As bullying is anti-democratic, is it usual to ignore such concerns about a candidate sent in by a member of the public before an election? (With links to a relevant newspaper article and a blog in the public domain.)
What is your procedure to deal with such concerns? Who deals with them?

One newspaper article explains how a member of the candidate's own political party, a local councillor, alleges "bullying", and her father, also a member of that political group, resigned in protest at the behaviour of the alleged "bully".

The other accounts re alleged "bullying" concerning the same person are on an opposition councillor's blog site, and they allege they were bullied in the council chamber. It was for a while available on web cam.

Both women.

In general terms, is there any concern that a candidate who comes from a party and local council where there is some history of alleged "bullying", might also bring that culture of anti-democracy and bullying to the Essex PCC?

Do you have an anti-bullying policy?

Yours faithfully,

P. Smith

Police and Crime Commissioner Essex, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

As Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), I oversee Essex Police and have
responsibility for ensuring that the police force is efficient, effective
and fair.

 

My office will aim to reply to all correspondence within 20 working days,
and will inform you if it is not possible to respond in full within this
period.

 

If your enquiry is about an operational policing matter, then it will be
passed to Essex Police for them to respond to you directly.

 

Any complaints about individual officers should be referred to Essex
Police. Please follow hyperlink below:-

 

[1]http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

 

This email and any other accompanying document(s) contain information from
Kent Police and/or Essex Police, which is confidential or privileged. The
information is intended to be for the exclusive use of the individual(s)
or bodies to whom it is addressed. The content, including any subsequent
replies, could be disclosable if relating to a criminal investigation or
civil proceedings. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that
any disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of the contents of this
information is prohibited. If you have received this email in error,
please notify us immediately by contacting the sender or telephoning Kent
Police on 01622 690690 or Essex Police on 01245 491491, as appropriate.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

Police and Crime Commissioner Essex, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr/Ms Smith,

 

We acknowledge the receipt of your Freedom of Information (FOI) request
below, sent to this office on 13 May 2016, which has been recorded in
accordance with our procedures.

 

We will respond to you in due course.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex

 

3 Hoffmanns Way | Chelmsford | Essex CM1 1GU | T: 01245 291600 | Internal:
161600

Email: [Essex PCC request email]

Web: http://www.essex.pcc.police.uk/ 

Twitter: @EssexPCC

 

Come along to our public meetings, details here:
http://www.essex.pcc.police.uk/events/

 

Get support and information from the new Victims Gateway:
http://www.essexvictimsgateway.org/

 

 

show quoted sections

P. Smith left an annotation ()

Letter to Brentwood Gazette 18.05.2016. from a local resident:

"NEW PCC HIRST IS NOT RIGHT FOR ROLE

Genuinely believing in the importance of our constitutional framework where we have 'policing by consent' and thus of the role of police and crime commissioners in ensuring that the priorities of 'we the people' are properly met by the police, I read with some care a 'flyer' stuck, uninvited, through my door, promoting the candidacy of one Roger Hirst in the recent election for Essex PCC.
The flyer contained a number of 'motherhood' statements and vain aims as well as, in my assessment, failure to focus on some important law enforcement issues.
All I knew of this Mr Hirst was that he was a Tory local councillor.
That is not a good enough reason for him to be elected as our PCC so I responded to the 'flyer' trumpeting his candidacy with an email courteously asking a number of questions aimed at establishing his experience and qualifications - and thus his suitability for the important role of PCC.
Mr Hirst took over two weeks even to acknowledge my request for information and then sent a holding response with a promise of fuller factual reply.
That meaningful response has never materialised.
He was of course, elected as the Essex PCC but, his failure to provide any meaningful answers on his suitability surely proves , he has no genuine interest in representing the views and priorities of 'we the people' of Essex, but is no more than a party-political apparatchik in a cosy sinecure.
He did admit that he has little relevant experience of law enforcement and I must suggest that he will not be an effective PCC.
I take no active role in local politics and my 'politics' are generally middle-of-the-road so my dismay at Mr Hirst's election is not because he is Tory - it is because he does not appear to have any suitability for this important role.
Terry Byrne via email"

Dear Police and Crime Commissioner Essex,

http://karenchilvers.mycouncillor.org.uk...

Yours sincerely,

P. Smith

Police and Crime Commissioner Essex, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

As Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), I oversee Essex Police and have
responsibility for ensuring that the police force is efficient, effective
and fair.

 

My office will aim to reply to all correspondence within 20 working days,
and will inform you if it is not possible to respond in full within this
period.

 

If your enquiry is about an operational policing matter, then it will be
passed to Essex Police for them to respond to you directly.

 

Any complaints about individual officers should be referred to Essex
Police. Please follow hyperlink below:-

 

[1]http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

 

This email and any other accompanying document(s) contain information from
Kent Police and/or Essex Police, which is confidential or privileged. The
information is intended to be for the exclusive use of the individual(s)
or bodies to whom it is addressed. The content, including any subsequent
replies, could be disclosable if relating to a criminal investigation or
civil proceedings. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that
any disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of the contents of this
information is prohibited. If you have received this email in error,
please notify us immediately by contacting the sender or telephoning Kent
Police on 01622 690690 or Essex Police on 01245 491491, as appropriate.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

Dear Police and Crime Commissioner Essex,

P. Smith left an annotation (19 May 2016)

Letter to Brentwood Gazette 18.05.2016. from a local resident:

"NEW PCC HIRST IS NOT RIGHT FOR ROLE

Genuinely believing in the importance of our constitutional framework where we have 'policing by consent' and thus of the role of police and crime commissioners in ensuring that the priorities of 'we the people' are properly met by the police, I read with some care a 'flyer' stuck, uninvited, through my door, promoting the candidacy of one Roger Hirst in the recent election for Essex PCC.
The flyer contained a number of 'motherhood' statements and vain aims as well as, in my assessment, failure to focus on some important law enforcement issues.
All I knew of this Mr Hirst was that he was a Tory local councillor.
That is not a good enough reason for him to be elected as our PCC so I responded to the 'flyer' trumpeting his candidacy with an email courteously asking a number of questions aimed at establishing his experience and qualifications - and thus his suitability for the important role of PCC.
Mr Hirst took over two weeks even to acknowledge my request for information and then sent a holding response with a promise of fuller factual reply.
That meaningful response has never materialised.
He was of course, elected as the Essex PCC but, his failure to provide any meaningful answers on his suitability surely proves , he has no genuine interest in representing the views and priorities of 'we the people' of Essex, but is no more than a party-political apparatchik in a cosy sinecure.
He did admit that he has little relevant experience of law enforcement and I must suggest that he will not be an effective PCC.
I take no active role in local politics and my 'politics' are generally middle-of-the-road so my dismay at Mr Hirst's election is not because he is Tory - it is because he does not appear to have any suitability for this important role.
Terry Byrne via email"

Yours sincerely,

P. Smith

Police and Crime Commissioner Essex, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

As Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), I oversee Essex Police and have
responsibility for ensuring that the police force is efficient, effective
and fair.

 

My office will aim to reply to all correspondence within 20 working days,
and will inform you if it is not possible to respond in full within this
period.

 

If your enquiry is about an operational policing matter, then it will be
passed to Essex Police for them to respond to you directly.

 

Any complaints about individual officers should be referred to Essex
Police. Please follow hyperlink below:-

 

[1]http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

 

This email and any other accompanying document(s) contain information from
Kent Police and/or Essex Police, which is confidential or privileged. The
information is intended to be for the exclusive use of the individual(s)
or bodies to whom it is addressed. The content, including any subsequent
replies, could be disclosable if relating to a criminal investigation or
civil proceedings. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that
any disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of the contents of this
information is prohibited. If you have received this email in error,
please notify us immediately by contacting the sender or telephoning Kent
Police on 01622 690690 or Essex Police on 01245 491491, as appropriate.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

Police and Crime Commissioner Essex, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

3 Attachments

Dear Mr/Ms Smith,

 

Your request regarding candidates for the Police and Crime Commissioner
(PCC) elections received by this office on 13 May 2016 was recorded in
accordance with our Freedom of Information (FOI) procedures.

 

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Sec
1(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a
request is held.

 

The second duty at Sec 1(1)(b) is to disclose information that has been
confirmed as being held.

 

Where exemptions are relied upon s17 of FOIA requires that we provide the
applicant with a notice which: a) states that fact b) specifies the
exemption(s) in question and c) states (if that would not otherwise be
apparent) why the exemption applies.

 

We have considered your request for information:

 

i) How do you ensure that candidates for Essex PCC elections are fit
people to stand for election to this responsible role?

As bullying is anti-democratic, is it usual to ignore such concerns about
a candidate sent in by a member of the public before an election? (With
links to a relevant newspaper article and a blog in the public domain.)
What is your procedure to deal with such concerns? Who deals with them?

 

ii) In general terms, is there any concern that a candidate who comes from
a party and local council where there is some history of alleged
"bullying", might also bring that culture of anti-democracy and bullying
to the Essex PCC?  Do you have an anti-bullying policy?

 

We respond to your questions as follows:

 

i)             The information you have requested is not held by the
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner as this office is unable to
become involved in any part of the election process.

 

We have however contacted the Electoral Commission with regard to your FOI
request. They advised that to stand for election the candidate must meet
the requirements stated in the following guidance document.

 

[1]http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__...
election.pdf

 

Upon nomination the candidate signs to confirm that they are qualified for
election. If a false statement is made this constitutes an offence in law.

 

 

ii)            The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has adopted
the College of Policing Code of Ethics (A Code of Practice for the
Principles and Standards of Professional Behaviour for the Policing
Profession of England and Wales), which includes references to bullying. A
copy is attached to this email for your information. Also attached is a
copy of the grievance policy under which allegations of bullying can be
raised and investigated.

 

 

We trust this information satisfies your request. If you are dissatisfied
with the handling of your request you have the right to ask for an
internal review which should be addressed to the Chief Executive, Office
of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, 3 Hoffmanns Way,
Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1GU.

 

Should you remain unsatisfied following an internal review then you may
apply to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Cheshire SK9 5AF for a decision.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex

3 Hoffmanns Way | Chelmsford | Essex CM1 1GU | T: 01245 291600 | Internal:
161600
Email: pcc[2]@essex.pnn.police.uk

Web: [3]http://www.essex.pcc.police.uk/ 

Twitter: @EssexPCC

 

Come along to our public meetings, details here:
[4]http://www.essex.pcc.police.uk/events/

 

Get support and information from the new Victims Gateway:
[5]http://www.essexvictimsgateway.org/

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Police and Crime Commissioner Essex,

Don't you scrutinise any candidates for PCC yourselves?

If not who can do this?

Please provide the public with any related information in any recorded form.

Yours sincerely,

P. Smith

Police and Crime Commissioner Essex, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

As Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), I oversee Essex Police and have
responsibility for ensuring that the police force is efficient, effective
and fair.

 

My office will aim to reply to all correspondence within 20 working days,
and will inform you if it is not possible to respond in full within this
period.

 

If your enquiry is about an operational policing matter, then it will be
passed to Essex Police for them to respond to you directly.

 

Any complaints about individual officers should be referred to Essex
Police. Please follow hyperlink below:-

 

[1]http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

 

This email and any other accompanying document(s) contain information from
Kent Police and/or Essex Police, which is confidential or privileged. The
information is intended to be for the exclusive use of the individual(s)
or bodies to whom it is addressed. The content, including any subsequent
replies, could be disclosable if relating to a criminal investigation or
civil proceedings. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that
any disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of the contents of this
information is prohibited. If you have received this email in error,
please notify us immediately by contacting the sender or telephoning Kent
Police on 01622 690690 or Essex Police on 01245 491491, as appropriate.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

Police and Crime Commissioner Essex, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr/Ms Smith,

 

Thank you for your further email dated 24 May 2016. With regard to your
further queries following your FOI request we respond as follows:

 

i)             Don't you scrutinise any candidates for PCC yourselves?

 

As stated in our response dated 25 May 2016, this office is unable to 
become involved in any part of the election process.

 

ii)            If not who can do this?

 

You may wish to contact the Electoral Commission, who may be able to
provide further information. The following link will take you to their
website contact page:

[1]http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/co...

 

 

iii)           Please provide the public with any related information in
any recorded form

 

We are not sure what information you are looking for but the Office of the
Police and Crime Commissioner is not permitted to be involved in the
election process and therefore does not hold information relating to the
election process for the position of Police and Crime Commissioner.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner is publicly elected and election
information is held and made publicly available by the Policing Area
Returning Officer. “Guidance for candidates and agents” relating to the
PCC role can be found here:

[2]http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__...
 

and we would suggest your questions are better directed to the Electoral
Commission.

 

 

We are sorry but we are unable to assist further.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex

 

 

3 Hoffmanns Way | Chelmsford | Essex CM1 1GU | T: 01245 291600 | Internal:
161600

Email: [3][Essex PCC request email]

Web: [4]http://www.essex.pcc.police.uk/ 

Twitter: @EssexPCC

 

Come along to our public meetings, details here:
[5]http://www.essex.pcc.police.uk/events/

 

Get support and information from the new Victims Gateway:
[6]http://www.essexvictimsgateway.org/

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Police and Crime Commissioner Essex,

Thank you for your response.

I just wanted to add another letter from a local resident to the Brentwood Gazette, for your information:

"Limp-wristed comments. Letter from local resident to Brentwood Gazette 25.05.2016.

How astonishing that within days of me voicing my serious doubts about the suitability of our newly-elected Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Hirst, direct evidence of his unsuitability should be paraded in the media.
His response to the legitimate and pretty obvious questions following the severe criticisms of the performance of Essex Police in tackling paedophile activity was, at best, limp-wristed and certainly not reassuring.
He clearly gave the impression that, even while putting himself forward for the important role of PCC, he had taken few if any steps to inform himself of the concerns about the Essex Police performance under critical review.
From his answers to the questions reasonably put, he had no ideas on what needed to be done to address the appalling failings except that he was going to sit down with the chief Constable and chat about them.
Seems he is looking forward to a cosy relationship with the top management of Essex Police rather than the much needed challenging one.
Terry Byrne via email.”

One thing that the previous letter (I copied to this FoI), by Terry Byre pointed out was the very big election leaflet (almost as big as a tabloid newspaper) that we all seem to have received about Roger Hirst's candidacy. I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't receive any information about any other candidate for the post of PCC, and there was nowhere obvious where we could get such information. I also saw a huge roadside placard advertising Cllr Roger Hirst, but nothing like this regarding any other candidate.
Mr Roger Hirst must have had a substantial electoral budget compared to other candidates?

Yours sincerely,

P. Smith

Police and Crime Commissioner Essex, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

As Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), I oversee Essex Police and have
responsibility for ensuring that the police force is efficient, effective
and fair.

 

My office will aim to reply to all correspondence within 20 working days,
and will inform you if it is not possible to respond in full within this
period.

 

If your enquiry is about an operational policing matter, then it will be
passed to Essex Police for them to respond to you directly.

 

Any complaints about individual officers should be referred to Essex
Police. Please follow hyperlink below:-

 

[1]http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

 

This email and any other accompanying document(s) contain information from
Kent Police and/or Essex Police, which is confidential or privileged. The
information is intended to be for the exclusive use of the individual(s)
or bodies to whom it is addressed. The content, including any subsequent
replies, could be disclosable if relating to a criminal investigation or
civil proceedings. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that
any disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of the contents of this
information is prohibited. If you have received this email in error,
please notify us immediately by contacting the sender or telephoning Kent
Police on 01622 690690 or Essex Police on 01245 491491, as appropriate.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

P. Smith left an annotation ()

"Limp-wristed comments. Letter from local resident to Brentwood Gazette 25.05.2016.
How astonishing that within days of me voicing my serious doubts about the suitability of our newly-elected Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Hirst, direct evidence of his unsuitability should be paraded in the media.
His response to the legitimate and pretty obvious questions following the severe criticisms of the performance of Essex Police in tackling paedophile activity was, at best, limp-wristed and certainly not reassuring.
He clearly gave the impression that, even while putting himself forward for the important role of PCC, he had taken few if any steps to inform himself of the concerns about the Essex Police performance under critical review.
From his answers to the questions reasonably put, he had no ideas on what needed to be done to address the appalling failings except that he was going to sit down with the chief Constable and chat about them.
Seems he is looking forward to a cosy relationship with the top management of Essex Police rather than the much needed challenging one.
Terry Byrne via email.”

Dear Essex Police and Crime Commissioner,

For information.

In the Brentwood Gazette dated June 1st 2016, a letter by an Andrew Photis, entitled:

"PCC is a tin-pot dictator"

It reads:

"Last week Terry Byrne wrote a very pertinent letter concerning the office of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
I wanted to offer some of my own thoughts on this relatively new politically-inspired post.
Terry Byrne is rightly indignant at the pathetic response from the PCC.
Let us not forget that this was a position dreamt up by the Home Secretary, supposedly to govern the actions of the police.
But in practice, the post holder has either an incestuous relationship with the chief constable or he/she behaves like a latter day tin-pot dictator.
It is almost impossible to remove a PCC.
The reason for this is that he/she has been voted into office by a largely clueless public who know very little about the work of the post holder.
The tin-pot variety only make the headlines when they imitate their political brothers and submit extortionate or illegal expenses.
The irony is that the greedy ones are then investigated by the very people they are supposed to govern.
Given that they earn nearly six figures, paid for by council taxpayers, you have to be content with what you pay for."

Yours faithfully,

P. Smith

Police and Crime Commissioner Essex, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

As Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), I oversee Essex Police and have
responsibility for ensuring that the police force is efficient, effective
and fair.

 

My office will aim to reply to all correspondence within 20 working days,
and will inform you if it is not possible to respond in full within this
period.

 

If your enquiry is about an operational policing matter, then it will be
passed to Essex Police for them to respond to you directly.

 

Any complaints about individual officers should be referred to Essex
Police. Please follow hyperlink below:-

 

[1]http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

 

This email and any other accompanying document(s) contain information from
Kent Police and/or Essex Police, which is confidential or privileged. The
information is intended to be for the exclusive use of the individual(s)
or bodies to whom it is addressed. The content, including any subsequent
replies, could be disclosable if relating to a criminal investigation or
civil proceedings. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that
any disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of the contents of this
information is prohibited. If you have received this email in error,
please notify us immediately by contacting the sender or telephoning Kent
Police on 01622 690690 or Essex Police on 01245 491491, as appropriate.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.essex.police.uk/contact_us/co...

P. Smith left an annotation ()

Roger Hirst in action re Bedroom Tax:

Brentwood Borough Council - Ordinary Council meeting 10th July 2013, at 21.50.

Transcripts of speeches by Jan Pound & Roger Hirst against Mike le Surfs proposal to mitigate the effects of Bedroom Tax for local Brentwood people.

Roger Hirst:
“The first thing here is to try and dispel some sort of attempt by Cllr Le Surf to paint this as a nasty policy. Erm, I think the key thing to bear in mind is that the objective of this policy is to target our valuable resource of subsidized housing at those who need it most, and the idea of the reduction in the under-occupancy subsidy, er, to those who no longer need properties of that size, is to make sure that we have people making the best use of the assets that we have available.
I’m afraid , and I’m absolutely convinced that it was with the best of intentions, but I’m afraid that the policies of the previous government which are still supported by Cllr Le Surf have led to a two tier society, but unfortunately by trying to be generous and nice to people they’ve actually led to a vast swathe of benefit dependency which has actually taken motivation away from people, which has left them feeling that they are living at the behest of government and that to me is not something that has made them happy, it’s not made them successful and its certainly not had them engaged in their communities. That’s something that I think we have to peel back the layers of in a way which is targeted, thought-through, and caring. Now that is what this policy is intended to do.
We are not talking about throwing people out or evicting them. We are talking about making the maximum use of the assets that we have available by trying to make sure that the right size families are in the right sized properties. Now going more to the substantive point of this motion ... I notice that councillor Le surf isn’t even listening to my reply. Erm, going to the substantive point. Basically, here, we are being asked to re-classify our properties and pretend that 3 bedroom houses or 4 bedroom houses aren’t. Or two bedroom house aren’t, by saying that they actually just have a spare room or that they are a different sized property and that people should be able to stay in them.
Lord Freud who’s the permanent undersecretary of state for welfare and pensions has made it plain that that is not a viable policy, that we need to be consistent between the housing benefit policy that we have and the rental policy that we have and that we need to be basically defining our properties as they really are.
If we do what Cllr Le Surf is suggesting it is very clear, it has been made plain by the government that we will lose housing subsidy. Er, that will therefore be not so much to the detriment of the council because as (er you know, as you rightly commented ... ?) er as you know not many of us actually live in council houses it would be to the detriment of our residents, and I fail to understand why you would be arguing to actually deprive our HRA of funds by taking on – which is after all a spurious and actually deceitful policy that you are recommending. Personally I think that we have put together as an allocations policy as a policy on um housing subsidy is something which is actually going to be (?? net??) to the benefit of our residents. Er, and we would end up through (???) process through RTB we will have more funds.
As I’ve said before those houses won’t cease to exist they are going to be housing people, and we will be able to build more and therefore have better housing for the less well off. This policy that we have in front of us now will make it more possible for us to target the subsidies and benefits that we have, at the most needy and the most vulnerable. Lord Freud made it plain that people with disabilities will not be subject to a removal of their subsidy. (They have been.)
If they need a bedroom for a disability reason ... I have here the statement by Lord Freud in which he said ... (indistinct garbled quote) ... no objects to re-designating ... adapted to a disabled person’s needs. There you are – government statement! (???) (Too garbled here to decipher. It’s the most important bit.)
Having put the effort in that we have to making sure this is a policy that (???) is going to end up with (???) benefits (???) subsidies and in a healthier society in Brentwood then I have to say that I will certainly be voting against this motion.

Brentwood Cllr Roger Hirst is obviously a follower of Lord Freud.
Lord Freud has recently resigned (November 2016), possibly because of a UN report into the human rights abuses of his welfare reforms, and because of the exposure by the Ken Loach film #IDanielBlake of the effect of these abuses on real people.

Here is Brentwood Cllr Jan Pound also:

Jan Pound:
“Erm, I mean I know that Cllr Le Surf says we are bandying words here and that it’s insignificant but it isn’t insignificant. This is NOT a “tax”. A “tax” is something that you “impose” This is a “benefit cut”. It’s a “reduction in benefits for people who no longer qualify for a certain area where they were receiving benefit”. There’s a vast difference. It isn’t a bandying of words. There is a huge difference.
It’s not a case of where the hardship may or may not be. What I am trying to make quite clear here is that is ISN’T a “tax”, it’s a “reduction in benefit” and you go on to say here which, I felt, was even worse, something about erm, under-occupancy penalty, it ISN’T a “penalty”.
If you don’t require a number of bedrooms then your housing benefit will be cut. That’s imposed by the government and it is NOT a “TAX”, and it certainly is not a TAX imposed by US in Brentwood
So I feel that ... er ... we feel very strongly that apart from that we have lots of families who are living in very cramped conditions, who need bigger houses, and we feel that we have an obligation to free up the larger houses if we can, erm, to make sure that these families who are living in very cramped conditions, who need bigger houses and we feel we have an obligation to them to free up the larger houses if we can, erm, to make sure that these families who are living in very cramped conditions, have the benefit of the larger houses (HOUSES), so we are saying, we as a council very much support this and erm, I think I will now hand over to Cllr Hirst, and thank you for allowing me to speak first.”

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