The Better Regulation Executive (BRE) is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is supposed to lead the regulatory reform agenda across government. This further dispute had been referred to the BRE as a ‘proposal’ by a beleaguered 79-year old lady, viz.:
It is quite clear that a dispute inhered in this lady’s proposal. As it was, the Official Response it elicited was quite inadequate, it being merely a reiteration of the status quo provided by the Charity Commissioners. This was not an arena of our choosing but we nevertheless re-presented the proposal in different terms:-
This elicited merely a reiteration of the Government’s previous position:-
“The Government remains of the view that this is not an issue where intervention is justified. We have no evidence that long established arrangements for almshouse residents do not work well is (sic) the vast majority of cases…”
Probably much the same was said about child abuse until such agencies as Childline revealed the true extent of that problem.
“… and we are concerned that requiring the trustees of almshouse charities to grant tenancies could undermine their charitable purposes.”
This concern is misplaced We have already demonstrated ante that trustees have a statutory power under the Housing Act 1985, Schedule 2 Part II Ground 11 to make and break secure tenancies without compromising their custodianship of charitable objects. It then went on to say:
“The provisions for the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 of course apply to almshouse residents.”
In other words, no protection at all. So by that complacent dismissal some thirty-six thousand almshouse residents are yet again cast to the wolves. Note that the response evaded the issue of Human Rights.
With some exasperation we re-presented the issue under the heading of ‘Secure Tenancies for Almshouse Residents’ evincing the juridical conflicts and statutory provisions cited above. We now have a response of sorts:-
“This idea or suggestion has been rejected as it contains language which offensive, intemperate or provocative. Parts of this idea or suggestion may have been blocked from public view.”
Nevertheless they felt the need to add:-
“This additional proposal would get the same response as our previous one. Our position on this matter has not changed. We have no evidence that in the vast majority of cases current arrangements do not work well and the case for further regulatory interference from Government is not made.”
Well as we have seen, those current arrangements certainly work well for trustees, effectively writing their immunity for any kind of mischief. The fact that those same arrangements are the antithesis of that security and peace of mind for the frail elderly supposedly inherent in the almshouse concept; and the fact that those arrangements frustrate the benign intentions of the historical benefactors, would seem to carry no weight in the Cabinet Office. It is a disturbing example of the quality of decision making in that sanctum. Be that as it may:-
We do not agree that the wording of our proposal was in any way “offensive, intemperate or provocative” and at this time of writing the wording of our proposal has not been expurgated; what you see on their website is what we wrote. Given the previous platitudinous rebuffs it was understandably constructed with a sense of justifiable exasperation.
We further do not agree that “current arrangements work well” given that it is in the nature of the present closeted almshouse licensor-licensee nexus that disputes will go unreported.
That ineluctable logic notwithstanding, we further do not agree that the incidence of disputes should be the commanding factor in deciding whether remedial action is necessary. The outlawing of the elderly and vulnerable under the present licensor-licensee nexus is a national disgrace which no true democrat would brook for an instant.
Given that the Cabinet Office of HM Government cannot now deny that it is unequivocally apprised of almshouse licensees’ predicament at law, we contend that each individual licensee has a latent cause of action against HM Government for the express denial of inter alia Article 8 Human Rights in matters of housing law.
Given that the Cabinet Office of HM Government again cannot now deny that it is unequivocally apprised of almshouse licensees’ predicament at law, we further contend that the present cohort of almshouse licensees have a cause for class action against HM Government for the express denial of inter alia Article 8 Human Rights in matters of housing law.
Go now to The Attorney General’s Reference