Last week I had the great privilege to hear Ken Loach at the Homes for Britain rally in Westminster. By co-incidence, I have been discussing Cathy Come Home with colleagues, and my daughter gave me a box set of Loach’s films for my recent 29th birthday (actually the 26th anniversary of the same).
I mentioned Ken Loach on twitter and in a blog post. This is a response I received from some one I know and trust. Names and local authority details have been omitted:
“I wonder if they would want to know about the day we and I would expect many advice services across England have had today. Our local council told a suicidal 18 year old girl to come back tomorrow as they were too busy to take a homeless application today. We got involved and requested that a homeless application be taken now.
“The local authority agree but then refused to place her in temporary accommodation (TA) whilst making enquiries. We politely asked that they provide TA if they were going to make enquiries but were told that they wouldn’t. We said we might need to consider lodging a judicial review. In response to this, the local authority told us that the decision would be made today.
“We asked that they wait until client has chance to go to see her GP because the local authority does not believe that she has attempted suicide recently or even in the past. The local authority said they would not wait. I am amazed that they would even consider taking such a risk. At 4.30pm w were able to get proof of suicide attempts, current self harm and suicidal ideation. At 4.55pm the local authority agree to place her in TA.
“That’s just one of many battles we have fought today.”
At the Homes for Britain rally Ken Loach called for a new Cathy Come Home moment. The question was asked if Cathy Come Home was to be made today whether it would have the same impact. I don’t know whether it would.