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90-year-old "George" was cut off from Macclesfield Council's emergency service through no fault of his own at the beginning of May, 2002. Since then, some of the council's officers have been 'investigating' and generally faffing around.


During the 'investigation' period, Councillor Brendan Murphy, in whose ward George lives, checked up on the various contracts for the council's emergency service, which comes in three varieties: Gold, Silver and Bronze. He was amazed to discover that the three contracts were identical. Each stated that the Council would install the necessary equipment - and that was that. Nothing about what happens if the customer has to make use of the service.

Three months after George was cut off from the emergency service, the council's Housing Review Committee met to receive a report on the efficiency of the "Community Support Service for Private Clients" [the council's emergency service]. After viewing a copy of the report which was to be presented, Councillor Murphy felt that it omitted a considerable amount of vital and highly relevant detail and he prepared a report of his own, which he attempted to send to the members of the committee by email.
   Shortly before the meeting, the Housing Director casually mentioned to Councillor Murphy had he had blocked the distribution of his email! There was some discussion, the Director soon saw the error of his ways and he was obliged to distribute a printed version of the email to the committee members.
   The conclusion of the meeting was to incorporate into the contracts, an option of an appeal to an independent arbiter if the service is removed as a result of "any abuse of the service".

So how's George getting on? He's still at risk and he still hasn't had justice.

Stop PressThis must be true because our source said it was.
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