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SOCIAL HOUSING DISCRIMINATION

#1
This has been on the armynet for some time now,there has been no reply from the TOP BRASS. The Discrimination and disdain shown to serving and ex-forces personnel is just as disgracefull as before. I have covered this topic in detail on the armynet,with letters fom MP's MEP's and even the PM. All of them sympathise with the plight of military families and their need for housing in civilian street. This topic has been sent back to the Deputy Prime Ministers Office and the Ministry Of Defence to review or not review the Homelessness Legislation.
I will be placing all of the letters from the armynet on here over the next couple of weeks. I would ask everone that reads this site to understand, those that serve this country deserve better treatment from the Governments of the day.


In the Armed Forces we dont have to deal with social housing during our terms of service. From my own experience, with sixteen months left to serve, I have found that acquiring social housing is not an automatic right upon leaving the forces and infact service personnel are less likely to obtain social housing than any other group within the UK. The reasons I have found for this are as follows:

Under legislation at present it states: 15.10 Under s.199(2) and (3), serving members of the armed forces, and other persons who normally live with them as part of their household, do not establish a local connection with a district by virtue of serving, or having served, there while in the forces.

I would like to say this about local connection points, if you do not have a local connection to the area that you are asking to live in, then you have no chance at all. However a civilian only has to live in an area for six months to get a local connection??. (ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL DONT HAVE THIS RIGHT).
10% of social housing in the UK has been left to one side for immigration. There is one million less social houses in the UK now than there was twenty years ago, and over one hundred thousand people deamed homeless in the UK. This is why local connection is so important if you are looking to be housed.

I am aware that some Military personnel will be asking why not buy your own house??.
At this moment in time I have a chronic medical injury and don't know if I will be able to work again, so a mortgage is very hard to obtain at present.

That to one side, we pay taxes for over twenty two years, go where our government send us without question and in return when you look into it we aren't entitled in any way, not even the dole (if required), if you have that pension.

I would just like to finish with stating that I have spoken to my local MP, Royal British Legion, JSHAO, Local Council and Housing Association in my area. I am permitted to go on the register but with only thirty three points , I have no chance of being housed.

I have covered this area in greater detail in (FAMILY ISSUES), (Poll) Social / Housing Association. When you read the other site you will see that I have been directed all over the place but forward.
Could you please answer the following question: I would like to know if the higher Chain of Command would be able to address this issue with the next / current Minister For Defence or even better the PM.
 
#2
I have pasted all the other site onto this one so you can see for your self how bad we are treated by local councils.??

Hello all.

Thank you to those who have placed their vote, anyone who thinks that this will not affect them in the future is so very wrong.

This is a letter I received from the Housing Aid and Advice Centre, these people deal with a large range of housing issues in Bedfordshire and each county will have it's own. I did ask them about who they help with housing and their area covers: those who are homeless or about to become homeless, Those on the streets and those who are here legally as well as those not here legally, their range of subjects are to long to list . However you will see by this letter we don't come into any of those categories.

22/11/04


Dear Nick,
Please accept my apologies for not getting back to you as soon as promised, but I have been discussing your problem with several of my more knowledgeable colleagues, as what A++++++ Housing Association is telling you seems to be correct and I wanted to see if I could find any kind of loophole that we could take advantage of. There does not seem to be one. Whilst I appreciate and agree with your argument for local connection, legislation states that as you were placed there by the Armed Forces and not through choice, local connection cannot apply.

I wish that there was more I could do to help your situation, but unforunately there isn't. I hope that your M.P. can be of more help. Good luck and best wishes.

Your Sincerely

+++++++++++


I think the issue that we are sent to an area with our families to serve this country should not be held against us. From my own situation. this will be my last posting, I have currently served over four years here and my two eldest children (aged 17 and 13) have both established roots within their school life and social life. Please ensure you go onto the POLL site and register your VOTE.

Thank you

Nick

PS there will be more installments to follow: M.P letters, Under Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans Affairs.
 
#3
This is a letter I received back from my local MP. This letter was the start of my campaign to get the current homlessness legislation changed. I, like many other people, have or are, serving this country in hostile countries all over the world. When we come home to settle down with our familiy,we are told you have no right to live in this area of the country,you have no local connection points.




Dear Mr Cxxxxx.


Thank you for your letter of 1s November 2004.

I have taken up your points with Mr XXXXXXX, Chief Executive of XXXXXX Housing Association. When I have some further information I will contact you again, but in the meantime if I can do anything else to help please do not hesitate to get in touch.

With all good wishes.

Yours sincerely

XXXXXXXXXX
 
#4
This is the letter I recieved back from the Housing Association via my local MP.

Dear Mr Sxxxxxx MP

Reference: MR N Cxxxxxx,

Thank you for your letter received 15 November 2004 regarding Mr Cxxxxx's application for assistance with housing.
Having checked Mr Cxxxxxx's application file, I can confirm a total of 33 points have been awarded as follows:

Bedroom deficiency 10
Medical 18
Dependant children 5
Total 33

Local connection points are awarded in line with Section 199 of the Housing Act 1996 Part VII, as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002. To be eligible for these points an applicant must meet one or more of the following criteria:

I. He or she is, or was in the past, normally resident there, and that the residence was of his or her own choice; or

II. He or she is employed there (i.e. the applicant actually works there; it would not be sufficient that his or her employer's head office was
located there); or

III. Family associations there; or

IV. Any special circumstances (e.g. the need to be near special medical or support services which are only available in a particular district)

However, there are specific exemptions to the above, which include:

Ex-service personnel (Code of Guidance, Homelessness Act 2002)
Under Section 199(2) and (3), serving members of the armed forces, and other persons who normally live with them as part of their household, do not establish a local connection with the district by virtue of serving, or having served, there while in the forces.
Having re-assessed Mr Cxxxxx's application and checked the information provided, I can confirm that as a serving member of the armed forces with no other connection to this district, his application does not attract local connection points at this time.


I hope this information is useful to you and explains the reasons
Mr Cxxxx does not qualify for this particular category of points. However, should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me or Hxxxxx Bxxxxx Housing Needs Manager, who will also be happy to assist you.

Yours sincerely

Axxxx Hxxx
Chief Executive


As you can see in this letter sent by the Housing Association for this area. As members of the Armed Forces we are not entitled to local connection unless we have family in the area. Criteria 2 doesn't count for us but if we were civilians with a part/full time job it would. I believe however the Governments word for this legislation it comes back to one meaning, (DISCRIMINATION).
 
#5
This is the letter I got back from my local MP, as you will see by this letter he was not impressed with the reply from the Housing Association. As you can see by the date, this was over a year ago and I'm still trying to get housing rights for military personnel and their families.



1st December 2004


Dear Mr Cxxxxx

Following my inquiries on your behalf, I have now received a reply from xxxxx xxxxxxx, Chief Executive of the xxxxxx Housing Association. I am enclosing a copy for your information.

I am sorry that this is not a more encouraging response. However, as you discussed with my office, I have taken up your points with Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, Secretary of State for Defence. When I have some further information I will contact you again, but in the meantime if I can do anything else to help please do not hesitate to get in touch.
With all good wishes.

Yours sincerely



xxxxxx Sxxxx MP

Enc.

The Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, Passed my details onto the under secretary of state for defence and minister for veterans. I will be showing his reply letter and others in the next couple of weeks.
 

Percy_Pigeon

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#6
Stay in your quarters I have seen this work wonders.
I have seen this work for all ranks. I believe once this happens many doors open (my only experience is with divorces, hence reply).

Until you are a problem no one wants to know, you have to make your self a problem.

I agree it shouldn’t be this way, but it is
 
#7
This is the reply I got back from my local MP, What you must understand from his reply is the following: This was my first port of call, on this very long journey around Social Housing for the Armed Forces. (JSHAO).

Member of Parliament





4th January 2005


Dear Mr Cxxxxx
Following my inquiries on your behalf, I have now received a reply from xxxxxx xxxx MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence, regarding your housing problems.

I enclose a copy of this correspondence for your records.
I believe that the solution Mr xxxxxx outlines will prove the appropriate route of redress for you. The Joint Service Housing Advice Office is able to offer specialist advice and can help you interpret Government housing legislation.

If you have any further questions or require further assistance in dealing with your housing problems, please do not hesitate to contact me.
With all good wishes

Yours Sincerely
Xxxxx xxxx MP

When ever I get a reply on the ARRSE site, I will paste another letter into this site. This should keep the interest level up as well as pushing the issue out into the big bad world.
 
#8
This is the reply that my local MP is talking about. I will say it makes complete sense to go through JSHAO as they do have alot of helpfull information, but I already know this I have spoken to the person in charge of the establishment. He was very understanding to my personal plight.
As long as this legislation stays the way it is all members of the Armed Forces "No Matter What The Rank" could find themselves in need of social housing. All that I can understand about this country is you can serve it, But legislation will stop you being housed by it.


PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE AND MINISTER FOR VETERANS


20 December 2004
XXXXX XXXXXX Esq MP
House of Commons London
SW1AOAA

Dear XXXXXXXX

Thank you for your letter of 1 December to Geoff Hoon enclosing one from your constituent, Mr Cxxxxx of xx xxxxxx xxxxxx, xxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxxx, regarding his housing problems. I am replying as this matter falls within my area of responsibility.

In the first instance Mr Cxxxxx should be advised to contact the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO). The office, based in Salisbury, is there specifically to help Service leavers find appropriate civilian housing as they leave the Service. The JSHAO will ask him to complete a basic questionnaire, which will help establish his needs and enable them to give him some practical advice. The JSHAO has access to a number of housing solutions, which may be appropriate to Mr Cxxxxxx's needs although they are inevitably constrained by availability.
The JSHAO will also help Mr Cxxxxx deal with Government housing legislation.

The Joint Service Housing Advice Office can be contacted at the address
below:
Joint service Housing Advice Office
HQ xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx
Exxxxxxxx Barracks
xxxxxxxx
Salisbury
xxxxxxxxxx
Tel: xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx
E mail: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I hope this information will provide the guidance that Mr Cxxxxx requires and wish him the very best for his return to civilian life.

Yours
xxxxxxxxxx

I will be keeping this topic upto date over the next couple of weeks. If you have tried to get housing in the social sector please let all the other people that read this site know how you got on.

AFF and RBL are looking into the points that I have covered so fare. I understand that this issue is being taken up with those in command positions and hopefully someone out there will change this DISCRIMINATIONAL legislation against the Armed Forces in relation to local connection.

Thank you Nick
 
#9
This is a copy of the letter sent to Adam Ingram MP. I have had a reply to this letter already,or I should say my MP has. The reply was short. It stated that the "MOD was processing my case". I dont mean to sound cynical, but that sounds like "bite the bullet" "or bad luck". Well I will have to wait and see. Any way this is the letter that was sent. I have removed the name of my MP. Also the postal address of Adam Ingram, also my house details




N***** D*****MP
Member of Parliament for ******* *******


Rt. Hon. Adam Ingram
M*** B*****
W*****
London

21 June 2005


Dear

I am writing on behalf of my constituent Mr Nick Cxxxxxx of ** **** *****, ******, *******, *******, ********, who is serving in the army at ******** camp.

Mr Cxxxxxxs service finishes next year and he and his family are likely to become homeless as Bedford does not have MOD housing for ex-servicemen. He has serious spinal damage and may face the prospect of being discharged early on medical grounds. Mr Cxxxxx has written to the MOD and Bedford's accommodation service A**** Housing Association but he has not received any help.

As thirty per cent of the homeless are ex-servicemen Mr Cxxxx faces a very real threat.

Mr Cxxxxxx has provided extensive documentation which I can forward should you consider his case. I look forward to receiving your response to this matter in due course.





N***** D***** MP
Member of Parliament for ***********
 
#10
This is information from the local news for Mid Beds 14th 07 05, there is over three thousand people in Cambridge alone on the waiting list for social housing. The point I have been trying to make in this forum is with 30% of Ex-Forces personnel homeless in this country, and with the present Homelessness Act 2002. Jordans Publication 2nd edition. Legislation Local Connection Ex-Service Personnel 15.10 Under s. 199(2) and (3). It's impossible to even get a chance at social housing. There's a real need to put this issue on a level playing field. We shouldn't be punished for serving our country. Therefore, we must try and get the government to capitulate and change current legislation.

I have also read the homelessness Act 2002. Special Bulletin.
Appendix 4, P135, Paragraphs 8.20, 8,24 etc. This paper is just a white wash of responsibility. The government can say we've handed this area over to local councils to make their own decision. When Local councils take into consideration the points that are made in this special bulletin. They will send a letter to the applicant saying we have taken your issues into consideration. This is all they have to do, consider your issues.
 
#11
This is a copy of a letter I gave to my MP to hand directly to the Prime Minister.
I know he recieved it and I'm awiating his reply. I have just been informed by the County Counciller that he had just been in a meeting with the housing assocaition to find if there were any loop holes in the current homelessness legislation that they could use to house me. The answer was NO, he also said that he is affronted at the total disregard for the armed forces under the present legislation. The fact that the armed forces are in the same catagory as prisoners is also a disgrace. He is now in talks with the Royal Britsh Legion and my local MP.

Mr Nick Cxxxxxx
xx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx
Sxxxxxx
Bedfordshire
Sxxx xxU

11th July 2005


Dear Prime Minister,



I am writing this to you as my last hope of getting social housing in Mid Bedfordshire. I have been living in Cxxxxxxxx army camp now since January 2001. Whilst I was in the post as a Mortar Permanent Senior Instructor I sustained a chronic back injury, in January 2002. Since then I have been receiving treatment, I have been on the Y List since September 2004 awaiting major spinal surgery.

My reasons for writing to you are, as members of the armed forces we serve the government of the day; however the loyalty we show means very little when we require local connection to assistance with social housing. I have spoken in detail to the local social housing association, Axxxxxx. I have been placed on their housing register with 33points. I inquired about points for local connection, where I was informed that as a member of the armed forces I am not entitled to local connection as I was posted here.

I have read their allocations policy and in their point's scheme page 13 paragraph 14, it states to receive local connection points the applicant must satisfy at least one of the following criteria's;
1. That they currently reside in the area in secure accommodation and have done so for not less than six months in the last twelve or three years in the last five, secure accommodating does not include, for example, Bed and Breakfast, staying temporarily with family, friends etc.
2. That they have close family resident in the Mid Beds area i.e. mother, father, brother, sister, adult son or daughter whom they wish to be near and who live in Mid Beds and have done so far at least the last five years.
3. That they currently have permanent full time employment in the area excluding casual work or serving in the Armed Forces.



I have been in touch with Beds County Council, The Bedford Housing Aid Centre, Axxxx, AFF, Royal British Legion,), Joint Services Housing Advice Office, Rt Hon Jonathan Sayeed MP (Retd), Rt Hon Ivor Caplin MP, Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP for Mid Beds who has been championing to get my issue resolved she sent a letter to Rt Hon Adam Ingram MP.


As you can see I have been in touch with as many people as I can. I now have less than one year left in the forces with a chronic back injury and the real possibility of becoming homeless, like the other 30% of ex-service personnel in this country.

I have served twenty one years in the army but my father served twenty five years. So I can say I have spent all my life in the armed forces, cocooned in the army welfare system and their support network. Leaving the armed forces is hard enough without having a chronic injury that will conduce to my employability in civilian life and therefore affect my earnings to pay a mortgage.

I am asking you to interject and help me and my family get social housing in the Mid Bedfordshire area.


Your ever obedient servant



Mr NICK CXXXX
Colour Sergeant
 
#12
This is a reply I received back from a Labour MEP. My reply to him to follow.

xxxxxxx xxxxxx MEP
Labour Member of the European Parliament for the East of England



Our ref: xx/xxx


Mr N. Cxxxxx
xx xxxxx xxx
xxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxx

22 August 2005

Dear Mr Cxxxxx

Thank you for your email with attachments regarding your search for affordable housing.

I am afraid I cannot intervene directly as member of the European Parliament as this is a local housing issue.

I sincerely hope that you find successful conclusion to your dilemma.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I assure you of my best intentions at all times.

Yours sincerely




xxxx xxxxxx MEP East of England Region




Labour European Office
 
#13
this worked for me....

walked into housing office with my discharge papers, sleeping bag, bergan, book and flask.

handed papers to geek behind glass, said i was homeless and i was thier problem....

they looked a little stunned but said nothing, come 5 pm i got into my maggot and zipped up, they asked me what i was doing, i simply replied - a cup of tea and a nudge would be nice in the morning..,,,,

15 min later i was given a key to a homeless unit :)

2 weeks later i had a flat.

there right - no one helps until you become a problem. so become a problem.

Rincewind
 
#14
As I promised before when anyone puts a messege on this forum site,I will put another letter on. I have a lot of mail to place on hear. As all of you say, you have to be a pain to be noticed, well as you can see by the mail so far I'm being more than a pain in the Arse for the government. Please read the letter below.

This is my reply to the Labour MEP.

Dear Mr xxxxxxx.

Thank you for your reply. However you are missing the point that i'm making. I have served over twenty one years for My Country only to be told sorry you are not allowed to live hear.
The Labour Party are holding back 10% of social housing for imigrants, an Imigrant,Traveller or a sex offender will be housed before any armed forces personel in this country. With over 30% of the homeless being ex-service personnel, the biggest, percentage by far. Has anyone asked why, is anyone dealing with this issue, No because we have paid our tax's and served our country and this government has no more use for us.
What about my human rights what about my families human rights. This is the longest period that me and my family have ever stayed in one place. The local schools are were my children have all of their friends, My daughter is now of special needs and doing very well.

I have to say your letter is full of pacification, and I feel that you like the rest of the Labour Party are treating this countries armed forces with total disoblige.

I would just like to remind you of what the Labour Party means in the Dictionary:
In the UK, the major left-wing political party which believes in an economy controlled by the state rather than by private individuals,and which represents the interests of the workers.

Who represents the interests of the serving and ex-serving members of this countries Armed Forces?

Yours Eve

Nick Cxxxx
C/Sgt
 
#15
I have never heard about any of this, most disturbing. I know when I left in 97 my mrs and I were both on hard times, her teaching contract was up and I got gazumped on a job that was meant to be a dead cert. We contacted our local authority (North Lincs) and as ex forces I was immaediately at the top of the list, also when we were in a position to buy the house 2 years later we were given 1 % discount per year of service. How times have changed eh! Sorry to hear so many people are having a hard time of it.
Regards
Dave
 
#16
hitback said:
Ex-service personnel (Code of Guidance, Homelessness Act 2002)
Under Section 199(2) and (3), serving members of the armed forces, and other persons who normally live with them as part of their household, do not establish a local connection with the district by virtue of serving, or having served, there while in the forces.
Having re-assessed Mr Cxxxxx's application and checked the information provided, I can confirm that as a serving member of the armed forces with no other connection to this district, his application does not attract local connection points at this time.


Forgive me if I'm reading this wrong....
I assume you are wanting to be rehoused in the area in which you were last stationed?

The local council/HA are correct to refuse an application of this kind. As they say, you have no ties in the area and therefore are not their responsibility.

If, however, you can prove that you have a local job to go to, they are obliged to house you. Another option is to rent privately, finding yourself a landlord who is willing to evict you after 6 months. You then become a "local homeless" and with children should go to the top of the housing list.

Your best bet is to apply to the council of your hometown. They DO have a responsibility to house you, and once you have a council/HA house you can apply for a mutual exchange.

The only other thing I can recommend is that you take yoga and meditation lessons. These will enable you to keep your blood pressure at an acceptable level whilst dealing with degree educated robots who can quote chapter and verse on every housing law ever published, but are at a complete loss when it comes to dealing with human beings
 
#17
Dave, times have changed and people in the service's are treated with disdain by councils and housing assocaitions. There are 1 million less social houses out there,compared to 20 years ago. However we are told there is a need for more migration from other countries! believe me, I am not saying we shouldn't help others in need,but we must help those who are already living here.

The Labour Party have cast a drift the countries Armed Forces,they have little regard for those injuried or on hard times. Please read the next letter pasted below.
Have a great xmas and all the very best in the new year. Nick


I only hope these people who are in a position to make a change do so!!!

Dear Mr Cxxxxxx

Thank you for your follow up email and telephone call. We apologise that you had cause to do so.

Your enquiry has been forwarded to xxxxxxx Brussels office for his further attention next week. We will indeed be making further investigations on your behalf and hope to be able to provide you with a more detailed response in due course.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Dxxxxx Txxxxx
PA to Rxxxxxx Hxxxxx MEP
East of England Region
 
#18
This MEP never contacted me again,and in fact when I phone Brussel (His Office) I got nothing but," sorry we do feel for the military BUT". In response to the last person Eye Of Newt, I was born in Malaysia (Penang) my parents were posted there,my father was in Borneo, fighting long fight. Where they live now has never been my home town. I pay my tax's like everyone else that serves this country,I'm on the local Electorial Roll and I'm a parish councillor for this area. In fact any civilian that lives in an area for 6 months is said to have made roots to that area? As I said at the begining of this forum site: I am lobby to get legislation changed,we should not be discriminated against because we served our COUNTRY

This is from a second MEP (Cons). As you can see others believe we are treated incorrectly.


Dear Mr. Cxxxx,

Apologies for not being in touch earlier. As you suspected the office has been closed over the summer. I have mentioned your case to Mr. xxxxxx who shares your concerns but will not be in Brussels until next week.

Am I correct in thinking you are currently in Bedfordshire? If that is the case then xxxxxxx Bxxxxxx MEP would be the appropriate person to take up your case. Mr Sxxxxx is responsible for Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.

Please let me know and then we can see how best to proceed.

Best wishes,

Axxxxxxx xxxxxxxx
Assistant to xxxxxxx Sxxxxx MEP
 
#19
Nick

Sorry to hear you are having these problems. (Before anyone starts on the "Shut your gob you student" I work in social housing for a HA that is massive in London part time as a senior allocations officer, who interviews nominated people for properties.)

I regret to say that social housing in the UK is in a right mess. We alone have to allocate 80% of our void properties to Local Authorities, if we are even one out then they can bend us over a barrell for all sorts of fines via the Housing Corp. Out of the last set of people I interviewed for a new development 6 out of 10 could not speak English and had been in the country little more then a year.

Not sure if it is just my HA but we did for many years take MOD nominations sent through to us from JSHAO at HQ Land, have you contacted them to see if they will nominate you to other H.A's? Or are you set in certain areas? I did read that you have contacted them already. Only other piece of advice I can offer is to contact the Housing Corporation who may know of other H.A's in you area who run schemes or have a allocation for ex service personel.

Rincewind said:
this worked for me....

walked into housing office with my discharge papers, sleeping bag, bergan, book and flask.

handed papers to geek behind glass, said i was homeless and i was thier problem....
Rincewind you where lucky with that one, was it local authority that you presented yourself to as homeless? H.A's do not have a duty to rehouse people who come to them as being homeless, they have to come via local authorities.

If I can be of any help let us know, as i'm hoping to join up soon it would be nice to know that it all wont go pete tong when I decide to leave.

Will
 
#20
Will. Thanks for that,Mid Beds has no MOD nomination scheme, I have told them they are the only county in the east of England with no scheme. They make good money and employment from the two camps in the area. The letter below was my first reply from the Prime Ministers Office.

This is the reply I got back from the letter I sent to the Prime Minister.



From the Direct Communications Unit

6 September 2005

Mr Nick Cxxxxxx
xx xxxxxx Dxxxx
Cxxxxx Sxxxxxxx
Bxxxxxxx
Sxx7 xxxU


Dear Mr Cxxxxxx

The Prime Minister has asked me to thank you for your recent letter and to say that the views you have expressed have been carefully noted.

He would like to reply personally, but, as you will appreciate, he receives many thousands of letters each week and this is not possible.

The subject you raise is the responsibility of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Mr Blair has asked that your letter be forwarded to that Department, so that they, too, are aware of your views and can reply to the detailed points you raise.

Yours sincerely


G EDxxxxxS
 

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