The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams


by Guest    
4:18 pm - July 20th 2012

      Share on Tumblr

contribution by Matilda Murday

On the 8th of February a man took his own life. Peter Williams was a gifted engineer, whose invention, still manufactured today, landed him in the Guinness World Records, but he was driven to bankruptcy and suicide by an unthinking and inhumane bureaucratic system.

Falling ill after his diabetes medication failed he fell into arrears on his council tax.

Months later, having paid of these arrears in full the council charged him £1350 in court costs. Unable to pay but not refusing to, he made an offer in 2005 to pay in instalments, this was refused.

From 2008 onwards Peter’s friends and loved ones wrote letters and campaigned to try and get the Council to recognise Peter’s situation and vulnerability, but they still pursued him. They threatened to evict him from his home of 30 years, a £200,000 house he owned outright. At one stage there was even a warrant out for Peter’s arrest.

Peter Williams, was diagnosed with serious depression, his GP wrote to the Council explaining that he was in the most severe category and was in danger. The Council still pursued him.

Alistair Burt, Peter’s MP stepped in to delay the date of Peter’s inevitable eviction in 2010 and succeeded in getting a stay of execution. In 2012 the firm who still manufacture his invention, SAVortex, made an offer of £1k per month to clear the now £70k + costs & interest, but it was rejected.

In February, after years of being pursued by Central Bedfordshire District Council, Peter wrote: “I have had enough and cannot stand any more of the mental turmoil,” and stepped in front of a train.

After 7 years of relentless pressure, including visitations and an arrest warrant, Peter Williams had accrued over £70,000 in interest and court fees on an original charge of £1350 for arrears that had been long paid off. He could no longer cope.

The Council’s said at the time: “we reject any suggestion that the council was responsible for this tragic event.”

In May the Local Government Ombudsman found Torbay Council guilty for carrying out the same tactics against a suicidal man who, unlike Peter, thankfully survived the ordeal. They have had to make reparations to the tune of £25,000.

In Peter William’s case the LGO have found there to be no maladministration, despite the similar circumstances, tactics and the loss of life.

I wrote about Peter for the first time today, because the press had not covered the issue. Taking to Twitter Central Bedfordshire Council’s response was simply:

But we can discuss it and we should. Peter’s last request to his friend Richard Harris was ‘to try make sure it never happened to anyone else’ and we cannot simply let the Council “reject any suggestion” of responsibility.


Please take the time to write, email, phone or even tweet Central Bedfordshire District Council and tell them that this is an unacceptable way to treat people.
Telephone: 0300 300 8301

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
This is a guest post.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Local Government

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


Is this an intentionally ironic post in LC?

2. Luis Enrique

why the hell would they reject his offer to pay off those costs in instalments?

do I understand correctly that the £70,000 in owed interest came from this £1350 in costs? what interest rate were they charging?

This is a terrible case which highlights a real problem and I hope against hope that Peter’s last request can be fulfilled.

But I would urge you not to telephone the number above. Write – yes absolutely, email if you prefer.

Both should be sent for the attention of council leader James Jamieson or Chief Executive Richard Carr. http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/whos-who-at-the-council/senior-councillors-and-officers.aspx

But don’t make angry phonecalls that only get through to a switchboard operator. They have nothing to do with the treatment of Mr Willams, and all you will end up with is the harassment of a low-paid worker with nothing to do with the case.

(in case it needed saying, I don’t work for Central Bedfordshire Council, live in Bedfordshire or – to the best of my knowledge – know anyone who works for them.)

The charges were not just interest but also court charges. It adds up to a ridiculous figure. The same happened in Torbay but over a much shorter period of time so he *only* accrued £24000 worth of debt on a similar initial amount.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-18100375

I know it seems impossible, but there it is.

Peter owned his home outright, he did not claim any benefits. He worked from his workshop at his home when his health permitted and he paid his Council Tax when his funds permitted. He had just paid several thousand pounds in arrears only months before they bankrupted him over £1350. They would have also had to rehouse him at the tax payer’s expense after they had evicted him.

Unfortunately despite years of trying we only managed to get him legal representation in Nov 2011. Noble Solicitors. They failed to follow instructions and left him high and dry with only days before the eviction in Feb 2012. Unlike Raworths http://www.raworths.co.uk/site/library/raworthsnews/mental_capacity_case_hits_headlines.html who helped a man in similar situation who had £1900 turned into £200k. Had Nobles done any research whatsoever they would have found this.

We found new solicitors and managed to secure a hearing the day before the eviction. The judge refused his new solicitor any time to allow them to build a case (they had the day before and no more which was just not enough). Instead the judge allowed them 30 minutes to arrange payment of the £70k. This was when the offer of £1k per month was made and refused. Why did they refuse? Why were the cost so high? They could smell the money – remember Peter owned his £275k home outright at the start of this. The Council could have so easily taken a charge on the property for £1350 instead of trying to punish Peter by bankrupting him. If they had done that – he’d be alive today.

The £70k (plus) has not to this day been broken down (despite numerous requests). When we first heard of Peter’s problems the bill was already over £30k, so I wrote to the Council for a breakdown. They REFUSED to give it on the grounds that to calculate it would further inflate the debt. I have that and much more in writing!

The LGO (who only investigated up to the point of bankruptcy in 2005 and no further) found no maladministration. What does this mean? It means the Council satisfied the LGO that it had followed its processes, even though the processes they cite in their LGO response appear to have been written years after the event. How did they satisfy the LGO? They wrote to them. What did the LGO do with our submissions? They rejected them. Why? They read them and didn’t agree. There was no investigation whatsoever, just stonewalling and a blatant desire to validate the Council’s actions. The LGO apparently only finds maladministration in less than 1.7% of cases. The LGO “investigation” into Peter’s case was a farce. Unlike this one: http://www.lgo.org.uk/complaint-outcomes/local-taxation/local-taxation-archive-2005-to-date/wolverhampton-city-council-06b16600/ which was diligently investigated.

There are four further complaints that I’ve made against the Council on behalf of his family (who knew nothing of this until after Peter’s death, in the same way his friends we’re led to believe he had no family) about the Councils actions post bankruptcy. The Council so far are refusing to investigate all but one them – the one relating to the SOVA alert below.

At no time during the 15 or so years they pursued Peter, did the Council ever formally asses his physical or mental health. I did manage to get him to see his GP eventually and he was referred to SEPT and diagnosed with severe depression. The Council always maintained there was nothing wrong with Peter despite a medical report and letters from his GP to the contrary. They even decided not to act on Safeguarding Of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA) alert the Friday before he died; I was told if I had an issue with this I should complain. When I pointed out their response to complaints was 9 days and by that time Peter might be dead – I was told unsympathetically that this would be “unfortunate”!

They adopted a wholly punitive stance against him and that’s what killed him.

Could the tide be turning against public sector bureaucrats?

I agree with the OP that this is a disgrace, but I also want to understand Luis’s point – normally, councils and HRMC will jump on the ability to pay in installments with a bit of interest.

Basically, it seems like the dude was a bit crazy and the council unleashed the kind of average bureaucracy on someone who didn’t really get it. Which is pants; it’s exactly the kind of situation where councils should have the discretion to waive things.

Also, the court fees money is ballocks; that’s all work done by council lawyers, not paid-for lawyers; whenever people try and pretend that in house shenanigans are billable at the rate of a real lawyer, it’s the sign of an evil thief.

Central Bedfordshire. Sounds awfy close to the fabled Mid Beds of Dorries. Is there a particular mindset in that neck of the woods?

These are a rural council, where mental heath and indeed everything is ignored in favour of lobbying…. but no, I won’t go on a farmer rant today. Suffice to say, nobody in govt gave a shit about Mr W, and vice versa, and that’s how the country rolls.

11. Chaise Guevara

@ Luis

“why the hell would they reject his offer to pay off those costs in instalments? ”

Well, a couple of years ago our house fell behind on council tax (the guy who handled the bills had basically procrastinated about sorting his bank account out, resulting in bounced direct debits). The council’s response was to issue a fine and remove our right to pay in installments, demanding nearly a year’s tax (plus fine) in one go. Bear in mind that this was a shared house of fairly skint people (a very common set-up in Manchester) where three of the residents had no idea there was a problem until it was too late.

Conclusion: some councils, at least, refuse to use installment plans because it’s a way of punishing people beyond what fines they’re allowed to impose, and aren’t particularly bothered about the circumstances of each case.

@10 as a rural councillor I must say thats counter to my experience and a rather unpleasant calumny.

Let’s wait for the inquest to pronounce judgement on this. It doesn’t look good, admittedly.

13. Charlieman

The narrative @5 by Richard H Harris provides some pertinent details which I presume to be true.

Central Bedfordshire District Council pursued Peter Williams for a debt before and after being advised that he suffered from mental health problems. PW owned a substantial property, and before “interest” and “cost” charges were applied, he owed a few council tax bills.

PW offered to pay by instalments at £1K per month, which implies a debt greater than £5K or £10K. It is unclear when PW stopped paying council tax but @5 says that the council pursued debts for 15 years; that may mean that he didn’t pay in 1995 but payed in subsequent years; assuming that PW did not pay council tax for 14 years (signal about mental health?), the debt would have been £30,000+, heading towards £40,000 (I don’t live in Bedfordshire, so I am guessing).

PW’s friends tried to find legal advice for him. If the narrative about being denied time (for the second lawyer) is true, the denial was probably wrong owing to the challenging nature of PW as a client.

PW was failed by a lot of people and it is unrealistic to point a single finger at Central Bedfordshire District Council.

The council had a duty of care to Peter Williams – to assess him and to obtain the assistance of the PCT to assess his health. It also had a discretion not to continue pursuing him for debts. It was informed of his vulnerability, yet chose to ignore that information without doing an assessment. The fact that a Judge or solicitors also made errors doesn’t take away the fact that but for the council’s continued and wrong pursuit of Mr Williams he would not have been faced with eviction and taken his own life.

Dear Charlieman,

Thank you for your presumption of truth. I do have documentary evidence.

Let’s be clear here. Peter first started having problems with his health in the 1990′s. This affected his ability to work and hence his ability to pay Council Tax.

The largest Council Tax arrears he ever accrued (that I know of) was around £4k.

BUT, he did make payments as and WHEN HE COULD AFFORD TO. Just months before the Council bankrupted him he made payments of many thousands and CLEARED his arrears.

The debt he was bankrupted over in 2005 was £1350 – the costs on previous recovery action by the Council – his offer of repayment on this was £30 / month.

When I first heard of Peter’s problems, in 2009, the costs on top of this £1350 were already over £30k, so I wrote to the Council for a breakdown of these costs. They REFUSED to give it on the grounds that to calculate it would further inflate the debt. I have that and much more in writing!

By 2012 the debt was over £70k (plus) has not to this day been broken down (despite numerous requests). The £70k is a contested, unproven debt and it was against this that an offer of £1k per month was made – the repayment was not offered by Peter (he couldn’t afford that), but by a 3rd party. The denial for delay was “because the case had been going on for too long” I’m told the judge said; it had nothing to do with Peter – the solicitors simply could not prepare a case in one day when replacing the first ones that had failed to act on instruction.

Peter was failed by other parties, but the instigator, driver and party with duty of care was Central Bedfordshire Council.

To pre-empt what the Council will / has said in its defence (and yes it is defending its actions and position):

1. We tried to help him
> Their efforts to “help” him were view by Peter as bullying an hectoring and were focussed on recovery of their money. The man they sent from the Council to visit him – is the same Revenues Manager that Peter named as to blame in his final message to the world. They did apparently send him some forms, but as he’d not opened his post since the mid 90′s – it was discovered after his death, pile high in the house – this was of no help either.

2. There were no signs of any mental illness
> untrue, there were plenty if they looked and not looking when they should is not a defence.

3. We did not know at the time of the bankruptcy
> possibly true, although I understand they were order to assess Peter in 2004/5 by a court at the same time as the offer of repayment of £30 per month on the debt of £1350. There is no evidence that they assessed Peter then or at any later date.

4. It was not our responsibility post-bankruptcy
> not true, a creditor – especially one with a duty of care and a sole creditor – cannot divorce itself from the collection actions and the consequences. They may not have been directly involved, but they were certainly involved and still had a duty of care.

5. We did nothing wrong – the LGO says so.
> Not true, the LGO can only look at whether or not they followed their processes (i.e. maladministration). This is what the LGO told me. My comment on this process can been seen above in comment 5.

6. We did not fail in our duty of care
> How do you define failure? He’s dead. That’s a catastrophic failure to my mind.

They also admitted that had they known what they know now they would have probably handled this very differently. (which is also telling)

They should simply admit, their processes failed (or disclose why and where they were not followed [although this is one of the things they are currently refusing to investigate as a complaint]

Apologise sincerely and profusely.

Change their processes to ensure this happens to no one else.

I think that in cases like this a percentage charge on the property would be appropriate (with a minimum repayment). In this case everyone wins. The person stays in their house, there’s no large recovery cost, no re-housing cost, simple administration and when the house is sold or the person dies the Council takes its share and in fact makes a profit. Councils routinely use a similar method to pay for the care of the elderly.

17. Chaise Guevara

@ 15

“When I first heard of Peter’s problems, in 2009, the costs on top of this £1350 were already over £30k, so I wrote to the Council for a breakdown of these costs. They REFUSED to give it on the grounds that to calculate it would further inflate the debt. I have that and much more in writing! ”

What? If they didn’t know how the costs had been calculated how did they reach a figure in the first place?

He owed taxes. He deserved TO DIE. FEED THE BEAST, THE STATE IS SUPREME. UKUNCUT WILL FIND ALL THE TAX DODGING SCUM AND DO THE SAME.

Every member of staff in Central Bedfordshire Council with even a whiff of responsibility for letting this damnable tragedy come to pass should be tried for murder. The shocking pack of despicable cunts that they are.

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 18 Old Holburn

“He owed taxes. He deserved TO DIE. FEED THE BEAST, THE STATE IS SUPREME. UKUNCUT WILL FIND ALL THE TAX DODGING SCUM AND DO THE SAME.”

Please provide a source for UKUncut labelling poverty-stricken people who can’t pay their taxes as “tax-dodging scum”.

21. Chaise Guevara

@ 19 The Illusive Man

“Every member of staff in Central Bedfordshire Council with even a whiff of responsibility for letting this damnable tragedy come to pass should be tried for murder.”

Seriously? You think Sarah from accounting should be sent to jail for 20 years because she briefly worried about this case but decided her superiors must know what they’re doing?

Also, Shepard wants to see you in the debriefing room.

@Chaise Guevara – Comment 21:

Shepard can wait… For now.

A note should certainly be placed on her records, and if she had concerns but didn’t raise them, then she should stand in the dock too, on a charge of negligence at best and manslaughter at worst. If it could be proved that she actively assisted their efforts to extort money from this guy, we could add conspiracy to the list of crimes…

23. Chaise Guevara

@ 22

I think you’re being hugely heavy-handed here, and I think it’s mainly down to benefit of hindsight. Presumably most of the staff involved were doing their jobs and had no choice, and it’s easy, after the fact, to say “You could see that guy was upset, therefore you should have known he was gonna kill himself”, but I bet you and I aren’t always shining examples of compassion and selflessness and could randomly find ourselves facing the same accusation if we got embroiled in a high-profile case.

When I worked in an entry-level job in a bank, part of my job was to consider waiving bank charges for things like unauthorised overdrafts. If someone had a history of repeatedly incurring charges and then calling up to demand a refund, I would be expected to refuse (and could get into trouble if I was found to just be authorising refunds willy-nilly). I really don’t think I should then find myself in the dock if it turns out that one of those people was in dire financial straits and killed themselves.

Also, you have to apply the law as it stands now. What the council has done is not murder or manslaughter, and it’s not “conspiracy” if you’re acting within the law. Maybe we should change the law (if the facts of the case are as presented above, we definitely should), but banning something then retroactively punishing the people who did it before the ban is Kafkaesque and nightmarish. Imagine if the government banned alcohol, found a Facebook photo of you holding a beer before the ban, then jailed you for it.

For a society to function, you have to let people get away with bad actions if they haven’t broken the law. That’s “get away with” in a legal sense: you can still condemn them, demand that they apologise, campaign for them to be sacked etc.

@23

Perhaps, but this isn’t the only time that a local authority has been caught being negligent, and alarm bells should have started ringing for the authority workers no matter what the processes and legal situation might have been the moment his GP contacted them about his depression and his MP started campaigning on his behalf. But they still did nothing. They still refuse to admit that they acted like a bunch of voracious, small-minded predators interested in nothing more than a few shiny coins, which incidentally, he offered to pay back in instalments (an offer which they very generously refused) and the company which manufactures his inventions also offered to pay – again, they refused. They were out for blood, it seems, and I still maintain that they are at best incompetent and not fit to hold public office, and at worst they are guilty of manslaughter through professional negligence.

Emailed them.

I don’t want to live in a country where this kind of bastard behaviour is in any way acceptable or defensible.

Polly

26. the a&e charge nurse

[16] ‘We did not fail in our duty of care’ – what an utterly contemptible response, and proof, if proof were needed that an absolute reliance on ‘systems’ can lead to unintended, and sometimes tragic consequences.

It seems the ‘system’ at Central Bedfordshire Council did not have the intelligence to highlight exceptional cases (vulnerable clients with no means of settling an artificially inflated debt) – their response is ‘Strangelove-esque’ – a film that taught us about the failure of systems, especially the defective character traits of those meant to be in charge of them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgyjlqhiTV8&feature=related

You can bet your bottom dollar there is a least one member of the CBC hierarchy who will be vaguely reminiscent of Buck Turgidson.

27. Robin Levett

@Richard Harris passim:

It would certainly be unusual for the LGO to manifest “a blatant desire to validate the Council’s actions”; is there a copy of the LGO report/response available anywhere?

@20: the unpaid taxes or Mr. Williams were part of the tax gap that has been very much publicized by people like Richard Murphy and Eoin Clarke, using Liberal Conspiracy as their platform. That is why I originally considered this post to be very, very self-ironic, but apparently it has been made in earnest.

@pjt

The tax gap relates to business and extremely wealthy individuals evading their tax. It does not relate to the vulnerable unable to pay inflated and arbitrary costs, chased to the point of suicide.

A very real question should be how on earth they managed to create £70,000 worth of costs.

The tax gap relates to business and extremely wealthy individuals evading their tax. It does not relate to the vulnerable unable to pay inflated and arbitrary costs, chased to the point of suicide.

Perhaps that is what is should relate to. But that’s not how bureaucracies see things.

Some of the tax gap is just invented, made up by activists. Like the famous Vodafone 6 billion. Some of it is actually real, uncontested tax which has not been paid. Like Mr. Williams’s £1350.

31. the a&e charge nurse

From reports I’ve read it seems Central Bedfordshire Council outsourced debt collection to Grant Thornton, and it was this outfit who were behind eviction proceedings?
http://www.grant-thornton.co.uk/en/Services/Recovery–Reorganisation/Personal-Insolvency/Bankruptcy–Sequestration/

Grant Thornton’s blurb tell us ‘the effective and targeted use of insolvency proceedings has led to a significant increase in recovery success for these creditors where other attempts to elicit payment have failed’.

The Indie says ‘A growing army of thousands of “debt chasers” is making millions from the misery of Britons who have spent years spending above their means, in what campaigners have slammed as “legalised profiteering” – it also reports, ‘More than eight million Britons are in serious debt – a quarter of whom are struggling to make their repayments. Major lenders are taking legal action against people’s assets, according to evidence from the Credit Management Research Centre at the University of Leeds, which warns that people’s homes are also at risk’.

Mind you CBC’s conscience is clear – they cannot be held accountable for tactics employed by a third party (can they?) while the Local Government Ombudsman presumably gave tacit approved to the legal mugging meted out to Peter Williams? Apparently it perfectly acceptable to transform a relatively modest amount of debt into a £70k monster?

.

32. Charlieman

@31. the a&e charge nurse: “From reports I’ve read it seems Central Bedfordshire Council outsourced debt collection to Grant Thornton, and it was this outfit who were behind eviction proceedings?”

That is interesting. Grant Thornton, by contract, are required to follow decisions made by the local authority. They have no power except for that bestowed by the local authority. If they step outside their contract, trouble should descend on them; if they abide by the contract, all trouble lands on the local authority.

All very interesting, and also quite appalling. If half of things reported here about this case are true, major changes need to be made to local authority debt collection. I hope you will update us, Matilda.

My initial reaction was scepticism. Like LE @2, I was puzzled by the refusal by the Council to accept repayment by instalments. Then I read CG @ 11 and was horrified. Councils should not be able to behave like that. I work for a registered social landlord: if a tenant gets into arrears, we must agree with them a repayment plan. Similar codes and obligations should apply to local government.

Cherub @ 9: a cheap shot. PW’s Tory MP seems to have supported him; and, as CG @ 11 indicates, political control (CG is/was in Manchester) of the Council is not the issue. That said, Ms Dorries is very silly.

pjt @ 28 & 30 and matilda @ 29: The ‘tax gap’ beloved of the-less-than-credible Richard Murphy must inevitably include PW’s £1350. And quite possibly 10 million other taxpayers who are avoiding or evading or simply cannot pay similar sums…The ‘tax gap’ – if it exists – is simply not the preserve of the rich. Which is just one thing that makes it so questionable.

Finally, I hope this dreadful case challenges those people who post on here believing that public sector = good and private sector = bad…

@33: The ‘tax gap’ beloved of the-less-than-credible Richard Murphy must inevitably include PW’s £1350. And quite possibly 10 million other taxpayers who are avoiding or evading or simply cannot pay similar sums…The ‘tax gap’ – if it exists – is simply not the preserve of the rich. Which is just one thing that makes it so questionable.

Precisely my point. Which makes this OP somewhat inconsistent with the overall approach of LC which gives so much room to the likes of Murphy. This sad case is worth a lot more concern, but it is typical of what happens when government (or other) bureaucracies get too much power.

35. the a&e charge nurse

[32] Charlieman, the story was run on 18th Feb
http://philgroom.wordpress.com/2012/02/

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists ’50% of UK adults in ‘problem debt’ have a mental disorder’.
The RCP say (in, ‘Debt collection and mental health: the evidence report; Research findings from a national survey of 1270 frontline staff working in creditor and debt collection agencies’)
* recognise that a sizeable number of their indebted customers will have mental health problems;
* acknowledge that these mental health problems can affect customers’ abilities to manage or repay their debt;
* create environments which encourage customers to disclose, by making it clear that any information they share will be treated sensitively, seriously, and securely;
* take the initiative and ask customers about mental health problems where they have a strong reason to suspect a problem exists;
* fully discuss with customers who do disclose, what relevance and effect their mental health problem may have on the repayment of that debt;
* give creditor staff the skills and confidence they need to ask and talk about mental health problems with customers.

This sort of advice seems especially pertinent in this case given that Mr Williams had already been diagnosed with severe depression @5

Broke, and depressed yet the system failed to either recognise or acknowledge these problems, or ask the sort of questions that might have led them to take a more humane course of action.

36. Charlieman

@34. pjt: “Which makes this OP somewhat inconsistent with the overall approach of LC which gives so much room to the likes of Murphy.”

Bollocks, as we say in England.

Murphy and his mates get a lot of exposure on LC. They get a lot of criticism on LC.

This OP is about an individual, PW, and whether PW was treated respectfully.

@36: Philip Green is also an individual, but that hasn’t prevented LC from flouting much disrespectful (and incorrect) nonsense about his tax affairs. Now, he is strong enough to personally not care about that, but still this undermines the credibility of criticising the taxman.

(I should note that I don’t live in Britain, and I could add that the taxman in Scandinavian countries seems to be a lot more helpful than HMRC. They actually have a legal duty to advice taxpayers to pay as little tax as they are legally obliged to. And most of the time they actually seem to work that way, too.)

38. the a&e charge nurse

[37] ‘Philip Green is also an individual, but that hasn’t prevented LC from flouting much disrespectful (and incorrect) nonsense about his tax affairs’ – is it surprising given that even MPs are calling for an investigation into his tax arrangements?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/aug/19/philip-green-liberal-democrats-tax

But what has any of that got to do with a man who was hounded over a modest debt that was inflated by nearly 7,000% ?

39. Chaise Guevara

@ 24 The Illusive Man

“They were out for blood, it seems, and I still maintain that they are at best incompetent and not fit to hold public office, and at worst they are guilty of manslaughter through professional negligence.”

I’m trying to reserve judgement as I’ve only heard one side of this case. There could be things I’m not aware of going on.

However, if the article is a fair summary of events I think one or more people should be finding their P45s on their desks.

40. Chaise Guevara

@ pjt

“the unpaid taxes or Mr. Williams were part of the tax gap that has been very much publicized by people like Richard Murphy and Eoin Clarke, using Liberal Conspiracy as their platform. That is why I originally considered this post to be very, very self-ironic, but apparently it has been made in earnest.”

If true, then fair enough. But I’d say that the sin there was dodgy use of statistics (i.e. using cases like this to inflate the tax-dodging figure) – it doesn’t make it hypocritical to think mutlimillionaires should pay more tax but desperate and vulnerable people should be given kinder treatment.

41. Robin Levett

@all:

Could we all put the torches and pitchforks down and stop acting like good little TPA acolytes for a moment while we establish some reality. We really don;t have enough facts to decide what, if anything, CBC has done wrong.

Richard: Is it true that Peter Williams died a bankrupt?

If so, then an awful lot of your account is based on a complete misconception of what is going on. In particular (sorrry Charlieman at #32), Grant Thornton as trustee in bankruptcy are required by law to get in and distribute the assets of the bankrupt for the benefit of all the creditors. They do not act according to the instructions of any single creditor, or even the creditors as a whole.

Again, if the debt for which CBC petitioned was £1,350, then that is the debt which they have proved. It may be (I haven’t checked) that they would be able to prove in the bankruptcy for after-accruing CT debt, but they wouldn’t be able to run up costs against Mr Williams.

The £70k will be the whole of the debts owed by Peter Williams, together with the costs run up by GT in acting as Trustee.

Could you answer, please, Richard; and of course answer my previous comment.

42. the a&e charge nurse

[41] protagonists may have followed procedure, but how can we not question a procedure that has led to a vulnerable man killing himself …….. in this case for a paltry sum that was bloated out of all proportion without anybody being able to take a more compassionate view of Mr William’s desperate, and long standing circumstances (broke, harassed and depressed).

The RCP have identified a significant relationship between debt and those with mental health issues (such as depression).
Given that CBC were chasing money for over a decade did it ever to occur to the bureaucrats that they were more in thrall to their own procedures rather than recognising that somebody might have needed help (and by help, I don’t mean incremental additions to the tens of thousand of pounds of debt they had already saddled him with).

It’s true we don’t have all the facts, except perhaps the most important one – a man walked in front of train because he could no longer cope with the debt recovery procedure, or being burdened with an ever growing sum of money that was only ever likely to be recouped if sold up his home.

It’s true we don’t have all the facts, except perhaps the most important one – a man walked in front of train because he could no longer cope with the debt recovery procedure, or being burdened with an ever growing sum of money that was only ever likely to be recouped if sold up his home.

Just a minute.

If we were to dispense with our system of debt recovery through the courts, the whole fabric of society would collapse and a number of firms of bailiffs would go to the wall. Local authority bureaucrats would almost certainly lose their jobs. This man being driven to suicide as a result is merely an unfortunate side effect.

After all, Peter Williams entered into a voluntary contract with the Council to pay them Council Tax in return for the services they provided. It was his choice.

Wasn’t it?

44. Chaise Guevara

@ 43 pagar

“After all, Peter Williams entered into a voluntary contract with the Council to pay them Council Tax in return for the services they provided. It was his choice.

Wasn’t it?”

Arguably, but do bear in mind that this doesn’t lead to an obvious answer for people who aren’t libertarians. Choices aren’t made in vaccuum. Things like power discrepency exist.

If you had the opportunity to save someone’s life, you could tell them that you’d only do it if they first signed something making them your indentured servant for life, and from the “it was his choice” argument it would be all well and good. But I’d call that exploitation and argue the contract should be voided.

Hello. No offence, but I just searched the Guinness Book of Records website, and Peter Williams gets a zero.

What is he in the Guinness Book of Records for? Under what name? What does the entry say?

46. Charlieman

A belated thanks to a&e for the link below which fills in some missing information:

http://philgroom.wordpress.com/2012/02/

pagar @ 43:

“If we were to dispense with our system of debt recovery through the courts, the whole fabric of society would collapse and a number of firms of bailiffs would go to the wall. Local authority bureaucrats would almost certainly lose their jobs.”

Allowing debtors to repay their debt by instalments – which possibility PW was apparently denied – is not undermining the debt recovery system: rather, it is making it work more efficiently and humanely.

@45 It’s this – http://www.savortex.com/ a hand dryer.

Pagar says

After all, Peter Williams entered into a voluntary contract with the Council to pay them Council Tax in return for the services they provided. It was his choice.

Chaise says

Arguably

Err no. It is not arguable and Chaise must be half asleep to have missed the irony of my post.

Peter Williams did not enter into any contract to pay Council Tax as do none of us.

The contract has the same moral legitimacy as the contract entered into by the businessman who agrees to pay £100 a week to ensure his premises are not burnt down. The fact that it was the instruments of the state who hounded this man to his death does not make the unilaterally enforced contract more legitimate.

In fact, it makes the consequences of the coercion worse.

50. Chaise Guevara

@ 49 pagar

“Err no. It is not arguable and Chaise must be half asleep to have missed the irony of my post.”

Err yes it is arguable, because your personal opinion =/= Official Dogma of Rightness.

“Peter Williams did not enter into any contract to pay Council Tax as do none of us. ”

He chose to pay that council tax when he decided to rent or buy a property in that council’s jurisdiction. He could have gone with a competitor instead, or even left the country and found somewhere with no council tax at all.

Now, there are a host of problems with this in a practical sense. It’s far from an unweighted choice, and it’s possible that in reality moving would have made no difference or exacerbated things. But it can still be presented as a choice. Companies do this to people too and it’s a reason that libertarianism doesn’t work IRL.

“The contract has the same moral legitimacy as the contract entered into by the businessman who agrees to pay £100 a week to ensure his premises are not burnt down. The fact that it was the instruments of the state who hounded this man to his death does not make the unilaterally enforced contract more legitimate.”

The contract is in fact considerably more legitimate, as a) it has a democratic mandate and b) he was not helping a thug pay for his new conservatory, but instead being asked to pay his share to a fund used to benefit all contributers. Now, in this case it might be that “his share” was horrribly ill-defined, but the system has far more legitimacy that Tony Soprano, arguably more legitimacy than any other system that has ever been conceived.

He landed in the Guinness world Record for his Vortex device, which was the world’s most efficient hand-dryer.

Pager @ 43

After all, Peter Williams entered into a voluntary contract with the Council to pay them Council Tax in return for the services they provided. It was his choice.

I have a degree of sympathy for your statement, here. The central point regarding the complete shambles that is council tax has undoubtedly contributed to this unfortunate man’s suicide.

Council Tax is not based on one’s ability to pay, but rather the house you occupy. Obviously the man’s tax liability continued when his earnings stopped. This had the effect of racking up a debt, based on the fact that the house he was occupying was still worth a given value. Clearly if we had a taxation system based on income instead of being based around a nominal value of property then none of this would have happened. His liability would have ended as soon as his ability to pay had ended.

Of course, Alex Salmond had the vision to see how profoundly unfair the Council tax is and that is why he proposed scrapping it, two elections ago. Never the less the ‘British’ Parties closed ranks and scuppered the move, driving low paid Scots further into poverty. The fact that the Tories and New Labour support a pernicious tax is only to be expected, but the Lib Dems bleating like pathetic sheep finally convinced me of the need for Scottish independance and rid of the whole fucking lot of the Westminster-centric bastards.

54. Robin Levett

@Charlieman #46:

It seems to me that this:

I have a couple of simple questions for Central Beds Council:

1. Who let the dogs out?
2. Since you knew about Peter’s mental health problems, why didn’t you call them off?

Seems to me that transferring a debt to a third party, then denying all responsibility when that third party’s pursuit of that debt results in a tragedy such as this, simply doesn’t wash, any more than Pontius Pilate washing his hands absolved him of responsibility for the death of Jesus.

is misconceived. The emphasised part is where the story goes off the rails. The debt was not transferred to a third party; GT were instructed a trustees in bankruptcy, with responsibility for getting in his assets and paying all his debts.

We don’t know why Mr Williams didn’t pay his Council tax, but it wasn’t necessarily because of mental illness. It could be because he objected to something he put at the door of CBDC; a Google search shows that he was active on behalf of Langdon Parish Council in opposition to a windfarm project.

We do know that CBDC did get an assessment done of his mental health before the final eviction; but that was presumably not considered by the bankruptcy court to be sufficiently exceptional circumstances to prevent the eviction going ahead.

I agree that post #41 raises some legitimate questions.

However I can confirm that in general, this kind of treatment of vulnerable people by councils is absolutely standard. I once had a client who was entitled to full council tax benefit but was too unwell to make the claim required. The council refused to stop enforcement of the arrears that were accruing and said that bailiff action would be automatic (which is not true but they have corrupt agreements with the bailiff firms to maximise their fees.)

@ Chaise

He chose to pay that council tax when he decided to rent or buy a property in that council’s jurisdiction. He could have gone with a competitor instead, or even left the country and found somewhere with no council tax at all.

I am regularly told to “go to Somalia if you don’t like it here” but it’s not really a great argument in terms of improving matters in the UK.

The contract is in fact considerably more legitimate, as a) it has a democratic mandate and b) he was not helping a thug pay for his new conservatory, but instead being asked to pay his share to a fund used to benefit all contributers.

Your argument is that democracy provides the state with a mandate to unilaterally impose contracts onto its citizens and then use violence to enforce such contracts.
You will understand that I cannot agree that such a mandate is legitimate however this doesn’t really matter as I am nevertheless compelled to comply.

Look what happens when you don’t.

British Constitution Group Chairman Roger Hayes was arrested by police yesterday morning in scenes “reminiscent of Stasi East Germany,” before being tried in secret and sentenced to prison over Hayes’ refusal to pay state taxes.

http://leaksource.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/uk-activist-roger-hayes-arrested-tried-in-secret-court-for-non-payment-of-tax/

Please also note the appalling censorship of social media involved in this case.

The British government later ordered You Tube to remove videos of the incident from the Internet.

http://www.infowars.com/government-orders-you-tube-to-censor-protest-videos/

That’s how scared a threat of the money drying up got them!!! And you still deny it is other than a protection racket?

Incidentally, the use of hard line action to recover Council tax debt is far greater than anything comparable in the private sector and, as Tom points out above, the relationships between Councils and the firms of bailiffs they instruct are often corrupt. I happen to know someone who owns such a firm and I can confirm he has a very nice conservatory………….

57. the a&e charge nurse

[54] ‘We do know that CBDC did get an assessment done of his mental health before the final eviction’ – that’s not my reading if we take Richard Harris’s account @5 at face value – Richard says, ‘At no time during the 15 or so years they pursued Peter, did the Council ever formally asses his physical or mental health’.

It appears as though Richard was able to persuade Peter Williams to see his GP, who in turn referred him to SEPT
http://www.sept.nhs.uk/

As a result of this assessment Mr Williams was diagnosed with severe depression, and correspondance to this affect was forwarded to CBC.

CBC neither arranged an assessment of Mr Harris’s mental health needs nor found any reason to act differently despite the opinion of SEPT.

58. Chaise Guevara

@ 56 pagar

“I am regularly told to “go to Somalia if you don’t like it here” but it’s not really a great argument in terms of improving matters in the UK. ”

Sure. Still a choice though. And as a libertarian I’m sure you find yourself saying “Don’t do business with them if you don’t like their prices” even when there’s no real other option.

“Your argument is that democracy provides the state with a mandate to unilaterally impose contracts onto its citizens and then use violence to enforce such contracts.”

Yep, although I think the word “unilaterally” is a bit misleading seeing as the state represents the populace.

“You will understand that I cannot agree that such a mandate is legitimate however this doesn’t really matter as I am nevertheless compelled to comply. ”

Again, you could leave. I’m not trying to brush off your concerns by shouting “If you don’t like it you know where the door is!”, I’m just pointing out that you aren’t actually compelled to stay in the country a la North Korea.

“That’s how scared a threat of the money drying up got them!!! And you still deny it is other than a protection racket?”

Assuming that story is actually true, it’s pretty appalling. But one swallow does not a summer make. Again, the money is spent on the population and we need a way of punishing free-loaders.

“Incidentally, the use of hard line action to recover Council tax debt is far greater than anything comparable in the private sector and, as Tom points out above, the relationships between Councils and the firms of bailiffs they instruct are often corrupt. I happen to know someone who owns such a firm and I can confirm he has a very nice conservatory………….”

Obviously I’m not arguing in favour of corrupt individuals. If this is an issue we need to fix it. However, it doesn’t change the fact that tax goes into public coffers, not a gangster’s pocket.

59. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #57:

‘We do know that CBDC did get an assessment done of his mental health before the final eviction’ – that’s not my reading if we take Richard Harris’s account @5 at face value

It’s in the Phil Groom blogpost you cited at #35.

@54 Robin – I’m curious are you a lawyer or do you work for the Council or both? Your comments are focussed on legal and procedural technicalities and miss the salient points entirely:

> CBDC had a duty to assess Peter, they didn’t and so they failed in their duty of care.

> Bankruptcy was not appropriate.

> Eviction was not appropriate.

> A charging order could have and should have been used.

> Legally the Council cannot divorce itself from either not looking into Peter’s circumstances properly or the consequences of their recovery actions.

> If Peter had not been evicted he’d be alive today.

CBDC are now busy wasting further time and money on trying to defend the course of action that resulted in Peter’s death when they should:

Admit that either there were processes which were not followed or that they need to change their processes (unless they believe that the outcome is acceptable?!).

Apologise.

Implement procedures to prevent this happening again.

The only reason I can see for NOT doing this is purely financial i.e. fear of a negligence claim, which in any case could be brought at some point regardless.

To answer your points specifically:

CBDC: To my knowledge and in any and all communication from CBDC it is clear they never properly or formerly assessed Peter. NEVER! They maintained to the end there was nothing seriously wrong with him. It’s true that I managed to get him to see his GP – it was not easy, I lived 2 hours away from him and seldom saw him face-to-face as I knew him though work. It was not my responsibility to get him assessed, nor his, it was CBDCs. It was also their responsibility to act on the assessments.

Mr Williams HAD PAID his Council Tax arrears of several thousand pounds only months before being made bankrupt over just court costs of £1350. He was not bankrupted over non-payment of taxes.

It is my understanding he had consistently cleared his arrears when he could afford to do so. Bankruptcy under the guidelines issued to Councils is supposed to be a last resort. It was not a last resort in this case, it was a punitive measure.

Regarding debt transference – you are technically correct (although your point does not seem relevant to me). The debt was not transferred. It remained with CBDC who instructed solicitors (Wilkin Chapman I believe) to commence and conclude bankruptcy proceeding against Mr Williams. It is my understanding Grant Thornton were brought in by the Official Receiver to act as Trustee in Bankruptcy. This is completely irrelevant. As SOLE creditor CBDC were very much involved in the recovery process. They cannot under law divorce themselves from either their responsibility to assess and investigate or from the consequences of further recovery actions.

But using bankruptcy to enforce the £1350 was just not appropriate. There is already a mechanism known as a Charging Order (which given your other comments, Robin, you will clearly understand, but for anyone who doesn’t it would have secured the debt against his property and been paid on its sale). This could have been sought at any point pre- or even post-bankruptcy. There was no requirement to evict him.

The point I am making is that the Council did not evaluate a charging order for the £1350 debt. They did not pursue it pre-bankruptcy or even suggest it post-bankruptcy. The Council thought Mr Williams was a “won’t pay”, difficult old man acting on principle and sought punitive measures against him as a consequence. Punitive measures that led to his death.

This £1350 is all that the Council would have recouped from this process. They would have then had to rehouse Peter after having deprived him of not only his home but place of work – thus depriving him of any chance of paying Council Tax. So what Peter was subjected to was not only morally and ethically wrong, it was economic insanity also.

So anyone claiming that dealing with this in anyway other way undermines the fabric of society is just plain wrong. Mr Williams did not seek to avoid paying taxes; he paid them when he could. No one is suggesting he should not have paid taxes; he did pay them! There were mechanisms that exist within debt recovery that could have and should have been used. There should be processes within SEPT, SOVA and CBDC that should have set alarm bells ringing and put a stop this much, much earlier. The CEO of the Council had been written to directly on a number of occasions so they can’t say they didn’t know.

The only reason I can see that an eviction was pursued is 1) punitive and 2) money grabbing – remember they were offered £1k per month the day before the eviction.

61. Planeshift

This is further evidence that council tax is the most stupidiest way of financing local government, that local government is often staffed by little shits and that the courts need to protect vulnerable people far more than they do.

62. Robin Levett

@Richard Harris #60:

Robin – I’m curious are you a lawyer or do you work for the Council or both?

What a revealing response to an attempt to import a little objectivity into the discussion.

Yes, I am a lawyer; no, I don’t work for the CBDC. I have acted both for and against local authorities, and when acting for them make no secret of my regarding myself in that role as a gamekeeper turned poacher.

Your comments are focussed on legal and procedural technicalities and miss the salient points entirely:

No; my comments are focussed on trying to establish the salient facts. We aren’t/shouldn’t be looking for ways to condemn the Council, but to find out whether the Council deserves condemnation. If it does, then hand me a torch and pitchfork, but fogive me for insisting on being given all salient facts, and not just those you choose to refer to.

It is more than a mere technicality that Mr Williams was bankrupt. However much you argue otherwise, ultimately the trustee is the one who makes the decisions.

Whether bankruptcy is appropriate is very much within the purview of the LGO. You haven’t referred me to the complaint or response, and in the absence of those documants we must assume that the LGO adopted its usual approach, set out in its Focus report published last October:

We are likely to find maladministration if a council:
? does not have a formal, published Debt Recovery Policy covering bankruptcy, committal to prison or charging orders
? has not gathered and considered information about an individual debtor’s circumstances
? does not include in its Debt Recovery Policy the steps officers must take before deciding on bankruptcy, committal to prison or charging orders, or
? pursues bankruptcy without clearly recording that each of these steps has been taken and making a record of each outcome.

In developing a Debt Recovery Policy a council must, by law, consider whether its recovery practice would particularly disadvantage a disabled person; and, if so, what steps can be taken to avoid the disadvantage.

We expect Debt Recovery Policies to set out when decisions about recovery measures should be based on consideration of an individual debtor’s circumstances and the information that the decision maker should consider. This will depend on a combination of practicality and the impact of the recovery measure on the debtor – it would not be practicable for a council to consider individual circumstances when issuing reminders or summonses for liability orders (but a council that already has information about individual circumstances that might affect such decisions should ensure that it is taken into account).

Given the draconian consequences for individuals, we are likely to find maladministration if a Debt Recovery Policy does not require:

1. Council officers to have made reasonable efforts to contact the debtor in person, including visiting their home if necessary.
2. A senior officer to have decided that pursuing bankruptcy is a fair and proportionate action after:
? reviewing an accurate history of the origin of the debt and attempts to recover it
? considering information about the past, present, disputed or outstanding benefit claims or any discounts or exemptions that might be relevant
? assessing that the debtor has assets that will clear the debt if bankruptcy is pursued
? assessing that there is no realistic prospect of recovering the debt by other means in a reasonable timescale
? gathering sufficient evidence about the debtor’s circumstances
? considering whether a debtor’s failure to pay and to respond to other recovery measures could arise from a disability (including a mental impairment with a long-term and substantial effect on normal day-to-day activities), and
? considering whether the debtor’s personal circumstances warrant them being protected from the consequences of recovery action.

Visits to a debtor’s home to levy distress are an opportunity to gather information and a council’s expectations about what should be recorded by its own staff or bailiffs should be set out in its Debt Recovery Policy.

Decisions about pursuing bankruptcy, seeking committal to prison or applying for a charging order should be recorded and the records retained together with the information considered by the decision maker.

Written information should to be provided to the debtor when bankruptcy proceedings are being considered. That information should:
? warn the debtor of the serious consequences of bankruptcy and their continued failure to make arrangements to pay the debt, and
? urge them to seek independent advice and ‘sign-post’ to local sources of advice.

You have said that the LGO rejected the complaint; we must therefore assume that the LGO was happy both that CBDC had a policy including all the above, and also had abided by that policy in Mr Williams’ case in deciding whether to pursue his bankruptcy.

That pretty much answers the points you make about whether the Council should have proceeded to bankruptcy.

The LGO has no jurisdiction over the Trustee, hence it would not investigate his actions after appointment.

I’m not quite sure how your statement that “he paid his Council Tax when his funds permitted” and your reference to CBDC being his sole creditor fit together. It suggests – although you can confirm this or otherwise – that he was paying his Council Tax when he had money available after paying other creditors.

Again, I don’t know how you can justify the following as a blanket statement:

CBDC had a duty to assess Peter, they didn’t and so they failed in their duty of care.

In the absence of circumstances justifying his sectioning, CBDC have no power to assess an unwilling “patient”. You had difficulty persuading him to go to his GP; CBDC claim to have referred him for assessment. They can’t kidnap him and take him to assessment.

There is already a mechanism known as a Charging Order (which given your other comments, Robin, you will clearly understand, but for anyone who doesn’t it would have secured the debt against his property and been paid on its sale). This could have been sought at any point pre- or even post-bankruptcy.

No, not post-bankruptcy. Once the Bankruptcy Order has been made, this remedy would not be available; the whole point of bankruptcy is that it protects the bankrupt from further action by creditors.

This isn’t, with respect, a minor point; it shows that you don’t fully understand what is going on here. That doesn’t mean that on a correct understanding the Council doesn’t have something to answer for; but it does mean that I cannnot take the criticism you make at face-value.

@62 Robin Levett

Your comments are still focussed on legal and procedural technicalities. This is not a debate for a doctorate in law. This about a very real situation regarding a man who died as a direct result of how it was handled.

The essence of what you seem to be saying that “provided the Council followed their processes they are not at fault and they have no responsibility post bankruptcy” – that is their line too and it’s also not true, whether the followed their “processes” or not – which still remains to be seen.

You points and arguments are not introducing any “objectivity”. You seem to be trying to argue why the Council is not to blame, you also appear to be privy to inside information and you do miss the salient points entirely.

I can assure you I was far from objective when it happened, but if you’d like some objectivity then there are only four logical scenarios:

1) There were processes and mechanisms in place to avoid this type of situation but they were not followed; or
2) There were processes and mechanisms in place to avoid this type of situation but they were not up to the task; or
3) There were not processes and mechanisms in place to avoid this type of situation; or
4) No problem. The outcome was correct and acceptable.

From the first three flow courses of action which should hopefully remove the chance of this happening to anyone else. The last one paints a very scary picture indeed. You seem to be arguing for it, which is very worrying. If that’s not the case, you might want take a step back and revisit what you emphasising and why.

To address your points:-

> CBDC had a duty to assess Peter, they didn’t and so they failed in their duty of care. Let’s be more specific. They made no attempt to. They simply asserted and maintained there was nothing seriously wrong with him. You know full well as a lawyer that an incapacitated individual cannot be expected to prove they are incapacitated as his very incapacity renders him unable to do so. Not looking hard enough is not a defence. You also know that your statement regarding kidnap is both facile and puerile.

> Bankruptcy was not appropriate. You can argue any semantics you wish, it doesn’t alter the facts: bankruptcy should not be an appropriate measure taken against a mentally and physically ill old man for a meagre debt of £1350 PERIOD. If Peter had representation at the time the bankruptcy order would never have been made. Additionally the policies referred to by the LGO response from CBDC do not appear to have been authored at the time; a fact the LGO chose to ignore.

> Eviction was not appropriate. This is evident morally, ethically and economically. Whilst the trustees and solicitors who turn a healthy profit, the Council and other tax payers and of course Peter ultimately lose and you deprive a mentally and physically ill man his home and place of work only to have to rehouse him and pay him benefits (if he’d lived). Do you know what the Council’s attitude to making him homeless was? “Just tell him to come into our offices after he’s been evicted”

> A charging order could have and should have been used. There is no valid reason why it wasn’t. You assert it is not an option post bankruptcy. You are wrong. I have taken legal advice on this matter and contacted the Insolvency Service. A charge is an option available to the trustee, as is contacting a relative to seek and equity release; forced sale and eviction is not the only measure and by far the most draconian. You should know this!

> Once again legally the Council cannot divorce itself from either not looking into Peter’s circumstances properly or the consequences of their recovery actions. While of course you are correct when you say the trustee does not act for them per se, they are still responsible for the consequences of their actions. I’d argue that as sole creditor there’s even less “wiggle room” for them here.

> If Peter had not been evicted he’d be alive today. This is undisputed and by far the single most important and salient fact here. Unless you are asserting otherwise? Are you saying his death was the correct outcome? Justifiable? Not the Council’s fault? The trustee’s fault? Just one of things? What? I completely fail to see what you are trying to argue except “it’s not the Council’s responsibility” – which however you choose to dress it up it quite clearly is.

64. Robin Levett

@Richard Harris #63:

> If Peter had not been evicted he’d be alive today. This is undisputed and by far the single most important and salient fact here. Unless you are asserting otherwise? Are you saying his death was the correct outcome? Justifiable? Not the Council’s fault? The trustee’s fault? Just one of things? What? I completely fail to see what you are trying to argue except “it’s not the Council’s responsibility” – which however you choose to dress it up it quite clearly is.

I’m not sure why I’m continuing to bother, given this, but I will, later.

Just for the moment – I still don’t have the information necessary to take a view on whether it’s the Council, the trustee, or even Peter Williams’s fault. Your comments are long on invective and assertion, short on supportable fact.

65. Chaise Guevara

“I’m not sure why I’m continuing to bother, given this.”

Agreed.

Richard, what the hell is this “you don’t immediately assume the council is to blame so you must think his death is ok” bullshit?

Oh my God, you don’t believe so-and-so committed that murder? ARE YOU SAYING YOU LIKE MURDER!!!!!111111

@64. Robin Levett

I’m unclear as to what you are claiming is unsubstantiated?

1. CBDC had a duty to assess Peter, they didn’t and so they failed in their duty of care.

2. Bankruptcy was not appropriate.

3. Eviction was not appropriate.

4. A charging order could have and should have been used.

5. Once again legally the Council cannot divorce itself from either not looking into Peter’s circumstances properly or the consequences of their recovery actions.

6. If Peter had not been evicted he’d be alive today.

Which of these do you dispute?

1,4,5 taken with my comments above are points of law.

2&3 are simply matters of humanity and common sense.

6. Is evidenced by my conversation with Peter, the emails and phone calls I made solidly from the Friday 3rd February to Wednesday 8th and Peter’s suicide note.

The published facts have been reviewed by barristers and solicitors.

Documents supporting my claims have been sent to the Council, lawyers, journalists, MPs and the Coroner. I have a full and detailed correspondence trail – I will publish them at some point. In the interim I suggest you ask CBDC what happened and if they dispute any of my claims.

You can review the family barrister’s comments here:

http://www.no5.com/news-publications/news/laura-davidson-represents-family-at-inquest-of-inventor-who-committed-suicide

and note the link to article in the Express – which was researched and fact checked.

67. Richard H Harris

My view is that either the Councils people failed or their processes failed.

The only alternative to that is to assert they did not fail and they acted correctly!

What other option is there?

68. Chaise Guevara

@ 67 Richard

There’s a hell of difference between “the council acted correctly” and “his death was the correct outcome”. Whoever’s right, Robin’s trying to have a mature discussion about the facts with you and you’re throwing ridiculous straw-men attacks around designed to shame people who disagree with you into silence. Sort it out.

69. Richard H Harris

@Chaise

That’s my point: from where I am sitting, given what I know, the correspondence with CBDC, Peter’s suicide note – no there’s not a whole lot of difference.

Robin makes a number of assertions, including that a charging order is not an option post bankruptcy; this is just not true.

Are you or Robin disputing any of my points 1-6?

I stand by my claim that the Council had a duty of care and should not have sought to evict a mentally and physically ill old man from his home and place of work over £1350.

Do you disagree?

This is not an isolated case. Procedures, policy and training need to be implemented to avoid it happening again; legislation even, if it’s not there already. How can you dispute that?

I you believe if you are not willing to support changes to ensure it does not happen again – you should be ashamed.

70. Chaise Guevara

@ 69 Richard

“That’s my point: from where I am sitting, given what I know, the correspondence with CBDC, Peter’s suicide note – no there’s not a whole lot of difference. ”

Horseshit. Robin is disputing the facts of the case. You are lying through your teeth and claiming that he’s saying suicide is awesome. Not a whole lot of difference? They’re not even connected. One’s factual and one’s moral FFS.

No, I’m not disputing your points. This isn’t my area of expertise and as I already said I don’t know which of you is right. I do recognise a cowardly, immature straw-man attack when I see one, though. It’s instructive that almost all of your reply to me was non-sequitur: your position is indefensble so instead you try to defend a different position that I never criticised. I believe that people like you need to be called out.

So I don’t know which of you is right, but if I had to guess I’d say Robin as he doesn’t see the need to resort to underhand, anti-rational tactics.

71. Richard H Harris

@chaise

Stop putting words in my mouth. You are the one saying these things. I said no such thing. I asked Robin a series of questions and gave him what I see as the objective alternatives. The facts are given. If you see others the state them and quit attacking me.

As you are not disputing my points I fail to see what your issue is.

Robin has supplied facts like a charging order can’t be used after bankruptcy

72. Chaise Guevara

@ 71

“Stop putting words in my mouth. You are the one saying these things. I said no such thing.”

You said, and I quote, that “there’s not a whole lot of difference” between saying the council were correct and saying that his death was the correct outcome. So no, I’m not putting words into your month. On the contrary, you’re putting words into Robin’s.

“As you are not disputing my points I fail to see what your issue is. ”

That’s strange, seeing as I told you explicitly what my issue is in the very post you’re replying to.

73. Richard H Harris

@Chaise

I didn’t put those words in Robin’s mouth you did. They are my opinion and I am entitled to it.

I asked him what his point was and what he considers factually inaccurate.

You talk of underhand tactics: stop trying to make this about me.

This is about Peter and making sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else or do you disagree?

74. Chaise Guevara

@ 73 Richard

“I didn’t put those words in Robin’s mouth you did.”

Oh, was it me who said there was little difference between saying the council were correct and that his death was correct? Let me check… Whoops, no, it was you. So you can keep pretending you didn’t say what you said, but it’s a bit pointless when it’s up there for us all to read :)

“They are my opinion and I am entitled to it.”

Sigh. Nobody said you weren’t allowed an opinion, put the straw man back in the box.

“I asked him what his point was and what he considers factually inaccurate. ”

And said his view was basically the same as thinking it was ok for the guy to die. See what I mean about you not being able to defend the position I’m attacking, so you’re banging on about a different position instead?

“You talk of underhand tactics: stop trying to make this about me. ”

Rule of the internet: if you act like an arsehole you’ll get criticised for it. Because other people can ALSO have opinions, y’see.

“This is about Peter and making sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else or do you disagree?”

It was, right up to the point that you started making out that anyone who doesn’t blame the council must be happy for Peter to be dead.

I think some people on this thread have forgotten that Richard is a grieving friend of Peter’s…

@74. Chaise Guevara

You are just rude and abusive. You hide behind internet anonymity and think you can say anything you like. Clearly you are the coward. Reveal your identity if you dare. I think that other people can decide who is the a*hole, here. I’m just trying to fulfil a dead man’s last wish “that this should not be allowed to happen to anyone else”. What are you trying to do? Insult me? Run me down? What?

Your attacks on me are just sick and twisted. You can’t fault my six points so you chose to attack me instead. Well done you!

You seem to forget that a friend of mine died but clearly you don’t care about that.

Instead of being rude, insulting and childish – why don’t you write to CBDC and get their version of events or are you devoid of any humanity, compassion and moral fibre?

I have asked them repeatedly to investigate this and despite assurance they would, they haven’t.

The fact remains if they had acted differently on information they had Peter would be alive today.

Frankly you should be ashamed of yourself.

Dear Mr Harris,

Thank you for your email of 10th February in which you raise your concerns about how the Council responded to Mr Williams. I am writing now to reassure you that I am in the process of looking into the issues that you have identified, in brief:
• why the Council has not intervened over the last 2 years
• the outcome of the safeguarding of vulnerable adults (SOVA) alert on the 3rd February
• the email and telephone call with Mark Cxxxxx on 6th February, and, if recorded a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of that call
• subsequent email to the Council
• that a full scale internal enquiry should take place
• the annulment of Mr Williams bankruptcy
In the meantime I feel I should let you know that the Council has been approached by the media and asked to comment on personal information that has been released to them about Mr Williams’ health and financial circumstances. As a public body we have a responsibility to respond to media enquiries, however, I am conscious that members of Mr Williams’ family may want to be aware of the possibility that this information may be published.

I hope to respond to you as soon as possible and no later than during the week commencing the 5th March.

Yours sincerely

Julie Ogley
Director of Social Care, Health and Housing

Central Bedfordshire Council Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ

Did they Council reply or action any of these items by 5th March?

Yes. They replied to my Freedom of information request to say that they did not record the call.

Nothing else.

79. Planeshift

Perhaps at this point it is worth reminding ourselves as what will happen over the next few years.

1. Council Tax benefit has been cut by 10%
2. It has been devolved to Scotland and Wales, and each english local authority seperately.
3. Each administration will then decide how best to use it’s share of the budget, with the caveat that payments to pensioners and ‘vulnerable’ people must be maintained. The govt has not defined what vulnerable means, it will be up to each local authority.
4. The allocation of the budget will remain the same each year proportionately – so if a few factories close in one area then the number of people needing support will increase with the budget remaining the same.

So over the next few years there will be more people on low incomes brought into the situation of having to pay council tax, and therefore many more Peter Williams facing the wrath of the courts. Scotland and Wales will have half a chance of avoiding this by being able to operate their own systems over a large enough area to deal with fluctuations in claims – and the SNP are looking at full scale alternatives to replace council tax whilst bridging the gap. But In England you will have hundreds of different systems operating a postcode lottery in this, with the IFS thinking the actual cut for some areas is 30%.

And some of you wonder why the SNP are popular…..

This an unabridged excerpt from the Council’s own chronology:

PW is Peter Williams, MB is Mid Bedfordshire Council.

7th March 2006
Bankruptcy hearing takes place at Luton County Court. PW attends and tells Court he is suffering from severe diabetes which had caused what he claimed to be “end damage” and he then assessed the chances of his survival as low. Claims to have made a further payment of £621.77 on the 2yth February 2006 to MB and further claims to have made an offer of £30.00 per month towards the debt in September 2005 but had received no response from MB. PW claimed to the Court that his sight and memory were going and at times did not know if he as “coming or going”. PW requested an adjournment as he was confused. District Judge adjourned for one month to allow MB to consider the offer of £30.00 per month and take into account his ill health.

You will note the offer of payment and the Judge’s requirement that they consider his ill health. The offer was rejected and there is no evidence his health was properly assessed.

As far as I know Peter is completely unsupported at this point, no family, no friends, no representation and no help.

81. Chaise Guevara

@ 76 Richard

“You seem to forget that a friend of mine died but clearly you don’t care about that. ”

I had forgotten, this far into the thread, that you knew him personally. If I’d remembered I would have made an effort to be more polite. I apologise for that.

However, I do think that you are unfairly putting words into Robin’s mouth – and far from trying to insult you and run you down, I was criticising you for insulting and running down Robin.

I do genuinely apologise for my tone earlier, but it remains true that demonising people simply for getting into a factual disagreement with you is unfair and probably counterproductive.

82. Chaise Guevara

@ Richard again

Actually, forget the caveats in my last post – I feel really bad about this and it’s not worth the candle. If Robin wants to debate it, he can. I’ll bow out.

It’s terrible that you lost your friend, especially under these circumstances, and I really, really should have remembered that instead of going off half-cocked. Your reaction is completely understandable. I completely regret getting angry with you. My apologies again.

@82. Chaise Guevara

Thank you. Apology accepted.

I can understand why you read my comments as demonising and I am sorry I let my emotions get the better of me; but honestly it wasn’t my conscious intention to demonise Robin.

It was intended as a question (I’ll grant you overly emotional and provocatively phrased), because I couldn’t understand the angle he was coming at this from and it just reminded me so much of the Council’s line over the last three years. I should have phrased what I was trying to say better, but it’s hard to leave the emotion out.

Robin is of course correct to try to establish facts and I know am privy to far more than I can publish at present. I have published what I can and urge anyone who would like to establish the facts to write to the Council. I have no fear of debate and I can substantiate everything I’ve said. I just can’t publicly share all of it yet.

84. Chaise Guevara

@ 83 Richard

Thank you, I appreciate that.

Robin will no doubt speak for himself later, but I can say from past experience that he isn’t callous – it’s just that law is his field and he prefers to confirm all the legal details before passing judgement one way or another.

Something else that got lost in my above rantiness is that I do think *something* has gone horribly wrong for Peter to suffer what he did. If it turns out the council did apply the rules correctly, then the rules themselves are wrong and need to be changed.

cjcj: “Could the tide be turning against public sector bureaucrats?”

Yes, of course, if the Council Tax collection system were outsourced to Capita on a for-profit basis, none of this would ever have happened!

I got a sweet reply back from the council, quite possibly from one of the reserve monkeys not working on the complete works of Shakespeare.

The humanity and sincerity really comes across, don’t you think?

“Dear Ms xxxxxx,

Of course the death of Mr Williams is a matter of profound regret and it is clearly tragic when any individual is moved to take their own life. We have expressed our sincere condolences to his family and his representatives.

The Inquest procedure will review the circumstances of Mr Williams death and we are co-operating fully with the Coroner in this process.

Regards

Central Bedfordshire Council

Central Bedfordshire Council Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ”

87. Robin Levett

@Richard H Harris #83:

In my view Chaise was being extremely generous in offering his apologies. I appreciate and sympathise with the fact that Peter Williams was your friend; but you chose to intervene in the discussion, and the trash-talking began with you.

Matilda’s intervention was uncalled-for.

That having been said, i will comment substantively in another comment.

Probably too late in the thread at this point, but just for the people who’re pretending that this terrible, negligent fuckup is a reason why taxes on the value of property are wrong in principle:

THE COUNCIL HAS THE RIGHT TO PUT A CHARGE ON THE HOUSE, WHICH IS RECOUPED WHEN THE HOUSE IS SOLD OR WHEN THE OWNER DIES.

In other words, the existence of taxes on the value of property *absolutely and unequivocally does not* necessitate situations like this one. Quite the reverse.

89. Robin Levett

@Richard H Harris #63:

Responding to your numbered points:

I’m unclear as to what you are claiming is unsubstantiated?

1. CBDC had a duty to assess Peter, they didn’t and so they failed in their duty of care.

That duty is not a strict liability duty. In the absence of any reason to section him, the Council have no means of compelling his co-operation.

The LGO – no friend of local authorities – has investigated the circumstances and, on your account, found no maladministration. We know that the LGO will find maladministration where a Council proceeds to bankruptcy without “considering whether a debtor’s failure to pay and to respond to other recovery measures could arise from a disability (including a mental impairment with a long-term and substantial effect on normal day-to-day activities), and considering whether the debtor’s personal circumstances warrant them being protected from the consequences of recovery action”.

It is therefore a reasonable inference that the LGO found that proper consideration had been given to the effects of Mr Williams diabetes. That inference could be displaced if you were to provide a link to the relavnt passage sof the LGO report on the complaint; a request I made many comments ago, which you have as yet ignored..

2. Bankruptcy was not appropriate.

That is a conclusion that the facts as yet available do not support. In deciding that, one would need to know rather more about the history of the Council tax debt. Was it 1992 or 1996 that his arrears began – I saw the earlier date somewhere but cannot now trace where? In either event, we have a 10-year (minimum) history of arrears before MBDC seek to enforce the debt. This did not suddenly happen in 2006. Again, I have asked for information as to why that history existed, but received no reply beyond the claim that he paid his CT when he could; which is not much of an answer since you have also said that MBDC was the sole creditor, which suggests that he was prioritising his other creditors above MBDC.

3. Eviction was not appropriate.

Ditto.

4. A charging order could have and should have been used.

Ditto.

By the way, this:

A charging order could have and should have been used. There is no valid reason why it wasn’t. You assert it is not an option post bankruptcy. You are wrong. I have taken legal advice on this matter and contacted the Insolvency Service. A charge is an option available to the trustee

is a non-sequitur. A charge != a charging order.

And, of course, my statement was that a charging order was not an option for the Council</b post bankruptcy.

Whether the trustee would agree to postpone payment of its costs of £70k is pretty debateable.

5. Once again legally the Council cannot divorce itself from either not looking into Peter’s circumstances properly or the consequences of their recovery actions.

The premise remains to be supported.

6. If Peter had not been evicted he’d be alive today.

That is regrettable; the issue is who, if anyone, is responsible for that.

Robin: I think the thing that many of us aren’t following is the difference between things which the council are *not legally obliged to do* and the things which the council are *legally obliged not to do*.

For example, in this case, I accept that the council is not legally obliged to say “Williams is a crazy old fellow, there’s no point in wasting our money chasing him, let’s put a charging order on the house so we get the money from the estate when he dies”.

But is it legally obliged to do the opposite? Did it have the discretion to say “chasing this chap is going to incur 10x the debt in legal fees, and he might do something terrible to us/himself/strangers, and he’s not actually got an income, so why not just stick a charging order on the house and claim it when he’s dead”?

If the council was indeed obliged to chase him, rather than just seeking a charging order and waiting to claim the debt (which would, most certainly, have been met from the estate), then the council acted correctly but the law is wrong. If the council was not obliged to chase him but chose to run up tens of thousands in legal fees doing so and making him bankrupt, then it made an error of judgement.

The latter is not the same as an illegal act and should not attract the ghoulish punishments for council officials that are being discussed above – but it’s still an error of judgement that it’s fair to call the council out on.

91. the a&e charge nurse

[90] ‘In the absence of any reason to section him’ – what, like being suicidally depressed?

@89 Robin Levett

You are not being objective, you arguments are very pro “the Council is not to blame”.

1. CBDC had a duty to assess Peter, they didn’t and so they failed in their duty of care.

“That duty is not a strict liability duty. In the absence of any reason to section him, the Council have no means of compelling his co-operation.”

>> Nonsense. They were ordered to do so by a court. I’ve posted the evidence. He had a hearing postponed – due to confusion! The signs were there. Not looking is not a defence – you know this is true. They made NO EFFORT to evaluate Peter, let alone actually evaluate him.

“The LGO – no friend of local authorities..”

>> That’s not the case. The LGO has been slammed in the recent Select Committee report, even Dr Martin admits they (the LGO) are probably guilty of maladministration. The LGO stated it could not look at what a court had ordered the Council to do and chose therefore to disregard all of the evidence that was in the Council own statements. They made no effort to investigate this case whatsoever.

2. Bankruptcy was not appropriate.

“That is a conclusion that the facts as yet available do not support.”

Disagree. Even if you ignore the health issues – which you shouldn’t bankruptcy is supposed to be a last resort by a Council. As Peter had been consistently making large payments and had proposed a payment plan – bankrupting him over £1350 so the trustees can milk the house should be criminal. As a lawyer you are fully aware of proportionality and this action was completely disproportionate. Peter was also not made aware of the consequences of bankruptcy – another major failing. Peter had a hearing adjourned due to “confusion” evidence is posted above. This was also clear evidence he should have had representation and he had severe health problems.

3. Eviction was not appropriate.

you say “unproven”

The undisputed reality is that Peter was mentally and physically ill old man who was a known suicide risk – this is fact, no one not even CBDC can deny this. It should not be legal to evict someone under these circumstances. It certainly isn’t humane.

You know full well there were other options. You seem more interested in picking me up on calling them by the wrong names than the merits of their usage. I am not a lawyer.

A charge is a valid option pre and post-bankruptcy.

You shouldn’t evict someone from their home and place of work over £1350 only to have to the re-house them and pay them benefits. You most certainly shouldn’t do it when you’re a Council and you’ve been repeatedly informed he’s a suicide risk.

4. A charge could have and should have been used.

Ditto

5. Once again legally the Council cannot divorce itself from either not looking into Peter’s circumstances properly or the consequences of their recovery actions.

You’re the lawyer you know this is true. Speak to Laura of No.5 Chambers if you hold a different view.

6. If Peter had not been evicted he’d be alive today.

There are a number of parties that are responsible for this. The Council is one of them. If they had pursed a different course of action, he would be alive today – not even CBDC are denying this. They were informed of Peter’s health issues from the start. First by Peter, then by his friends, his doctor and SEPT. They knew he was suicide risk.

I am not sure how typical my own experience is, but in the 1980s when I served as a senior councillor on a reasonably large shire district, no councillor, whatever their party political affiliation, would have allowed this sort of situation to develop. This was because distraining action could only be taken with the agreement of councillors. This did not mean that the sub-committee that dealt with these issues took a soft line, but it did ensure that the personal and public relations repercussions were properly thought through. The first action to undermine this approach came when a legal judgement decreed that such decisions could not be made in an emergency by written submission and voting – the councillors had to physically meet together. Consequently, the decision-making power was delegated to the appropriate chief officer. However at that time the council officer informally undertook not to exercise his authority without the written agreement for the councillors. My impression is that in the past 20 years or so the role of councillors has been massively undermined, and council officers have taken more and more power unto themselves, such that it is often irrelevant as to what political party controls a council, except on occasions perhaps at the broadest strategic level. While I accept that councillors should not be allowed to exercise discretion unreasonably, it seems to me that we have produced a society in which procedures have become far more important than outcomes.

@88 John

Peter had paid his arrears. He could not afford to pay the costs. He had proposed a repayment which was rejected.

He did not dispute he needed to pay – he just had difficulty in doing so.

Taking a charge was absolutely the correct process and it should have been done.

90. john b

“If the council was indeed obliged to chase him, rather than just seeking a charging order and waiting to claim the debt (which would, most certainly, have been met from the estate), then the council acted correctly but the law is wrong.

If the council was not obliged to chase him but chose to run up tens of thousands in legal fees doing so and making him bankrupt, then it made an error of judgement.

The latter is not the same as an illegal act and should not attract the ghoulish punishments for council officials that are being discussed above – but it’s still an error of judgement that it’s fair to call the council out on.”

Thank you. My point exactly.

If you call the Land Registry they will confirm council’s routinely take charges on properties.

If you call the Insolvency Service they will confirm a charge is an option pre and post bankruptcy.

Robin: I can see completely why you and Richard are at loggerheads here, but I really would appreciate a clarification to my questions. Some things are a legal duty, and some things are discretionary. Everything that was legally required in Williams’ case, the council can’t be blamed for. Everything that was discretionary, they can.

Also, as Graham suggests, local government has been pseudo-professionalised over the last few decases (my dad, a former councillor, puts this one well “in my day, the town clerk told us whether what we were doing was legal, and got paid like a solicitor; these days, he’s called the Chief Executive, gets paid like one, and behaves like one. Then again so do solicitors.”); I suspect a lot of this is councillors being very happy to pay other people to take both the decisions and the blame.

97. Northern Lights

Let us scrap the diabolical and iniquitous Council Tax and go back to the system that was in place prior the Poll Tax (which was merely a Trojan Horse for the introduction of the Council Tax), namely the rates, where a household’s liability is based on the value of their property and with the same system of rebates for those on low incomes. Incidentally, this is still the system used for business rates as well as being in operation in Northern Ireland.

98. Northern Lights

Incidentally the Rates were based on a “sliding scale” not this iniquitous banding that applies to the Council Tax whereby the owner of a castle pays only twice as much as someone cooped up in a rabbit hutch. Is this fair?

99. Northern Lights

Incidentally, the Rates were based on a “sliding scale” unlike the “banding” which applies to the Council Tax whereby the owner of a mansion pays twice as much as someone cooped up in a rabbit hutch. Is this fair?

“Incidentally, the Rates were based on a ‘sliding scale’ ”

The sliding scale of the old rates led to all sorts of anomalies.

I used to be on one of those tribunals which had to settle disputes about rateable values – such as whether a house with a worse aspect or which was opposite a fish bar/pub ought to have a lower rateable value than a house of similar size in the locality but without the same drawbacks.

Of course, the more rateable values of some properties were lowered to compensate for their drawbacks, the more likely it was that the local rates would increase in the following financial year to maintain the same revenue. At least as fine judgements were called for as deciding how many angels could dance on a distorted pin head.

It sticks in the craw of most folk that two similar houses in the same locality would have paid the same in the old rates or pay the same in the new community charge regardless of whether one house has two adult residents and the other eight.

The facts of life are such that some councils are more institutionally corrupt than others. I try to make a habit, when buying groceries in my local superstore, of browsing the Rotten Boroughs page in Private Eye to try to keep up to date.

101. Robin Levett

@Richard #92:

There are many points to be made on your post, but I only have time at the moment to make a short comment.

>> Nonsense. They were ordered to do so by a court. I’ve posted the evidence. He had a hearing postponed – due to confusion! The signs were there. Not looking is not a defence – you know this is true. They made NO EFFORT to evaluate Peter, let alone actually evaluate him.

Firstly, the fact that a court adjourns to allow an evaluation imposes no obligation on the evaluee to co-operate.

More importantly: Courts do not take kindly to deliberate flouting of their orders. Yet this court nevertheless made a bankruptcy order following the postponement. What would be the reasonable inference from these facts?

@101. Robin Levett

You have many points most of which are legally or factually incorrect

>“Courts do not take kindly to deliberate flouting of their orders. Yet this court nevertheless made a bankruptcy order following the postponement. What would be the reasonable inference from these facts?”

You don’t even bother to read the post or check an of you facts do you?

This an unabridged excerpt from the Council’s own chronology:

PW is Peter Williams, MB is Mid Bedfordshire Council.

7th March 2006
Bankruptcy hearing takes place at Luton County Court. PW attends and tells Court he is suffering from severe diabetes which had caused what he claimed to be “end damage” and he then assessed the chances of his survival as low. Claims to have made a further payment of £621.77 on the 2yth February 2006 to MB and further claims to have made an offer of £30.00 per month towards the debt in September 2005 but had received no response from MB. PW claimed to the Court that his sight and memory were going and at times did not know if he as “coming or going”. PW requested an adjournment as he was confused. District Judge adjourned for one month to allow MB to consider the offer of £30.00 per month and take into account his ill health.

You will note the offer of payment and the Judge’s requirement that they consider his ill health.

The offer was rejected and there is no evidence his health was properly assessed.

There no need to infer anything. It’s all documented,

As far as I know Peter is completely unsupported at this point, no family, no friends, no representation and no help and his health was not properly assessed. This is zero evidence any assessment – the Council has been asked for it and has had years to supply it and hasn’t. What you can you infer from that?

103. Robin Levett

@Richard H Harris #102:

“Courts do not take kindly to deliberate flouting of their orders. Yet this court nevertheless made a bankruptcy order following the postponement. What would be the reasonable inference from these facts?”

You don’t even bother to read the post or check an of you facts do you?

To the contrary; wWhere do you think I got the information that the bankruptcy court had adjourned to permit consideration of the offer, and assessment, if it was not from the chronology you posted at comment #80?

On your account, no assessment was carried out. So the Court, following the adjournment, was faced with a Council that had not carried out the assessment that the hearing had been adjourned to facilitate. Since all courts take a very dim view of flouting of their orders, the obvious outcome of this situation is that the court would not grant a bankruptcy order, but would either dismiss the petition or again adjourn. Agree so far?

Yet the court actually made the bankruptcy order. Why would it have done that? The obvious inference is that the court accepted that the assessment had not been carried out through no fault of the council. Still agree? If not, please explain why not, don’t go off on another rant about how I am pro-Council. I’ve spent most of my legal career hammering local authorities.

As far as I know Peter is completely unsupported at this point, no family, no friends, no representation and no help and his health was not properly assessed. This is zero evidence any assessment – the Council has been asked for it and has had years to supply it and hasn’t. What you can you infer from that?

One of two inferences (at least) are possible. Either the Council has made no effort to carry out an assessment, or Peter Williams refused to co-operate with any assessment proposed by the Council. In the absence of any reason to section him (and on your account, there was none at the time), the Council could not assess him without his co-operation.

We also know that he was unwilling even to go to see his GP at his friends’s initiative; you said at #5 (referring to muich more recent events):

I did manage to get him to see his GP eventually and he was referred to SEPT and diagnosed with severe depression.

It would not be unreasonable, therefore, to infer that the Council did seek to carry out an assessment, but Mr Williams refused to co-operate. Is that the case? Does the chronology you referred to at #80 cover what happened between 7 March 2006 and the hearing when the Bankruptcy Order was eventually made?

104. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #91:

‘In the absence of any reason to section him’ – what, like being suicidally depressed?

That would fall within s2 of the MHA, yes. If the Council had any indication that he was suicidally depressed and failed to act on it, then yes they bear a lot of responsibility for what happened.

My problem with Richard is not that I am arguing for the Council; it is that the limited information he is giving leaves an awful lot of room for the Council to have a reasonable explanation, and he is refusing to answer questions so as to rule out such an explanation.

@103. Robin Levett

You make a lot of inferences which are based on conjecture and false premises. I appreciate that I have the files, masses of correspondence, I spoke to Peter and the Council at length, you don’t have any of that. I’ve already said that I cannot publish all of it yet.

So you can either assume I am telling the truth based on the evidence I have or not. I have nothing to gain from not telling truth and everything to lose if I don’t – so I think you can infer from that what I am saying are the facts as they are currently known. It’s possible different facts may come to light, but I personally find that highly unlikely as I am basing this on the Council’s own chronology of events and my personal experience of corresponding with them and Peter.

@54 You state “We do know that CBDC did get an assessment done of his mental health before the final eviction; “

Where do you get this from? Who are you saying made this assessment? When are you saying this was made? The only known and evidentially supported proper assessments of Peter were done by his GP and SEPT and not at the instigation of the Council. Did you make a mistake and misread my early post?

You go on to guess “but that (assessment that was never done) was presumably not considered by the bankruptcy court to be sufficiently exceptional circumstances to prevent the eviction going ahead.”

There was no formal assessment made of Peter prior to his bankruptcy. If you have PROOF otherwise please supply it.

I say this, because

> this is what Peter said,
> it’s not listed in any Council chronology
> nor is there any report or document supplied signed by a doctor, mental health practitioner or psychiatrist.

If it had existed it would have been submitted to the LGO. Having their Revenues Manager say “I don’t see anything wrong with him” (as I believe that’s who said it and what happened) is not an proper assessment. I asked several times for CBDC to investigate this – they have said they will but so far, to the best of my knowledge, they have not. They promised answers by 5th March this year, but they were not forthcoming. We I met them months later, they only investigation they appeared to have done was a bit of light reading of the LGO report.

I refer you to a similar case:
http://www.raworths.co.uk/site/library/raworthsnews/mental_capacity_case_hits_headlines.html

Tom Evans was bankrupted by his council over £1900; this was inflated to over £200k. Luckily he secure decent representation in time and his bankruptcy was annulled. The Trustee in Bankruptcy was also Grant Thornton.

“The court found that the Nottinghamshire local authority wrongly ignored the fact that Mr Evans was schizophrenic and has dementia in chasing him over the debt. District Judge Jane George ruled the authority did not show compassion towards Mr Evans in pursuing the ‘disproportionate’ legal action. District Judge Jane George said in her ruling that Alistair Townsend, the council’s tax manager, had ‘demonstrated a lack of understanding’ when he said in a statement that there was ‘no indication that Mr Evans was suffering from a mental illness’ and he was ‘under no duty to make detailed inquiries about Mr Evans’ health’..” as that’s exactly as happened here.

On the other hand:

There is evidence they were asked to assess him. There is evidence they considered his offer. There is NO evidence they did assess him and there’s NO evidence they even attempted to assess him. Peter should have been seen by a doctor at least. Your inferences are baseless conjecture.

You say “On your account, no assessment was carried out. So the Court, following the adjournment, was faced with a Council that had not carried out the assessment that the hearing had been adjourned to facilitate. Since all courts take a very dim view of flouting of their orders, the obvious outcome of this situation is that the court would not grant a bankruptcy order, but would either dismiss the petition or again adjourn. Agree so far?”

Well I would have hope that would be the case. But as it didn’t happen then no I don’t agree. As I’ve already cited one case where a similar miscarriage of justice occurred and there are others – your inference is not at all reasonable.

Show me the proof he was assessed or that there was any attempt at assessment. Show me the proof that this was presented to the court at the bankruptcy hearing The council chronology is detailed in every other way but makes no mention of even an attempt to assess Peter, let alone an assessment. If it had happened it would have been documented.

I cannot tell you why the court proceeded with the Bankruptcy I suspect it was because Peter did not attend and the opposing barrister requested that it be granted and it was simply granted. I believe that if Peter had representation it would never have been granted. I have asked for this to be investigated by the Council, the LGO refused to look at this – Perhaps you can suggest who else can investigate this?

You say “it would not be unreasonable, therefore, to infer that the Council did seek to carry out an assessment, but Mr Williams refused to co-operate. Is that the case? Does the chronology you referred to at #80 cover what happened between 7 March 2006 and the hearing when the Bankruptcy Order was eventually made?”

Once again, that’s pure conjecture and a totally unreasonable inference – where’s the proof? You’re just making that up.

I repeat there is no evidence that Council at any time took any steps to formally and properly assess Peter, prior the bankruptcy, or post bankruptcy. Do you really not think that had there been any evidence of a proper assessment it would have been supplied to the Coroner or LGO?! It wasn’t. The only proper assessment ever done was at my instigation. It was not my duty or responsibility to do this – it was the Council’s. The assessment diagnosed him as severely depressed with anxiety disorder. Burden of proof of capacity lies with the Council.

Peter’s PHQ9 score in January was 24/27 that’s severely depressed. His GP wrote to CBDC and even stated his reasoning was impaired.

The Council had ample chance to act on this and other information; they CHOSE NOT TO.

There is evidence that they were written to by Peter, by me and by his GP and they chose to ignore his health issues. In the same way they chose to evict him.

Why do you think the Coroner has set aside 2 days for a hearing with witnesses from the Council? What can you infer from that? That they were supplied full and conclusive documentary proof that demonstrated they had acted impeccably?

But this is largely irrelevant.

There was ample evidence that Peter was seriously ill – a hearing was adjourned because he was “confused” – does that sound like someone capable of representing themselves?

He had made large payments and cleared his council tax arrears, so it’s clear that bankruptcy was not being used as a last resort.

A charge was the most sensible option on all counts and it was a perfectly viable option. They chose not use it, they chose bankruptcy -and did so knowing the potential consequences – from that I infer they used it as punitive measure – a fact backed up by their own statements in their LGO submission.

And to answer@90. john b as you don’t seem to have answered it: the Council chose not accept the repayment plan, they chose not secure a charge, they chose to bankrupt Peter, they chose to ignore the warning signs, they chose not to properly assess Peter, they chose to do nothing when they were told again and again of the issues, they chose to do nothing when supplied with medical evidence. These were choices. They were not legally obliged to make any of them.

They weren’t even obligated to recover the money, they could have waived it – their own policies indicate they do this for vulnerable individuals, or if the y insisted on recovering it they could have done so via a repayment plan or they could have pursued a charge on his property.

They should have properly assessed Peter. They should have taken a charge. They should definitely have acted when his GP wrote to them and reviewed what they had done and were doing. Instead they steadfastly refused to believe Peter was vulnerable – which quite clearly he was and maintained they were right. They can’t say they didn’t know, because they were told repeatedly!

But Robin the above points are largely academic.

The real problem was is that always asserted there was nothing seriously wrong with Peter. They made this assertion without looking hard enough (or even at all). They maintained this assertion when presented medical evidence and as result they acted and continued to act punitively against a physically and mentally ill old man, which led to his death.

They still maintain they were right today.

*Peter’s PHQ9 score in January was 24/27 that’s severely depressed. His GP wrote to CBDC and even stated his reasoning was impaired.

Should have said that was January 2011. He was assessed again in 2012 and it was similarly high. Again neither assessment was initiated by the Council and they had ample time to re-evaluate their position and actions.

107. Robin Levett

@Richard Harris #105:

Does the chronology you referred to at #80 cover what happened between 7 March 2006 and the hearing when the Bankruptcy Order was eventually made?”

Please answer this.

@107. Robin Levett

Yes. Here it is:

Entries prior to this show he over paid a liability order of £1215.31 made in August 2005 in two instalments of £600.46 in Sep 2005 and £621.77 in March 2006 and that he tried to pay £1000 in March 2005, but his cheque bounced.

7th March 2006
Bankruptcy hearing takes place at Luton County Court. PW attends and tells Court he is suffering from severe diabetes which had caused what he claimed to be “end damage” and he then assessed the chances of his survival as low. Claims to have made a further payment of £621.77 on the 2yth February 2006 to MB and further claims to have made an offer of £30.00 per month towards the debt in September 2005 but had received no response from MB.
PW claimed to the Court that his sight and memory were going and at times did not know if he as “coming or going”. PW requested an adjournment as he was confused. District Judge adjourned for one month to allow MB to consider the offer of £30.00 per month and take into account his ill health.

8th March 2006
MB advised WC that the cheque for £621.77 was received that day

13 March 2006
WC receive notice of adjourned hearing. Adjourned hearing is due to take place on 25th April 2006. PW is served with notice of the adjourned hearing.

13 March 2006
WC advise PW that his offer of £30.00 per month to clear the outstanding debt is not acceptable. This having been confirmed by MB.

20th April 2006
we receive fax from PW asking why he has not had a response to his offer of £30.00 per month.

26th April 2006
WC reply to PW confirming that he had already been sent a letter dated 13th March indicating that his offer was not acceptable. WC repeat that the offer is not acceptable and send PW a copy of the letter dated 13th March and reiterate that WC are instructed to seek a Bankruptcy Order.

24th April 2006
WC receive a fax from PW timed at 1642 from PW acknowledging the letter of 21st April and also acknowledging that the next Court hearing is the 25th April. PW requests in his letter confirmation that hearing due on 25lh is to be adjourned. Clearly PW had already been advised that the Council would be seeking a Bankruptcy Order in the letter dated 21st April which he has acknowledged. There was insufficient time for we to reply to PW prior to the hearing.

25th May 2006
Luton County Court grant Bankruptcy Order at Bankruptcy Hearing, PW fails to attend. The balance of the debt at the time of the bankruptcy is £1,344.98 which relates almost exactly to the value of the Costs Order from the first set of bankruptcy proceedings.

Health issues aside, it also seems hard to argue that bankruptcy is being used a “last resort” on the basis he made payments and proposed a repayment plan.

When combined with health issues… which were raised in court – well what do you think now?

109. Tom McCabe

Peter Williams was persued to his death for £1300 plus costs.
There is is no point blaming poorly paid council staff.
I believe it was Grant Thornton who chased Peter for an unitemised bill of
£70,000 .
Please everyone stop and think of the torment Peter must have suffered before he stood in front of that train.
Please think of the anger he must have felt against a system that allowed him to be bullied out of his home.
Please think of the feeling of powerlessness he must have felt against a corrupt system in a supposed civilised society
Please think of the fear a 63 year old man would feel being made homeless
How do I know all this
Because Grant Thornton forced my wife and myself into bankruptcy 18 months ago .They presented us with a £700,000 YES £700,000 legal bill
which they still refuse to itemise.
They have written to my daughter ,who has learning difficulties,her house mates who also are very vulnerable,giving eviction notices.That house is in my wives name as my daughter is not capable.
They have took my wives car and are making us sell our house.
They continue to build fees so we will be left with nothing.
Lets see the breakdown of the bill that drove a good man to his death.
If it is fraud then its manslaughter and someone needs to see the inside of a cell

110. Robin Levett

@Richard #108:

My apologies – I’ve not had time to come back to this since last week.

Health issues aside, it also seems hard to argue that bankruptcy is being used a “last resort” on the basis he made payments and proposed a repayment plan.

When combined with health issues… which were raised in court – well what do you think now?

Firstly, thank you for providing more information.

I’d think that there was no recorded consideration following the first hearing of Mr Williams’s health.

The chronology was apparently prepared by the solicitors acting (presumably in connection with the LGO investigation. Is that the case?

Either his health had been raised before and considered by the Council, and hence the instructions to the solicitors wouldn’t have changed; or there was no such consideration at all, which would be more “problematic”. The solicitors wouldn’t necessarily have known – indeed probably would not have known – at the first hearing about any previous consideration. Was anything said in the LGO investigation about what had been considered internally?

I fear however that I cannot agree – or indeed disagree – that bankruptcy was not being used as a last resort. We know there were at least 10 years of previous arrears. I don’t know what the history of payment of those arrears was. We do know (you have said that the only debt proved in the bankruptcy was the CT debt) that Mr Williams seems to have given priority to his other creditors over his CT liability.

In the circumstances, it is quite possible that a refusal of the instalment offer was reasonable. It is also possible that the refusal was unreasonable; but the mere fact that the offer was made does not ipso facto make its refusal unreasonable.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Teresa

    RT @libcon: The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/8KgvbRJL

  2. Philip Copley

    Fascinating story from @libcon http://t.co/o6tTTojn on how Central Bedfordshire Council drove a man to suicide

  3. Roy Thompson

    http://t.co/OgX5ewnQ

  4. Richard

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/MzeckkxY via @libcon

  5. John B

    This is an outrage. Ignore the article; comment 5 is how life works out. http://t.co/88c1gEBB

  6. cllrdarrenfower

    A terrible story, but 1 worth reading this evening 2 remind us all of the need 2 prioritise rather than chase targets! http://t.co/jitVgK3k

  7. Paul Tapparno-clark

    A terrible story, but 1 worth reading this evening 2 remind us all of the need 2 prioritise rather than chase targets! http://t.co/jitVgK3k

  8. Jaysen Sharpe

    A terrible story, but 1 worth reading this evening 2 remind us all of the need 2 prioritise rather than chase targets! http://t.co/jitVgK3k

  9. Brian Bromley

    A terrible story, but 1 worth reading this evening 2 remind us all of the need 2 prioritise rather than chase targets! http://t.co/jitVgK3k

  10. BackpackingBarrister

    The shocking story of how a council pursued #PeterWilliams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/xJaAjNun via @libcon @BBC_HaveYourSay

  11. BevR

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Lq9spWmN via @libcon

  12. The Salvation Army

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Lq9spWmN via @libcon

  13. michelle maher

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/yRogAJgx @libcon Heartbreaking #peterwilliams

  14. tiamaria

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Lq9spWmN via @libcon

  15. Richard H Harris

    http://t.co/OgX5ewnQ

  16. Richard H Harris

    RT @mmaher70 The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/xJaAjNun @libcon #peterwilliams @BBC_HaveYourSay

  17. Richard H Harris

    RT @britishroses1 The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/xJaAjNun via @libcon @BBC_HaveYourSay

  18. Richard H Harris

    RT @cllrdarrenfower A terrible story http://t.co/xJaAjNun @BBC_HaveYourSay

  19. Richard H Harris

    RT @johnb78 This is an outrage. Ignore the article; comment 5 is how life works out. http://t.co/AFdqrgTB @BBC_HaveYourSay

  20. Richard H Harris

    RT @RichardBrennan The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/xJaAjNun via @libcon @BBC_HaveYourSay

  21. TheCreativeCrip

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/yRogAJgx @libcon Heartbreaking #peterwilliams

  22. EdinburghEye

    The shocking story of how Central Bedfordshire Council pursued Peter Williams to his death. http://t.co/AO8tMDdb @letstalkcentral #suicide

  23. Paul Cardin

    Torbay Council get a mention here: http://t.co/LgHIPDlT

  24. .

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/PHiKddgO via @libcon

  25. .

    The shocking story of how Central Bedfordshire Council pursued Peter Williams to his death. http://t.co/AO8tMDdb @letstalkcentral #suicide

  26. Syn0nymph

    The shocking story of how Central Bedfordshire Council pursued Peter Williams to his death. http://t.co/AO8tMDdb @letstalkcentral #suicide

  27. BevR

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Lq9spWmN

  28. Wokstation

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Lq9spWmN

  29. Old Holborn

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  30. The Olympic Reaper

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  31. JAMES

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bmBWZH5y via @libcon

  32. Tom Hagen

    "@Old_Holborn: A council literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WMG9XUhd&quot; This is digusting. Please share and expose @letstalkcentral

  33. Catherine Brunton

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/yRogAJgx @libcon Heartbreaking #peterwilliams

  34. Old Shuck

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  35. Bob Bee

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/IaF0glQm via @libcon

  36. bram humphries

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  37. Debbie George

    RT @libcon: The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/xzaqg19i

  38. Jo & Jaffa clancy

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Lq9spWmN

  39. william lucas

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  40. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @liarpoliticians

  41. Diarmuid ONeill

    The shocking story of how Central Bedfordshire Council pursued Peter Williams to his death. http://t.co/AO8tMDdb @letstalkcentral #suicide

  42. kev667

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  43. Cygnus2020

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  44. Moon Unit

    The council that drove a man to death. I hope @letstalkcentral all burn in a pit of fiery hell. http://t.co/lYI8bVSO

  45. bethan.lant

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/yRogAJgx @libcon Heartbreaking #peterwilliams

  46. Mavis Stott

    http://t.co/Qg6FryGK Happy with this are you @letstalkcentral ? You utter fucking cunts.

  47. Cygnus2020

    Is this true? @letstalkcentral – Bedsfordshire district council forced man to suicide? http://t.co/O47JHRCI #Twitter #UK

  48. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @A_Liberty_Rebel

  49. Michelle Corbett

    "@Old_Holborn: How a council literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/PafK6Dnw&quot; If this is true @letstalkcentral is an utter disgrace

  50. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @botzarelli @ASI

  51. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @alansm @Ontablets

  52. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @bowgroup @rhmgroo

  53. Billy Bowden

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @alansm @Ontablets

  54. A Libertarian Rebel

    RT @tomhagen_: Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/ya77fSvI #TaxedToDeath

  55. PiConsumer

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @alansm @Ontablets

  56. PiConsumer

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @alansm @Ontablets

  57. Sean Guy

    RT @tomhagen_: Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/ya77fSvI #TaxedToDeath

  58. Sean Guy

    RT @tomhagen_: Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/ya77fSvI #TaxedToDeath

  59. Miss Annesley

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  60. Miss Annesley

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  61. Miss Annesley

    There are no differences between the actions of this council & the actions of a local mafia demanding protection money. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  62. Miss Annesley

    There are no differences between the actions of this council & the actions of a local mafia demanding protection money. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  63. Olympic TW ™

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  64. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @Nigel_Farage

  65. LissyNumber

    There are no differences between the actions of this council & the actions of a local mafia demanding protection money. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  66. Sam Harris (Splint)

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  67. Wigan Pixie

    Unbelievable @letstalkcentral. Shame on you http://t.co/eSdSpIdB

  68. Android Dog

    There are no differences between the actions of this council & the actions of a local mafia demanding protection money. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  69. Lucy Brown

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/zytK40nt via @libcon

  70. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @OllyNeville

  71. Skip Licker

    Take a bow @letstalkcentral you twats http://t.co/twHuYUVn

  72. Holly C

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  73. Carl Hunter

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  74. Tom Hagen

    CentralBeds Council taxed seriously ill man to suicide inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @glen_johnson please rt!

  75. Olly Neville

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  76. Nicole Baughan

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/TGxpoFkR via @libcon @letstalkcentral

  77. mark a williams

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  78. Olly Neville

    @RickyHardy @letstalkcentral http://t.co/CspF2Ejv

  79. Olly Neville

    @AjrMac http://t.co/CspF2Ejv

  80. Tom Hagen

    CentralBeds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @awalmsley11 @gagey88

  81. Olly Neville

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @OllyNeville

  82. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @christinadarling

  83. John Burns

    If all this is true, then this is an appalling abuse of public trust & the public purse 2 drive a man 2 his death. http://t.co/xd3IqUYF

  84. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @Jim_Watford

  85. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @Jim_Watford

  86. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @Jim_Watford

  87. Arnie

    I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame. http://t.co/7tBFYyAR

  88. Arnie

    I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame. http://t.co/7tBFYyAR

  89. Arnie

    I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame. http://t.co/7tBFYyAR

  90. David Christafore

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  91. David Christafore

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  92. David Christafore

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  93. Jon Wiltshire

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  94. Jon Wiltshire

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  95. Jon Wiltshire

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  96. Martin A. Carter

    @mahfrehbuh This is horrendous, courtesy of @letstalkcentral – http://t.co/iLiffO5w

  97. Martin A. Carter

    @mahfrehbuh This is horrendous, courtesy of @letstalkcentral – http://t.co/iLiffO5w

  98. Martin A. Carter

    @mahfrehbuh This is horrendous, courtesy of @letstalkcentral – http://t.co/iLiffO5w

  99. Tom Hagen

    CentralBedsCouncil taxed a seriously ill man to suicide inflating £1500 to £70k http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @ArnieEtc @GovGaryJohnson

  100. Tom Hagen

    CentralBedsCouncil taxed a seriously ill man to suicide inflating £1500 to £70k http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @ArnieEtc @GovGaryJohnson

  101. Tom Hagen

    CentralBedsCouncil taxed a seriously ill man to suicide inflating £1500 to £70k http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @ArnieEtc @GovGaryJohnson

  102. fatfingers

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  103. fatfingers

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  104. fatfingers

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  105. Roy Grant

    CentralBedsCouncil taxed a seriously ill man to suicide inflating £1500 to £70k http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @ArnieEtc @GovGaryJohnson

  106. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @empireofthekop

  107. RightWingSpring

    CentralBedsCouncil taxed a seriously ill man to suicide inflating £1500 to £70k http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @ArnieEtc @GovGaryJohnson

  108. Ross Taylor

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  109. Christopher Gage

    CentralBeds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @awalmsley11 @gagey88

  110. nomnomnom

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  111. Diarmuid Angland

    Horrific treatment of a vulnerable person by a council RT @ArnieEtc: I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame http://t.co/HRzhGX3W

  112. Michael

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  113. Scuttlebutt Press

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  114. Tom Hagen

    @Tara_Hewitt @MancLibertarian @stevetierney Guns? Take a look at this: http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath Please share/rt @letstalkcentral

  115. Dugald MacMillan

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  116. Donald Reagan

    There are no differences between the actions of this council & the actions of a local mafia demanding protection money. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  117. Steve Middleton

    I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame. http://t.co/7tBFYyAR

  118. Steve Middleton

    I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame. http://t.co/7tBFYyAR

  119. Steve Middleton

    I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame. http://t.co/7tBFYyAR

  120. Tom Hagen

    @MrHarryCole Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  121. Tom Hagen

    @MrHarryCole Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  122. Tom Hagen

    @MrHarryCole Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  123. Tom Hagen

    @DanHannanMEP Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  124. Tom Hagen

    @DanHannanMEP Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  125. Keith

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @OllyNeville

  126. Keith

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @OllyNeville

  127. Tom Hagen

    @AlexandralSwann @jonathanbasnett CentralBedsCouncil taxed seriously ill man to suicide, £1500 to 70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  128. Tom Hagen

    @SanyaJeet Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  129. Mohammed Marikar

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  130. Tom Hagen

    @heytherewombat Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  131. Keith

    There are no differences between the actions of this council & the actions of a local mafia demanding protection money. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  132. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @SkyNews @BbcNews

  133. Tom Hagen

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @BBCAllegra

  134. Nick

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  135. Jim

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @Jim_Watford

  136. Rebecca M

    Horrific treatment of a vulnerable person by a council RT @ArnieEtc: I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame http://t.co/HRzhGX3W

  137. Mark Barnes

    Take a bow @letstalkcentral you twats http://t.co/twHuYUVn

  138. Orla Murphy

    Horrific treatment of a vulnerable person by a council RT @ArnieEtc: I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame http://t.co/HRzhGX3W

  139. Jennifer Taylor

    RT @libcon: The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/xzaqg19i

  140. Stuart Regler

    CentralBedsCouncil taxed a seriously ill man to suicide inflating £1500 to £70k http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @ArnieEtc @GovGaryJohnson

  141. Anne Hesnan

    Horrific treatment of a vulnerable person by a council RT @ArnieEtc: I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame http://t.co/HRzhGX3W

  142. Garzo

    Horrific treatment of a vulnerable person by a council RT @ArnieEtc: I'm absolutely appalled at @letstalkcentral. Shame http://t.co/HRzhGX3W

  143. Dan Rowe

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  144. Kerry

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @Jim_Watford

  145. Molly T

    heartbreaking. shame on them. RT @DAngland: Horrific treatment of a vulnerable person by a council @letstalkcentral http://t.co/R1hkvyEE

  146. m banks-wilkinson

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Haos4HG0 via @libcon

  147. Andy Taylor

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  148. Tom Hagen

    @JonGrinham Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  149. Fighty McGirldude

    @whedonworship Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  150. Tom Hagen

    @Sir_Olly_C Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  151. Chaos is Order!

    @Sir_Olly_C Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  152. Tom Hagen

    @MartinSLewis Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath Pls RT

  153. Tom Hagen

    @DVATW Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  154. Fighty McGirldude

    @letstalkcentral You fucking scum. You hounded a sick man to death out of greed, spite and pure fucking evil. http://t.co/Fq5jb5dX

  155. Tom Hagen

    @nowrinhossain CentralBeds Council taxed seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1.5k to £70k. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath Pls Share

  156. Jonathan Basnett

    @MisesTumaHayek Read this: http://t.co/UrptDRYK it's really sad though :(

  157. Jonathan Ellis

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  158. Jonathan Ellis

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  159. Gweirydd ap Gwyndaf

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  160. Gweirydd ap Gwyndaf

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  161. Rob Catesby

    Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath @Jim_Watford

  162. David Bruce

    @Sir_Olly_C Central Beds Council taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1500 to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath

  163. Stephen Milward

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/MkjtSzp0 via @libcon

  164. Grumpy Git

    http://t.co/1AkdqnC7

  165. Eileen Cowen

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/MpBiR7YU via @zite

  166. Martyn Grant

    How a council quite literally taxed a man to death http://t.co/WR5uGyIv

  167. Eve Robinson-Morley

    This is disgusting. @letstalkcentral you're a disgrace. http://t.co/An1cZmaU

  168. paul goddard

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Wj1obYUs via @libcon

  169. Tuma

    I cannot believe this was allowed to happen #TaxedToDeath http://t.co/j0zA9TCT via @libcon

  170. Tuma

    I cannot believe this was allowed to happen #TaxedToDeath http://t.co/j0zA9TCT via @letstalkcentral

  171. Gary Paul H

    Outrage. Absolute outrage. http://t.co/jauSKlzL

  172. Tom Hagen

    @JONWEXFORD @letstalkcentral taxed a seriously ill man to suicide, inflating £1.5k to £70k+. http://t.co/TY7QWM6y #TaxedToDeath Please RT

  173. Socio Imagination

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/H9VbLE53

  174. Jason Antoniewicz

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/H9VbLE53

  175. RetroCaravanCompany

    @letstalkcentral This is disgusting http://t.co/7CSHRHC7

  176. Mac Von Sunderland

    The shocking story of how Central Bedfordshire Council pursued Peter Williams to his death. http://t.co/AO8tMDdb @letstalkcentral #suicide

  177. Kaiser Of Crisps

    How Central Bedfordshire District Council drove Peter Williams to suicide http://t.co/f0yKbnkR Well done CBDC @letstalkcentral

  178. Happy Biscuit Design

    How Central Bedfordshire District Council drove Peter Williams to suicide http://t.co/f0yKbnkR Well done CBDC @letstalkcentral

  179. Edwin Gray

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://ow.ly/cpGVP via @libcon #dystopia #debt

  180. VeeBee

    How Central Bedfordshire District Council drove Peter Williams to suicide http://t.co/f0yKbnkR Well done CBDC @letstalkcentral

  181. EdinburghEye

    How Central Bedfordshire District Council drove Peter Williams to suicide http://t.co/f0yKbnkR Well done CBDC @letstalkcentral

  182. EdinburghEye

    heartbreaking. shame on them. RT @DAngland: Horrific treatment of a vulnerable person by a council @letstalkcentral http://t.co/R1hkvyEE

  183. Peter MacDonald

    How Central Bedfordshire District Council drove Peter Williams to suicide http://t.co/f0yKbnkR Well done CBDC @letstalkcentral

  184. Graham Taylor

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/jae1FyKE via @libcon

  185. school governor

    How Central Bedfordshire District Council drove Peter Williams to suicide http://t.co/f0yKbnkR Well done CBDC @letstalkcentral

  186. Peter Williams | Richard H Harris's Blog

    [...] But as I’ve had a few enquiries – if you arrived here looking for information about my friend Peter Williams the place that seems to have evolved for this is here: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/07/20/the-shocking-story-of-how-a-council-pursued-peter-williams/  [...]

  187. BendyGirl

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  188. @GrannyWils

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  189. MerseyMal

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  190. paul and lynn hewitt

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  191. Keith Davis

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/jYe5yVoN via @libcon

  192. Betty Broken

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  193. Nick Smart

    Shameful. The chilling tale of how @letstalkcentral hounded a man to his death over a £1350 tax bill http://t.co/yVeM8OPj

  194. Hossylass

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/l26NuIW7 via @libcon ill man hounded to death

  195. Graham Linehan

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  196. Kevin Furlong

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  197. Charlie Snowgarden

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  198. David Crookes

    This story of how Central Bedfordshire District Council, @letstalkcentral hounded a man to suicide is shameful. http://t.co/pJLJNZFM

  199. Top Politics Tweets

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  200. Paul

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  201. Arrest the Bankers

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  202. Becky

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  203. Peter Turpin

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  204. David Craven

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  205. mark pomphrett

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  206. Jonny Brammah

    Eat shit fuckface! http://t.co/UmzIBgga RT @letstalkcentral
    At this stage we are not able to discuss the circumstances of Mr Williams death.

  207. wilsanealtogetherkev

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/DXgzl4Ho via @libcon

  208. Andrew Tomlinson

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  209. Martin Watson

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  210. Racco

    wow. Total scumbags. The story of how a council pursued Peter Williams to death http://t.co/z0HtZEGA

  211. Dayve Blyth

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  212. Kate

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  213. kardinal69

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  214. DishDawg

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/y3ZYPYAv via @libcon

  215. Kenny

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/VRgeB3Xt via @libcon

  216. mickld

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  217. SomeCallMeLaz

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  218. SomeCallMeLaz

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  219. Dan

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | http://t.co/DtGh8GDt via @libcon

  220. Dave Ross

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  221. Andrew Francis

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Wa8F8lte via @libcon

  222. dyfed price

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  223. Robin Morel

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/YFGlBFTL via @libcon

  224. Toot

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bgAQghPg

  225. Iain McDonald

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  226. Richard H Harris

    Central Bedfordshire District Council: A truly loathsome council out of control; read this and be shocked ~~ http://t.co/pgHfXwqR

  227. Joseph Ewen

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  228. David | ?????????

    Disgusting. “@BendyGirl: The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/M1jAG8SM via @libcon”

  229. Richard H Harris

    @TasminLucia RT @BendyGirl The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/qgkExD4E via @libcon

  230. devseven

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  231. nick james

    @letstalkcentral #PeterWilliams The moral equivalent of loan sharking: http://t.co/lXtat4XR via @libcon

  232. mjs

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  233. Cazimodo

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  234. liane gomersall

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/XDrzD7FE

  235. Katherine Smith

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/XDrzD7FE

  236. Kanjin Tor

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bjLB0jn9 via @libcon

  237. Emma

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bjLB0jn9 via @libcon

  238. EdinburghEye

    @CommCats Hope plenty of people there bring up how @letstalkcentral hounded Peter Williams to his death for #counciltax http://t.co/AO8tMDdb

  239. Cllr Colin Taylor

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bgAQghPg

  240. Epsom & Ewell Focus

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bgAQghPg

  241. Charlie Wheeler

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/XDrzD7FE

  242. Charlie Wheeler

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/XDrzD7FE

  243. TheCreativeCrip

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/l26NuIW7 via @libcon ill man hounded to death

  244. EdinburghEye

    MT @Hossylass The shocking story of how a council ( @LetsTalkCentral ) pursued Peter Williams to suicide | @libcon http://t.co/AO8tMDdb

  245. Kim Blake

    MT @Hossylass The shocking story of how a council ( @LetsTalkCentral ) pursued Peter Williams to suicide | @libcon http://t.co/AO8tMDdb

  246. Virginia Moffatt

    MT @Hossylass The shocking story of how a council ( @LetsTalkCentral ) pursued Peter Williams to suicide | @libcon http://t.co/AO8tMDdb

  247. Linda Burnip

    MT @Hossylass The shocking story of how a council ( @LetsTalkCentral ) pursued Peter Williams to suicide | @libcon http://t.co/AO8tMDdb

  248. Linda Burnip

    RT @libcon: The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/wUKRBOjE

  249. Richard Doherty

    MT @Hossylass The shocking story of how a council ( @LetsTalkCentral ) pursued Peter Williams to suicide | @libcon http://t.co/AO8tMDdb

  250. The Peoples Party

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/UZ3hzS07

  251. mushkush

    The shocking story of how (Central Beds.) council pursued Peter Williams (to death) http://t.co/MD6bf7ay

  252. PhilS

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  253. denisroyle

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tpYEzPTY via @libcon

  254. Simon Campbell

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/3EIhtgbz via @libcon

  255. Gerald

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/rS7BhX8o via @libcon

  256. Fainche

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams http://t.co/4o8RtueO how many wont be able to pay when CT benefits slashed?

  257. Les Tricoteuses

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/hlagLaTD

  258. Idene Roozbayani

    Should be locked up 4 murder. The shocking story of how council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/s0XnbUR8 via @libcon

  259. Judie McConway

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/zGYhqmcu via @libcon

  260. Krys Kowalczuk

    @letstalkcentral http://t.co/bnHcirAx Shame!

  261. Vannak Tok

    The shocking story of how a council pursued Peter Williams | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Lj36olMK via @libcon





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.