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Bonkers Blog June 2019

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29 June - Financial incompetence everywhere

OneSourceI have discovered a link between my Newham problem and Bexley Council. The two boroughs plus Havering combined their financial services in 2016. Bexley’s current Finance Director was previously at that combined outfit which is known as OneSource.

Newham you may remember told me they would fund four weeks of respite care for my aunt who has lived in the same house since 1941 to give me time to make alternative arrangements. One of the conditions was that I had no choice over where she was placed but because she didn’t like it I took her away after five nights.

Newham Council then reneged on the deal and said a bill would be sent. When it arrived I thought it was quite reasonable and paid it. The fact that they had taken my aunt into care, albeit two weeks late because of Newham Hospital’s incompetence, had been extremely welcome at the time.

In correspondence with the accounts section I commented on the fact that the bill was for two weeks accommodation. Back came an apology and the bill was reduced by more than half with the promise of a refund. Six days later the money dropped into my aunt’s bank account.

So that should have been that, but no. Councils can rarely do anything without making a mistake. Last week a slightly threatening letter arrived from OneSource. I had allegedly not paid the reduced bill, in fact I never received it, only the email to say how much it was and that a refund of my overpayment was on its way.

Something else to sort out.

CapitaIt does not of course require the combined forces of three boroughs to create financial problems. Bexley can do it by itself.

Like most people I pay my exorbitant Council Tax by Direct Debit but that was not always the case. I used to allow Direct Debit only from organisations which I felt could be trusted which ruled out Bexley Council and Thames Water. Then one year my standing order to Thames Water coincided with Good Friday and they got their money three or four days late. Their computer went crazy with red letters and I concluded that Direct Debit resistance was more bother than it was worth. I went 100% DD.

It saves a lot of trouble as an elderly Bonkers reader has discovered.

His Council Tax payment was made three days late in April and he was reprimanded for it ten days later. His May and June payments went through on time but he has nevertheless been summoned to Court on 8th July for not having paid all ten of his monthly payments already. Bexley Council appears to have only accounted for two of his payments when in fact everything is up to date.

The seriously unwell eighty year old is going to try dragging himself to the Council Offices armed with his bank statements.

Bexley Council probably has improved over the years and is no longer regularly engaged in dubious and occasionally criminal behaviour but they are still incompetent bastards at heart.


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