On the 17th January I went to see IDS in a surgery. No personal issue but I had decided to take on others’ issues just because I could. I thought I’d go again. Here’s how easy it was to make another appointment……
22/01/14 Emailed the office asking for further appointment
28/01/14 Emailed pointing out that IDS told me emails were answered within 48 hours but not had a response hoped I wouldn’t have to go to the media…
04/02/14 Response to say email forwarded to Jo Nash (IDS’ researcher/assistant) and shortly afterwards response from Jo Nash to say FOI had been forwarded and to give details of new case to “…see if an appointment will be necessary” (with Iain) (That smiley face was mine not hers!)
06/02/14 Emailed Jo saying how nice it was that we were all on first name terms and I shall put them on my Xmas card list. Pointed out discrepancy in how long it had taken to forward FOI, I had not had a response to letter re the #WowPetition and I wished to discuss further the issues that we had run out of time with before and that Iain had agreed to this
10/02/14 Forwarded email asking for response
10/02/14 Response referring only to FOI
10/02/14 Jo forwarded email showing she had asked someone to draft a response to the #wowpetition letter. You can see the response here, here and here
10/02/14 Responded pointing out it was the last two paragraphs of the email I needed a response for. One of which said specifically “As regards the next appointment, I am sure you will recall that Iain very politely said that he would answer another question after we were out of time and that I said it was fine I could arrange another appointment to which he agreed. So in summary I would like to finish that discussion regarding benefits and fraud and also ask Iain about ATOS.”
13/02/14 Response saying copied in Lynn into email to make appointment
13/02/14 Email booking me in for the 21/02/14
Five emails and 22 days to get another appointment…..
Wait ’til you see the response to my request for a third go…!
Anyway, here follows 3 clips of my surgery with IDS.
Firstly “bedroom tax” he blames councils, housing associations and doesn’t agree with the National Housing Federation figures….. he was a little confused when I mentioned James from LBC (he had quite a row with him on LBC radio see the clip)
The Bull heard me editing these and told me to “Leave the poor bloke alone” Frankly he’s heard me give a lot worse so don’t know what that was about! Then we talked about ATOS. Unfortunately not enough ammo at my finger tips but I had a little stab. I raised my voice a little but controlled myself! Not really the grilling that he got at the committee hearing on Universal Credit last December but every little helps and we know I love that phrase! (Too many of my posts to which I could link!) Look to see how he doesn’t answer a question, blames the last Government, dismisses stories of people in comas and with degenerative diseases as isolated and media spin.
Wouldn’t be me without a little bit of fun, so a couple of clips of taking something, can’t think what….! Asked him to take a selfie… see what happened! I gave him cake. Well I did offer to Jo and him to come to my house where the kettle was always on and if I knew they were coming I’d bake them a cake. But unfortunately despite saying he makes home visits they are only for disabled people. No mention of sick people though. They may have thought I fell into this category of course though…
So yes, I asked for another surgery with Iain. He’s my mate now don’t you know? This is the response I got:
I understand from CWGCA that you are seeking another surgery appointment with IDS. As I’m sure you can appreciate, we have a large number of constituents requesting surgery appointments, and it would not be fair for us to see one constituent on a monthly basis and not other constituents. Our next surgery is on Friday 28th March and I know that this is already getting full up with some very urgent cases. I would therefore ask if you could be patient and wait for a surgery appointment in April or May, once we have dealt with some of the much more urgent cases.
So, that’s it then. No more meetings, obviously hoping to put me off indefinitely.
Ok, so who believed that then? What? Are you new to this blog?! I’m just lulling her into a false sense of security and not responding for a few days… but I will… keep an eye out on my Facebook page and Twitter to keep updated!
06/03/14 update – emailed 12 follow up questions last week and chased today for answers, still no reply. I will NOT give up!
Would be interested in your comments. Do you think things will improve? Do you think he’s getting a handle on it? Will those error figures go down? Do you think he cares? Are the cases we hear about just isolated? How much should that percentage error decrease? What do you think of the “bedroom tax”? Were enough homes built in your area? Do you think it is incompetence or targets or both? Would you like one of our cakes? Should I leave him alone now?
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