EDITORIAL: shameful letter should not have been sent

(09 July, 2015)

The mother of Tommy Blackmore, who passed away last month, were sent a letter demanding repayment of £17 of benefits six days after he died.

3286Tommy Blackmore was only 20-years-old when he died

It’s an administrative error, and of course they happen – particularly in large organisations – but for the family of a man killed less than a month ago to receive a letter demanding benefit overpayment be returned is so utterly distressing.

Southwark Council bosses will obviously be aghast that a letter was sent out to the family of Tommy Blackmore, the 20-year-old who was killed after an incident near Tower Bridge last month. And so they should be. It’s simply unacceptable that the council can be so quick to send out such an insensitive – no, offensive – letter, which stated that because Tommy had ‘passed away’ his mother had been overpaid – a whopping £17.33.

It later transpired that no money was owed back to the council and that the letter had been sent in error, but this is beside the point. Even if some sort of repayment was owed, there is a time and a place for doing this, and it is certainly not weeks after Maureen Blackmore’s son died.

The council says that it will review its training processes, but you really have to wonder how anyone could send out a letter like that.



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