A 71-year-old woman who is desperately seeking compensation for her damaged kitchen has been warned by Southwark Council that she may be put on their “Violent Caution” register.
Rose Neale was forced to spend her entire life’s savings repairing her council home’s kitchen when it was damaged by a leak and she became frustrated with the lack of response from Southwark. She has been trying in vain to get reimbursed since 2012.
The News highlighted her plight three weeks ago, which prompted a response from Cllr Mark Williams, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport that he would be “happy to meet with her personally” to discuss the situation.
Instead, Rose was shocked and distraught when she was simply sent a letter that rejected her appeal and threatened her with inclusion on the Violent Caution register.
This register “acts as a warning for staff and contractors where they may be at risk when visiting residents,” according to the letter from a housing officer.
It states that the “official warning” was made after the distressed pensioner swore on the phone to a council officer last month.
Rose said: “I admit it – I did swear but I was just getting so frustrated. I know I shouldn’t have, but this has been going on for so, so long and I just can’t take it anymore.
“I had just got back home after visiting the council’s offices in Tooley Street where I was meant to have a meeting with a housing officer. They didn’t turn up and I just couldn’t believe it. I rang them up and they tried to convince me that I was wrong.”
The letter also states that the two officers who Rose claims promised to reimburse her have both now left the council. It also denies that Rose sent in the correct claim forms.
Rose said: “I have gone back and forth with them for years now. I’ve sent in receipts, letters, everything. It’s just a joke – and now they are claiming I’m a danger to them! I don’t know what to do.”
Councillor Richard Livingstone, Southwark’s cabinet member for housing, said: “I understand that Ms Neal is upset about her kitchen but we did need to make her aware that swearing at staff isn’t going to sort out the issue.
“We’re doing our best to work towards an amicable solution and I’m still very happy to meet with Ms Neal if this would be helpful.”