Well, the day dawned when we expected to hear LBRuT's latest excuse why they couldn't rehouse us, and it didn't start that well I have to say.
I received an email from the Director of Education that didn't fill me with confidence ahead of our meeting with the Director of Housing this afternoon.
The way it was worded suggested that nothing would continue to happen in our favour.
There was one particular line that read "I have been updated by HR and Housing on the points you have raised......and after full consideration of the issues I am satisfied that the appropriate action has been taken"
Now, I take 'appropriate action' to mean the action already taken by Richmond on the matter - so there would be no change to the situation.
I responded, in a polite yet firm manner, stressing again that my contract states (if they'd care to read it correctly) that they are obliged to rehome me, and that I would take the matter further if this didn't happen.
As a result, Denise and I were not looking forward to the Housing meeting.
This meeting started in a similar fashion. The Director began by explaining the policies for rehousing Site Managers or not, depending on the circumstances and their contracts. I pointed out that these policies do not apply to my situation, as my homelessness is as a result of an LBRuT decision, and not through any choice of mine.
I have to admit to becoming a little irritated at this point, as I felt sure he'd give us the same old nonsense about their non-obligation to rehouse us.
So, imagine our surprise when he told us that he had approved our Council Housing Application, and that we would be rehoused as soon as possible.
It was a massive relief for both of us, and my boss (who was present) was equally pleased for us.
The outcome is that he will now go away and look at our application in more detail, take into account all of our circumstances (pets, health issues etc), and find suitable accommodation for us. It was stressed by myself, and supported by my boss, that this should be in the Hampton area as my job depends on that to a certain extent.
Denise and I are satisfied with the outcome and like to think that the LBRuT have at last recognised their moral (legal ?) responsibility to us and done the decent thing.
We would like to thank everyone that has supported us throughout this period, you have all kept us going with your words of encouragement and advice.
Denise and I have gone through the mill this year, in more ways than one in Denise's case, but we seem to have survived it and maybe now we can look ahead to a rosier future.
In summary :
"Is Loyalty a Thing of the Past ?"
Yes, I do believe it is unfortunately.
My loyalty to LBRuT had nothing to do with their decision to back down and do the right thing by us. What did it was my shouting loudly enough to make them sit up and listen. They realised that I would not simply roll over and play their game, and that I would take this as far as I could. That meant publicity, and that was a game they don't like to play.