However I did just receive a further somewhat bizarre email from her forwarding a response from an unnamed person at Housing Benefits (it's just a guess but I bet it's the same person who has previously lied their way through an internal HR investigation and to an employment tribunal).
Here's the quote from the Housing Benefits bod -
“In terms of DHP Mr P has had as much detail and information as is available and there is nothing further to add to previous responses provided, both in terms of the communication with Councillor Dewinton and the Freedom of Information requests that have been responded to. Therefore, I do not propose a subsequent response on the matter.”
Cllr Dewinton is silent as to whether she considers this to be an adequate comment on the matter.
Frankly this representative of the Housing Benefits service appears to be under an illusion that I give a shit what they think. I don't. And I wasn't looking for any further information either, I've already demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that discretionary housing payments have been persistently and comprehensively mismanaged. Rather than explain things further to me what I want now is for housing benefit managers to explain themselves to elected members and for there to be a serious and effective action plan to be put in place to get DHPs working properly.
DHPs will be the only means of mitigating the quite terrifying housing benefit cuts that we are facing. It is also a means of bringing central government money into the locality and that's not to be sniffed at these days. So there is an economic development case for action as well as a social justice one.
A small light at the end of the tunnel; Cllr Dewinton has passed the matter to be considered for scrutiny. There is therefore a small hope that the matter will go before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which may at least drive some improvement. I won't be holding my breath though.