Friday, 12 September 2008

Dear Mr Adam Sampson,

I am absolutely appalled that SHELTER has been given government funding, which effectively comes out of my pocket, and that of other tax-payers, to enable you to act as a stooge for a highly political manoeuvre involving stuffing thousands of people into, in some cases, an entirely unsuitable location, miles from where they live or come from.

I am as much in favour as anyone, of providing suitable homes to people who cannot afford them - although there is an issue about unreasonable levels of expectation too, in our current leaderless and “I want it all” society – but forcing a size ten foot into a size four shoe is not the answer. The current housing figures are also highly dubious, given that there is no method of de-conflicting figures for applications from one area to another, leading to inflation of figures by as much as 300%

You should be aware that, in quoting statistics of those needing homes in the Ford location in West Sussex, the official figure of 4,000 is highly misleading. 2,000 of these are based on Bognor Regis, which has an adequate infrastructure and is currently undergoing a regeneration programme costing several million pounds; and another 1,700 are based in Littlehampton (ditto). Although we have asked local people if they wish to move away from Bognor and Littlehampton, with possible loss of job, friends and family (and assuming they have transport to get round a rural area), we have had no response This leaves only 200 people, from the District, who might or might not want to live at Ford.

Conversely we have signatures of over 10,000 people in 4 months, who think the Ford scheme is a bad idea.

As someone involved in another charity, I am disgusted that you allow yourself and your charity to be used in this way. Further I am pleased that this misuse of taxpayers money has been legally challenged. I shall be writing to your Trustees.

Terry Knott MC FRSM
Chairman CAFÉ

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