I couldnâ€™t quite believe the lady from LBC who phoned me at 9.30am yesterday and told me about the now famous Lisa from Ealing and her leaflet. I imagined that someone from the council had rather stupidly and insensitively included a leaflet about fostering in with a mailing of housing benefit advice.
Now I have seen the actual leaflet it is quite clear that the council has been extremely foolish to link housing benefit changes to fostering in this direct way. We need more foster carers in Ealing and fostering is a great thing to do but to link it with a loss of benefits it totally inappropriate. To produce a leaflet that makes the link directly is just the wrong thing to do.
I canâ€™t imagine that a leaflet of this kind would be produced without a high level of sign off by officers. I canâ€™t imagine that the councilâ€™s head of communications wouldnâ€™t have signed this off. I really canâ€™t imagine it going out without sign off by the leader of the council himself. The leader owns the comms function. The council and the leader have been noticeably silent on this issue for two whole working days now.
Is the Labour administration doing its job? Did any of them see this leaflet and not get it? Did the comms people run it past the leader? Who is in charge? Didnâ€™t anyone think this was a crass thing to do? And now it has happened is anyone going to say sorry?