Jeff is on his way to Bournemouth
30th Jan 2011
After 18 months of agitating, trauma and ultimately litigation, Jeff has been awarded a place at the college of his choice in Bournemouth. Sound the church bells and put up the bunting, the world is good in Chateau Ahab today.
Jeff has been persistently ignored by our Local Authority since Sept 2009, who steadfastly refused to acknowledge their legal obligation to provide him with an education no matter how much we hassled and chased them. In the end we had to take the mater to a High Court Judge just to get them to acknowledge their responsibility and even then they did the bare minimum to grant us our legal right of appeal - which look a further six month. They never had any intention of making provision for him and it seems that they figured that if they ignored the problem long enough Jeff would get older, and the problem would just go away.
I have to say that I can't speak lowly enough of Birmingham Council. The public outcry against them is utterly justified and the shambles which passes for a the public service in the UK's second city is deplorable. It's time to scrap the whole crumbling edifice and start again.
But enough of my rant against our Local Authority, today is a truly great day. After 18 months and God knows how many £10's of thousands of pounds sanity prevailed at Jeff's Educational Tribunal and he is embarking on the next chapter of his life. That smile hasn't left his face all day!
This is truly good news for Jeff but it does leave me without my ever available crew member for those "dodgy" trips which Belle is not so keen on. Hey ho - he will be back in the holidays.
But of course Jeff's departure offers a whole world of opportunity for Belle and myself. For the first time in 16 years we will have term times for ourselves, and that means the luxury of leisurely boating trips with just the two of us. Heaven!
Tussles and arguments remain between us and the Local Authority but the big hurdle has been crossed. Thanks to all of you that offers concern and support. Its been a tough couple of years but the end is in sight. Phew!