On tonight’s Watchdog `The Game` chain stores sadly goes into admistration, people there losing their jobs. Lloyds TSB and the Halifax bank axe their pet insurance plans, people who have some ill pets are finding they cannot get cover elsewhere and can no longer insure their dogs with a pre-existing medical condition. Some owners are now having to face up to having their animals put down. I think Vince Cable should intervene if he can, both these banks offered lifelong cover for the animals concerned in this case – `Life` should mean life. There was a piece about the Village of Billington (I’m sure I have heard of it, I think it is near Preston). They got people to phone round their gas/electric companies, Sky and their land-line and mobile service, just for the cost of phone calls and a reference to something called haggling. These people, put together as a group, saved a lot of money, well done for helping them Watchdog. A company called Yodel was mentioned, a deliveryman dropped an x-box over a fence and a woman who ordered a washing machine x2 only for it to be lost each time. I’m not sure if she got it sorted out or not but Yodel said they would improve things, lets hope, so this woman can actually get her washing done in the near future! The Angry Birds game was mentioned, something about if you play this game on certain appliances this game can drain the battery, but the people concerned are now addressing the problem. A company called Goldstar was on the Rogue Traders part of the programme. He had overcharged and condemned boilers that didn’t in fact need replacing, he also had stated a boiler was toxic. An expert set a fault on a fan in the boiler which should not have cost that much but he charged a lot. I think it should have cost less than 300 pounds, he has promised to pay back some money to a previous customer and this time not stop the cheque after giving Matt Allright the run around. He has said he has learnt from his past mistakes, lets hope so, I have every respect for Matt Allright he can always be trusted even on his motorbike. Sanex – an advert of theirs gets axed by the TV regulator for being misleading. Next week on Watchdog BBC1 The DVLA passing your details on to other companies without permission and something about White Paint.
 
The Tonight Programme on Thursday 22nd March ITV1.
 
This particular edition of the Tonight programme was titled “How much is your council charging you”. I had been looking forward to seeing this as I thought it would be very interesting viewing, but only a small portion of the programme was about service charges that disabled people pay for those services from the Social Services, and concerning the NHS, 1 woman who looked after her ill father was due to lose the money paid to cover a taxi to take her father to a local day centre so she can have a much needed break or rest. On-going cases like this is the tip of the iceberg. She needs a break, and given the stark choice of paying a monthly wage to a social worker or manager, then cases like this lady’s, and mine to,o mean their role should be modernised. More choice, more flexibility for those clients or their carers, to make the crucial decisions. Real control for disabled people and their carers, and the Social Workers and managers can have their say and opinion, but control overall remains with the disabled person or client. That’s called real personalisation, and in spite of the spending cuts, if you were not putting the money towards these so called experts wages then most clients would feel better as a result and the money would be there too. I would axe the role of these so called experts. Other parts to this programme were library fees going up, parking fees to park your car – a woman who owned her own coffee shop said the parking fees were driving people away from her shop and the small local area where her shop is based. Even fees to collect furniture and rat catchers are going up, sometimes doubling at times. Another example was a woman who took her kids to the local swimming pool but paying for parking & using the facilities increasing. The government and local councils need to slim down their administrations and use their money a bit better or in different ways a government minister says, a counsellor said on-screen that the government has no idea how a council works and they have made savings, so each side constantly blames the other, but I sometimes think when it comes to disabled people, Social Workers and their managers should do the right thing, lose their jobs or retrain, so that disabled people no longer have to put up with some of the absurd decisions which aren’t flexible, when they know themselves they will still get paid every month and it doesn’t affect them. But disabled People are just stuck with Service Charges, we are supposed to say its all OK to keep paying the disabled persons poll tax. I would say this to the so called experts whoever you are in 2 words – Get Stuffed.Be right back