Campaign Report - Update as of 22 October 2017
Oct 22, 2017 — Background
In Early May this year, the Armando Martins Campaign wrote to Canterbury City Council, East Kent Housing and the Radio Society of Great Britain suspending its e-petition. At that time, it had achieved its first aim which was to stop the anti-social behaviour his neighbours had directed against him (manipulating housing and planning officials into blocking his lifestyle and goals), forcing him (illegally) to move away.
It appeared then that Mr Martins was settling down in new accommodation. This is still true, and there is a great deal of difference in his outlook today, however there are ongoing issues.
The campaigns second aim was to restore his confidence in a lifelong hobby which had become the tool used to target the aggression. As this would take time and required planning it was decided to hold fire with the petition and let the agreed changes transpire.
In the letters closing the e-petition, we pointed out that he could still be the subject to excessive bureaucracy that would equally mar his life and block his goals. To counter this, and help him to achieve his aim, we worked to develop an understanding of how to work within the various acts of parliament and protocols governing his hobby.
Throughout the campaign, we also took the views of the Secretary of State (SOS) for Community and Planning and for Health, as to what they want for citizens - matching them with the experience.
Even by taking this approach, Mr Martins is still subject to goal blocking and borderline anti-social behaviour, but this time coming exclusively from housing managers, specifically the same manager he has dealt with from the outset.
Our original concluding report said that at the lower levels of management, housing managers had insufficient skills to deal with all of the issues humanely. As one director in East Kent Housing put it - they lacked empathy. As we put it, these officials have often over reached their powers, by making arbitrary decisions that affected Mr Martins' life. Ordering him to effectively curtail his hobby by taking his antenna down without reason, (and contradicting previously agreed "rules" to discuss matters first and compromise).
Nobody needs the stress this causes, especially at his age (77). As this would be a life changing decision in direct contravention of council rules, an objection has been raised to East Kent Housing who we expect to deal with it.
This situation makes a mockery of East Kent Housing CEO, Deborah Upton's promise to move Mr Martins to a place where he can get on with his life. It also further highlights a long running thread where the actions of housing officials have systematically contributed to ruining Mr Martins life. We have therefore worked with EKH to put this in perspective but still await a response.
Through Social Media we think Mr Martins is not the only Radio Amateur to be treated this way by unqualified housing and planning officials. We called on the RSGB to address this on several occasions during the original campaign. In the period covered by this report several posts have been noted with similar overtones.
Why are we re-opening the Armando Martins Campaign?
We now call again:
• For the RSGB to proactively involve itself in making sure planning laws cannot be used to block the goals of its members and blight their lives.
• For the secretaries of state to explain their policies on inclusive and healthy communities to all public facing officials.
For both of the above organisations to work together to change the town and country planning act to ensure amateur radio operators and hobbyists are not disadvantaged by expensive (to buy into and to enforce) and frustrating planning rules which can be abused to the point of ruining peoples lives.
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