Essex is United-The £500k Facebook Page

** I am currently writing a follow up after the full council meeting. This should be published either today (16th Feb) or over the weekend

I’m an unpaid carer of three children with autism.

I have 4 children and i’m a single mother, I have zero support, I have one family member who isn’t close enough in distance to help out, and who also works 6 days a week. I have no other family.

I should be caring for my ex husband who has Huntington’s Disease, every single member of Essex County Council’s adult services team told me I should stop doing that as it would mean less for me to do. That isn’t why I don’t provide care for my ex, it’s because I just have nothing more left to give. Things are not going well for the ex, who really needs someone to help. Nobody is involved with the ex, Essex County Council are aware but they just wanted me not to bother as a get out clause for not supporting myself as an unpaid carer, it’s not about the people, it’s about balancing the books.

I have been told repeatedly that they just don’t have enough money to support people, i’ve been screwed over by them so many times that i’ve lost count, the people I love have been screwed over by them so many times i’ve lost count.

I’m incredibly depressed, I feel so alone, struggling to meet the needs of those I care for with absolutely no help from anyone else. The last contact I had with Essex County Council was when Cllr John Spence legged it out of a room full of unpaid carers because he didn’t want to speak to those of us who need help but aren’t getting it. I’ve heard nothing since, and likely won’t ever. Though to be fair, there really isn’t any point anymore given all they ever do is say there is no money, and never contact you again.

I’m not blogging or tweeting regularly because I am in such a bad way, I struggle to even get up in the morning, and I have had suicidal thoughts, but I do still keep an eye on things. on twitter and the news.

During the period where Essex County Council have made multiple excuses as to why they cannot help me, despite there being a law they should be abiding to which says they should, they have wasted £500k on a facebook page.

One single facebook page. The payments were made to Simon Harris, a rabid anti-conservative who once told women to “Use your head, and spread” as part of a cervical screening campaign. Instantly turning a medical screening procedure into something sexual. He gained his 5 minutes of fame with the spoof news site Southend News Network and his facebook page Man behaving Dadly..

The information came to light due to the efforts of someone called LegalGengar on twitter, link below:

Here is a news article regarding it:

Simon Harris was paid almost £500k for a facebook page, oh, and a Facebook group. ECC has made a statement trying to justify this, but there is no justification. It was also only on facebook, a social media platform that is out of style with most people. It’s mostly Gen X. Millennials are on Instagram, anyone with an opinion or a grift is on Twitter, and generation Z are on discord and tiktok.

Saying something has a reach of however many million is conjecture at best, not to mention they used Facebook ads on the page so many people would have been unwittingly exposed to that page and counted who aren’t interested in it. I spent the pandemic on Facebook and I haven’t liked the page or joined the group so it clearly wasn’t appealing to me. It appears it was just a place to share posts.

Not to mention that an Essex County Council employee, Kirsty O’Calloghan, was in a senior management position in the department that was paying Simon Harris the £500k. Simon Harris at the time was mentioned as a Director on the website of a company that Kirsty was a director of. Smells of corruption to me.

They have just increased council tax by 5%, they sent out a consultation to residents of Essex beforehand so they could blame all their decisions on us. They just said that the consultation said we’d be happy to pay more council tax so more money could be put into needed services because that was one of the questions. Of course only about 2000 residents actually completed the questionnaire, I was not one of them, I wasn’t going to let them use my answers to the questionnaire as validation for cutting services and raising council tax. The questions were worded in such a way that you were between a rock and a hard place. Can’t help the most vulnerable without raising council tax was the theme of the questions.

Nobody in a position high enough to do anything at Essex County Council actually cares enough to actually do what is needed. Nobody is ever prepared to tell the truth, nobody is ever prepared to apologise. They don’t care about the vulnerable, they like to look like they care, Cllr John Spence likes to tell the world how much he cares about the vulnerable and how amazing he is for all the things he does, but he doesn’t give a crap about anyone but himself and his position.

Essex County Council’s statement regarding the £500k for a facebook page says that it’s value for money, in what world is a facebook page worth that amount of money? Views were artificially inflated due to facebook ads directing people there, including those who don’t live in Essex. I probably count a few times in those views as Facebook likely showed me one of their sponsored posts a few times. I’ve never read the page before, but being exposed to an ad on my phone screen for a second until I scroll does not mean I engaged with that list.

I am furious and disgusted and also really hurt. I am sitting here in a terrible situation, as i’ve already stated I am severely depressed and have thoughts of suicide. All of my efforts go to keep my children how they are, they can’t get ahead because I can’t do that by myself, I can’t be be the best carer I can be because I am constantly running on empty, i’m exhausted and the future is incredibly bleak.

Ive been repeatedly told not to support my ex husband who has Huntington’s Disease solely because it means that Essex County Council has less of a duty to me as a carer. They don’t care about my ex at all, they aren’t providing services, they aren’t doing anything, they just want as many vulnerable people unsupported as possible because it then makes their numbers look better, and thus makes them look like they are doing better than they are.

it’s taken me 4 days to write this and my ex is risking getting evicted because of £2500 in rent arrears. He was unable to apply for housing benefit, he’s entitled to it, but because of his illness he struggles with things like that, hence why someone needs to do them.

I was doing all of those things, rather than support me as a carer ECC told me to just stop caring for him. Problem solved on their end which is all they care about. They could not care less that someone with a life limiting illness could be made homeless because he lacks the capacity to organise benefits and they told the person who was doing all of that on his behalf to just stop doing it.

When Cllr John Spence says he cares about the vulnerable in Essex he is lying.

When Cllr Kevin Bentley says he cares about the vulnerable in Essex he is lying.

when Gavin Jones says he cares about anyone other than himself, he’s lying.

Their answer to me being overwhelmed with my caring role was to stop caring for my ex. A quick Google search on Huntingtons Disease and anyone would be able to see how harmful that would be.

While I’ve been desperate for help Essex County Council have been giving out a fortune of taxpayers money for a Facebook page.

I wouldn’t be shocked if they waste millions on things like this all the time.

I am also certain that there are many carers who have been treated worse than I have, actually I know that is true as I’ve met them and heard their stories. Cllr John Spence hasn’t because he ran away instead of talking to us. I have the feeling he thinks we ate all beneath him ams we should shut up so he can continue telling voters he cares about the vulnerable in Essex when he doesn’t.

It was a few months ago that the woman at the unpaid carers thing said she personally find out what had happened with my carers assessment. She either works for Cllr John Bentley or Nick Presmeg. My inbox is still empty.

I got the results of my carers assessment from a student social worker, who led me to believe she was a registered social worker, who just shrugged and said there is no money, that was the results, the shrug and the comment about no money.

I am no longer wanting any help or support from ECC in my role as a carer. I am depressed and have the odd suicidal thought. Trying to get support from ECC is demeaning and stressful. Being told there is no money, telling you to just stop caring for those you care for only for that to then make sorting out the problems that arose from stepping back from my ex a lot more difficult to sort out.

They have actuality left us worse off with terrible advice, it’s just been a huge waste of my time. Also a waste of taxpayers money, the effort they have put into making sure we get no support has involved a bit of work on their part. The time the social workers have spent for instance.

Despite the way i feel, I would be more than happy to set up any Facebook page of their choice at a bargain price of only £325k. That’s a major saving right there.

It will be election time for the county councillors next year and I will be sharing my unpaid carer in Essex experience to as many voters as I possibly can, it would be fantastic if Cllr John Spence lost his seat next year.

Cllr Kevin Bentley also need to step down, he should actually do so immediately due to this recent fiasco.

my previous Blog on Cllr Spence

Nothing I’ve written will be a barrier to them considering my offer of the £325k Facebook page as Simon Harris can barely write a sentence without saying something anti-Tory so it doesn’t matter

It will be incredibly hard work sharing links to a Facebook page, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice to help ECC. I will of course pay for Facebook ads so that as many lowrie as possible get spammed with the page and ECC can use those artificially inflated figures to try and gaslight taxpayers into thinking its good value for money.

Given that Simon Haris is still admin of the £500k Facebook page, he clearly is continuing to get paid.