Monday, February 25, 2008

It's the little wins that count

Regular readers of this blog will recall that I campaigned strongly against the Government's stance on television licencing, which penalised frail elderly people just out of hospital and recuperating in intermediate care homes.

It seemed that - even though they may have had a licenced TV set at home, they still had to purchase a TV licence for any set they might have watched whilst in recuperative care. The BBC itself covered the story -, as did Radio Four's "You and Yours" along with several national dailies, and every local paper, TV and radio station in Kent.

Kent on Sunday revisited this story last week - - "Thousands in Fear of TV Licencing Authority".

Today, however, I got an email from the TV Licensing Press Office:

"With reference to your comments in the attached article from Kent on Sunday, we thought you would be interested to know that the TV licensing regulations for care homes have now changed and people no longer need to buy an additional licence to cover them during respite stays in residential care.

"TV Licensing has a duty to enforce the licence fee and apply the law correctly, as we were doing at the time in the 2006 case mentioned. As the article states, we also assured you at the time that we would not prosecute people in the situation described.

"Given that the law has now changed, it is untrue to say that this matter affects "thousands of people" in Kent. TV Licensing has no reason to believe that people in Kent are unduly worried about their TV licence, but should you have evidence to the contrary, we would urge you to contact us, so that we can rectify the situation."

Does that mean "you were right, we're sorry and we've now changed the law"?

As they say, it's the little wins that count.

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