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Support grows for bedroom tax protest in Worcester
A BEDROOM tax protest planned for Worcester is gathering pace - with campaigners saying they have been “gobsmacked” by the support.
Tomorrow the city’s Croft Road car park will become the location for a mass ‘sleep out’ by disgruntled protestors over the controversial Government policy.
Organisers say they are hoping for a large turn-out after a concerted effort via Facebook to drum up interest.
So far nearly 3,200 people have ‘liked’ the event on the social networking site, a 100 per cent rise in two weeks.
Noel Kennedy, 46, of Battenhall, who is leading the stunt, said: “People have reached the point of despair over this - but my message is not to give up.
“I’ve heard some people say ‘what’s the point’ but I’m passionate about it and won’t be deterred.
“I am gobsmacked about how successful the campaign has been - 60 cities are now signed up to similar protests alongside Worcester, even that has grown by 10 since last month.
“In areas like Bristol I’ve heard of at least 200 or people expected to take part.
“I can’t make any predictions because we’ve no idea how many will end up coming, but we are hoping they will.
“I’ve also agreed that Saturday won’t be the end of us - after the sleepover, we’ll be looking to do things like this again.”
The organisers are also hoping the weather remains dry on Saturday to tempt those considering attending, into going along.
The sleepover, which runs from 6pm tomorrow until 9am on Sunday, has already been backed by the Labour leadership at Worcester City Council.
West Mercia Police has also been involved in the preparations for it, and has given advice to the campaigners on staying safe.
The Facebook advert asks attendees to take minimal equipment, like a sleeping bag, and walk away from any conversations with the general public that get heated.
People are also being asked to not bring alcohol with them, and take any litter home to avoid leaving the car park a mess.
The bedroom tax, officially known as the spare room subsidy, means tenants in social housing get reduced housing benefit for each spare bedroom.
The cut is 14 per cent for one room and 25 per cent for two, with the resident tasked with paying the difference, moving out, or applying for discretionary help.
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