Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Campaigners bedded down in city carpark to protest at controversial bedroom tax
CAMPAIGNERS slept rough for a night in a car park close to Worcester city centre in protest over the controversial bedroom tax.
About 30 people turned out for the sleep-out protest at the city’s Croft Road car park on Saturday night – with about nine staying to camp – to highlight the plight they are facing.
Worcester was one of 60 cities to hold protests which were organised on the social networking site Facebook.
Noel Kennedy, aged 46, of Battenhall, Worcester, who led the event, said he was pleased with how it went despite the low turnout.
“I’m still absolutely buzzing from it.” he said. “About 30 people turned up in the end but a lot of them left again because they were just dropping in to show their support and tell their stories.
“All in all I’m very pleased.
I’m not disappointed from the numbers at all – I’m quite happy that people actually were out there and came to support us even though the numbers were small.”
Louis Stephen, chairman of Worcester Green Party, was one of the campers who stayed for the duration.
“It’s about the complete unfairness of this bedroom tax,” he said. “It’s really picking on the most vulnerable of society and less able to pay.
“During talking to people on the doorstep, a number of people have raised the issue of bedroom tax to me and a lot of people are very worried about it.”
Another camper Mark Davies, 41, of Rainbow Hill, Worcester, said: “I live in private rented accommodation at the moment but that’s coming to an end in a couple of months and I’m looking at social housing potentially.
“I’ve got two daughters who live with their mum and two bedrooms would be handy because they come to stay with me sometimes.
“If it was to save benefits it would apply to private housing too. If it did then you could understand their reasoning.”
Doreen Organ, 58, travelled from Birmingham to camp with her sister Bridget Warr, 60, of Warndon. “I don’t believe in people having to pay for the bedroom tax,” she said.
“A lot of people like myself have lived in their houses over 20 years and for me to pack up my house and move to a one-bedroom, I wouldn’t know where to start.”
The bedroom tax, officially known as the spare room subsidy, means tenants in social housing get reduced housing benefit for each spare room.
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.
Comments are closed on this article.