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Successfully challenging the 'Bedroom Tax' in Cornwall

Michelle Kent explains how she successfully won her tribunal case against Cornwall County Council who are carrying out the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) policy of terrorising council tenants as part of its assault on the low paid and vulnerable.

This is followed by the typical Tory MP putting vulnerable people below their ideological assault and attaching blame to everyone but themselves.

Wherever you are do not let your MP off the hook. Force them to actually do something that shows they genuinely care. Good luck!

Just one person's experience amongst many thousands...

'Jan, a lady with fibromyalgia, mobility and mental health problems, found herself drowning in debt, due to having to pay bedroom tax and having a council tax reduction shortfall to find as well. She immediately started looking for a home swap, and found someone with an undesirable property to swap with. The council then took months over agreeing for the exchange to take place, so that Jan began running up arrears. This exacerbated the situation as once arrears are accrued they refuse to allow an exchange of properties. She finally got them to agree to allow her to exchange after the intervention of her MP. Jan had to pack up her home on her own. It took every atom of strength from her body. She was totally exhausted, in terrible pain, both physically and mentally and severely depressed by the time she had accomplished the move. On reaching her new home she found and these are her own words which I am quoting from a status she put up.

“ So fed up. Still surrounded by boxes of stuff that there is just no room for. The flat still stinking to high heaven, bathroom and bedroom vile. Bedroom is heady with the scent of wet dog (they didn't even have a dog) and a general filthy, stained carpet. And the bathroom, well that takes top prize in the stinkathon. Called council out as when ripped up carpet in there the floor was wet, black and spongy with tasteful white patches of fluffy fungus - nice.. Apparently caused by an 'historical' leak from toilet. It has about an inch of baking soda sprinkled on it but might as well not bother it still makes me heave going in there. The floor needs replacing apparently, I was told someone would ring to arrange but so far heard nowt. The walls and doors are so dirty they are sticky and I have mopped them twice now. And it gets better.. I literally cant have windows open because of the volume of constant traffic noise, I am hearing impaired and it annoys/ depresses me, the girls have cat hearing and they actually look like they're in pain sometimes. They won’t use the pen because of the noise on the balcony and skid up and down the hall all night (it's lino, lino+claws = Hell of a racket) I still haven't found the cash to get washing machine installed so have a very full washbox. So all in all I am sleep deprived courtesy of 24/7 traffic, noisy neighbours across the road and skidding kitties. Hot and very bothered, Struggling to hear (hearing aids and other things lost somewhere on the move) and practically immobilized by pain of fibro and pancreas, still no word on wheelchair, and I don't think I am going to 'qualify'. Oh and the cherry/ies on the cake were, bus pass expired on my birthday, still not got new one= stranded . And timed to absolute perfection, the only mail I got on my birthday was in a brown envelope. Atos have requested the pleasure of my company, expected but has still chilled my heart, I KNOW they will fail me. After all that's what they are paid to do.
I've gone from one nightmare to another and now I've got to try and psych myself up for bloody interrogation by Atos. Don't think I can actually cope with any more of this. This shit is destroying my life, drip by drip I am being worn into the dust by the Lunatics who have unfortunately taken over the asylum. — feeling lost.”
Then the DWP stop her DLA claim and make her have to fill in a new ESA50 form.
At this point Jan then disappeared for a few weeks, popping online briefly to say she had suffered a complete nervous breakdown, and still just could not stop crying.
Jan passed away yesterday morning, after suffering intolerable mental and physical pain, and not long after having been refused a wheelchair by adult services, and having received yet another ESA form to fill in!
RIP dear lady. I wish I could have done more! I did contact Sarah Newton on your behalf, several times.'

Ann Robb

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