Council rules mean Shirebrook couple denied room for daughter

Michael Morton with two of his children, 12 year old Trent and 5 year old Tillie-J and partner Laura Scott who along with his other son, Evan, 19, have to sueeze into his two bedroom flat in Shirebrook.
Michael Morton with two of his children, 12 year old Trent and 5 year old Tillie-J and partner Laura Scott who along with his other son, Evan, 19, have to sueeze into his two bedroom flat in Shirebrook.

Shirebrook father Michael Morton and his partner have criticised council chiefs after being told they can not move to a larger property to accommodate his family as they only visit him at the weekend.

But due to government guidelines which state Michael’s five-year-old daughter cannot share a bedroom with his 13 and 19-year-old brothers she is forced to sleep on a camp bed next to the couple at night.

Michael Morton (42), of Alder Close, was forced to move out of a three-bedroomed council house when his ex-partner moved out following their separation in 2011 but now finds himself stuck in the too-small property.

His partner, Laura Scott said: “I think it is ridiculous. So they do not live with us full-time but we still want them to have a home environment. We have them here Friday-Sunday and we want it to be as normal as possible.

“My partner and me are a hardworking couple who work every hour to provide a good life for ourselves and our children and we claim absolutely nothing from anyone.

“All we are asking for is a three-bedroomed house so we can live comfortably.”

Because the law under the Welfare Reform Act states mixed gender children over the age of 10 cannot share the same bedroom, Michael and his partner desperately need to find a bigger home.

But Bolsover District Council are adament that he does not qualify for a larger home as the children are not permanent residents.

Said Michael: “My daughter is now five and wants to sleep in her own bed but because I have her every weekend along with my two boys this cannot happen.

“She cannot understand why she cannot sleep in a double bed with her brother.”

A spokesman for Bolsover District Council said: “Children are not considered as part of the household of the applicant if they are resident elsewhere.

“We have spoken to Mr Morton about his current housing situation and how we allocate our properties.

“In addition to this our tenancy management and housing officers are always available to speak to and advise people about their housing situation and what options are available to them.”