Petition calls for no-evictions policy

John Moore from Save our Services officially hands over petition to stop the bedroom tax to ADC. l-r is Cllr Linford Gibbons Kirkby East, David Greenwood Dep Chief Exec and John Moore.
John Moore from Save our Services officially hands over petition to stop the bedroom tax to ADC. l-r is Cllr Linford Gibbons Kirkby East, David Greenwood Dep Chief Exec and John Moore.

Campaigners have handed over a petition calling on councillors to help struggling families by creating a fairer bedroom tax.

Kirkby man John Moore last week handed over the petition representing 1,322 people’s calls to amend the unfair policy.

The under occupation tax, also known as bedroom tax, means some council tenants will be forced to pay a spare room subsidy.

The paper-based petition, which was started by Mr Moore in October, was handed over to Ashfield District Council on 14th November.

Mr Moore said: “The reason I started the petition was because I am directly affected. Me and my wife were forced to move because we simply can’t afford the tax.

“We were lucky in that we could exchange with my step-daughter who needed a larger property, but this option may not be available to many others.”

The petition demands the council to debate a publicly stated no-evictions policy and a reclassification of all social properties as having only one bedroom to prevent the tax from being charged.

Mr Moore added: “Many people who have signed the petition are home owners and have not been affected.

“But they signed it because they think it is an unfair policy and disagree with the impact it will have on some people.”

The changes to housing benefits came into force in April this year sparking controversy with many claiming it will hit vulnerable, low income families hardest.

Coun David Greenwood, deputy chief executive of Ashfield District Council, said: “The council received a petition from Mr Moore on 14th November. In accordance with the council’s petition scheme, the petition is currently being validated. Subject to its validation it will be debated at the next council meeting scheduled to take place on 5th December.”