Wirral MBC – The most shameful bedroom tax council…and its Labour run

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, a Labour run council, maintain 36.53 square feet is big enough to be a bedroom for bedroom tax purposes.  So much so that they are appealing to the Upper Tribunal that such a room is a bedroom for bedroom tax purposes.

Two months ago I took a bedroom tax appeal for a particularly vulnerable tenant in Birkenhead.  I won though it wasn’t the hardest of cases to win as her alleged 3 bed property saw two of the alleged ‘bedrooms’ being 47.25 square feet and 36.53 square feet respectively.

The tenant herself used the one (and sole) bedroom and her 20-year-old daughter had a single bed jammed against the radiator in the 47.25 sq/ft room – the only place it could go in the property – and the rabbit hutch of a room of 36.53 sq/ft was used to house a wardrobe which couldn’t fit in the room daughter sleep in.

All in all a bizarre case of alleged under occupancy when in fact and in law (1985 Housing Act et al) the property was overcrowded!!

Yes dear reader I give you the bedroom tax!

Those familiar with the 1985 Housing Act will know that it states a room of under 50 square feet of floor space CANNOT be deemed a bedroom in law and if this was a private landlord Wirral MBC would prosecute the landlord for letting out such as room as a bedroom!!

Yes dear reader I giveyou the bedroom tax!

Observing the case at Tribunal was a welfare officer from the landlord who was very supportive of the tenant and the appeal though as is all too often the case her bosses, the landlord, were unwilling to reclassify the rabbit hutch of a property.  Their asset register said it was a 3 bed so a 3 bed it is despite the social landlord knowing a private landlord would be prosecuted for renting out such a room as a bedroom!

Yes dear reader I give you the bedroom tax!

On leaving the Tribunal even the officer for the council remarked to the welfare officer that her bosses had a cheek to call the property a 3 bed.

Wirral MBC – note NOT the DWP – sought permission to appeal from the First tier Tribunal judge and unsurprisingly this was refused as there were no errors of law.  I expected the DWP to then seek permission directly from the Upper Tribunal to appeal as is their wont and customary practice.

So imagine my surprise and horror when the tenant rings me to say that WIRRAL MBC is seeking permission from the Upper Tribunal to appeal in a letter she received this morning.

Yes you read that right WIRRAL COUNCIL IS SEEKING PERMISSION TO APPEAL THAT A ROOM MEASURING 36.53 SQUARE FEET IS A BEDROOM.

  • Despite the fact that if this was a private property they would have prosecuted the landlord!
  • Despite the fact that the 1985 Housing Act says such a room cannot be a bedroom
  • Despite the fact that the Housing Act 2004 and accompanying guidance would not class this as a bedroom
  • Despite the fact that Wirral Council is Labour run
  • Despite the fact that the tenants MP is Frank Field – he whom every government defers to on welfare matters including Conservative governments
  • Despite the fact that less than a mile away it is Esther McVeys constituency
  • Despite the fact this 36.53 square feet room is “L-shaped” too!

Reader, you don’t need me to say what a bunch of bastards or other similar and deserved profanities Wirral council is; rather you may want to make your feelings clear to the relevant people whose details I have included below.

Oh did I mention the tenant is unable to work due to her disability.  Just thought I’d let you know that too as if this case needed any more outrage!

Yes dear reader I give you the bedroom tax!

What an offensive crock this is and what a grade one bunch of arses run Wirral council who deserve as much naming and shaming over this as we can collectively muster

The Leader of Wirral Council, Cllr Phil Davies details:

leader@wirral.gov.uk

Office of the Leader of Wirral Council
Town Hall
Brighton Street
Wallasey
Wirral
CH44 8ED

Tel. 0151 691 8540

You may make representations to this vulnerable tenants MP the Rt Hon. Frank Field:

The Rt Hon Frank Field MP DL
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

Click here to send Frank an email.

Your contact for Constituency enquiries is Amy Oliver.

Telephone: 020 7219 5193
Free phone (constituents only): 0800 028 0293
Fax: 020 7219 0601
Email: amy.oliver@parliament.uk

Chief Executive of Wirral Borough Council, Graham Burgess:

Wallasey Town Hall
Brighton Street
Wallasey
Wirral
CH44 8ED.

Email: grahamburgess@wirral.gov.uk

Contact Esther McVey over this and ask her views on her local council deeming a room of 36.53 square feet suitable as a bedroom.

Phone Esther:  (0151) 632 4348

Text Esther:     Send text to 60003 start your text: Tell Esther
E-mail Esther:
officeofesthermcveymp@parliament.uk

Esther’s Constituency Office:
Esther McVey MP
The Parade
Hoylake Community Centre
Hoyle Road
Hoylake
Wirral
CH47 3AG

Contact the leader of the Labour Party and ask him does he know what the hell his councillors are doing perhaps:

Constituency

Hutton Business Centre, Bridge Works, Bentley, Doncaster, DN5 9QP
Tel: 01302 875462

Parliamentary

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4778
ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk

Web & Social media

 

 

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Wirral MBC – The most shameful bedroom tax council…and its Labour run

  1. Despite my own bedroom tax issue, I’m glad I don’t live *there* any more.
    This Labour council ought to be utterly ashamed of their double standards. I will certainly be writing to them.
    Sadly, this is yet another example of this policy inflicting undue and uncalled for distress. Or is it some power-mad… no, I won’t go there.
    Shocking.

  2. Well as far as I am aware the legal minimum for a single bedroom for an adult is 70 square feet. There is also a cubic footage minimum for health reasons. (Prevention of tuberculosis.)
    The fight has already been won in a court judgement in the last few months so I have no idea what that council is playing at.

  3. And Now the truth finally starts to flow that is rapidly proving Labour are UNFIT for purpose as I have said many times over the past few years – Promises AFTER election are NO DAMN good to anyone after all Cameron offered us all sorts until elected ! then suddenly he wasnt able too, wonder why??? As for BT going away, being abolished or stopped in the near future, I only have two words to say to that Dream On as Labour as the natural successors to the Conilition have had almost two years now to oppose, to debate, to block and to stop/change BT as opposion party they are surely supposed to oppose are they not? maybe Mr Milliband should get a dictionary and look up the word “oppose” yet again it’s unravelling JUST as Bedroom Tax Chat page predicted many many months back
    http://www.facebook.com/btukhomeswapnetwork

    1. We should remember the government reneged on all their election promises when they got into power and ‘discovered’ there was no money in the kitty, itself a nonsensical suggestion for a sovereign nation. Well if that was genuinely the case, they should have formed new policies and gone to the country with them. They didn’t, so they have no mandate for any of their actions. This is a faux government, unelected and unrepresentative of the electorate.

  4. Misrepresentation Act 1967 CHAPTER 7

    1. Removal of certain bars to rescission for innocent misrepresentation. Where a person has entered into a contract after a misrepresentation has been made to him, and—
    (a) the misrepresentation has become a term of the contract; or
    (b) the contract has been performed;
    or both, then, if otherwise he would be entitled to rescind the contract without alleging fraud, he shall be so entitled, subject to the provisions of this Act, notwithstanding the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b)

    . Therefore the Council must Rescind that contract,,

  5. 1) The statement is unambiguous. An ambiguous statement will not give rise to a misrepresentation unless the maker intended it to be misleading and was being deliberately ambiguous. This is a hard proposition to prove.

    2) There must be a statement as opposed to a failure to disclose information. Conduct can be a statement but clearly it will be much more difficult for a C to prove the meaning of the conduct rather than the meaning of words.

    1. @ Black Triangle – I and my group have been saying this for about 2 Yrs having been shouted down many times, I may add by some also here-in (you know who you are, and strangely are very quiet now are you NOT !) I sit in utter disbelief as almost ALL we predicted way, way back is coming true !!! I despair at apparently needy people who ask for advice and then totally disagree with the advice offered?? yet as I say bit, by bit it’s now becoming quite apparent what was going on and is going in in UK politics today and for the past few years anyway, forget scaremongering, forget over exaggerating what about the thanks for getting it right??. for being willing to stand up and declare these facts?? and for taking daily fights and arguing over what I saw as VERY apparent even way way back..

      Like you I’m a Scotsman born bred and living here today, and I am 100% behind the Y.E.S campaign, and will be proud of voting YES come the day of reckoning and hope that we do get it, as it’s about time we controlled our own destiny, to whit we are more than able to do so in so many ways they claim we couldnt let’s face it can’t possibly we worse than under Westminster ruling that’s for damn sure, I for one am happy, am willing to stand up for what I believe in, and to vote Y.E.S the alternative, simply doesn’t bear thinking about as a disabled, benefit claiming, social housing tenant I have it all to win or loose, and as a Y.E.S I truly believe we will be treated as we should be, with respect, with help, support and correctly assessed benefits and support, where we are NOT ashamed to go down the street, incase we are spat on, harrased or forced out our homes anyway, regardless of BT where we are considered with logic, with forethought and through working directly with the tenant to seek their needs, not just banging them in any house that’s semi adapted and then charging then BT for the privilege ?? it’s about time really serious inroads were made to find, to charge and to stop the benefit cheats that have caused this terrible divide, to bring these people bang to rights, to sort our disabled parking and blue badge frauds and lastly to issue a benefit “For Life” or “Indefinately” and mean what the words mean as at this present time this only means until they decide your time is up !!!!

      http://www.facebook.com/btukhomeswapnetwork

      1. “benefit cheats” is a quite an odd misnomer, as a high proportion of “benefit cheats” seem to be working while claiming (or partner works, or the family owns numerous rental properties, or alternative means of undeclared financial support) surely they should be more accurately called “hard working cheats” and as such should be venerated (instead of vilified) for their working ethos and the power of their entrepreneurship in making a fast buck.

        Calling someone a benefit cheat counjours up an image of a slob eating takeaway and drinking white lightning while watching JC on the ubiquitous “50” plasma tv” (which is exactly what the press want people to imagine) when the reality is it is working/earning people who most often cheat the system and as such surely they are the ones who should be denigrated….

        “rich working bastard cheats the benefit system of thousands”
        “rich world travelling, travel agent cheats the benefit system”
        “rich working ‘disabled products/services provider’ cheats the benefit system”
        “rich multi home owning landlord cheats the benefit system”
        “working partners wife cheats the benefit system”

        Puts a whole new slant on the issue!

      2. @ Jonathan Wilson – My friend I think you may have taken the wrong meaning from my post above Re @ Black Triangle

        I was NOT suggesting for one second that anyone is a benefit cheat of any degree, very far from it in truth!! having argued relentlessly for coming up now close to three years on this very subject, along with the whole wider “welfare reform issue” as a whole, where by the current Govs own figures are quoted at a VERY well known fact for those who care to use verifiable data that the “cheating” figure/s are closer to a maximum of 0.7% and thus is a very minimal amount in the larger scheme of things.

        I can see NO clear route to solve BT, Welfare reform, or the growing number of other cuts by in large taken these days from the least able to absorb said cuts, what I do along with a rapidly growing number of others know (some, myself included having campaigned, and sent out again verifiable evidence on many occasions to back it all) is that the way out is NOT via BT or WR and is MOST definitely NOT via A Labour victory that much has been clear for a long, long time now, far less that Labour can or would abolish BT, having been given the chance repeatedly to NOT vote for it, to campaign against it or to do as any previous opposition party would and indeed should have done and “OPPOSED” it even that they managed NOT to do up and until the country is heading for a Gen Election and then and only then do they suggest that they would abolish it, ” IF” they got into power? which to me stinks of trying to bribe the nation, so between that and UKIP scarily taking seats I know what I shall be voting and it shall not be any of the big three! nor UKIP that’s a certainty.

        Independence for Scotland could NOT have come at a better time, politically, locally or from a financial point of view, as I have been heard to say on numerous occasions that I will be voting for independence, happy to take my chances in an independent Scotland as a far better long-term choice than having anything further to do with Westminster and their increasingly derisory, unlawful, and uncaring way of ruling the country, gladly many more Scots are seeing the best way and are going the yes camp weekly, IF we don’t win what I can assure all is that it shall be a very very close thing that’s for sure.

        http://www.facebook.com/btukhomeswapnetwork “Still going strong three years on supplying verifiable answers to the questions that matter to you and I in the BT/WR debates – Got a question, suggestion or information to share – Feel free to do so at BT Chat page ……”

      3. My apologies Dougie McPherson, I did not mean to imply anything with my reference to “benefit cheats” in relation to your post… rather it was a free wheeling thought about how such a limited amount of “cheating” (0.7%) was predominately undertaken by people other than the stereotypical “DM/Sun” reports of “benefit cheats” as being the typical “doleite” when the facts of the most reported “high value” cheats is that they are working and not the, as reported/slanted, slovenly lazy feckless types… rather they are clever, cunning, intelligent, and very “hard working” in the application of the methods of their cheating.

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