Letter: Leeds City Council must do more

Sir,

I am grateful for you publicising the findings of our survey into the effects of the Bedroom Tax which is clearly creating feelings of pessimism and insecurity to tenants of social housing (YEP 1st October).

Unfortunately for Cllr Gruen we are not simply wanting to bring the impact of welfare reform to the attention of central government. We are seeking to persuade the Leeds Labour Council to do something of real benefit to those who are having to make a choice between paying rent or paying utility bills.

Polls show that 60% of the population are opposed to the Bedroom Tax, the Lib Dem conference voted against it and the Labour Party has promised to scrap it in 2015 – leaving the Tories isolated. Tenants, however, need security now.

If Cllr Gruen was to announce publicly that there would be a policy of no evictions then Leeds tenants would be released from the pressure and stress they are under to try and find a portion of their rent.

At a recent full council meeting Cllr Gruen and his Labour colleagues voted against such a policy and therefore there is the possibility that the council will commence possession proceedings against those who fall into arrears through no fault of their own. Such legal proceedings are likely to cost double the amount of arrears of rent and so it makes neither economic nor common sense.

We ask that Leeds councillors do the right thing and announce “no evictions for arrears of rent due solely to the Bedroom Tax”.

John Davies

Hands Off Our Homes

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