Scrap the Bedroom Tax – Press Release about City Council protest on 13-Nov-2014

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate release

Scrap the Bedroom Tax Defend Council Tax Benefit Nottingham: Cathy Meadows 07913476905

Protesters rally to demand Nottingham City Council refund bedroom tax tenants.

Tenants and supporters are protesting outside Loxley House at 1pm today because Nottingham City Council have:

– Ignored tenants who have tried to claim bedroom tax refunds (under CPR 2006 or 1996 loophole[i])
– Paid money to landlords which should have been refunded to tenants.
– Delayed investigating tenants’ exemptions and requests for refunds.

One tenant who was exempt but paid bedroom tax for nearly a year has been trying to claim a refund since June and has still not received it. Nottingham City Council paid the refund to Nottingham Community Housing Association but neither the Council nor the Housing Association will hand over the money. Another tenant had to write three letters to the Council between August and October before the Council would investigate whether they were exempt (which they were).

Because council housing benefit records do not go back far enough, the Council asked Social Landlords and City Homes to provide lists of tenants who could be exempt. These investigations ended in May 2014[ii] – but tenants who were exempt were left off these lists. Even though the Council have known since June 2014 that exempt tenants were left off the lists, they refuse to meet with campaigners and say they will not do anything else to try and identify tenants wrongly charged.

Protesters are demanding that the Council:

– Immediately refund all tenants known to be exempt.

– Respond promptly and properly to all enquiries about exemptions.

– Write personally to all bedroom tax tenants of 2013/14 whose claims go back further than the Council records, to inform them about the exemption.

– Publicise the exemption in the local press.

– Provide information, posters and leaflets about the exemption to all advice centres, job centres and community groups etc.

– Launch an independent investigation into why tenants have been left off lists and why the Council didn’t take further action.

– Launch an independent investigation into why the Council have paid money which should have been refunded to tenants, to landlords.


Notes for Editors

[i]The CPR 2006 was identified in December 2013. It affects working age tenants in social housing who have occupied the same home continuously (or have been forced to move) and have been claiming Housing Benefit since 1996.

[ii] Letter to campaign from David Liversidge, June 2014

Bedroom Tax Protest at Nottingham Crown & County Court – Thursday 21st November 2013 – 1pm

Stop Bedroom Tax Evictions – Nottingham Court Protest

Nottingham Crown and County Court
Opposite Broadmarsh Bus Station
Thursday 21 November
1 pm – 1.45 pm

On Thursday 21 November, the court hearing will decide whether to grant a possession order* (see over) to Bedroom Tax tenants – paving the way for evicting some of the most vulnerable people in Nottingham

Our campaign has repeatedly asked Nottingham City Council to follow the example of Broxtowe Borough Council and agree not to evict tenants in arrears because of the Bedroom Tax. The city council has refused to do this and have now made a claim for possession against some tenants in Bedroom Tax arrears.

We need to show Nottingham City Council that the people of Nottingham are against Bedroom Tax evictions

Your presence is important. Come along and show your support.

Download flyer:

Contacts: Find out more about the campaign
Phone: 07521569622 / 0791 347 6905
Email: defendcounciltaxbenefits [at]

Local group lobby Nottingham City Council in Clifton to refuse Bedroom Tax evictions

For Immediate Release – 30/9/2013

Cathy Meadows: 07913476905
Email defendcounciltaxbenefits [at]

Local group declare evictions prevention protocol ineffective and lobby Nottingham City Council in Clifton to refuse Bedroom Tax evictions

Nottingham Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign are lobbying Nottingham City Council to publicly announce that they will not evict people because of Bedroom Tax arrears and that a recent Nottingham Bedroom Tax Eviction Protocol[i] cannot prevent Bedroom Tax evictions.

The group have responded to the Evictions Ptrevention Protocol but they have not had a response from Nottingham City Council. Notices Seeking Possession have been sent by Nottingham City Council to residents in Clifton and St Anns.

The Lobby will be held at Clifton Cornerstone on Friday 4 October at 10.30am.

[i] The Eviction Prevention Protocol was signed by Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Community Housing Association and ASRA Housing Group on 14 September 2013.

Previous release on 23/9/2013:

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign – JOIN THE LOBBY ON MONDAY 28TH JANUARY AT 1.00PM OUTSIDE THE COUNCIL HOUSE

Heed your own warning on “chaos” of Council Tax Benefit changes: Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign urges Nottingham City Council

The campaign group have written to the Council asking them to take seriously their own criticism of their latest proposals for a Council Tax Benefit Support Scheme for 2013/14. Instead of going ahead with an 8.5% cut to all Council Tax Benefit recipients of working age, they say the Council should delay passing on the cuts. The Council are permitted to pass a scheme with zero cuts to Council Tax Benefit for 2013/14 and still be entitled to transitional funding. If they did this, they would have a year to build a campaign with local residents and other groups across the country to demand a sustainable and fair alternative and prevent the introduction of a minimum 20% cuts in 2014/15.


Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign

Read the letter to Nottingham City Council. Council letter Jan 13

Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign – Press Release


For Immediate Release

Campaign Group urges Nottingham City Council to heed its own warning on Council Tax Benefit changes

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign [1] have written to Nottingham City Council asking them to take seriously their own criticism of their latest proposals for a Council Tax Benefit Support Scheme [2] for 2013/14 , and buy time and fight with local residents for a sustainable and fair alternative.

In their letter, the group say the new proposals are unsustainable, as they do not provide a long term solution to the funding crisis with Government free to keep cutting funds regardless of need. They quote Nottingham City Council Leader Jon Collins predicting “chaos”[3] in trying to collect the money from benefit recipients. They point out that, under transitional funding rules, Nottingham City Council had the option not to pass on the cut to Council Tax Benefit, but have chosen to ask for the maximum amount of 8.5%. They also say that removing empty property council tax discounts and exemptions to part fund the scheme would be unfair and could penalise carers and other groups.

“These new proposals represent a shift away from a Council Tax Benefit scheme based on people’s real needs. A cut of 8.5% in your Council Tax benefit may look better than a cut of 20%, but it will still cause hardship and debt for people who have no money left at the end of the month, and will do nothing to prevent much bigger cuts in future years. We call on Nottingham City Council not to pass on these cuts to the poorest and most vulnerable people in Nottingham” – Chris Jackson, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits.


Cathy Meadows: 07913476905

Email: defendcounciltaxbenefits[at]


Notes: 1. Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign is opposed to the proposed abolition of the Council Tax Benefit Scheme and its replacement by local Council Tax Schemes; campaigns for councils to refuse to pass on the cuts to its local community; supports those who are unable to pay their council tax due to the proposed changes; and calls on councils not to pursue those who are unable to pay their Council tax due to the council’s changes. Contact information below.

2. The current national Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme is being abolished under the Welfare Reform Act. All councils in England must bring in their own Council Tax Support scheme from April 2013, with less funding. In October, the government announced transitional funding for councils on condition that anyone previously entitled to full CTB will now receive at least 91.5%. On Dec 18, Nottingham City Council agreed to apply for Transitional Funding of £775,000, and changed its CTB Support Scheme accordingly:

· Putting a maximum limit on the amount of council tax support that could be paid to all working age people, so that working age households who got 100% help with their Council Tax bills now could receive a maximum of 91.5% help in 2013/14
· All working age households would pay at least 8.5% of their Council Tax bill in 2013/14
· No sharp reduction in support for those entering work. The following additional elements were recommended and included, following
· Consideration of the findings of our formal consultation exercise:
· Removal of Second Adult Rebate
· Retaining backdating
· Setting a minimum award level of 50p


Defend Council Tax Benefit – Lobby and Rally in Nottingham – 18th December 2012, 12.30pm and 5.30pm



Lobby: Loxley House, Station Street 12.30pm.

Rally: Nottingham Market Square 5.30pm.

Organised by Notts Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign or!/groups/450355785005204/ (tweet us @defendbenefits).

See also

* Nottingham City Council pay freeze battle:
* Elderly and families to feel the pinch as Nottingham City Council makes £25m savings:

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign’s
have responded to Nottingham City Council’s and Bassetlaw District
Council’s local council tax scheme consultations.

They have condemned the proposals which include 20% cuts or more for
many council tax claimants, an end to backdating, and a lowering of
savings limits.

They also say the proposals are unworkable, too costly to run and
divisive because they are separating claimants, who are already
identified as in need under the current scheme, into the deserving and

The campaign group, who have researched the proposed changes, explain
their objections in detail in a letter and say that if local councils
do not fight to retain the existing scheme, it is likely that the
government will cut the budget further. The group have offered to
fight alongside the Council if they are prepared to fight to retain
the existing Council Tax Benefit scheme.

To get involved or contact the campaign:

Phone/text 07521 569 622

See consultation letters in Word and PDF:

Consultation letter Nottingham City Council [Word format]
Consultation letter Bassetlaw [Word]

Consultation letter Nottingham City Council [PDF]
Consultation letter Bassetlaw [PDF]

Various anti-cuts events this week (beginning 17th Jan 2011) – a reminder

Here is a reminder of anti-cuts events this week.

Tuesday 18th Jan – Mansfield Notts SOS group next meets at 7pm at the Gas Club, off Lime Tree Place (At the bottom of Ratcliffe Gate). Mansfield Group of Notts SOS are planning a demonstration against the cuts in Mansfield mid February – more information soon. Come along if you want to help organise and build for a demo in Mansfield to fight the cuts.

Tuesday 18th Jan – Planning meeting for Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts. Weekly meetings are held 6pm on Tuesdays meeting outside Trent SU (Students’ Union building, Byron House). For more info please get in touch via 07849 392 842. See also NSAFC website.

Wednesday 19th Jan – Protest to Save EMA! 4.30pm Market Square, Nottingham. The Coalition government are voting on whether to scrap Educational Maintenance Allowance after the vote was postponed last week. We are holding a protest at Market Square at 4.30pm. Bring placards, banners and tell everyone you can! It’s short notice but we will still make an impact. Read background info about EMA.

Thursday 20th Jan – Beeston & Chilwell Defend Library Services meeting.

Thursday 20th Jan – Save Gedling School Phoenix pub at 6.30. The fight to save Gedling school continues.

Thursday 20th Jan – Racism, Cuts and the Right – Nottingham Unity meeting.

Friday 21st Jan – Nottingham Solidarity Network meeting, Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, Nottingham.

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