Protest planned at Tower Hamlets over ‘bedroom tax’ eviction fears

Tower Hamlets Town Hall in Blackwall

Tower Hamlets Town Hall in Blackwall - Credit: Archant

A protest over benefit cuts is planned in London’s deprived East End tonight outside Tower Hamlets council’s annual meeting.

Members of the Benefit Justice campaign are protesting at families on housing allowance facing eviction if they don’t pay the so-called ‘bedroom tax’, the amount being reduced from payments for those on council estates with a spare room.

“We have a clear list of action we can ask of the Council,” said campaigner Sister Christine Frost. “There are also actions we in the community can do—we need to be at the Town Hall talking to councillors.”

The campaigners are lobbying council members going in to the Town Hall in Mulberry Place, Blackwall, from 6pm to demand a halt to any evictions due to benefit capping.

London Assembly budget chairman John Biggs, Labour’s candidate for next year’s election for Mayor in Tower Hamlets, is calling for “the bedroom tax” to be repealed.

He told a recent tenants meeting in Poplar chaired by Sister Christine: “I oppose the Bedroom Tax and support repeal.”

A petition is being handed in demanding social landlords commit against evicting anyone in arrears due to benefit cuts.

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The campaigners insist it is “within the council’s power” to refuse to evict, citing Brighton and Edinburgh as examples of local authorities which have pledged not to penalise those hit by the cuts.