TUSC have been supporting the Counihan family and their fight with Brent Council to get them re-housed. Read the original article for full background details. The official legal advice from Brent Council can only be described as terrible, illogical and without an ounce of compassion. Below is the email that summarises their legal options from the Council:
From: Rose McIntosh <Rose.McIntosh@brent.gov.uk>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 14:50:45 +0100
To: ‘Isabel counihan-sanchez’ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: From Isabel Counihan-Sanchez Summary of Housing Options Advice
I advised that you could look into reconstructing a home on the land in Ireland. You said you did not think you could get planning permission. I further suggested that as you previously had (what you referred to as a chalet) on the property, you could possibly look into getting another. I asked if you had any idea of the cost, you said you didn’t.
I suggested to you that as you are not altogether happy with living in Ireland, this could be a temporary measure whilst you are [tring to sell] the land and consider shared ownership from the proceeds…… I will get back to you soon.
Regards, Rose McIntosh
Brent Council are seriously suggesting that the Counihan family live in a field with no sanitation and no amenities, and that Anthony commutes daily from West Ireland to Cricklewood, London for work! Given this absurd “advice” from Brent Council, the Counihan Campaign have decided to take direct action by lobbying Council meetings.
The next lobby is at a Brent Executive Council Meeting at Brent Town Hall, Forty Lane, HA9 9HD London on Wednesday 19th September from 18:45.
There is a fundraiser event at The Falcon Pub, 341 Kilburn Lane, St. John’s Wood, London W9 3EG on Saturday 29th September from 19:00 with various DJ’s, live band and a raffle with fantastic prizes.
We are building for the march down Kilburn high street on Saturday 6th October at 14:30; see the poster below for details on the demonstration and how to join the campaign!
TUSC demands the Counihans are re-housed in suitable housing in Brent, all council debts are written off and their benefits restored. We recognise that the Counihans are just the tip of the iceberg and thousands of other families are under threat because of unemployment, low wages, benefit cuts and lack of low rent housing.
Therefore TUSC calls on Brent Council:
* To commit to providing more low rent housing that is genuinely affordable to people, like Anthony on Bus Drivers wage of £400 per week.
* To immediately refuse to implement the Con-Dem council tax benefit cuts that will more Brent families pushed out of ther homes.
* To facilitate and support direct action and strike action to defend public services from proposed closures, following on from the recent decision at TUC conference to plan general strikes.
* To abandon their cuts budget and instead put together a budget to meet the needs of the people of Brent. This could be the basis for a mass campaign involving the Trade Unions, community groups and the public to fight central government for the additional funding required to implement the “needs budget”.