Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
My bedroom tax fight goes to UN
A DISABILITY campaigner from Canada has vowed to contact the United Nations to raise the plight of a Vange man hit by the controversial bedroom tax.
The Echo reported earlier this month Alan Cooper, 49, was being forced to pay an extra £50 a month to keep his lifesaving kidney dialysis equipment at his home.
Basildon Council moved him into his two-bedroom groundfloor flat in Riverview, Vange, in April 2011 as, despite being single, he had a medical note explaining his need for an extra room because of his kidney failure.
Samuel Miller, 56, an activist from Montreal, Canada, now wants to help Mr Cooper after reading about his difficulties since the Government introduced its bedroom tax in April.
Mr Miller, who was born with cerebral palsy, has been regularly reporting to the United Nations on Britain’s disability issues over the last two years.
He said: “The Hardest Hit marches against benefit cuts in May 2011 caught my eye and I’ve been advocating for Britain’s sick and disabled ever since. I don’t represent the UN in any official capacity, I’m merely reporting on a voluntary basis.
“I’m not an ex-pat, merely a citizen and resident of Canada.
I’ve never visited Britain.
“I’m extremely concerned about the plight of Alan Cooper and intend to bring it to the attention of UN officials.”
Mr Miller, who has been studying the portrayal of physical and mental disabilities in literature since his students days in the Seventies, is the former editor of the international magazine Disabled Writers Quarterly.
Mr Cooper, who undergoes dialysis treatment five times a week, applied for discretionary hardship funding from Basildon Council but was not successful as his case was not deemed critical.
Mr Cooper said: “The more done about this, the better as far as I’m concerned. It’s amazing someone as far away as Canada is trying to help.
“I just hope through these bigger international organisations we might be able to get something done.”
Speaking about Mr Cooper’s case, Basildon Council said it followed legislation set by the Government on the bedroom tax. However, the council does offer financial advice and help with moving home.
Comments are closed on this article.