Bedroom Tax protesters gather at lively Calderdale Council meeting

Halifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall

Protesters gathered outside Halifax Town Hall calling for ‘no evictions’ before a meeting of the Full Calderdale Council.

They were angered by reports that tenants left in arrears under the ‘Bedroom Tax’ could be facing eviction hearings - some just days before Christmas.

Leader of the council Tim Swift (Lab, Town) said the council had informed all tenants affected by the ‘tax’ and councillors are looking at ways of helping.

“We are meeting with officers shortly to see if there is any scope for adapting the discretionary housing payment,” he said.

Councillors voted against a proposed Labour motion on the council’s stance on proposed cuts to the NHS, which could include closing Calderdale Royal Hospital’s accident and emergency department.

Coun Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) argued that any potential cuts are currently speculation and the council should wait to see the full facts before deciding.

Councillors voted in favour of a six month council tax exemption for those affected by flooding or fire while property owners who leave their homes empty for more than than two years will have to pay a 50 per cent premium.

The meeting included proposals to cut the number of smokers in Calderale with questions raised over electronic cigarettes.

In preparation for the Tour de France coming to Calderdale Coun Marcus Thompson (Con, Skircoat) was voted in as Calderdale’s Cycling Champion.

Full report from the meeting in Friday’s Courier.