Grieving teenagers forced from home

ONLY four weeks ago their father died.But today, distraught teenage siblings Jenna and Russell Sherman face having to leave their Ipswich family home of more than a decade just a fortnight before Christmas.

ONLY four weeks ago their father died.

But today, distraught teenage siblings Jenna and Russell Sherman face having to leave their Ipswich family home of more than a decade just a fortnight before Christmas.

The pair, aged 14 and 12, desperately want to remain in the Swinburne Road house, in Whitton, they shared with their 60-year-old father, but claim Ipswich Borough Council housing bosses have refused.

Instead, they could be forced to sleep on the floor of their older half-brother Shaun's two-bedroom flat, which he shares with his eight-year-old son. His 15-year-old son also stays with him at weekends.

Shaun has been rebuffed in his attempts to take over the tenancy at the Swinburne Road house and has been told the property must be vacated by December 11.

The 37-year-old, of Alderlee, south west Ipswich, said: “The children would like to stay where they are and it would be a lot easier for me too. They have been in that house for 11 or 12 years.

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“When they come to live with me, the council are going to have to re-house us anyway and that will be another move for the children.

“They have had such upheaval in their lives. The oldest girl has changed school so many times. But she is settled at the moment and is doing well at school.”

The children are pupils at Thurleston High School.

Their father, Michael, died on October 29 after suffering heart failure. He had lived at the three-bed house for 18 years.

Jenna and Russell's mother lives in the south west of the country but is unable to provide a home for the pair, who are loathe to move away from their Suffolk roots anyway.

Shaun said: “The children don't want to go back to living with their mum and there is no way she can look after them anyway.

“The council said the children could sleep in my lounge. If they don't come to live with me they will go into care.

“We have another brother who lives in Spenser Road. What's left of the family is right here.”

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “We are currently liaising with Social Care with regard guardianship and housing of the children.

“This will ensure that this matter is given proper consideration, and the best interests of the children are agreed.”

What do you think of the children's plight? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

PANEL

TWO years ago, disabled Ipswich pensioner Pat Bagley was hurtled into the headlines when she was threatened with eviction from her home of 53 years just weeks after her mother died.

The council waited just four days after the death to write to her and tell her she must move from the Turner Road home.

A 580 signature petition was drawn up by residents in the area she had lived all her life by residents supporting her in her battle.

Eventually when the Conservative administration took the lead at the borough council they vowed to review the council's allocation policy.

A U-turn finally took place and Miss Bagley was able to remain in her home.

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