Ordeal leaves pensioner suicidal

A DISABLED Suffolk pensioner threatened with being thrown out of the house she has lived in for 53 years has today said the whole ordeal has left her feeling suicidal.

A DISABLED Suffolk pensioner threatened with being thrown out of the house she has lived in for 53 years has today said the whole ordeal has left her feeling suicidal.

But today officials at Ipswich council were holding crisis meetings to see if there is a way that she can stay in her home.

Patricia Bagley, 65, was told she would have to move out by Ipswich council just four days after her mother died.

Officials told her she may be evicted from her council house in Turner Road, Ipswich because it cannot be passed down to a family member for a second time.

When her father, Len, died, the three-bedroom terrace house was passed to her mother May. But now her mother has died, Miss Bagley has been told she cannot stay there.

Miss Bagley said: "I just don't think I can carry on if I have to move elsewhere. I am so worried about what will happen to me."

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Today senior officials and councillors at Civic Centre were shocked to hear that the letter had been sent out just days after the death of Miss Bagley's mother.

An internal inquiry was expected to be carried out urgently.

"I don't know much about this particular case, but it does seem that we acted very hastily. I know the rule exists at the borough – but this does seem a bit insensitive," said deputy leader David Ellesmere.

A council spokesman said officials in the housing department would be spoken to later today to see what could be done about the situation.

Miss Bagley moved into the house at just 12-years-old and attended Nacton Road School. She then worked for more than 43 years in the Ipswich Jaeger factory.

In 1973 when her brother's marriage broke up she raised his two children, then aged three and five, and looked after her sick mother for the 12 years leading up to her death.

She said: "There are so many memories in this house. It is the pivotal building for the family. We spend every Christmas here and I cannot even remember a year that we spent it anywhere else.

"The whole family lives close by and if I had to leave the house I would loose that contact with them."

Miss Bagley suffers from arthritis and neck and muscle problems and has had the house adjusted to cope with her disability.

She said: "The family have been great. When ever I had a problem with mum or with myself I just call them and they are here within minutes. I would hate to have to lose that close connection. I have lived on this estate all my life – in fact the whole family has lived on it since it was built. I feel safe in this house because it is practically the only home I can remember. If I am paying the bills I don't see why I should have to leave."

Miss Bagley has fond memories of her mother throwing street parties and said she even organised the Turner Street Coronation Party in 1953.

With the help of those in the Gainsborough estate she has collected 580 names for a petition against the council throwing her out.

Councillor Dale Jackson, said: "This incident is a real shame. All I can say is that it seems to be a bureaucratic problem.

"If she is paying the bills I do not see why she shouldn't stay."

What do you think of the decision to send Miss Bagley notice to quit? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk