Pensioner 'must be allowed to stay'

DISABLED Ipswich pensioner Patricia Bagley must be allowed to stay in her own home.That was the verdict today from the councillor expected to take over the housing portfolio at Civic Centre tomorrow night.

DISABLED Ipswich pensioner Patricia Bagley must be allowed to stay in her own home.

That was the verdict today from the councillor expected to take over the housing portfolio at Civic Centre tomorrow night.

Conservative deputy leader Liz Harsant said Miss Bagley's case would be top of her agenda when she speaks to housing officials on Thursday morning.

And her priority will be to find a way that the 65-year-old can stay in her home of 53 years in Turner Road.


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"I will want to know exactly what the policy is and how it was applied here – there has to be a solution to this.

"We should look at what is in the best interests of the people concerned, not what is in the best interests of the council," Mrs Harsant said.

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"The fact that Miss Bagley has a petition with 580 signatures speaks volumes – she is part of the community and wants to stay in her home in that community."

Mrs Harsant also wanted to find out how many other people are in a similar position to Miss Bagley throughout the borough.

A Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition is expected to take over the executive of the borough council at tomorrow night's full meeting.

Mrs Harsant, who is deputy leader of the Conservative group, is expected to take over the housing portfolio on the executive.

"It was disgusting that a letter was sent to Miss Bagley four days after her mother's death. That must never, ever happen again," she said.

The Conservative's Liberal Democrat partners are expected to support attempts to find a way for Miss Bagley to remain in her home.

"When I read about this case I was horrified," said Liberal Democrat group leader Inga Lockington.

"This situation should have been anticipated when her father died to ensure this kind of situation never arose. Something clearly needs to be done about this."

Current housing spokeswoman Jeanette Macartney said she would be speaking to housing officials about the case – but said they were only carrying out council policy.

Miss Bagley herself was delighted to hear about the new moves: "I really hope they do find a way that I can stay here – I wake up in the middle of the night worrying about where I am going to live.

"I should be able to grieve for my mother, but I've got all this to worry about.

"But the Star pieces have been good and people have told me they want me to stay. If there is a change that will be very good news. I only want to stay in my home," she said.

Do you think Miss Bagley should be able to stay in her home? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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