Support for pensioner's home fight

DON'T give up!That was the message today for disabled pensioner Patricia Bagley who is fighting Ipswich council for the right to remain in her home.John Thorington knows all about such struggles – fourteen years ago he had to battle for the right to stay in his home after his parents died and today he's still living there.

DON'T give up!

That was the message today for disabled pensioner Patricia Bagley who is fighting Ipswich council for the right to remain in her home.

John Thorington knows all about such struggles – fourteen years ago he had to battle for the right to stay in his home after his parents died and today he's still living there.

His sister Jenny Strawn said: "It was a real battle, and at one stage they said he only had 28 days to move out.


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"But we kept on fighting, and after three months the council relented and said he could stay – but we had to fight all the way."

Mr Thorington is profoundly deaf, so he relied on his sister and her family to help him fight for the right to stay in his Dunlin Road home.

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Mrs Strawn said: "I was working for the council and they said to me: 'Do you think you should be doing this when you work for us?' but I said my brother's home was more important than a £2.50 an hour cleaning job!"

Like Mrs Bagley, Mr Thorington didn't have much time to grieve.

"He took the rent book in a week after my father and mother died within months of each other and they told him the tenancy couldn't be transferred to him and that he would have to be moved," Mrs Strawn said.

Mr Thorington had lived in the house for 30 years at the time of his struggle with the council.

Mrs Strawn said: "It had been our family home and it was still his home – but we had to fight like anything for him to be able to stay there.

"I would say to Miss Bagley that she shouldn't give in – she must keep on fighting to stay in her home. They'll give in eventually."

The Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration which is expected to take power at Civic Centre later today has already put Miss Bagley's plight at the top of their agenda for action.

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

opinion – see page 6

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