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Bromley Unite members stop council tax bailiffs
On 13 July around 30 activists from the Unite trade union and local residents in Bromley, south London, stopped bailiffs evicting Paul Rooney and his 14 year-old daughter Roisin.
Paul gave up work as a social work manager to look after Roisin who has physical and learning disabilities.
Tory controlled Bromley council has outsourced its council tax collection service to Liberata. The company reportedly claims that Paul owes just over £2,000 in council tax. It is alleged that Liberata has also tacked on £49,000 in solicitors' fees!
Unite says that mistakes by Liberata in not processing correctly his application for council tax benefit delayed his council tax payments.
Paul's case is now going before a judge to see if it needs to go back to court.
Unite regional officer, Onay Kasab, who represents members at the council, said: "This appalling case just reinforces what Unite has repeatedly argued; that privatising council services has been a horrendous mistake.
"Our members at the council will continue to fight for the maintenance of decent in-house council services and the jettisoning of the deeply flawed privatisation agenda."
Bromley council is determined to become a 'commissioning council' ie privatising its services, and reducing the number of council employees from 4,000 to just 300 - despite having £130 million in its reserves.
The privatisation programme has been opposed by Unite's council members who recently staged a fourth wave of strikes over the plans.
In The Socialist 15 July 2015:
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