Sleep-out against bedroom tax could help spark change in Dacorum as petition gathers support

Ed Colenutt, centre, organised the Mass Sleep Out event in Hemel Hempsteat town centre in opposition to the bedroom tax.
Ed Colenutt, centre, organised the Mass Sleep Out event in Hemel Hempsteat town centre in opposition to the bedroom tax.

The organiser of a mass sleep-out in Hemel Hempstead to raise awareness of the so-called bedroom tax has described the event as a success.

Ed Colenutt planned the town centre event as part of a national initiative to publicise the negative impact of the tax – part of a series of government reforms announced earlier this year – on the poorest in society.

The event, which took place outside Boots in Marlowes on Saturday night, was attended by around 30 people.

Ed said: “I was happy with the turnout, and the feedback we got was very positive. While many people we spoke to agreed with the bedroom tax in principle, every single one agreed that people shouldn’t be hit with these charges without at least being offered a smaller property first.”

Ed has also collected 50 signatures on a petition which he will submit to Dacorum Borough Council, asking them to implement a ‘no evictions’ policy for anyone struggling to pay the charges who is also appealing for another property. He hopes to appeal for more signatures in the town centre.