The demonstration on Saturday meets in Chamberlain Square at 12noon. The march will proceed down New Street onto High Street, up Union Street and Cherry Street to the Cathedral, down Temple street to New Street and back to Chamberlain Square. There will be a shortened route that stops at the junction on New St and Temple St, waiting for protesters to complete the long route before heading back to Chamberlain Square.
12noon, Saturday 15th June
Long march route: approx 1 mile.
Short march route: approx 0.4miles / 700meters
The march returns to Chamberlain Square so anyone who does not want to or cannot walk the short route can remain in Chamberlain Square.
Birmingham City Centre is step free. Accessible toilets are available in Paradise Forum by Chamberlain Square, and a single person accessible public toilet is located in Victoria Square, less than 100m from Chamberlain Square.
Various accessible toilets are available along the march route in the Pallisades, Bullring and Pavilions shopping centre, and in restaurants and pubs.
The protest calls on the coalition to scrap the idiotic and short sighted bedroom tax, which sees people losing 14% of their housing benefit for having one “spare” bedroom, and 25% for having two or more. “Spare” bedrooms include those being used by foster children (foster parents can have one “spare” room, but woe betide those who foster two or more children), those used by visiting children of seperated parents, or by grandparents acting as free childcare for working parents. They include rooms used by disabled people and their carers, including autistic children who have rooms they use as retreats when they have become overwhelmed by the world. They include houses which have been adapted at the cost of tens of thousands of pounds for disabled people.
This is before we begin to consider the situation of people like Stepahnie Bottrill who have lived, worked and raised a family in a home and area and are now being forced to pay or move away from their communities and support networks.
Meanwhile, in Liverpool, council houses are being boarded up as they cannot find people to rent them – not suitable for families but with two or more bedrooms so single people won’t take them as they can’t afford the rent.
Many councils, including Birmingham, are looking at reclassifying bedrooms so that 2-bed properties become 1-bed properties. We encourage councils to do this, the loss in rent will be nothing compared to the cost of evictions as people fall into arrears, unable to pay the bedroom tax. We also call on Labour to pledge not to evict those who are unable to pay the bedroom tax.