Discretion for bedroom tax

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THERE were always going to be extreme cases of hardship when the so-called “Bedroom Tax” was introduced.

And so it is with the case of TerryJones who is fighting terminal cancer.

The 53-year-old and his wife Marie, 51, gave up work to enjoy what they thought would be their final few months together after Terry was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Terry’s pain is so severe that sometimes he has to sleep in the spare room to give his wife some respite from his suffering.

But, of course, under the new rules, that is a surplus room and the couple will lose benefit because of it.

This is an impossible conundrum for the local authorities to rule upon.

How do they treat one couple’s case differently to others and not be subject to a challenge in the courts.

But, the authorities must also find some leeway to be allowed to use their discretion.

It would seem obvious that any couple on benefit due to a serious illness who need to utilise the spare room should have some dispensation from the new tax rules.

We hope local authorities will find some way of exercising compassion and common sense in Terry’s case and no doubt others that will come to light in the aftermath of this tax change on the poor.

Let’s share a bold vision for slopes

LIKE a phoenix from the ashes an exciting new development could be built on the site of the defunct ski village.

A bold vision is sometimes needed to bring about bold plans and world champion mountain biker Steve Peat has just that.

He wants to see the former ski village which was forced to shut after repeated arson attacks, resurrected as an urban biking centre to rival the best in the UK.

He has the support of the council, which is a step in the right direction. Now he needs to access the funding from the Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Fund – which has £700m to alocate.

It would add to Sheffield’s portfolio of world-beating leisure venues and could see us produce yet more gold medal winning talent. Bring it on.

John’s second gift

SOME people are lucky enough to be given one gift of life in the form of an organ donor.

But John Batty has double the reason to celebrate after first his dad and now his sister have donated kidneys to him.

Families have strong bonds.