No tax break for disabled couple

Roberta Sneade and Glen Glasgow who live in a specially adapted house for disabled but refuse to pay them a disability benefit.
Roberta Sneade and Glen Glasgow who live in a specially adapted house for disabled but refuse to pay them a disability benefit.

A Nelson couple who recently moved into an adapted disability house have been told they do not qualify for a reduction in council tax.

Grandparents Glen Glasgow, carer for partner Bobby Sneade who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, applied to Pendle Borough Council for the Disability Band Reduction Scheme, but were told they did not fit the criteria.

Roberta Sneade and Glen Glasgow who live in a specially adapted house for disabled but refuse to pay them a disability benefit.

Roberta Sneade and Glen Glasgow who live in a specially adapted house for disabled but refuse to pay them a disability benefit.

The couple of 28 years moved into Beechtree Close, in April because Bobby (62) became too poorly to stay in their home at Oakfield Lodge Caravan Park.

Mr Glasgow (58) said: “We applied to Housing Pendle which kindly placed us in this specially-adapted house.

“Shortly after, we received a visit from Pendle Council’s independent living officer who advised us to apply for the council tax reduction.

“We weren’t aware of this but thought we would be eligible. However, we were told that because Bobby doesn’t have a wheelchair or an adapted bathroom solely for her use then we are not eligible.

“It is crazy. I would say the majority of disabled people do not need a wheelchair, and our bathroom is adapted anyway.”

Council tax rules state that residents may be eligible for the scheme if they can show that they’ve either:

• an extra bathroom, kitchen or other room that they need for the disabled person;

• extra space inside the property for using a wheelchair.

Mr Glasgow added: “Bobby is on a number of inhalers and painkillers for her condition which includes brittle bones.

“She finds it difficult to walk long distances without getting out of breath. Up to a few years ago we worked together as mobile cleaners, but have both had to give this up because of her condition.

“We have now actually applied to get a wheelchair. I just feel there must be lots of disabled people in Pendle missing out on this reduction.”

Pendle Council said that in order to receive Disabled Band Reduction, residents who apply must meet the criterion which is set nationally.

Philip Mousdale, the council’s corporate director, said: “Unfortunately the residents in question are not eligible to receive an additional discount on their council tax.

“We’ll be sending them a written response this week which will set out the reasons why their application was unsuccessful. This also explains how they can appeal against the decision.

“I’d like to stress that if their circumstances change, they can re-apply for Disabled Band Reduction and they will be re-assessed.”