Move to Midlands or be homeless: London mum brands council ‘inhumane’

Cecilia Bruce-Annan, from Edgware, north-west London, has been told to move with her three children to Stoke-on-Trent because of the benefits cap

Cecilia Bruce-Annan is being evicted by Harrow Council and told she has to move to Stoke or be made homeless.

A London mum has branded her local council “inhumane” – because she has been told to move to the Midlands.

Cecilia Bruce-Annan, from Edgware, north-west London, has been told to move with her three children to Stoke-on-Trent because of the benefits cap.

The 42-year-old, who says she has no idea where Stoke even is, says she has been treated viciously by Harrow Council.

She has been told to leave her housing association home of three years by September 4 after racking up rent arrears of more than £2,000 after falling into debt because of the newly imposed cap.

Ms Bruce-Annan is one of those that has been hit by the benefits cap, which was introduced in April last year. The cap limits the amount of welfare payments to parents with children to £500 per week.

She asked for help from Harrow Council but was told there are not enough homes to be rehoused and has to move.

“I don’t even know where Stoke-on-Trent is,” she said.

“It is inhumane. I do not know anyone who lives even near there.

“First they want to make me homeless, then they want me to move to Stoke-on-Trent.

“I have a one-year-old baby and two other daughters who I need to support.

“I am unable to work because I have a baby to look after and because of the benefits cap I have fallen into this debt.”

Ms Bruce-Annan was told that her benefits would not cover private London rents and she has no choice but to move 150 miles away to the Midlands.

She added: “They cannot provide me with affordable housing where I live, where my children study for their GCSEs, where my child goes to nursery.

“This is enough to give a mother a breakdown. It just is not right.”

Gail Bradford, housing solicitor at Harrow Law Centre, which has been supporting Cecilia, said: “Sadly, this is not an isolated case.

“We regularly see families whose lives are turned upside down, children forced to repeatedly move school and women forced to return to violent partners.”

Councillor David Perry, the Labour council leader, said: “We would much rather keep all our tenants here in Harrow than be forced to find them new homes in more affordable parts of the country.

“Relocation is a last resort. However, Government welfare reforms and years of inadequate housing policy leave us no option.”

Source Birmingham Mail


  1. As we ‘citizens’, now called ‘stock’, allow this to happen the Zionists in Westminster continue to ramp up their ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the poor. This is exactly the documented policy of Zionism and what they do in Israel. Remember, both main Party leaders are self confessed Zionists. This is not hyperbole – this is really happening.

    • Sam Spruce, can I just explain to you, you are a conspiracy theorist, your world view is nuts. You have been reading dodgy articles on the internet about the Protocols which is a forgery, fiction, not really what Zionism is about. Let’s work together to stop the worst social cleansing policies where we are, or where we can change things, but we can never agree on whether 9/11 was faked, and so on. Best regards, Ben in Hendon.

  2. 1. Does the Human Rights Act – Right to Family Life, not give any protection to families being forcibly re located like this?
    2. How can a Housing Association – social landlord, provide housing which is not affordable?
    Cameron and Co are creating an Underclass through their fascist policies and “welfare” reforms. In that group are many of the most vulnerable in our society.
    3. Whatever happened to the Family Values this party extolled a few years ago?

  3. Whilst I sympathise with this womans frustration as a mother, I really am minded that I am a mother with children too. Thinking of having another soon. However, I have made sure that I have accommodated for that and in terms of finance. I work and am housed in the private sector. I couldn’t afford my mortgage so I moved. It had to be done. Nobody payed a damp penny for us and my childrens father is next to useless. Yet, I dont expect handouts and would never have the gall to complain because the free housing was further away than I hoped. Why do people think the welfare system is there to do anything else other than be a safety net. Why doesn’t this woman get off her backside and work the minimum number of hours necessary to reinstate her full benefits! As frankly, if us in the private sector cant afford to stay somewhere….we do that unthinkable thing….its called move to an area you can afford!

    • Well, I’m a single parent and I work, but there were times when I couldn’t . And I know what it’s like to be judged . Thank god this was a few years ago now as the attitudes now are shocking.

      You want to be careful calling SOCIAL SECURITY a ‘hand out’ if you ever get the sack, be made redundant, fall ill, etc as you will need the support then – and people like you will then look at YOU and judge you as you have judged this woman. You will think ‘ but I worked, I paid on to the system, nobody will see me as that and I will get help -‘ But trust me, you will be in for a shock.

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it – nobody have sex or become pregnant or split up with a partner, or get ill or lose your job – And don’t get old either, think ahead!

      I bet you get tax credits and child benefit? I do . That’s technically a hand out, you know.

      A council house is not a free house , either – I pay £580 a month for my council house , more than a mortgage in some areas, nobody gave me a free house, I RENT it, I fix it up, I decorate it and I live in it.
      The point is this article is social housing is just that, and there is class and ethnic cleansing going on in London – working class and low earners are being forced out to make way for the rich and other greedy landlords to snap up properties.
      London councils want the working class and poor OUT. So the new rich hip can take their place. Social housing was built to accommodate the working class so they could work and have adequate housing in their area of birth or community. Remember that .
      And you would take a council house if you were offered, Id lay money on it, but you wouldn’t call it a free house then as in your eyes you are better than most.

  4. I see we still have freedom of speech ( for now ) hey Marni ? Cork and ares springs to mind!!

  5. Stop knocking out children if you cannot support them, where is the father of your children,I have had to work all my life to support my family,

  6. Sarah, forgive me but your answer is just a grass roots attack on my opinion with little insight. You seem to have missed the bit where I said she needs to get a job for the mere 16 hours that would take her out of benefits capping amd keep her in harrow. Oh ‘childcare’ I hear you cry. How about using the support network she is so keen to stay near?

    I think the system should be there to pick you up. But what you are saying is just nuts. So, in your world, landlords cant price rents up and make higher gains because some people can’t afford it. What on earth do you think pays benefits…..TAX! The ‘rich’ as you call them finance a huge chunk of the benefits system… but its not the ‘rich’ is it. Its the working person in general. if you look back through hundreds of years of history, there have always been rich areas in london. All the residency properties were built to keep the poor out.although the rich employed the poor. Maybe not right but its a fact of life. Wages feed families. Benefits are thereto rely on when times are tough. Not as indefinate bail out system.

    I do not receive tax credits but just so you aware, tax credits are not a handout, tax credits are the government replacement for a tax relief that all were entitled to till about 13 years ago which the government cleverly sneaked in about ten years ago and rebranded. Clever really as in the long term it saved the tax payer.. I don’t agree with that system either as its discrimnatory.

    They did the same with child benefit by capping and eventually the only people that recieve it will be those on my so called ‘handouts’

    I recieve neither. Gosh, bet you did some quick maths and worked out I earn over the threshold.

    My rent is 1500 a month, yes a month! I live in a relatively nice area through choice. Particularly i didnt want to raise my kids on a council estate and i need to work in the city to earn. Snob? Yes, no… dont care. I want better for my kids. I Was made redundant three times and was not offered one penny by the state. I was turned away coz I had some savings so I ate into my hard earned savings and found a job very quickly. Accepting a job that I didnt like, working for someone I didnt like till something better came up. Oh during this time, I had various problems; clinical depression, death in family, car gave up the ghost, school uniforms to buy… the usual problems a mother faces. Now, I got my life in order, it took time but I live near a station so it’s commutable which makes life easier, I pay £250 a month to get to work and at the end of the month dont have money to spend on anything lavish. Hardly rich. I would like it very much if my landlord would lower my rent. But why would he. He is in it for commercial gain. An investor. And yes, I RENT it, I fix it up, I decorate it and I live in it. I had to sell ,my house to pay for a horrible period in my life. But I suppose all you will do is l shake your head in disgust and come up with some moral standing that demonises me because Isaved to pay for my house and then sold it to pay for my life. And then now again I saved hard so that whilst i am protected by maternity laws i can have a child and then return to work with subsidised childcare. Oh but maybe that is my fault for having a decent job. That I got. On my own. And started as a school leaver without any o levels.

    And before you start demonising my opinion further Sarah, social services raised me, as in ‘children’s care home’ where I left at 16 years old having previously lived in a council house with a family that were on benefits and my parents drank too much.

    So dont assume to judge the ‘rich’…. because sometimes those rich arent rich at all. Just working there backsides off!

  7. Marni, you’e rather missing the point. This government policy is about moving poorer people out of London. Why? Because poorer people tend to vote Labour. The Conservatives haven’t been able to make all the boundary changes they wanted because the Lib Dems won’t support them on that issue, so this is just another form of gerrymandering. The government claims this is part of their “necessary” austerity programme. That is a bare-faced lie: it’s a politically motivated policy.

  8. I feel for this woman and her family I’m facing being moved to leeds because I lost my homethe same way. An I did work but injured my back which left me with a world of problems I have been in B&B’s since january and unable to get a place to live with my sons. I was told I have 2 weeks to find somewhere or I will be sent to Leeds, I can’t cope right now I suffer with depression and have tried to kill myself twice in the past month if I could go back to work today I would but that’s not an option right now I’ve lost everything I owned I’m being moved away from the only support I have I know I won’t be able to cope but there is nothing I can do

    • And yes I have always worked I’ve struggled but have never given up until now there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel I’m unable to go back to work because of my back and the depression has got me at an all time low I feel I’ve let my kids down but I’ve given up now

      • Rena, don’t give up. I know things look bleak now, but they will probably improve in time. And your sons will need you. You are not suffering alone, there are many victims of this appalling government. In the first place, seek help for your depression. I know all too well how debilitating back injuries can be: I found the side-effects of the painkillers I was prescribed for mine almost as bad as the pain itself (and the pain was so bad that it sometimes took me fifteen minutes to cross my living room – which is only about 12 feet). The situation with which you are faced is not your fault, but nevertheless must be faced. Remember always, wherever you are in the world, there will be good and caring people. And that your friends and family are still your friends and family, wherever you may be.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *