Lichfield social landlord Bromford Housing has recently written to one of it’s enterprising tenants threatening her with eviction if she doesn’t stop selling home-grown mushrooms from a stall in her front garden.
Dimbles resident 43 year-old Bessy Banks has lived in the north Lichfield all her life. She said:
‘I got this letter from Bromford and took it to show our Kieran when I visited him in Swinfen. He’s good at reading, being a convicted forger and all that.
‘ “Mom,” he says, “Mom, they’re gonna kick you out the house if you don’t stop selling them bleeding mushrooms!” ‘
‘It’s really hard when you’re living in a house that ain’t fit for human consumption.
‘It’s so damp that mould is growing on the walls in every room, it’s even spreading to the furniture. If it takes hold of me fella’s 80in 4k Ultra HD 3D Curved LED TV there’ll be hell to pay, he don’t even live here really, if you know what I mean.’
Not being a woman who is easily beaten Bessy has tried to make the best of her predicament. She told us:
‘So I thought, I’ve got this house that’s covered in mould, mould is a fungus and so are mushrooms! I’ll grow mushrooms and sell ‘em to the neighbours!
‘I’d got all the raw ingredients, all I needed to do was to push the bed in the Bedroom Tax room up against the mouldy damp wall and let nature take its course. The mattress was sprouting with mushrooms in no time.’
Bromford Housing struggle to manage and maintain over 5,000 former council houses in the Lichfield Area.
Local manager David Ahktar said:
‘I sympathise with Mrs Banks but the tenancy agreement clearly states that the premises cannot be used for any business purposes. With the appalling conditions in these substandard homes we could have a whole new hydroponics industry sprouting up right under our noses if we’re not careful.’
Bromford have been paying lip-service to the complaints of tenants for years but have recently arranged for each complaining whiny tenant’s house to be inspected by a professional surveyor with an undeserved superiority complex.
Martin Sixsmith is one such surveyor, he commented:
‘We recommend that tenants turn up their central heating to the maximum temperature, regardless of the cost; keep open all the windows; never take showers or baths; and refrain from boiling water for any purposes in the kitchen. All furniture should be moved to the centre of the room well away from the walls.
‘If tenants choose to ignore our advice and continue to pursue this anti-social behaviour then they only have themselves to blame for the dreadful conditions in which they live. Scumbag scroungers the lot of them.’
Mr Akhtar of Bromford added :
‘For just £1.79 tenants can buy their very own hygrometer and monitor their ever-increasing despair for themselves. We are also handing out complimentary thermometers to enable them to chart their children’s temperature as they decline towards a chronically sick adulthood.’
Having received nothing but blame from the Landlord, as a very last resort Bessy has turned to local politicians:
Labour County Councillor, self-employed chiropodist Caroline Wood said that the lives of poor people could be considerably improved if they would only take good care of their feet. Mrs Wood promised Bessy a voucher for a complimentary chiropody appointment.
Liberal Democrat District Councillor Marion Bland said in an email :
‘I’m very sorry to hear of your plight and know only too well what it’s like to be a discriminated minority. By the way, I live just round the corner, could you drop off some mushrooms after dusk one evening?’
Hoping to raise the profile of her campaign, Mrs Banks tweeted incumbent member Sir Michael Fabricant and young Labour firebrand Chris Whoishey.
Eventually Sir Fabricant informed Bessy that she must write to him to request an audience:
‘A missive addressed to me at Cathedral Close, written on the finest quality vellum with a quill pen fashioned from a swan’s feather stands the best possible chance of receiving a patronising response,’ he advised.
Mr Whoishey tweeted Bessy offering to breath heavily down the phone to her early one morning:
‘As you may know I have no interest in visiting the Lichfield and my life insurance cover specifically excludes any claim arising from entering the City from the north via Dimbles Bar. Good luck, and if you ever relocate to Sandwell please vote for me in the next Election 2020 which I plan to take seriously.’
Bessy has vowed to continue selling her mushroom but all parties are looking to the future and considering their options.
You can follow Bessy’s ongoing campaign here bessybanksgrave.wordpress.com