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Bury St Edmunds resident’s petition calling for more disability support nears 50,000 signatures





A petition calling on the Government to continue cost-of-living support payments for disabled people is nearing 50,000 signatures.

Started by Bury St Edmunds resident Thomas Howard in mid December, the petition has gained traction from thousands of people online, including disability charity Epilepsy Action.

Over the past few weeks the petition has gained momentum and smashed Tom’s initial target of 5,000 signatures within a matter of days.

Thomas Howard, of Bury St Edmunds, has been overwhelmed by the response after a petition he started has nearly reached 50,000 signatures. Picture: Thomas Howard
Thomas Howard, of Bury St Edmunds, has been overwhelmed by the response after a petition he started has nearly reached 50,000 signatures. Picture: Thomas Howard

He said: “I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the response. For it to have spiralled out of control in such a positive way has been overwhelming. There was a point where it had 15,000 signatures in a single day.

“I never expected it to spiral this much. I was going to send a copy to the Government originally when it reached between 5,000-10,000 signatures – that was a big goal for me.”

Tom advocated for disabled people who may have higher energy bills due to medical equipment being on throughout the day and night and said although the payments did not go far enough they went some way in helping those with disabilities.

Tom has written a letter to Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, with comments from those that have signed the petition. Picture: Thomas Howard
Tom has written a letter to Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, with comments from those that have signed the petition. Picture: Thomas Howard

It is believed there are no current plans for future Disability Cost of Living Payments.

Now he has written a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt and given this to Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill to be passed on.

“There’s not long to go until the budget in the spring so it’s an opportune time for everybody to make their voices heard,” he added.

“Hopefully this can now deliver real change because the more signatures the better. If hardly anyone signs, it’s not really going to achieve much but having almost 50,000 it means it can’t be ignored.”

Del Khouri, who commented under the petition said: “Being disabled comes with an Avalanche of extra things to buy, pay for, save to get and heating shouldn't have to be one of them.

“Heating is vital for disabled people to be able to physically function – if I'm cold I literally can't move, sometimes can't even breathe, and the pain is beyond unbearable. Enough to make me black out.

“These are the things you don't even know about let alone are prepared for when you get to be a person who's body is broken enough to disable you, to make your body shut down.”

To sign the petition see here.

Updates to follow.