Women took their fight for pension equality to Bedford Borough Council which voted unanimously to support the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality). campaign.
The council passed a motion proposed by Labour councillors Shan Hunt and Sue Oliver who gave a rousing speech citing why the council should throw its support behind WASPI.
WASPI have been fighting for justice for women born in the 1950s who have suffered as a result of poorly communicated changes to state pension age.
Five and a half thousand women in Bedford Borough are affected by the changes which were drawn up with little or no notice and with no time to make alternative plans for such a life changing event.
Councillor Oliver explained she is affected by the issue and the intention of the motion was to help raise awareness of the women and their families who find themselves in unexpected hardship as a result of the changes to their pension age.
She underlined the lack of notice given to WASPI women and wanted to help raise awareness of this issue nationally with the aim of building cross party pressure on the government to make amends by putting fair transitional arrangements in place for those women.
She said: “I want to stress that the Labour Group is not trying to score political points by bringing this motion forward. I’m afraid all the major parties have been involved in the legislation and lack of communication which has led to this injustice for a large section of our society”.
WASPI are campaigning for a non means tested bridging pension (not a full pension) to provide an income until the women affected reach state Pension age and for compensation for those who have already reached state pension age.
The WASPI women attending the debate were deligjhted at the outcome.
Bedford WASPI Group leader, Mary Allen, said: “I want to thank not only Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson, and Councillors Oliver and Hunt for their support but also the full council for unanimously voting for this motion”
Anyone wanting further information about the Bedford WASPI Group should contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org