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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 February, 2004, 07:32 GMT
Rebel pensioner defiant
A 71-year-old Exeter woman, due in court for not paying all her council tax, has said she would go to jail rather than pay up.

Sylvia Hardy, 71, from Barrack Road, Exeter, is due to appear before the city's magistrates on 25 February to face a summons by the city council over outstanding council tax of 91 on her Band B flat.

She is being supported by the Devon Pensioners' Action Forum (DPAF), which wants council tax in line with people's ability to pay.

The campaign was sparked by Devon County Council tax rise of nearly 18% last year.

'Entirely alone'

Pensioners have promised to continue their protest after the county council executive on Monday approved a 5.25% rise this year.

Former social worker Miss Hardy, said she would not pay any liability order made by the court, and if bailiffs were sent to her home to collect the money they would have to "shin up the drainpipe".

She said: "I am entirely alone with no family, and if anyone is going to make a stand to the bitter end I am the one to do it, even if it means going to prison."

The day after her court appearance she is due to fight as an independent in the by-election for the city's St David's and Pennsylvania ward county council seat.

The pressure group has declared its intention to fight all 54 seats on Devon County Council at the next elections in 2005.

Ex-magistrate in court protest
02 Feb 04  |  Devon
Council's spending tightrope
05 Jan 04  |  Devon
4.3m given to council
12 Dec 03  |  Devon


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