A RETIRED steelworker is calling for help to 'fight the system' and challenge the way a local authority prioritises applications for council housing.

Caergwrle council house resident Peter Guest, 71, told the Leader of his serious concerns that younger people or families who are suffering financial hardship because of bedroom tax are being given the first choice of council properties.

This, he fears, is resulting in bungalows being snapped up and pensioners like himself being left on a waiting list until another suitable home comes up.

Mr Guest, who lives on Wrexham Road with his wife Elizabeth and is also a former support worker, said he wants to challenge the council housing priority scheme as well as the bedroom tax legislation - which is a cut in housing benefit if residents live in a council or housing association home and are classed as having a spare bedroom.

He said: "I am hoping to get into a council bungalow in Broughton – we picked that because our daughter is there. This is a three bedroom house and we effectively want to downsize.

"The problem is with this bedroom tax they give them the first choice - they don’t class them as old people's bungalows now.

"I want to campaign to get our bungalows back for pensioners. This will benefit the young as well.

"They have to try and find a new system for the bedroom tax because it is not working for old or young people.

"I have written to Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn about this."

Mr Guest, a grandfather of four, told the Leader he feels sorry for those younger families who end up moving into bungalows and smaller homes as a result of bedroom tax, adding: "Younger people are missing out because unless we move out they are never going to get a house and we will end up in nursing homes.

"I’m thinking of my grandkids as well, one is 18 and one is 21 - they could want a council house in time and this could affect them. And this is not just in Flintshire, it is everywhere."

He also said he has complained to Flintshire Council three times in the last six months and has been told, in a letter seen by the Leader, that he does not meet the criteria to be band 1- in that his moving would release a council property for someone in 'urgent need' who would otherwise probably have to wait an unreasonably long period to be re-housed.

But Mr Guest said he believes such a need does exist in his area and is calling on residents to join him in his campaign.

He added: "I know there’s a waiting list. I’m asking people to write to the Leader and we’ll see what we can do about it – I am fighting the system on my own so I need help.

"There is no way I am going to beat it on my own. I just hope the council can understand our problem and support us."

Neal Cockerton, chief officer for housing and assets at Flintshire Council, said: “It would not be appropriate for the council to comment on an individual application.

"All the major social landlords across Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy follow a consistent approach and allocate housing stock in a transparent and fair way.

"The council prioritises the people in our communities according to their housing needs and also meet our legal requirements.

"In addition, customers are provided with advice and information to help them make the most informed choice about how to find a home to meet their needs.

“There is high demand for social housing in the county and this can cause frustration for those in housing need and waiting for a home.

"The council are addressing this shortfall and have built 64 new council properties and plan to build another 240 in the next five years.”