An MP has shared a letter from an 11-year-old girl who told him she has problems sleeping because she has to sleep on the floor of her family-of-seven’s one-bed council flat.
In the letter, the unnamed girl says: “I sleep on the floor with my two older sisters and every night when my dad gets up to go to work he always has to turn on the light so he doesn’t step on us.”
She said that she is worried about the lack of sleep because “I am doing my SATs in two months and I can’t concentrate in class”.
It continues: “I am falling behind in class and it’s because nobody cares about me and (nobody) wants to see me happy. I feel like you don’t care because if you did you would help me.”
The little girl added: “Everyday I see my mum crying and it makes my cry. I don’t like to speak about it but I have no choice.”
Stephen Timms, Labour MP for East Ham, said the handwritten note had been handed to him at his surgery on Friday.
Mr Timms told the Press Association he had contacted the council and “made one or two suggestions”.
“They are in a one-bedroom flat, they have been in it for over 10 years now. The family has got considerably bigger in that period, and it’s been impossible for them so far to move to larger council or Housing Association accommodation.
“It’s a council flat that they’re in. They’ve been there since about 2006, but the longer it goes on, the harder it becomes,” he said.
“But it isn’t unusual to find. In my surgery I often have people coming to see me in situations that are not dissimilar to that. I don’t often get letters that are quite as striking as that one. It’s one of the most striking I’ve had.”
Mr Timms added: “My conclusion from it all is that we’ve got to do – and I’m sure we will do before too long – exactly what we did last time… in the 1960s, when we had a big programme of council house building. Which we will have to have again before too long.”