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Landmark win for Southport couple in country's highest court

A couple from Southport who fought the so-called bedroom tax are celebrating a win in the country's highest court.

Jacqueline Carmichael, who has Spina Bifida and her husband Jayson argued in the courts for four years that the tax unfairly discriminated against people with disabilities.

Now seven judges have agreed and the government's promised immediate changes which could affect thousands of families. The couple say they've finally been vindicated. Our correspondent Ashley Derricott reports.

Bedroom tax victory for Southport couple in Supreme Court

Jacqueline and Jayson have won a supreme court ruling Credit: ITV Granada

A couple from Southport have won a Supreme Court ruling over the controversial so-called 'bedroom tax'.

Jacqueline Carmichael, who's also known as Charlotte, suffers from Spina Bifida, and lives with her husband in a two bedroom housing association flat in Southport. Today Supreme Court justices overturned a decision taken by the Court of Appeal in 2014 which went against the couple.

Mrs Carmichael complained that changes to housing benefit unlawfully discriminate against people with disabilities who have a need for an additional bedroom because of that disability.

The 44-year-old's condition means she has to sleep in a fixed position in a hospital bed with an electronic pressure mattress. There is not enough space for a second bed so her husband, Jayson, sleeps in a separate bedroom. Their benefit was cut by 14% when the ruling came in.

Mrs Carmichael and her husband Jayson were at the Supreme Court this morning Credit: ITV Granada

We are overjoyed at the Supreme Court decision. We have been through almost four years of the sheer hell of the bedroom tax policy, and this decision vindicates our long and difficult fight.

Out of this human rights victory over the bedroom tax we ask Theresa May to now reconsider the whole policy for everyone.

We would like to thank everyone who has supported us from day one, and hope others get justice too.

– Mr & Mrs Carmichael

Before an earlier Supreme Court hearing began in February, Mr Carmichael, who is in his fifties and is full-time carer for his wife, spoke outside court of the "heartache" they have suffered following the changes.

The Department for Work and Pensions now say they'll take steps to ensure they comply with the judgement in due course.

In the two specific cases where the Court did not find in our favour, we will take steps to ensure we comply with the judgement in due course.

In most cases, Local Authorities are best placed to understand the needs of their residents, which is why we will have given them over £1bn by the end of this parliament for Discretionary Housing Payments to ensure that people in difficult situations don’t lose out.

– DWP spokesperson


Family's anger at botched operation which cost their father his life

A family has spoken of its anger after hearing how a botched operation cost their father his life.

Stuart Brunst from Aughton in Lancashire went into Southport Hospital just over a year ago for a routine operation to repair a broken thigh bone. He died from complications after surgery.

His family only found out that the trust had carried out its own investigation into its own mistakes 10 months later.


Southport Air Show: First night cancelled due to 'adverse weather conditions'

Southport Air Show 2016 Credit: Southport Air Show 2016

Due to adverse weather conditions forecast for this evening, the first night of Southport Air Show 2016, that was scheduled to go ahead tonight has been cancelled.

Saturday and Sunday will go ahead as planned.

A statement on the website read:

It is still our anniversary and our pilots still want to give us a great weekend! Participating aircraft are situated in Blackpool and Liverpool for this evenings show and crosswinds won’t allow aircraft to take off.

It is with regret that we have made this decision but I am sure you all understand that the safety of our pilots is paramount. Tickets that have been purchased for this event can be used at either Saturday or Sunday’s show.

– Southport Air Show

People who wish to get a refund or just want more information about the weekend's events, go here.

Ladies Day arrives at Southport Flower Show - Kerrie has the weather advice

Southport Flower Show. Credit: ITV News.

Southport Flower Show continues today with Ladies Day.

Thousands of people expected to enjoy all the flora and fauna that Victoria Park can offer.

The event is sold out and all proceeds with go to the charity Community Link Southport.

The show started yesterday and continues until Saturday.

Granada weather presenter Kerrie Gosney says visitors would be wise to take a brolly today as it's likely to rain and there will be a few blustery winds.

Ainsley Harriott opens Southport Flower Show

Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott opened the event Credit: ITV Granada

The Southport Flower Show has been opened by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott this morning. Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the annual event at the resort's Victoria Park. It's being billed as the largest independent flower show in the country.

Ainsley, of Ready, Steady, Cook fame, is one of Britain's best-known cooks after a glittering 25-year TV career.

He'll be performing two cookery demonstrations in the Food Village.

There will also be special guests, TV gardening expert Carol Klein and beauty queen Elizabeth Grant, the newly crowned Miss England.

Ainsley spoke to Paul Crone.

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