Mum fights to stay in own home
By Patrick LowmanA DEFIANT mother is refusing to leave her home, despite being ordered out by the Ministry of Defence as part of an increased security drive at an American air base.
By Patrick Lowman
A DEFIANT mother is refusing to leave her home, despite being ordered out by the Ministry of Defence as part of an increased security drive at an American air base.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) gave Mary Schmedeman until January 22 to leave her Waterworks Road home in Beck Row, but the single mother has remained in her property and vowed she would not move until she gets the deal she wants.
Mrs Schmedeman is demanding the MoD rehouse her and pay for the removal costs – and has threatened to barricade herself in the house if anybody attempts to force her out.
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The move has been ordered as part of a drive to increase security at RAF Mildenhall in wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
USAF bosses at the base want to close all roads near the site to reduce the threat of attacks. As part of the move, the MoD purchased the homes in Waterworks Road from Anglian Water Group in October and is moving tenants out so the route can be closed.
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Mrs Schmedeman has lived in the house with her son Bobby, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, since 2000 and was horrified after being told she had to leave.
"I was supposed to leave on Thursday, but I am not going until the MoD promises to rehouse me and pay for the cost of moving," she said.
"I have officially only been offered £3,000, but I don't want the money, I want somewhere to live. I am angry we are being forced to leave because our home is between two fences so I don't see how it is a security risk."
Mrs Schmedeman added: "If I am forced to leave now, I will probably end up in a hostel or a shelter, but that is not suitable for me or my son.
"I will go without a fuss as long as I am rehoused by the MoD and I have instructed my solicitor to put in that offer, but I haven't heard a thing yet. If anyone tries to move me, I will barricade myself in my house. It is looking like I will have to sit here before I am taken to court."
A spokesman for the MoD said it had offered Mrs Schmedeman a compensation package, although she was not legal entitled to one, and added it would continue to assist her in finding suitable accommodation.