Faced with the implacable refusal of the tax office to actually look at the evidence (my cottage) I was extremely grateful when a heroic friend joined in the battle, meeting the usual 'the evidence has not changed'.

So we took the problem to Kit Malthouse MP, to whom I will forever be profoundly grateful.

A valuation officer came promptly to see the evidence, which promptly became band D. 

The list of deciding factors had never mentioned one, interestingly. Sloping ceilings, common to most old cottages. Two of my four bedroom walls are 3ft high. What else is left off the list we are told applies to banding? 

The cottage has not changed since the original banding was introduced in '91. So statements that the 'evidence has not changed' when the evidence was never looked at are obviously meaningless. 

UK officialdom has a very curious approach to the word evidence, easily found in the dictionary. I was one of several thousand victims of organochlorine and organ phosphate pesticides in the late 80s, never acknowledged by the HSE or the NHS. 

'There is no evidence' we were told. 

But we were the evidence. The information could have been gathered from us but never was. In how many other areas is this happening? 

So many thanks to Kit Malthouse for having my problem returned at last to its obvious starting question, a reality not a fantasy assumption. 

The evidence was the cottage. The cottage was always here. Valuation decisions were all made without it.

In how many other cases has this happened? Would fantasy instead of reality be legally allowed in any other area? 

Margaret Reichlin

MacCullum Road

Upper Enham 

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