On 14DEC16 from 17h30, tenants under the threat of eviction from St Michael’s Gate will be joined by a coalition of Labour supporters, allies from other parties and people from neighbouring areas to protest -outside a Full Council meeting- against the decision by Peterborough City Council to enter into a contract with a private landlord, who in order to provide 98 units to house homeless people in St Michael’s Gate, Paston, will evict families from 74 homes – making them homeless because there is no available public or private rented accommodation in Peterborough. None? Well, probably about half a dozen vacant between someone moving out and the next occupier moving in.
So why go ahead with a plan to evict 74 families? To ‘save money’. Excuse me? It saves money to dispossess 74 families of their homes and have the legal responsibility to rehouse them…. exactly where?
But there’s more: the people who were homeless while St Michael’s gate was inconveniently occupied by tenants -and who will now have a roof over their heads- will now, by virtue of having a permanent address, be able to claim various benefits (as is their right and I welcome the fact that they will no longer be so destitute as some may be)… er, various benefits, I say, including that all-important housing benefit which will be used to pay the maximum rent which could be agreed to the eviction landlord. This is a practice known as “benefit farming” in which an individual or company reaps taxpayers’ money for as long as the scam is allowed to continue.
The protesters will stand in the cold outside the Town Hall to raise awareness whilst a petition is presented to Peterborough City Council (who have rejected two previous petitions on the grounds that they did not satisfy the standards they require for such submissions – even though one was in electronic form via the Council’s website!)
Will you join these brave people? Will you wait an hour with them? Longer if you can manage it? I would love to have this as a fixture like the anti-war protests in Parliament Square, shaming the Councillors who turn up for business and cowering those too ashamed to show themselves.
It has been said that we are all of us only three payments away from being in the same position. This time it is not the same as the repossessions during the 1984 miners’ strike period – where there was a political element to engineering homelessness; this is about money, pure and simple. “Greed” if you are on the left, “just business” if you are a Tory.
Sometimes you have to speak up and sometimes you have to roar yourself hoarse.