Peterborough MP raises St Michael's Gate evictions in Parliament as ePetition begins to secure special debate

An ePetition has been started to secure a special debate at Peterborough City Council over the evictions at St Michael's Gate in Parnwell.

Thursday, 20th October 2016, 4:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 2:33 pm
St Michael's Gate public meeting with Stewart Jackson and Wayne Fitzgerald at Parnwell community centre EMN-161016-161242009
St Michael's Gate public meeting with Stewart Jackson and Wayne Fitzgerald at Parnwell community centre EMN-161016-161242009

Tenants at 74 homes are being evicted by two private firms which then did a deal with the council for it move its homeless people into the properties.

The deal was finally signed off on Wednesday evening (October 19) after Liberal Democrat councillors were defeated in their attempt to call the decision in.

The call-in, if approved, would have forced the council cabinet responsible for signing off the deal, Cllr David Seaton, to re-consider it.

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Cllr Seaton has argued that if the council did not sign the deal, another authority would move its homeless people in instead.

The ePetition, which can be signed on the Peterborough City Council website, will be debated by councillors at a meeting of the full council if it reaches 500 signatures.

The ePetition has been started by Leah Robb and so far has 69 signatures. It states: “We would like a full council meeting to discuss what we can do to stop 74 families being evicted.”

In a further development, MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson has called for a debate in Parliament over the working model of Stef and Philips, the firm which has signed the contract with the council so it can use the properties on the estate as temporary accommodation.

Stef and Philips are the managing agents for the properties which are owned by Paul Simon Magic Homes, although both companies share the same director.

Mr Jackson said in Parliament today (Thursday, October 20): “Last week, I hosted a meeting of my constituents in St Michael’s Gate in Peterborough, many of whom will be evicted shortly as a result of a deal between Peterborough City Council and the north London estate agent Stef & Philips.

“They will be replaced by homeless people from the council’s homeless list, so may we have a debate on housing benefit regulations and the dubious and morally repugnant business model that prioritises housing benefit income for these people, rather than the interests of my long-standing constituents?”

In response, Leader of the House of Commons David Lidington said: “I am concerned to hear about what is happening in Peterborough. If my hon. Friend would care to provide me with the details, I will draw them to the attention of the responsible minister straightaway.”