Posh owner Darragh MacAnthony gives '˜full backing' to PT's St Michael's Gate campaign

Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony has given his full backing to our campaign to prevent a repeat of the St Michael's Gate evictions.

Friday, 6th January 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:42 pm
Darragh MacAnthony with a PT front page about St Michael's Gate EMN-161226-183538009

The plain-speaking Posh chairman said it was “scandalous” that people can be evicted from their homes and replaced by homeless people from other parts of the country.

He has now backed our government ePetition which calls for a change in the law to stop this practice from continuing.

Mr MacAnthony, who made his fortune through a property development business, told the Peterborough Telegraph: “The petition and its aim, after reading it in detail, it 100 per cent has my full backing.

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“I had no idea this nonsense went on and the loophole that exists for obvious exploitation and how it then affects so many people.

“It’s actually scandalous when you hear about it for the first time.”

Mr MacAnthony is the first big name to support the PT which broke the story of the evictions back in September.

Our campaign is calling on the Government to change the law so that a host council has to agree if homeless people are to be moved into its patch from another part of the country.

It follows the St Michael’s Gate scandal where 74 people and their families are being evicted so they can be replaced by homeless people.

Peterborough City Council has agreed a three-year deal worth nearly £3 million to lease the properties to help with its lack of temporary accommodation.

Currently, it is reliant on Travelodges to house the homeless.

The council’s deal for the St Michael’s Gate homes - some of which are being converted into houses of multiple occupation - was agreed with housing firm Stef & Philips, the managing agents for the properties.

The homes are owned by Paul Simon Magic Homes.

The council has repeatedly insisted that if it did not do a deal with Stef & Philips then the firm would instead turn to a London borough which would move its homeless people into St Michael’s Gate instead.

The PT’s ePetition wants to make that threat impossible in the future. Other people to sign our ePetition include Stuart Orme, historian and head of operations at Peterborough Cathedral, and Toby Wood, vice-chairman of the Peterborough Civic Society.

Toby said: “Peterborough Civic Society is seriously concerned about the lack of high quality affordable housing in the city and welcomes any attempt by politicians, both local and national, to provide sustainable housing solutions for Peterborough people.

“The current situation around the St Michael’s Gate evictions is distressing and unfair on the residents and does not show the city in a positive light.”

Peterborough entrepreneur Joseph Valente, who won The Apprentice in 2015, has also shown his surprise at what is happening at St Michael’s Gate. He wrote on Twitter: “People losing their homes to provide for homeless people? Are the residents re-homed? If not I don’t get the logic.”

To support the PT’s campaign, visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/175681.