'˜Unacceptable!' MP pledges to come after firm evicting tenants from Peterborough's St Michael's Gate
Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said he will '˜take the fight' to a firm evicting tenants from 74 properties at St Michael's Gate in Parnwell.
Mr Jackson said he will use his influence in Parliament to take the fight to Stef & Philips, one of the companies whose “morally repugnant” actions have left families unsure where they will be waking up on Christmas Day.
The MP was angry that despite writing to the firm a month ago to find out about its plans for St Michael’s Gate, he has still received no response.
The Peterborough Telegraph has also tried to secure a face-to-face interview with a director at Stef & Philips. But despite visiting its offices in north London we are still awaiting a response.
Stef & Philips is the managing agents for the 74 properties, which are owned by another north London firm, Paul Simon Magic Homes. The PT also visited Paul Simon in Palmers Green, north London, but after repeated requests for an interview was eventually told “no comment.”
Stef & Philips has now signed a deal worth nearly £1 million a year with Peterborough City Council which will use the vacated properties as temporary accommodation for homeless people.
The deal finally got the go- ahead last week after a final challenge by councillors was dramatically defeated.
Stef & Philips, which describes itself as an estate agent, is converting the 74 properties into 98, with some becoming Houses of Multiple Occupation.
Mr Jackson said: “The so-called Stef & Phillips “business model” is morally repugnant and frankly stinks.
“We don’t want them in my constituency.
“I find it unacceptable that this company in receipt of public funds feels unable to account for their behaviour and I am determined to take this matter further in Parliament with ministers, so this can’t happen again.”
Mr Jackson has now requested a special debate in Parliament and has been told his request will be considered by the Government.
The PT sent an email to Shaz Wasim, business development director at Stef & Philips, on Friday morning. After receiving no response we called in the afternoon and was told he should be in on Monday.
We drove to their office on Monday, which lies opposite Broomfield Park in an up-market part of London.
We asked to speak to the manager about a story we are running. The person we spoke to walked a few feet to speak to a colleague. On her return she said the owner is away until next week and that we would have to make an appointment to see him.
When asked who the owner is, we were told: “I think you already know.”
We then rang back on Wednesday and were told our interview request would be put to a director, but nobody has called back.
We rang Paul Simon on Monday morning and were told to email our interview request. Upon visiting their offices, which has a small entrance in a high street tucked between a fruit and veg store and an estate agency, we were told the directors who could talk to us were out but should be back in the afternoon.
We returned at 2pm but were told nobody was there. We were then told somebody would respond to our email.
After not hearing back we called again yesterday and were told “no comment.”