VIDEO: Peterborough MP hands in St Michael's Gate petition to Parliament
MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson has handed in a petition of 1,400 signatures to try and prevent the evictions at St Michael's Gate in Parnwell.
The petition was handed into the Speaker of the Commons last night (Wednesday, November 2) and it calls for the Commons to put pressure on Peterborough City Council to prevent the evictions from 74 properties.
The council has signed a three-year contract worth £2.9 million with Stef & Philips to use the properties as temporary accommodation for homeless people once the current tenants have left.
The 74 properties will be renovated to become 98 properties, some of which will be Houses of Multiple Occupation.
The council is currently aware of four properties at the estate which are vacant and ready to let.
A spokeswoman said it does not have definitive dates for the remaining residents to depart “as they may leave on expiry of their notice requiring possession or they may wish to remain until the landlord obtains an order for possession from the court.”
The landlord of the properties is Paul Simon Magic Homes, while Stef & Philips is the managing agents.
Mr Jackson, who has been very critical of Stef & Philips’ business model, told the Peterborough Telegraph last week his letter to the firm asking about its intentions for St Michael’s Gate had been unanswered for a month.
But speaking on Tuesday (November 1) he said has now been contacted by a senior employee from Stef & Philips, which classes itself as an estate agent.
Mr Jackson said he had spoken to Shaz Wasim, business development director at Stef & Philips, who “said he had been on holiday, which was why he had not got back to me.”
The MP added: “He said to visit him. I said it was not appropriate until he has replied to my letter which he said he will do in the next few days.”
One of the residents who is losing her home is Beverley Nicholls, whose notice of possession to leave her property ended on Monday.
Once that date expires, it is up to the landlord to get an eviction notice from court, but Beverley said she had been given an extra month to leave by Stef & Philips after she found another property to move into, albeit at considerable expense.
Beverley (55) who has lived with son Harry (21) at their home for 10 years, said: “In the rental market in Peterborough there are up to 30 people applying for each property. I know another resident here contacted the council and was put on the housing register, but there are 183 people on the list.
“As much as I would like to take a stand and barricade ourselves in, practically I can’t do that because if I lose that property who knows what will happen. But it is costing me thousands of pounds to move and I will go into debt.”