Elderly resident at St Michael’s Gate calls for fight over evictions which have ‘left people in tears’

Michael Dingeldein. Picture by Terry Harris
Michael Dingeldein. Picture by Terry Harris
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An elderly resident living at St Michael’s Gate in Parnwell has called for people to fight the mass evictions on the estate.

Michael Dingeldein (75) has lived in his home for 21 years and is now seeing neighbours leave in tears after being told they leave.

Michael Dingeldein with his Rottweiler Lola. Picture by Terry Harris

Michael Dingeldein with his Rottweiler Lola. Picture by Terry Harris

It follows, as the Peterborough Telegraph exclusively revealed, a deal made by Peterborough City Council with a property firm which is evicting all 74 tenants on the site, many of whom have young children.

The council will use the vacated properties as temporary accommodation as it seeks a solution for the large growth in homelessness in the city.

The PT has previously reported that the authority is expecting an overspend of at least £1.2 million this financial year after being forced to put up homeless families in a Travelodge due to a shortage of available hostels and B&B accommodation.

Mr Dingdelein, who lives with his eight-year-old Rottweiler called Lola, has not received his eviction letter yet but has seen other families already move out of St Michael’s Gate.

He said: “Some have left in tears. It all started about a month ago when out of the blue certain people got these letters.

“Since these letters have arrived people have left but some are sticking to their guns.

“I’ve been here 21 years and it’s all very nasty. But I’m not panicking until I get a letter.

“All these people work - we pay rent and our council tax.

“I’m angry for the people that have left. I’m trying to give them confidence to stay so we have the ammunition to fight.

“If there’s a housing shortage where are they going?

“I do not want to move, I love the place, everyone loves the place. It’s quiet and we have good neighbours.”

The firm carrying out the evictions is Paul Simon Magic Homes, with the properties managed by Stef and Philips.

Peterborough City Council has agreed a three-year lease with Stef and Philips, with a break clause at the end of the second year, for St Michael’s Gate to be used as temporary accommodation for homeless families at a cost of £966,337 per year.

However, the decision has been called-in by councillors upset at the deal.

Stef and Philips told the PT that it has no role in any evictions and that its only responsibility will be managing the properties on behalf of Paul Simon.

The PT rang Paul Simon which said it would not be commenting on the story, before then promising to ring back.

After no call was received, the PT rang back the following day and was told there would be “no comment whatsoever.”

Adrian Chapman, service director for adults and communities for the council, said if the council did not use the properties then they would be rented out to another organisation, most likely another council.

He added: “It would be foolish of the council to take this approach when it has such a high need.”

The PT is running a series of interviews with families and individuals who are facing eviction from St Michael’s Gate. The first has already been published on our website (see below) with more to come over the coming days.

The PT is running a series of interviews with families and individuals who are facing eviction from St Michael’s Gate (see below).

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