Dar­ragh gives his full back­ing to cam­paign

The Peter­bor­ough United owner calls St Michael’s Gate evic­tions “scan­dalous” as he backs the PT’s drive to change the law.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Special Report - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

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

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 gov­ern men te Pe­ti­tion which calls for a change in the law to stop this prac­tice from­con­tin­u­ing.

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.

“I had no idea t his 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 Mac An­thony 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 ac- com­mo­da­tion.

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’sePe­ti­tion wantsto make that threat im­pos­si­ble in the fu­ture. Other peo­ple to sign ou re Pe­ti­tion in­clude Stu­art Or me, 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 Val en te, who won The Ap­pren­tice in 2015, hasalso 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.

“It’s ac­tu­ally scan­dalous when you hear about it for the first time.” “The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is dis­tress­ing and un­fair.”

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