Monday, 14 December 2009

The Spirit of Christmas

Homeless shelters in London might be even more packed than usual this Christmas as around 300 squatters were evicted from a block of flats that have stood empty for 3 years in Poplar Tower Hamlets say the squatters, which include families. Carrying out the eviction, 2 weeks before Christmas seems Grinch plus Scrooge in the anti-festive stakes.

Police formed a cordon surrounding the entire 6 storey 90 flat block as Tower Hamlets council officers moved in to the flats. A police helicopter circled overhead as they moved through the 90 flats. Construction workers have now moved in to begin securing the site with metal linked fences.

The building itself was sold to the construction group Bellway in April 2009 who plan to demolish it in order to further landscape the park which it sits in and create a new public canalside picnic and recreation area. This forms one of their local commitments under their plans for the 'New Frontier Quarter' development awaiting planning permission at the opposite end of the Park.

In the weekly East London Advertiser it’s reported that Town Hall bosses in Tower Hamlets have been given more power to manage waiting lists by the Housing Minister John Healey, but this I fear may be a bit suspect in light of what national housing charity Shelter revealed that Tower Hamlets would take 10 years to clear the waiting lists at present rates.
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