Crown Estate tenants to lobby MPs over sell-off plans
PUBLISHED: 12:40 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:33 05 October 2010
KEY workers living in Crown estate rented properties in London working in essential public services have begun a campaign against plans to sell off their homes. They are meeting MPs at Westminster and organising a protest in East London
KEY workers living in Crown estate rented properties in London working in essential public services have begun a campaign today against a proposal to sell off their homes.
They are meeting MPs at Westminster on Friday and organising a protest on Saturday in East London.
The tenants have received letters about plans to sell off the freehold and management of the properties owned by the Crown Estate next to Victoria Park at Bethnal Green and South Hackney, and properties at Cumberland Market near Regent’s Park, Millbank in Westminster and Lee Green in south-east London.
“People are really shocked and worried for their future,” said Victoria Park Crown Residents Association chair Joannie Andrews.
“Some are now elderly and vulnerable. A real sense of community has been built up in these streets, a nice social mix which is increasingly rare to find.”
The tenants include teachers, health and transport workers, firefighters and police officers who say they would not be able to afford to live in Inner London. Some elderly residents have lived in them for 40 years or more. Joan Bird, who is 94 and registered blind, has lived at Victoria Park since 1968 when she worked for Hackney social services.
School teacher Jamie Duff said: “We thought we had some security because of the key worker’ policy. Now there’s no guarantee what any new landlord will do.”
The campaigners are meeting MPs and Crown Estate representatives Friday at the House of Commons, and are organising a demonstration outside the Crown Estates’ Victoria Park housing office at Gore Road in South Hackney at 11am Saturday.
The Crown Estate Board cites “duty to maintain and enhance the value of the estate and the income it generates for UK taxpayers’ in its sell off’ consultation.
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