Fury over housing chiefs cutting washing lines in East End

FAMILIES are furious after a squad of council housing officials and police in London’s East End turned up today to cut their washing lines and impound kids’ bikes left outside their homes.

The tenants of Poplar’s Will Crooks housing estate—in the shadow of Canary Wharf—are holding a protest meeting tonight to get their washing lines and doormats back.

A team from Tower Hamlets Homes went into the estate this morning accompanied by two officers to enforce new rules on ‘health and safety.’

But angry tenants claim it’s a ‘cosmetic’ exercise to get rid of ‘unsightly’ washing lines in view of their ‘posh’ neighbours in the Canary Wharf tower blocks 300 yards away.

“It’s absolutely blazing mad—Big Brother gone mad,” poverty campaigner Sister Christine Frost, who lives on the 1930s estate, told the East London Advertiser.

“They removed metal doors, iron grills and bikes including at least one child’s bike—they’ve even taken doormats and plant pots.”

The families are holding a ‘council of war’ this-evening at the estate community centre where they have launched a petition demanding their washing lines back.

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The only warning they got was a letter through the post last week, before the ‘squad’ turned up.

“We are not going to be driven out,” Sister Christina added. “To focus on this ridiculous thing is quite stupid, when there’s all the anti-social behaviour they should be dealing with.”

Tower Hamlets Homes, the housing arm of the local authority, confirmed tonight that officers had been to the Will Crooks estate on the advice of the London Fire Brigade “to carry out tenancy enforcement work including the removal of washing lines, bikes and other obstructions as a landlord to keep residents safe.”

But instead it has drawn their anger.