Fresh policy brings in the bailiffs
Wednesday 13 January 1993
Most occupants had left before they arrived, but in one flat an illegal occupier protested vehemently as she cleared out her furniture. As with the majority of evictions there was no violence.
In another flat the occupants clearly did not believe that after all the warning letters, this time the council was not bluffing. The food in the fridge, the television, beds and other furniture all suggested the tenants still thought it was their home. But they would return to find the council's joiner had replaced the locks.
It is a slack week for the bailiffs as the Christmas break means fewer warrants for evictions have come through. But with Southwark applying for possession orders on 100 properties a week, it promises to get busier. If tenants turn up at special hearings held on Wednesdays, they stand a good chance of getting the possession order suspended in return for promising to pay off some of the arrears. If they fail to keep to the terms of the order Southwark will proceed to evict without having to go back to court.
'There has been a history of ducking and diving in Southwark, of not paying what you can get away with,' said Mike Gibson, the chairman of Southwark council's housing committee. 'In order to get across the message that we are serious we have no alternative to eviction.'
Gone are the ruling Labour group's policies of the mid-Eighties, which refused to countenance evicting squatters or tenants in arrears. With the borough no longer meriting the title 'squatter's paradise', those intent on squatting have to move to other boroughs.
'Our squatting used to be a form of social Darwinism, with fit young men taking over properties that were needed more by teenage mothers with children,' said Mr Gibson.
'For the first time in about five years we can definitely offer homeless families a home - it won't be Buckingham Palace, more likely the North Peckham Estate - but it will be a home rather than bed and breakfast.'
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 3 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 4 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
- 5 Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: Dublin in party mood ahead of historic poll result
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...