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From: Notebook, 13 September 2016: Brief articles and notes on the Socialist Party website

Search site for keywords: Butterfields - Appeal - Tenants - Council

Butterfields financial appeal

An appeal from Waltham Forest Trades Council

Dear Friends,

Butterfields tenants have been fighting eviction since January 2016. They have put up spirited resistance. But now the new landlords are bringing possession summonses. The courts are stacked against tenants in every way.

Tenants have already raised funds with a comedy night, donations from various organisations, trade unions and individuals, and through crowdfunding. But the courts are another matter.

The families urgently need your help to raise 15,000. If we can't raise money then their campaign will move straight to facing bailiffs. Can you and your organisation make a donation towards our legal challenge?

The history

Butterfields Won't Budge is a campaign of around 50 tenants and their families who live in two small roads called Butterfields and Shernhall Street in Walthamstow, on the edge of an area becoming rapidly gentrified. These small two-bedroom flats were built about 70 years and were owned in more recent times by Glasspool, a charitable company. Nine months ago Glasspool sold out to a very aggressive property company - Butterfields E17 Ltd - without any guarantees for tenants. Immediately the new landlords set about trying to evict the tenants, some who have lived there for ten years and more. In January this year many received Letters to Quit asking them to leave their homes within two months.

The tenants could not afford the sky-rocketing local rents. The council could not be relied upon to rehouse them adequately. They had nowhere to go. They want to stay where they have families, friends, jobs and children's schools. They are a community. Their appeal to the local trades council Housing Action Network was taken up. In January at the first street meeting it was decided they would resist. A Tenants' and Residents' Association (TRA) was established and a plan of action worked out.

Campaigning activities have included:

■ Posters in windows, a big banner in the street, and then placards in gardens all declaring 'Butterfields Won't Budge'

■ Appeals to local trade unions and political parties, and an online petition launched

■ A march through local main roads

■ Pickets of the auction houses like Savills to stop the sell-off of empty flats

■ Coverage on TV, radio and both local and national press

■ Demonstration outside the landlord's mansion and a protest letter delivered

■ Harassment resisted with the police warning the landlord's front-man off the estate

■ An 'estate agents crawl' to ask them not to handle any flats - with an amazingly positive response!

Many thanks in anticipation of a generous donation,
Linda Taaffe (secretary, Waltham Forest Trades Council)
  • To send a message of support please contact the TRA secretary - nicole.holgate@gmail.com
  • To donate contact the TRA treasurer - adriennew115@hotmail.com
  • Also contact wftradescouncil@gmail.com or ring 07952 283 558
  • Get the latest information on the Facebook page - Butterfields Won't Budge





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