May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Haringey Council has been accused of neglecting old people from the Afro Caribbean community, following a decision to evict a pensioners’ group from its home by the end of the year.
The Caribbean Senior Citizens’ Association (CSCA) has spent months resisting council attempts to make it leave the Welbourne Community Centre, in Chestnut Road, Tottenham.
On Friday, following the latest appeal hearing at Edmonton County Court, the CSCA agreed with the council out of court to leave by December 31.
Chairman Paul Leslie said the group agreed because there were “too many risks in terms of cost” should the court case eventually find in the council’s favour.
Mr Leslie said there was now a “distinct possibility” the group would be homeless by the new year, adding: “I think the council have certainly neglected old people from black and minority ethnic communities. They haven’t listened in this case at all.”
A council spokesman said the compromise agreed was “extremely generous on our part” considering the CSCA had “a year of rent arrears”.
The council began action to remove the group last year after the accrual of up to £20,000 in rent arrears.
However, Mr Leslie insists a reorganisation of the charity means there is now a sustainable business plan in place which has enabled the group to meet recent rent payments and will allow it to settle its debt.
He added: “It beggars belief why the council would want to throw out a group that is paying its way when they haven’t got rid of the land.”
The council spokesman added: “The council cannot keep making up for shortfalls in rent.
“However, we are committed to providing support to groups or vulnerable individuals affected by this re-possession and several community organisations in the borough continue to service the African Caribbean community.”