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No To Royal Park Evictions

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

GMB Contest Royal Park Evictions In London Court On 15th December Of Two Members From Housing In Brompton Cemetery And Hyde Park

Union to contest possession on the basis that residency is a contractual right under members terms and conditions of employment says GMB.

GMB is contesting eviction proceedings against two members at 10am tomorrow (15th December) begun by Royal Parks to be heard at Central London County Court.

The eviction proceedings covers two members in tied accommodation now employed by OCS who have a contract to run the Royal Parks.

The contract to run the Royal Parks was transferred in October 2014 from Amey to OCS under a TUPE transfer.

One of the members facing eviction proceedings is Jay Roos who is the cemetery manager at Brompton Cemetery in Chelsea. Jay and his family have lived in the North West Lodge at Brompton since December 2006 when he began his job as cemetery manager. Jay lives with his partner Eva and their 2 year old son, at the Lodge.

The second member facing eviction lives in the Clock tower in Cumberland Gate in Hyde Park.

On 15th December there will also be a meeting of the London Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund to consider the application for Heritage Lottery Fund monies in respect of a development plan for Brompton Cemetery. GMB has written to London Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund drawing their attention to these eviction proceedings which are contrary to the original development plan. See notes to editors for copy of GMB letter to members of the London Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Maria Ludkin, GMB National Officer for legal and corporate affairs, said “The contract to run the Royal Parks was transferred last October by Amey to OCS under a TUPE transfer. Amey stopped paying rent to Royal Parks and OCS do not accept that residency is a TUPE contract term and so did not start paying.

GMB is contesting that this is part of the TUPE transfer and we have separate employment proceedings related to that to be heard next spring.

GMB has also written to the Heritage Lottery Fund advising them that Jay Roos has now been served with a notice to quit Brompton Cemetery by Royal Parks, and eviction proceedings have begun. We told them that GMB is representing members at a hearing on December 15th at Central London County Court with a view to contesting the possession on the basis that residency in the cemetery is a contractual right under members terms and conditions.

GMB has also pointed out to the Heritage Lottery Fund that a contingent piece of the application is funding to refurbish the South Lodge in order to allow the cemetery manager and his family to relocate there when the North Lodge is refurbished as a non-residential space.

Assurances in relation to this relocation were given repeatedly to Jay and his family as he assisted in the preparation of the application to the Heritage Fund.

We have asked to Heritage Lottery Fund to consider the social impact of another working family being evicted from London in a manner that would jeopardise continued employment as part of a development plan that the Big Lottery Fund will have approved. We have asked that they reiterate to the Royal Parks that the continuing residency of the cemetery manager remains a contingent condition for any grant they choose to give.”

End

Contact:  Maria Ludkin 07956 632657, Gary Carter 07738 958140 or GMB Press Office 07921 289 880, 07974 251 823

Notes to editors

Copy of GMB letter to members of the London Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund

Re. Heritage Lottery Fund meeting Regarding Brompton Cemetery Application being held on 15th December.
 

For the attention of the members of the London Committee;

Mrs Blondel Cluff (Chair)
Hilary Carty
Jenny Cousins
Sandie Dawe CBE
Rachel Hasted
Jonathan Sheaff
Jennifer Ullman


Dear Committee members

We write in respect of the application for Heritage Lottery Fund monies in respect of a development plan for Brompton Cemetery, which we understand you will be considering on 15th December.

We represent our member Jay Roos, who is the cemetery manager at Brompton Cemetery. Jay, and his family have lived in the North West Lodge at Brompton since December 2006 when he began his job as cemetery manager.

Jay lives with his partner Eva and their 2 year old son, at the Lodge. Their son has of course never lived anywhere else, but in particular has been the recipient of specialist care and ongoing after care at Royal Brompton Hospital as a result life saving intervention surgery he experienced at birth.

As you can imagine Jay has accumulated a huge knowledge of the history and development of Brompton Cemetery, knowledge that has been heavily utilised as part of not only the application put to Heritage Lottery Fund but also as an integral part of the planning application to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, as part of that development plan.

You will note in your own paperwork that a contingent piece of the application is funding to refurbish the South Lodge in order to allow the cemetery manager and his family to relocate there so that the North Lodge is then refurbished in line with the development plan as a non residential space

Assurances in relation to this relocation were given repeatedly to Jay and his family as he assisted in the preparation of the application before you.

It may therefore surprise you to hear that Jay has now been served with a notice to quit by Royal Parks, and eviction proceedings begun. In fact we are representing Jay at a hearing on December 15th at Central London County Court with a view to contesting the possession on the basis that residency in the cemetery is a contractual right under Jay’s terms and conditions.

However given the fact that the application for redevelopment of the site, which Jay and his family fully support and have no wish to sabotage, contains a contingency that Jay’s residency in Brompton Cemetery will not be terminated, we felt it was important to write to you and raise the issue.

We would ask that in your deliberations before and on the 15th, you consider the social impact of another working family being evicted from London in a manner that would jeopardise continued employment as part of a development plan that the Big Lottery Fund will have approved. .

We would request that you reiterate to the Royal Parks that the continuing residency of the cemetery manager remains a contingent condition for any grant you may choose to give.

We would very much appreciate the help and support of the Heritage Lottery Fund in relation to this matter.

Yours Sincerely

Maria Ludkin
Legal Director

 

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