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George runs a garage from his south London railway arch. His 93-year-old dad, Ronnie, started the business in 1960. But his landlord raised his rent from £33,000 a year to £147,000 and George doesn’t see how he can carry on: “People in cities and towns all over the country rely on our businesses every day. We are the beating heart of our communities, but we’re being destroyed.”
George’s rent demand came from Network Rail, who have been increasing rents across the country. Now, as part of former Chancellor George Osborne’s policy of selling off public assets, they plan to sell their railway arches to property speculators.
Together we can stop this sell-off. Arches tenants across the country are fighting back. But they need your help – please donate today to support their campaign.
When you look at the buyers Network Rail have shortlisted, it is easy to see why these small business owners are so worried. Can we really expect the likes of finance giants Goldman Sachs to have the interests of George and the community he serves at heart?
But the fightback has started. Arches tenants have come together to form the ‘Guardians of the Arches’. Following national media coverage, more than 7,000 people signed a letter calling on Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to halt the sale. Tenants spoke at a packed Parliamentary event attended by cross-party MPs including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
Already Network Rail have been forced to delay their deadline from August to ‘the end of the year’. But the sale will only be stopped permanently if we can keep up the pressure on the government.
From day one, NEF has been working closely with the Guardians, using our economics expertise, media reach and political connections to boost their campaign. But we need your support to sustain this pressure and make it clear to the government that they cannot just force through yet another short-sighted and damaging sale of a public asset.
By giving £10, or whatever you can afford, you could help to
You can help stop this sale of public land. Support the campaign today.
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