Brent Council throws out �100,000 worth of goods belonging to charity
Second blow for ‘homeless’ organisation
Council chiefs have thrown away more than �100,000 worth of goods belonging to charity just weeks after they booted the organisation out of its home.
Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye, founder of the Mission Dine Club, has slammed Brent Council for disposing of the goods which had been kept in storage since the charity was evicted from its home in Fry Road, Harlesden.
However, the council claims Dame Betty missed three deadlines to collect the goods.
Dame Betty said: “First they demolish the centre and now this what have I done to deserve it?
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“I don’t know what to do I have been in tears, this has shocked me more than anything that has happened to me.”
Dame Betty has been at loggerheads with the council since they declared they need the site, which they own, to expand neighbouring Newfield Primary School.
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But the building itself belongs to the charity which was paid for by money donated to Dame Betty from a number of organisations including the Big Lottery Fund.
On August 1 this year, bailiffs took over the building and the charity’s belongings which furniture and kitchen equipment worth more than �100,000 was taken to a council-owned warehouse on Bryan Avenue, Willesden.
Dame Betty claimed that, despite warnings from the council she was unable to collect the belongings because she was ill, when she turned up to collect them last week she was told they had been thrown away.
She said: “All my personal memories have gone, I have been helping the community for 25 years, the council were there at the opening of the centre and now I am being repaid like this.”
Cllr Reg Colwill, deputy lead member for conservative group, said: “There was no excuse to throw an old lady out of where she was but to be so draconian to throw away her belongings is heartless and wrong.”
However Brent Council claimed they did not renew the lease of Mission Dine Club’s premises earlier this year and took possession action because the club owed them �20,762 in rent, adding that a deadline for Dame Betty to collect her belongings was extended three times.
A spokesman said: “The club decided not to contest the possession action at court. The site will now be used for the expansion of Newfield Primary School, which will create more badly needed school places for children in Brent.”
He added: “Even with Dame Betty being ill there were other trustees who could have arranged the collection of the property; however, this was not done.”