Anger as 'vulnerable and elderly' couple face eviction from Poplar Dock
Over 1,000 people have signed a petition urging the landlords of Poplar Dock to overturn a decision to evict a couple in their seventies.
Rod Taylor and Annie Gavin, who have both recently undergone treatment for cancer, have lived at the site for 14 years but face being kicked out following a lengthy dispute over rising charges, which ended up in court.
Earlier this month the couple were sent a letter from British Waterways Marinas Limited accusing them of costing the firm "substantial legal costs" and saying Rod, 75, who is recovering from lung cancer and last year suffered heart failure, had "become aggressive".
Now management at the company also insist say terms and conditions have been breached, although it admits the couple have not missed payments.
Speaking to The Wharf, Rod (pictured above) said receiving the 28-day eviction notice was heartbreaking.
"We're not going anywhere," he said. "It's a great community there's nowhere else like it in London and we've made a lot of good friends."
The recent court case was won by BWML but Rod said he will appeal. He believes it is this action which led to the eviction notice.
The petition, which has received 1,042 signatures in just three days, states: "Rod contested a range of inconsistencies in the company's terms & conditions, and in promises and statements made to customers over the years. He was effectively standing up for all BWML customers, who would have benefited from a judgement in his favour."
It is calling on BWML's owners, the charity Canal and River Trust to act in the face of "aggressive actions" by its subsidiary.
In a statement put out on Friday, BWML's operations director Darren Bramhall responded: "We have operated totally within our terms and conditions and this unfortunate action was a necessary business decision, however hard that may sound.
"For many years, BWML has tried very hard to explain the need for compliance with the agreed exchanged contract terms and conditions. It is only reasonable that both parties, when these contracts are exchanged, agree to the compliance."
Rod denies the couple have breached any terms and conditions while the company insists it cannot go into details due to the Data Protection Act.