Clerkenwell poet’s treasured photos destroyed after mix-up
16:19 15 June 2012
A poet’s treasured personal possessions were destroyed while in storage with a former council housing provider.
After an alleged massive mix up between Homes for Islington (HfI) and Crown Removals & Promotions, invaluable family photographs, journals and published poems belonging to Jeanette Ju-Pierre were thrown away without warning.
In January last year HfI stored the items with a removal company before it was due to refurbish her kitchen and bathroom at her property in Rawstone Street, Clerkenwell.
When the work was delayed, there was a mistake in communication and the goods were dumped when they should have been returned.
Ms Ju-Pierre, 52, who works for the Department for Transport (DfT) and has had poems published in various anthologies, said: “I wish I never put my personal possessions in their hands.
“I feel anxious every day and have been mentally disturbed. I have lost sleep and my blood pressure has increased.
“The goods were worth around £500 but you can’t put a price on the sentimental value.”
Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South, said: “This is a really sad story of a woman who has been a victim of incompetence by HfI and the storage company.
“This issue needs to be resolved quickly and professionally.”
HfI, the arms length management company which managed council properties, was brought in-house last year.
Islington Council has given Ms Ju-Pierre £500 to cover the insured belongings and a £100 goodwill gesture.
Cllr James Murray, executive member for housing and development, said: “I was sorry to hear about Ms Ju-Pierre’s posessions being disposed of after this mistake, and the council has apologised.
“I know many of the items won’t be replaceable.
“I have also spoken to senior officers about reviewing how this mistake happened and have asked them to take appropriate action.”
Steve Puddick, owner of Crown Promotions & Removals based in Derby Road, Hackney, said: “The housing association was paying for the storage and asked us to dispose of the belongings, so it is their responsibility.”