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Islington Council to paint over Finsbury pensioner’s artwork loved by neighbours

PUBLISHED: 09:16 06 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:16 06 February 2015

Resident Jo White is upset as the council wants to paint over her stencil artworks

Resident Jo White is upset as the council wants to paint over her stencil artworks

Archant

A pensioner has said she was told she could be evicted when the council discovered she had repainted the hallway outside her flat.

Jo White, 65, spent weeks painting the 10th floor corridor outside her apartment in Turnpike House, Finsbury, after gaining the approval of her neighbours.

She bordered the halls with farmyard animals and even a tractor for her eight-year-old neighbour.

But despite fellow residents saying the designs have brightened up their lives the town hall is set to paint over them.

Ms White said: “Two people from the council came round and said I had to take it all off, I told them I wouldn’t and I was told the council would paint over it and that I could be evicted for doing it.

“I didn’t know I would need permission to make it look nicer. No one can see it unless they come to this landing and the other tenants on this landing want it left as it is.”

Ms White cleans the corridor twice a week and says it is by the far the best maintained in the block.

Her neighbour, 94-year-old Thomas Turney, who was one of the first people to move in to the tower block, said the landing was “by far the best in the block”.

“Not one landing is cleaner or better than this one,” said Ms White. “I’ve replaced all the door mats, I scrub all the tiles – I’ve taken it upon myself to do all the cleaning as otherwise the council don’t do it.”

The council said it regularly maintains and decorates all its housing blocks and that residents need permission to do any work to communal areas.

The town hall also denied that Ms White was told she could be evicted.

A spokesman said: “In this case the areas had just been freshly decorated but the resident did not consult us before painting over them.

“We informed her that this was in breach of her tenancy agreement but she carried out further stencilling so we will now take the necessary enforcement action.”


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