December 13 2013 Latest news:
by Sarah Ingrams
Saturday, February 11, 2012
A clean-up project is under way after squatters vacated a scout hut in Holloway after more than 10 days.
Between 12 and 15 people set up camp in the Camden City and District Scout Centre in Holloway Road on January 25.
Scouting district commissioner John Cronin discovered the occupation two days later and was forced to cancel several events.
But they vacated the hut on Monday, leaving behind damage and a note claiming that they had mistakenly thought the building was abandoned.
Mr Cronin said: “We have got no idea who these people were and what they have been up to here. I am relieved and we have been lucky.
“I think they realised quite early on that they had made a mistake that the building wasn’t abandoned and derelict.
“Once the squatters saw they were having an impact on all manner of events and activities they realised it was time to go.
“Perhaps they weren’t as homeless as they might have liked us to believe.”
Mr Cronin continued: “The damage is little and quite easy to fix. Everything has been moved around but I think we have been quite fortunate. They seem to have left us quite a lot of stuff like old clothes and mattresses.
‘‘It will all have to be disposed of but half term is a good opportunity to get people in to help us clean and tidy up.”
MP for Islington South and Finsbury, Emily Thornberry, had been ready to join a campaign to move the intruders out with colleagues including Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn.
She said: “Although it seems the squatters did the washing up after themselves, the hut has still been left in a rather horrible state.” She urged the public to join a clean-up at 6pm on Friday.
One scout group had planned a homelessness awareness evening this weekend which will still go ahead.