Southwark Council Sends In Heavies

Deborah Hobson
Murat Karabetca
Southwark Council bailiffs have brought an end to popular businessman Murat Karabetca’s courageous fight to save his shop, Jade Dry Cleaners, from closure.
 In The-Latest story “Businessman’s Town Hall Nightmare” we reported on Murat's struggle to keep his 13-year-old Peckham business afloat with debts of £115,000, that piled up after the council reneged on a deal for him to buy the freehold of his shop to make way for a contentious regeneration project, which includes the building of a new Tesco Metro store.
In a move which has shocked locals, Southwark sent the bailiffs into Jade Dry Cleaners last week to demand immediate settlement of a £3,550 bill for rates. Unable to meet this payment and faced with the threat of the confiscation of equipment and goods, Murat has made the painful decision to stop trading.
He said: “I can’t do this anymore. I haven’t got the money to pay them. I phoned Paul Evans, Regeneration Manager at Southwark to tell him what happened and left three messages and he still hasn’t come back to me”. Murat has placed notices on the window of the dry cleaners, giving customers 28 days notice to collect their clothes. He said: “I don’t want to keep peoples clothes in the shop in case the bailiffs come and take them. The customers respect me and have given me a lot of support. I can’t do that to them”.
Without any immediate means of easing his financial woes and no offer of compensation from Southwark Council, Murat says he can only hope for a miracle.