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Boundary Estate Laundrette

March 8, 2010
by

Helen At the Laundrette 5

Click here to become a fan of Boundary Estate Community Launderette.

Along with a great bunch of residents on the Boundary Estate with the help of the Environment Trust, I was one of many who helped get a not-for-profit community enterprise open in 1992.

Eighteen years on the number of us who have continued with managing the project, for many reasons, has dwindled to 3. But against the odds we’re open, employ 4 local people and ensure that local residents get a much needed value-for-money service geared to them.
All I’m asking you to do is become a fan of the launderette, and encourage many of your friends to do likewise. This could serve us very well in weeks to come, we want to be able to show that we are not only a valued and much used service, but have a wide level of support for the ideas and principles behind the business.

Suddenly realising that Calvert Avenue is now a prime property site, Tower Hamlets Council is threatening to whack up our rents to a level that we can’t afford. This threat has been with us over a year, and we have yet another meeting later this month.

Click here to become a fan of Boundary Estate Community Launderette.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/fasteddie42/ / CC BY 2.0
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. brendan sparks permalink
    March 8, 2010 9:03 pm

    So Tower Hamlets Council is threatening to raise your rent. I believe that’s just another indication of how out of touch local authorities can be. If they had any idea (and they should) of what a community focal point the launderette is, they would be making it possible for you to stay rather than wanting to drive you out. Wakey, wakey Tower Hamlets Council, you have an asset on your doorstep, help is what’s required, not obstruction!

  2. opal hatswell permalink
    March 8, 2010 9:58 pm

    I know this launderette having visited it a few times and each time I was impressed with how helpful and courteous everyone is there. I was also impressed by the community spirit that exists among the users and staff. No responsible council would try to undermine what this launderette has achieved, they would support it. Good luck to you all.

  3. Philip Green permalink
    March 10, 2010 11:27 am

    Thanks to all of you who are supporting the launderette. Jean Locker and I are the two original directors who were there at the setting up and opening of the launderette 18 years ago, and your support is greatly appreciated and heartwarming. Once we’ve had our meeting with the council next Monday, 15th March, we will of course let you know what the outcome is. Until then what we need are messages of support here and on facebook, (to become a fan there – look for Boundary Community Launderette), to let the council know how relevant the launderette is to the community and how it’s loss would be detrimental to the community. Any other form of campaigning or ‘upping the anti’ before then could be detrimental to us, as Jean and I have been working hard to try and get some form of reasonable relationship with the council and we don’t want to antagonise them just yet! Rest assured that if and when a strong campaign is needed Jean and I will let everyone know.

    Thanks again

    Philip Green,
    Voluntary Director, Boundary Community Launderette.

  4. Philip Green permalink
    March 16, 2010 10:55 am

    Dear Friends,

    Well, after causing us a great deal of worry and stress, we are pleased to say that our meeting with Tower Hamlets Council yesterday struck a more positive and conciliatory tone than we have experienced in the past 15 months.

    But we are not out of the woods and we still need your support!

    We have to prove the fact that our aims are still the same as when we opened, and that we are indeed a community business. Tower Hamlets want us to ‘quantify’ how many people have used the launderette during the past three years, and how they reflect the make up of the residents in the area. To do that we have to go through records of the past 3 years to provide average weekly number of customers for those years, and there will be a survey carried out in the launderette for two weeks from next Monday.

    The evidence we provide will be sent to Tower Hamlets just after the Easter break, and soon after that we will have another meeting. Hopefully then we will be given a new rental figure and lease.

    So, whilst we do not yet have any true idea of what our rent increase may be, previous suggestions from Tower Hamlets appear to have been shelved. We are more hopeful that the council officers we dealt with have a better understanding of what we were set up to do – and indeed what still do 18 years later- although the unique nature of the Boundary Community Launderette as a community not-for-profit enterprise is still something that appears to cause a little bit of surprise and slight confusion!

    We will continue to keep you updated, and should we need your help as this process goes on we’ll certainly let you all know. If you are a customer of the launderette, please take part in the survey that will be starting next Monday, 22 March, and will continue for 2 weeks.

    Once again, thank you all for your support and encouragement. It is heartwarming and humbling to know that the launderette means so much to so many people.

    With kind regards

    Jean & Phil
    Voluntary Directors.

  5. Boundary Community Launderette permalink
    May 30, 2010 12:21 pm

    Dear Friends

    We will finally be able to let everyone know the outcome of our rent neogotiations with the council within the next ten days. When we know the council’s decision we will have to discuss matters as directors, and then with the staff. Once we’ve done that we will let you all know.

    It’s something you’re probably fed-up of hearing from us by now, but please suggest our facebook page to your facebook friends. It really could make a huge difference should we find that we may need to start a campaign. And if we don’t need to start a campaign it’s always good to be a fan of something a bit different that does some good – there aren’t many not-for-profit community launderettes around!

    BBC Radio 4 have a programme called ‘Saturday Live’, which is a magazine programme that covers all aspects of life in the UK today, and – surprise, surprise – it is on every Saturday at 9am. They will be doing a feature on the launderette in the near future, we’ll let you know the date as soon as we have it.

    Enjoy your Bank Holiday Monday, if you’re lucky enough not to be working!

    With all best wishes

    The Boundary Community Launderette Team

  6. July 16, 2010 12:57 pm

    Good News! We’ve finaly got our new lease, and have verbally agreed to it along with our new rent. We are awaiting the drafts but there shouldn’t be a problem. Phew! Unfortunately we have to review the prices we charge in light of the new rent and the huge rises in our running costs over the past year.

    But it’s onwards and upwards, and we can plan for the future. We’re getting on with fundraising again – we were unable to over the past 18 months due to the rent and lease situation – and we’re planning a celebration of the launderette’s 18th birthday on 4th September.

    We’ve just set up a web page, so please take a look. Here’s the link – http://boundarylaunderette.wordpress.com

    Thanks to everyone for their great messages of support. We couldn’t have got through without you, our other friends and our great customers.

    The Boundary Community Launderette Team

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