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Canning Town hairdressers faces the chop after 50 years

PUBLISHED: 11:59 21 May 2013 | UPDATED: 13:43 21 May 2013

Capri Hairdressers, Left to right: Sophie Marden, Kevin Downer, Tugba Kocaturk, Marion Tomei. Picture: David Mirzoeff

Capri Hairdressers, Left to right: Sophie Marden, Kevin Downer, Tugba Kocaturk, Marion Tomei. Picture: David Mirzoeff

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Hairdressers Capri Hair Fashions faces the chop after nearly 50 years in Canning Town following council plans to evict them.

Capri Hair Fashions in Barking Road. Picture: David MirzoeffCapri Hair Fashions in Barking Road. Picture: David Mirzoeff

Owner Giuseppe Tomei - known locally as Pepe - and his wife Marion originally ran the salon from the Rathbone Market site in its bustling heyday and would have celebrated their 50th anniversary in July.

But they were relocated to Barking Road by Newham Council in 2010 as it was cleared by developers to begin a £3.7bn regeneration project.

The shop is currently run down and does not have a sign. A payment dispute followed over the cost of refurbishment with the Tomeis claiming the council failed to pay up leading to their builder walking out but the council said the builder asked for more money than was agreed and the Tomeis delayed negotiations for months.

The Tomeis were due to be evicted this Friday (May 24) but the couple have sought independent legal representation after they said they were debarred and plan to appeal at Bow County Court on August 15.

Marion said: “They have been very underhand. We were led to believe we were going to be a part of regeneration and we wanted to stay in the area because all of our customers are here, it’s where we’ve always been.

“It’s not a problem for the council because they have the public purse behind them but we don’t have very much and we can’t shell out a fortune for expensive solicitors.”

Capri soon put up a sign outside their shop criticising the council to gather support from the local community but they are currently on their second banner as council officers removed the first one for being “both inaccurate and unfair”.

A Newham spokesman said: “We have bent over backwards for Mr and Mrs Tomei and the current situation is completely unacceptable.”

They added: “We utterly reject we have been underhand regarding this and the Tomeis have had the benefit of legal representation every step of the way.

“Far from being at the expense of the local community, the Rathbone Market regeneration will actually greatly enhance it.”

But the Tomei’s have vowed to keep fighting and their cause has gathered 207 signatures in an online petition called “Help Save Capri” at www.ipetitions.com/petition/help-save-capri/signatures.


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