Homeless camped out in car park leave before 10am eviction deadline
- Credit: Fenland Council
Homeless camped out in a Wisbech car park had moved on before bailiffs could remove them.
With a 10am Friday deadline, the two tents in the Church Terrace car park the day before had gone.
Fenland Council said threatened eviction notices had been hand delivered.
The council says it has no further action planned on their land but “cannot comment on private land owners”.
Moving rough sleepers on “is not something we take pleasure in doing,” said a council statement.
Enforcement was sometimes necessary because of unauthorised occupation of private land, safety or because of complaints about antisocial behaviour.
“However, the support for rough sleepers remains.”
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And it promised it will continue to work with partners to provide food, housing, medical support and links to get work.
They were working with each individual “to try and break the root cause of their homelessness and find a long-term solution – not isolated, quick fixes”.
Homeless campaigner Simon Crowson said many can't receive a benefit because either they do not have settled status or they are still awaiting completion.
He said there are huge backlogs in the system.
“Lots of them are capable of working and want to, but can't because the system does not allow them to,” he said.
Mr Crowson said that without benefits, the homeless cannot access housing benefit ruling out some local hostels that charge over £360 per week for a single supported room (paid via housing benefit).
“Without a form of income, councils are unable to help most off the streets into permanent homes because of legislations and the requirements,” he said.
Many are constantly moved on from places they camp so they end up all over the place.
He said a “quick but not ideal” solution would be for the council to provide land for an official camp with washing facilities.
Mr Crowson believes there are more than 20 rough sleeping in Wisbech.
“These human beings are lost in the system and it doesn't look like the situation will improve any time soon,” he said..
“Kindness goes a very long way in these people's lives and just a smile from a passer-by can change their whole day.”