RATES, which called for action to remove tents and redirect travelers from public parks, were told the numbers were falling.
Conservative councilors Anne Meadows and Dawn Barnett shared their concerns about tents in Valley Gardens, Brighton, and groups of travelers staying in parks rather than using the transit site at Patcham.
Councilor Meadows questioned whether Brighton and Hove City Council’s passage of the Homeless Bill of Rights had resulted in a change in policy regarding the removal of tents from public spaces.
She said: “I am concerned that this new policy will limit the ability of officials at one time to remove tents and clear parks and public spaces for residents’ safe enjoyment.
“Resident associations such as the Old Steine Community Association are deeply concerned by the council’s lack of action on tents in the area.”
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Councilor Meadows said tents had been pitched in Valley Gardens for an extended period, with squatters setting up tables and chairs, despite promises that tents would not be allowed.
She spoke out at a meeting of the council’s housing committee at Hove Town Hall.
Green councilor David Gibson, co-chair of the housing committee, said the number of “rough sleepers” is on the rise again.
This reverses progress made during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, he said, when the government’s “everyone in” policy resulted in empty hotels being used to house the homeless.
And he said the loss of most of the No Second Night Out beds over the summer made things worse, but he hopes those places will be restored.
In response to Councilman Meadows, he said there were no plans to reconsider the Homeless Bill of Rights.
It includes sections on respect for homeless people’s personal belongings, such as B. camping, and throwing away their belongings.
Councilor Gibson said: “The council will not tolerate unauthorized camps in the city and tents will be removed as soon as possible.
“My impression is that the number of tents has not increased compared to last year. It feels a little less, but it’s subjective and we don’t have numbers.”
He said council officials and street workers always tried to work with people in tents to check if they were homeless and needed help and support.
Councilor Barnett asked what action had recently been taken to direct travelers to the Council’s transit point at St Michael’s Way, Patcham.
Councilor Gibson said families camped at St Helen’s Park in Hangleton earlier this month have been asked to move to the transit site.
But they refused to leave the park – known locally as th Green – so they were ordered to leave Brighton and Hove and not return for a year.
According to the meeting, 10 of the 21 parking spaces at the transit site are currently available. This was half the usual number due to Covid-19 distancing restrictions. This year, on average, half of the plots were occupied.
Councilor Gibson said figures from the council indicated unauthorized camps of travelers had fallen since the transit facility opened in 2016.
They rose from a peak of 123 in 2015 and 79 in 2016 when the site launched, to 18 this year. He added that the average duration of an unauthorized camp is currently three days.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22952799.travellers-homeless-tent-concerns-brighton-hove/?ref=rss Travelers and homeless tent worries for Brighton and Hove