Cllr Lorna Campbell wrote:Can the Cabinet Member give an update on how we are addressing the problem of rough sleepers around the area of Waterloo?
Cllr Donatus Anyanwu - Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities wrote:Throughout most of 2008, rough sleeping increased in Waterloo primarily due to an increase in Eastern European national's [sic] (known as A10's), who do not have access to public funds. This means that we cannot place them in our hostels as the criteria for any individual is that they must be able to claim benefits. Also, there was one particular location known as Elizabeth House off York Road (Owned by Euro star) where these individuals were rough sleeping. As the land did not belong to Lambeth, we had to liaise with the owners, who in the beginning were reluctant to take any action to design out and use legal powers to remove such individuals. When the land owners did finally take action, the group of individuals (between 15-20 in number) were displaced to other areas of Waterloo.
This Labour Administration remains committed to finding a sustainable solution to the problem of rough sleeping. This means using adequate powers to displace rough sleepers supported by the right outreach work to get the homeless off the street permanently.
I am pleased that the Labour Administration, in conjunction with partners, successfully implemented a dispersal zone to allow problematic individuals to be moved but this will only be one in a series of measures that will allow us to tackle the problem head on and find a solution which will help to make local residents feel safer as well protect those who are vulnerable and homeless.
I will constantly review our approach both at an operational and strategic level but I am confidant that the right mix is in place to reach our target.