Search

Only 22 “Beds in Sheds” cases reported to Havering Council in 2013

13:12 06 February 2014

The issue of people living illegally in outbuildings or sheds has been an endemic one for many London borough councils in recent years – but not in Havering, it has emerged.

A freedom of information request shows in 2013 the council received just 22 complaints regarding so-called “Beds in Sheds” – only nine were later confirmed as unauthorised.

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, feels Havering’s distance from central London dissuades people from living illegally in the borough.

She said: “We do not have the issue with immigration that maybe inner London has. “If people are going to live here [illegally] and travel into London to work they are going to be priced out.”

The illegal structures, some dangerous and cramped, are offered by landlords - often to Britain’s illegal migrants.

Redbridge Council reported early last month it had discovered 118 people living in illegal outbuildings since April 2013.

Since last April, Redbridge Council has successfully prosecuted seven private landlords for housing offences.

The landlords were fined a total of £79,100 and ordered to pay £6,853 costs.

Cllr Kelly sympathised with Havering’s neighbouring borough, and said the “high number” of cases was “wrong”.

She added: “My immediate reaction was we are very impressive in Havering – “Beds in Sheds” is just a minor problem.

“We do not get any central government budget to deal with “beds in sheds”.

“We have a section [at Havering Council] for people to check with complaints - I had one at the end of last year where a family had built quite a big shed and people were coming and going.

“People were suspicious but it just turned out they had a big family with loads of aunts and uncles.”

In 2013, four London boroughs - Redbridge, Newham, Hillingdon and Ealing - were given £800,000 to tackle the issue. Havering has not received any additional funding, according to Cllr Kelly.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:06

Commuters are facing delays and cancellations on the c2c line this evening due to Storm Doris.

Yesterday, 13:38

Officers are searching for a teenager after a 26-year-old woman was punched on a busy bus in Romford.

Yesterday, 11:09

Storm Doris has already taken effect in the borough after winds brought down a massive tree in a busy road.

Yesterday, 09:15

Leading figures in Havering have set out big aspirations by vowing to build 30,000 new homes and bring 18,000 new jobs to the borough by 2035.

Yesterday, 07:00

The founder of a drama group which has raised thousands of pounds for charity says they no longer feel supported, after Queen’s Theatre said it would not be able to accommodate its annual show this year.

Wed, 17:24

Pupils were treated to an afternoon of rhyming words when an acclaimed poet visited their school to lead an innovative workshop.

Wed, 17:00

A teenager has been arrested after an under 16s football match turned ugly and resulted in two teenagers and a man being squirted in the face with a “noxious substance”.

Wed, 15:09

After apologising for the lack of recycling bags available last week - the council now says supplies have been replenished.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now