Search

Fellow council condemns Havering’s lack of empathy after moving vulnerable homeless people to empty flats in Clacton

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 August 2018

Cllr Damian White, leader of Havering Council, and Cllr Paul Honeywood, cabinet member for housing at Tendring Districit Council. Photos: Ken Mears & TDC

Cllr Damian White, leader of Havering Council, and Cllr Paul Honeywood, cabinet member for housing at Tendring Districit Council. Photos: Ken Mears & TDC

Archant

Havering Council has been urged to treat its homeless with more respect after a number of the borough’s vulnerable people were moved to Clacton without the council there being informed.

Tendring District Council (TDC) has this week spoken out after a number of people, all from Havering, approached its social services having been moved to the same apartment building.

The group of vulnerable residents were moved in February to a number of flats – most of which had no furniture at all, including not having a bed, meaning families with children were forced to sleep on the floor – and some had been given one housing offer and 24 hours to ‘take it or leave it’.

TDC leader Cllr Neil Stock OBE wrote to then Havering Council leader Cllr Roger Ramsey, three separate times highlighting concerns around the long-term future of the people, and demanding Havering take full responsibility for its actions.

TDC claims Havering admitted making mistakes, but so far the residents have not been re-housed closer to London.

Councillor Paul Honeywood, cabinet member for housing at TDC, said: “We understand that London boroughs are facing severe housing pressures but they are not alone, and simply moving the problem elsewhere does nothing to tackle it.

“But at the heart of every homeless application is a person, and that person should come first in whatever a local authority does.

“Homelessness is not just about a roof over your head, but access to support to get yourself back on your own two feet.”

Cllr Honeywood also claimed Havering’s current plan was not sustainable for the people invovled, or the two local authorities.

He added: “Some of the people from Havering who have turned up at Clacton Town Hall asking for help have been moved more than an hour away from all of their support networks – friends, family, childcare and education, and even work.

“How can that be helping these people in the long-term?

“There is also concern about the long-term future for these people. Havering has paid the top-up rent for them to stay in Clacton for two years, but what happens if their benefit entitlement changes, or at the end of those two years?”

But Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said the borough was just performing its duty to look after those who qualify for help.

He added: “We always try to provide accommodation to people in the borough or close by, but because of increasing rents and rapidly reduced government funding, this isn’t always possible.

“We are not alone in facing this issue, London as a whole, the south east of England and many cities throughout the UK are in exactly the same situation.

“At the moment the council has a stock of more than 9,400 affordable homes, and over the next 10 years we will double our affordable housing offer on 12 of our estates with one of the most ambitious council home building programmes in London.

“But this will take time to deliver and in the meantime our obligation to provide a roof over people’s heads must remain our number one priority.”

Latest Romford News Stories

A look back at the biggest local stories from this week 60, 40 and 20 years ago

A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to residents in a local park when a woman came running towards us, shouting that she needed a defibrillator urgently.

Yesterday, 15:00

Farming was very different 200 years ago as Prof Ged Martin’s story of an Emerson Park landowner shows

I’m not normally one to buy into conspiracy theories, they’re only put out there to keep us too busy to think about the real things that are going on.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 08:00

It’s unfortunate that way back in the 1960s a well-meaning gesture to honour a Battle of Britain hero, went a little awry.

Fri, 17:00

Burke told police officers that he wasn’t sure if it was himself, or another man driving at the time.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

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