Council to evict homeless camped out in car park
- Credit: Fenland Council
Homeless people camped out in a car park have been given until 10am on Friday to leave or face eviction by Fenland District Council.
The council has issued notices – dated October 6, 2021 – addressed to ‘trespasser(s) and rough sleeper(s) The Car Park, Church Terrace, Wisbech, PE13 1BW.
Homeless campaigners say only one couple is thought to be living there although others – displaced by the closure of a camp site next to the parish church – are dotted around the town.
“I believe there’s only two people in the car park but there are others in the general cemetery, rugby fields and Horseshoe Terrace,” said one homeless campaigner.
Fenland District Council says of the car park they are “entitled to possession of this land on which you are trespassing and requires you to leave”.
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The notice says some are occupying the land illegally and without permission.
The notice also says say those living there will be “permanently banned from entering the site for any reason whatsoever.
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“In addition, the police will be asked to use the powers which may be available to them ….to any offences which may have been committed”.
Anyone living in the car park face the threat of their belongings being removed.
And if anything is left, Fenland Council says they reserve the right to sell or dispose of items.
Fenland Council has employed Bryan Lecoche Ltd, enforcement agents, to carry out the eviction.
The Bedford based agency promises its clients “a quick, professional and personal service” and regarded as “a safe pair of hands”.
Whilst not commenting on this specific enforcement, Fenland Council said that since the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ scheme began in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has placed 82 clients into temporary accommodation.
It says 39 homes have been provided for the homeless and are operational to date (36 operated in partnership with homelessness charity Amicus Trust and three with Clarion, with support provided by The Ferry Project).
A further six homes are already funded and due to be completed by April 2022.
The council says it is also awaiting the outcome of a further bid to provide another seven homes.
“We also remain committed to continuing to provide outreach support for the remaining circa 20 clients that were temporarily rehoused,” said a council spokesperson.
“Some are still in temporary accommodation, and we are working with them to move them on to supported accommodation.”
But the council admits some individuals have what is known as No Recourse for Public Funds (NRPF).
This says the council is “due to their personal circumstances, which prevents us from being able to provide them with homelessness assistance.
“We are in constant communications with the Home Office asking them to lift the NRPF restrictions so we can provide greater support for these individuals.
“Home Office representatives have visited Wisbech already and there are talks of a possible pilot scheme locally to assist such individuals.”
Wisbech councillor Dave Patrick said he questioned whether the homeless under threat of removal had been given advice and help.
“As a Fenland District councillor, I feel deeply ashamed at the treatment of these people,” he said.