FOI request (FOIR-115758188)
Requested Fri 26 April 2019
Responded Tue 23 July 2019
I am writing to you under the freedom of information act to request the following.
How many complaints has the council received about homeless encampments in the local authority area in the last five calendar years (2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018)? Please break this down by year.
How many tents have been confiscated by the council after they were used to set up "temporary homes" in the local authority area in the last five calendar years (2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018)? Please break this down by year.
What is the current fee charged by the council to homeless people in order to reclaim such possessions?
How many homeless people have reclaimed their possessions (tents, bags
etc) confiscated by the council as part of the policy for clearing homeless encampments in the last five calendar years (2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018)? Please break this down by year.
How many homeless encampments have been cleared by the council in the last five calendar years (2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018)? Please break this down by year. Please say what bylaws were used to clear these areas. For example:
Dispersal powers: section 35 of the 2014 Act allows the police to disperse individuals or groups causing or likely to cause antisocial behaviour in public places or common areas of private land, directing them to leave a specified area and not to return for up to 48 hours.
By homeless encampments I am referring to locations where one or more homeless people live in an area. These encampments can be found on properties owned by private individuals or companies or owned by local, state, and government agencies. They can be in open spaces such as parks etc.
ResponseFor years 2014/2015 - Information not heldHastings Borough Council Warden ServiceIn 2016 The Wardens dealt with 10 tents along the foreshore area, 5 were removed as abandoned and one person claimed their possessions back.In 2017 The Wardens dealt with 22 tents or encampments along the foreshore area, we do not hold the figures as to how many were removed as abandoned but certainly a few would have been removed as suchIn 2018 the Wardens dealt with 13 tents along the foreshore areas, again we do not have the data as to how many were removed as abandoned.As an aside we have started recording data on a spread sheet that details each tent we encounter and what we do with it.No fee is ever charged for some reclaiming their possessions.The legislation used is a mixture of Section 41 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, Hastings Borough Councils Byelaws for promenades and seashores and civil procedures rules part 55 recovery of land.Hastings Borough Council Parks Department2016 - 292017 - 28For 2016-2018 Hastings Borough Council holds no information on how many tents were confiscated but there would definitely be cases where our department would have removed abandoned tents. They would have been stored for a period of time and if not claimed by the rough sleeper, the tents would have been disposed of. Generally when dealing with rough sleepers, more often than not, they would be asked to leave site and they would take their belongings with them.No fee is ever charged for some reclaiming their possessions.All encampments would have been asked to leave our sites using the Parks Byelaws, CPW (Community Protection Warning) CPWN (Community Protection Warning Notices) and the 2005 Environment Act.Hastings Borough Council Housing ServicesThe council maintains a rolling list of rough sleepers and sleep sites, based on the outreach reports we receive. There are currently 15 rough sleepers verified as living in tents in the town.
Freedom of Information