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LETTERS: People in roundabout tents ‘need roofs over their heads, not eviction from where they feel safer’

PUBLISHED: 14:57 03 March 2019

"I have never seen anything that disgusts and worries me like the tents on Battery Green Road roundabout." Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

I drive in and around Lowestoft town every day as a van delivery driver and have done for the last 16 years.

I have never seen anything that disgusts and worries me like the tents on Battery Green Road roundabout.

I wouldn’t want to see these tents forcibly removed. These people need roofs over their heads, not eviction from an area they obviously feel safer in than street doorways in the town where they are vulnerable to a good kicking by random thugs who think them easy targets at night while they are sleeping.

It must be very depressing to wake up when you have nothing but your tent and what you stand up in. There’s no hope. Can nothing be done to help these poor people?

Ever since the experimental roll-out of the new universal credit rules using East Anglia to test out its viability, we have seen a rise of homelessness.

People’s payments have been halved, and in some case quartered, due to new assessment rules.

Disabled people are assessed by non-medical staff and told they no longer qualify for essential payments they once received yet their medical conditions have not improved only remained static or worsened.

The use of food banks is on the rise with some struggling to cope. You cannot walk in off the street to these but have to be referred by a GP or social worker.

How can we drive past this situation every day in a country that is reported to be sixth richest nation in the world?

Before and leading up to Christmas there is a lot of publicity regarding the homeless and the help they need. Once the seasonal spirt disappears this dies down but we have the cruellest months yet to go. When night time temperatures can be bitterly cold.

The government set up a anti-homeless task force in 2017 but plans for the first meeting has never been finalised. They also set a fund of many millions to eradicate rough sleeping.

A national newspaper recently reported that this fund has never ever been touched.

Sleeping in sub zero temperatures has been proven to have major effects on a persons physical and mental health.

Jean Samuels

Yare Road,

Belton

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