Thanet council says officers are investigating after three tents were ‘illegally’ pitched in Pierremont Park in Broadstairs.
Shocked Broadstairs dad-of-four John McCormack reported the encampment to the authority yesterday (August 9) after his 20-year-old daughter witnessed a man from one of the tents coming out of the bushes with his pants down.
John, who is the force behind the Skip2bfit workshops, says he had already reported the appearance of one tent around a fortnight ago but no action was taken and now the additional tents have been pitched just as Folk Week begins.
The former heavyweight boxer says he believes those using the tents are homeless and that Thanet council needs to take action.
He said: “My daughter had just come back from walking our dog and was shocked after seeing an illegal camper defecating in Pierremont Park! Nearly two weeks ago I reported one person setting up camp in the park and surprise, surprise we now have three tents!
“I have now phoned the council three times and got absolutely nowhere! It is a joke when people are paying to camp at Upton School for Folk Week.
“I counted 7 homeless people in doorways in Ramsgate Saturday night. This is now the norm and I thought the council had a duty to house them. The fourth richest economy in the world and we can’t house the homeless!”
Thanet council say officers are investigating today (August 9) and that the authority was previously unaware of the unauthorised camp.
Rough sleeping in Thanet
Homelessness figures for Thanet show a rise of 94% of those sleeping rough in 2016 compared to the year before and the last rough sleeper count recorded 46 people on the street. Research by Shelter also revealed Thanet as in the top ten areas with the highest number of female rough sleepers. Eleven women were recorded as sleeping on the street in Thanet last year.
|Year||Number of persons confirmed as sleeping rough in Thanet|
In June this year the government announced the isle would receive £367,000 in funding to be used for homelessness prevention.