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Criticism launched against council fencing at Maidenhead homeless sleeping spot

A rough sleeper has been ‘turfed off’ after the council fenced off his sleeping spot, a homeless charity founder has insisted.

Sue Brett, of The Brett Foundation, said the man had been using a space at the bottom of a stairwell in the Nicholsons car park – operated by the council – to sleep and seek shelter.

The Royal Borough has maintained that it had received ‘numerous complaints’ and wanted to ensure that ‘combustible materials’ were not left near fire escapes.

Twitter user Nikki Alvey, who posted a photo of the fence on Friday, said she was ‘disgusted’ at what she described as a ‘metal cage to prevent them sleeping in the car park stairwell’.

Sue, whose homelessness support charity is based nearby in King Street, said: “We know the gentleman really, really well.

“That was his home. He called it his home.

“He had a little bed there and all of his food there.

“(He used it) because it is sheltered, where he was always quite warm so when it was bitterly, bitterly cold he could get some warmth there.”

The man’s health was described by Sue as ‘not great’.

A council spokeswoman said: “In response to numerous complaints from users of the Nicholsons car park and a number of attempts to engage with those using the fire escapes to store items, we have fenced off the area to ensure that combustible materials are not left in fire escapes.

“This is to ensure the safety of all those involved.”

The fence was installed on Thursday, May 23.

But Sue said the rough sleeper did not smoke there and did not keep flammable items – but added that he kept newspapers in the spot.

“He is very flippant about it,” Sue said of his response to being forced to leave his sheltered spot.

“(He thinks) this is just his life until he dies.

“That is a really sad way to look at life.”

A rough sleeper has been ‘turfed off’ after the council fenced off his sleeping spot, a homeless charity founder has insisted.

A rough sleeper has been ‘turfed off’ after the council fenced off his sleeping spot, a homeless charity founder has insisted.

Sue Brett, of The Brett Foundation, said the man had been using a space at the bottom of a stairwell in the Nicholsons car park – operated by the council – to sleep and seek shelter.

The Royal Borough has maintained that it had received ‘numerous complaints’ and wanted to ensure that ‘combustible materials’ were not left near fire escapes.

Twitter user Nikki Alvey, who posted a photo of the fence on Friday, said she was ‘disgusted’ at what she described as a ‘metal cage to prevent them sleeping in the car park stairwell’.

Sue, whose homelessness support charity is based nearby in King Street, said: “We know the gentleman really, really well.

“That was his home. He called it his home.

“He had a little bed there and all of his food there.

“(He used it) because it is sheltered, where he was always quite warm so when it was bitterly, bitterly cold he could get some warmth there.”

The man’s health was described by Sue as ‘not great’.

A council spokeswoman said: “In response to numerous complaints from users of the Nicholsons car park and a number of attempts to engage with those using the fire escapes to store items, we have fenced off the area to ensure that combustible materials are not left in fire escapes.

“This is to ensure the safety of all those involved.”

The fence was installed on Thursday, May 23.

But Sue said the rough sleeper did not smoke there and did not keep flammable items – but added that he kept newspapers in the spot.

“He is very flippant about it,” Sue said of his response to being forced to leave his sheltered spot.

“(He thinks) this is just his life until he dies.

“That is a really sad way to look at life.”

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