12:17PM, Wednesday 07 February 2018
The death of a homeless man who was placed in a Southall hostel has reignited an argument over rough sleepers who are placed in accommodation outside the Royal Borough.
The Pay and Sleep hostel has confirmed the death of the man, who it said was referred there by the Royal Borough.
It follows a report in the Guardian that the man, who has not yet been named, died in hospital on January 28, 11 days after falling into a bath of hot water at the West London hostel.
Although there is no suggestion the hostel is responsible, the incident has led to concerns that homeless people placed in accommodation outside the borough to do not have adequate access to support.
Murphy James, manager of the Windsor Homeless Project, said: “The situation is that [the council] is willing to place people out of the area with no support network at all.
“That is what really gets my goat.
“I am aware of people getting placed over there and just left – they can’t come and see me and they can’t access services.”
It is not the first time that Mr James has raised the issue. He was critical of the council for its use of the Southall hostel in the wake of controversial comments made by borough leader about clearing the streets of Windsor ahead of the Royal Wedding.
Cllr Dudley (Con, Riverside) said he was ‘not in a position to comment’ on the issue.
But a Royal Borough spokesman added: “We would like to offer our condolences to the family. It is not our procedure to comment on an individual case.”
A spokesman for Pay and Sleep expressed its ‘deepest sympathy’ to the family of the man that died.
He added: “Pay and Sleep is one of the very few private hostels in London that does not discriminate against the homeless, and we have provided cheap emergency accommodation to hundreds of homeless people and families since the mid eighties, the vast majority of whom have been placed with us by nearby councils.”
The spokesman said the hostel is licensed to as an HMO (House of multiple occupation), with the most recent formal inspection carried out by Ealing council on February 9 last year.
“Our premises are compliant with all relevant health and safety legislation,” he added.
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