Homeless influx could put a strain on local services

ST LEONARDS may see an influx of homeless people from Croydon because the council there is struggling to find affordable properties, it has been reported.

According to the Evening Standard: “Yorkshire, Hull and St Leonards are reportedly under consideration” for temporary relocation of the homeless from Croydon.

Croydon Council, along with Richmond, Kingston, and Sutton, have reached an agreement to buy 150 homes outside of London.

A spokesman for Croydon Council denied a list of possible locations had been drawn up.

Council leader Jeremy Birch said if St Leonards was earmarked, this would place a strain on social services and education locally, and be ‘challenging’.

Cllr Birch said: “We have no evidence that it is happening, but it is something that we are alert to and concerned about.

“We welcome all kinds of people to Hastings and St Leonards, but we would be wary of an influx of people who have got particular needs and whose disposable income is going to be low, because we want a balance.”

He added that other local authorities would be under no obligation to alert Hastings Borough Council before relocating families or individuals from their area. He said a change in the law capping benefits at £500 a week from next April would compound the problem.