Tent pitched with sign criticising council near Haywards Heath train station

Arnie Wilson spotted this tent close to Waitrose in Haywards Heath
Arnie Wilson spotted this tent close to Waitrose in Haywards Heath

The district cabinet member has responded after a tent was pitched close to the railway station in Haywards Heath along with a sign criticising the council.

Reader Arnie Wilson sent this picture to the Middy after spying the tent and sign last week.

When asked for a comment, a spokesman for Mid Sussex District Council said: “Whilst no one wants to see people sleeping on the streets, the council is required to assess the needs of homeless people in line with Government legislation.

“This means the council is unable to provide accommodation to everyone who becomes homeless.

“However, we can provide advice and assistance and therefore the council would encourage any rough sleepers in the district to make contact with the Housing Needs Team.

“The council’s outreach team, Turning Tides, will make contact with the homeless person by visiting them wherever they are to provide support.”

He said the district council did not have any housing directly, but maintains the Housing Register for social housing available from registered social landlords.

“Social housing is in high demand in the district, as it is in the whole of the South East. There are currently 1253 households on the Council’s register.”

Cabinet member for housing and planning Andrew MacNaughton said he would encourage anyone who is aware of any people sleeping on the streets to complete a referral at www.streetlink.org.uk.

He added: “The council must comply with the Homelessness legislation which means we are unable to provide emergency accommodation to everyone who becomes homeless but we are able to provide advice and assistance tailored to their needs. We will help homeless people by helping them to review their options for housing.”

Mr Wilson said the tent and sign had later disappeared from the site.