‘Dumping ground’ for the homeless

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The richest council in the land is using the most deprived area of Milton Keynes as a “dumping ground” for its homeless people, the Citizen can reveal.

Westminster City Council is renting at least three five-bedroomed former council homes on Bletchley’s Lakes Estate to house tenants it does not have room for in London.

It is not known whether the houses, currently privately owned, will be converted to bedsits for multiple tenants or used for large families.

The ‘human export’ concept has outraged Labour spokesman Andrew Pakes, who said: “I am worried this is the thin end of the wedge.”

Lakes Estate residents admit they are “puzzled” as to why people from London’s poshest area should be sent to join their community.

“We have a great community spirit but we know we’re a deprived area. It just seems strange that Westminster should pick us,” said residents’ association chairman Jeanette Marling.

“We try to give a warm welcome to anyone new. But we would be concerned if we found Westminster Council was dumping only its worst tenants on us,” she said,

Labour parliamentary spokesman Andrew Pakes said: “It is a sad irony that the richest council in the country is looking to split up families and export people to live in Bletchley just to cope with the Government’s austerity plans.

“MK is used to people coming here from London but that is usually by choice.”

A recent survey showed 42% of children in the Lakes Estate area live in poverty.

The new tenants, if unemployed, will have their rent paid by Westminster council, but Mr Pakes is worried local schools and health services will feel the strain.

Ironically the Lakes Estate was built by the Greater London Council in the 1960s to house the London overspill. Is it right or wrong to ship homeless Londoners to the Lakes Estate?

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