Homeless family ‘living off cookies’ sent to live 70 miles away in Birmingham

Dougan family
Dougan family

A homeless family that were sent to stay in a Cambridge travelodge eight miles from the nearest food shop are being moved by the council - to Birmingham.

Gina Dougan, her husband Peter and their three young children spent nine days living off cookies from a vending machine after being evicted from their three-bed house in Heelands.

“I haven’t stopped crying,” said Gina.
“It was costing us £33 a trip to go to the service station on the A14 by taxi so we just had to eat out of the vending machine in the travelodge.

“My kids have been being sick because they are so hungry. It’s outrageous.”

Today the Dougan family begged MK Council to house them temporarily in Milton Keynes as they struggle to feed their family.

But they have been told that from Monday, they will have to move 70 miles north to a travelodge at Birmingham Airport.

Before they can do that, Gina must split up from her children who are going to stay with friends so that they have a roof over their heads over the weekend.

Gina added: “The council don’t seem to have any compassion - they have been very harsh.

“Now we have to go to Birmingham just as the kids are meant to be going back to school. How are we going to cope?”

The Dougan’s story comes as Milton Keynes Council admits there is a homeless crisis, with 148 families – totalling up to 400 people – currently staying in budget hotels, hostels and B&Bs as far afield as Stansted, Reading and Cambridge.

A council spokesman said: “We are speaking to Ms Dougan and are working to try and place her and her family locally as soon as possible.

“We do appreciate and understand the circumstances and these are not situations we would want for residents in Milton Keynes.

“We do want to place people locally and welcome any landlords that would like to come forward and work with us to offer local accommodation.”