A VIP city Alderman has been forced to sleep in his car for the past two weeks after becoming homeless.
Former Tory councillor Paul Bartlett, who was given the prestigious title for his services to MK, set up camp in McDonald’s car park at thestadium:mk.
“It was cold and uncomfortable, but I realised there were people far worse off than me. At least I had the car for shelter and money in my pocket to buy hot food,” he told the Citizen this week.
Supermarket worker Paul was forced to quit his rented home in Stony Stratford earlier this month – ironically because of a ruling from Milton Keynes Council.
“It was a shared house and the council found the fire regulation work was not up to scratch. I had to leave so my landlord could carry out the improvements,” said the 54-year-old.
“I tried everywhere I could to find another room, but it seems there is a real shortage of reasonably-priced rental accommodation for ordinary, working people.
“I found places were snapped up before I could even view them, or they were too expensive – or sometimes the landlords did not even bother to return my calls.”
Paul, who is divorced, still suffers ill-health after an operation for a brain tumour three years ago.
But he did not dream of going to the council, on which he served for 16 years, or his local Tory party colleagues to ask for help.
“I didn’t think I fitted the council’s criteria for homeless, so I took matters into my own hands and decided to live in my Ford Focus.”
On Tuesday Paul finally found a room in a shared house.
He is now calling for the council to take more action to help people like him.
“They need to get serious about housing issues in MK and not pussyfoot around playing a political blame game,” he said.
Paul was recently thwarted by the Tories in his bid to stand for election again in Stony Stratford.