Manchester has banned homeless people from sleeping in tents (but doorways are OK)

Caitlyn Doherty@mck_beth
Saturday 08 August 2015 11:20

Manchester City Council has obtained a court order which details a list of items and places homeless people in the city centre are allowed to sleep in.

The list designates cardboard boxes, sleeping bags, bus shelters and doorways as 'approved' sleeping places, but tents are a notable omission.

The court order is designed to crack down on tents used by protesters in an ongoing Occupy-style protest calling on the council to deal with Manchester's growing rough-sleeping problem.

Solicitor Ben Taylor told the Manchester Evening News that the council's list is "inhumane".

By outlining all the "moveable temporary forms of accommodation" that are allowed, the council hopes the protest - which MEN reports has cost the city £100,000 in legal costs to date - will be disbanded. People who violate the new law could face up to two years in jail.

Wesley Dove, who has been homeless for a year following the breakdown of a relationship and is named in the injunction as one of the Homeless Rights of Justice campaigners, said in a statement:

Everyone knows the court ruling is wrong... the court judgment never considered the lives and wellbeing of the people of the camp and where they are supposed to go now. We did not create the homelessness problem, but we are a vital part of the solution.

Although there are conflicting reports about who is currently living in the two current protest camps, homeless people were not the targets of order, stressed Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for neighbourhoods.

We are glad to have been granted the city centre wide injunction, which achieves what we wanted it to - which is to stop this group of homelessness protesters from simply moving to another location after we regain possession of St Ann's Square and Castlefield.

We have always been very clear that our attempts to close the camps are not aimed at cracking down on lawful protests or in criminalising homeless people.

  • Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for neighbourhoods

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