Homeless people lose beds as G7 take over Cornwall hotels, charity says | Roaming
Vulnerable homeless people have been moved from Cornwall hotels to make way for police and government officials attending this week’s G7 summit, according to a local charity.
Disc Newquay said many people who lived in short-term contract hotel rooms during the pandemic were told to leave, ahead of the world’s seven largest advanced economies summit at a luxury hotel in Carbis Bay.
“Most of Bodmin’s hotel rooms down have been booked en bloc for the G7,” said Monique Collins, director of the association. “We have people in hotels in Camborne, Redruth, Truro, St Austell and Newquay – and they’ve all moved. “
Collins said the hundreds of reservations for the summit had increased pressure on emergency homeless housing in the county, leaving many people with even fewer options. However, Cornwall County Council has blamed the tourist season for the shortage of temporary housing.
Police have reserved more than 4,000 rooms at nearly 200 locations across Devon and Cornwall. The Cabinet Office, which has also made hundreds of room reservations, said it only reserved commercially available rooms.
About 130 homeless people have been moved from hotels to make way for paying guests, according to the Cornwall council. Seven had to leave the Sandy Lodge Hotel, Newquay, on May 24 to welcome some of the 5,000 police officers who were enlisted from outside Cornwall. Some were transferred to other hotels to be relocated again.
Diane Perry, 56, had to leave Sandy Lodge for another hotel in Newquay. But she was moved again on May 28 and since then she has been sleeping in her car – stuffed with her stuff. “It kinda messed me up,” she said. “It’s upsetting – I have to live in my bloody car.”
Perry, who received cooking and washing facilities from Disc, who grew up in Cornwall, said she was told she may have to leave the county. “The board doesn’t seem to care about me,” she said. “They said maybe I should leave the county. But I’m not going – I’m from Cornish.
Collins said Perry’s mental state had deteriorated since losing her room: “It’s inhuman that she has to live in a car – it’s just not right. But she is one of many who have been kicked out because of the G7. “
Another homeless woman, with schizophrenia, was left by the side of the road with her belongings in black trash bags, after being asked to leave Sandy Lodge. Her mother, Claire, who did not want her full name used, said she was ultimately placed in an unsuitable surf hostel, with shared sanitation facilities, in the city.
“Normally she sits in her own space very calmly. But now she’s on Main Street in the middle of the summer season. The hostel is full of drunken surfers and vacationers. She’s terrified – she thinks people are coming for her, ”she said. “They didn’t even put him somewhere safe. She was treated appallingly.
She blames the G7 for her daughter’s plight: “What gives them the right to force vulnerable adults out of their homes?
Peter Butterly, the owner of Sandy Lodge, said G7 organizers booked all 79 rooms at the hotel last year before council booked the rooms. “When we took the reservation from the town hall, we said we could accommodate them. [the homeless] until May 24, ”he said. “We understand that everything is police.”
Nine out of ten homeless staying in a hotel in St Austell were reportedly evicted by city council ahead of the summit. Six homeless people were also reportedly moved by the council out of the Camborne hotel.
Cornwall council said in a statement that the accommodation request was not the result of the G7 summit. “It’s a seasonal problem that has been exacerbated by the exceptional number of people we are supporting due to the pandemic. We continue to support those affected and the vast majority were immediately offered alternative accommodation. He added that some of the homeless people concerned have chosen not to accept the offer of available alternatives.
The council said it was unable to secure long-term bookings as emergency accommodation is uncertain and temporary. “Competition from the holiday market at this time of year means there is very limited availability to meet the needs of homeless households,” he said, adding that he had invested $ 40 million. sterling in homeless housing and had acquired over 100 properties to date.
Police and the Cabinet Office have been approached for comment.