A planning application for the current Occupy Bournemouth site in Boscombe has been delayed due to further discussions about the site.
I believe the delay is due to highway considerations. “The site is in private ownership and therefore it is the responsibility of the landowner to take legal action against the protesters in order to reclaim the land.”
South East Dorset Green Party Councillor, Simon Bull, told Buzz News the site has been a wasteland for more than ten years and that people must be considerate of those who have recently set up camp there:
The homeless are doing their best to keep their disturbance of the local area to a minimum.
“We want to help them get into homes and accommodation and I believe that we can make more effort to help them.”
Occupy Bournemouth activists at the Boscombe site are protesting against Bournemouth Borough Council “for a lack of help” in finding a solution for homelessness in the area. Homelessness is a current public health crisis in Bournemouth. There has been a 292% increase of the number of people sleeping on the town’s streets since 2010. This is way over twice the national average of 102%. Simon Bull talked to Buzz News about the growing issue of homelessness in Bournemouth and the recent death of ‘Homeless Kev’.
Stewart McCarthy, a protester at the camp, argues that the site is an ideal place for homeless people to live.
McCarthy also told Buzz News about the challenges homeless people face on the streets of Bournemouth.
Another resident from the camp said: “Hope for the future, is a home”, but believes the council are not doing enough to combat the problem. He said:
It’s the people that know what it’s like to have absolutely nothing, they are the ones that help out, while the ones who have got lots of money are the ones that sit there and let it happen. We’re very grateful for all the donations we receive from the Bournemouth people.
The local community is helping by donating essential supplies and blankets. Buzz News asked what the public thought about the protest when Occupy Bournemouth first arrived on site.
— Buzz (@buzz_bmth) January 17, 2018
One activist at the camp expressed his appreciation for the constant support:
Believe in the power of stop, look and listen and don’t judge a book by its cover, understand someone’s story first.”
Councillor Jane Kelly for Boscombe West said Bournemouth Borough Council are always willing to assist the homeless:
The planning application for this site will be determined shortly but an exact date has not yet been set.
Despite Councillor Jane Kelly’s claim that Bournemouth Borough Council are combatting the issue, one homeless protester stressed “we have new people arriving everyday” to the Occupy site:
Gallery of the Occupy Bournemouth site on Ashley Road, Boscombe:
By Lucy Thomas, Denise Minichini, Nina Nagel, Holly Roach, Storm Thompson and Ollie Sirrell.