Just when you think Lambeth council could not do something even more inane, barmy or just plain crass than some of their actions over the past few years – they have.

A Lambeth council employee removed a sleeping bag and other belongings of a ‘rough sleeper’ – but his actions were filmed by Michelle Dewberry, winner of the second series of British television programme The Apprentice.

And she has now bought the man replacement blankets, a replacement umbrella – and food.

Video footage branded ‘shocking’ by Lambeth Green party councillors shows the council employee collecting up the sleeping bag and umbrella – telling the homeless man he should have taken his belongings with him.

Sharing the video on Twitter, she wrote: “I’m sheltering from rain under canopy. Homeless man sleeps here. His cardboard, sleeping bag & umberella are here to stay dry Then this @lambeth_council the guy said he works for you. His lorry was full of blankets & sleeping bags This isn’t ok. We shouldn’t let this happen,”

In a statement Lambeth’s five Green party councillors say: “Whilst shelters across the country prepare for an influx of homeless and vulnerable people over winter, some local authorities are facing allegations of seeking to criminalise rough sleeping.

“In 2015 Hackney became the first council to include homeless people in their antisocial behaviour order. “There are now concerns that Lambeth council is moving in the same direction with a cabinet member defending the removal of the homeless person’s items.

“In a statement, Cllr Paul Gadsby, cabinet member for housing at Lambeth, has claimed that:

‘In this case, an individual had been sleeping at this location every night for four weeks.

‘As with all rough sleepers, we spoke to the gentlemen continually and offered him support into local hostel accommodation so that he did not need to sleep outside. ‘But he was adamant that he wants no support or help.

‘Council officers said several times that if he continues to leave possessions in a public park, they would be removed. ‘That was enacted today.’

The statement then adds that Cllr Jonathan Bartley, leader of the Green group at Lambeth, has written to the Leader of Lambeth council calling for an urgent investigation into the event.

Cllr Bartley commented: “Rough sleepers are some of the most vulnerable people in society. Last night the temperature in Lambeth dropped to close to freezing. “To take someone’s only source of warmth is draconian and cruel.”

“Lambeth council should not be seeking to justify this action and there should be an immediate and impartial investigation into the seizure by someone who has not already gone on record defending what has happened.

“The council must not make Lambeth a hostile environment for rough sleepers.”

Further reading:

Ex-Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry catches council worker confiscating homeless man’s sleeping bag in ‘heartbreaking’ video – report by Jessica Gibb assistant celebrity editor Daily Mirror 20:38, 1 NOV 2018 updated 20:55, 1 NOV 2018

Ex-Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry catches council worker on video as he confiscated homeless man’s sleeping bag – report by Alexander Robertson for Daily Mail Online 16:54, 1 November 2018 |updated 18:16, 1 November 2018




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