Cardiff Council statement on tents in the city centre

A council spokesperson said: "Cardiff Council has begun removing abandoned tents in the city centre.

"Many of the tents belong to individuals who have taken up offers of accommodation and they have given their consent for their tents to be removed.

"Other tents are being monitored on a daily basis and once our outreach team and the police are satisfied tents have been abandoned they will also be removed.

"The Council is concerned about the growing number of tents in the city centre and the impact they can have on rough sleepers who are deciding against taking up offers of support to come off the streets. In December the number of people assisted off the streets fell to 4 from a monthly average of 15.

"All the indicators show that outcomes are worse for rough sleepers who continue to sleep on the streets, than for those who come in and access support services. Unfortunately tents can give a false sense of security. Tragically, two of the last four rough sleeper deaths in the city happened in tents.

"Consequently, the Council is clear about its duty of care to rough sleepers in the city. We only want to save lives and help people. With that in mind we will work with our partners to do whatever is needed to get people using the wide range of available accommodation and professional services which can help them get back on their feet. What matters most is getting people off the street and that is what we have to focus on moving forward.

"With this in mind, in certain circumstances, we will be issuing the following advice to tent dwellers with the clear objective of encouraging them to engage with our services.

"We will not remove any occupied tent unless a suitable offer of accommodation has been made, taking into account the personal circumstances and wishes of each individual."



Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "I want to be very clear that we are not removing occupied tents.

"We want to engage with people to discuss their personal circumstances and wishes and to develop a plan which can help them.

"Individuals sleeping rough, whether in tents or on the street, are some of the most vulnerable people in our city and we are seriously concerned about their welfare and safety.

"We want to support people and to help them get back on their feet. Helping people off the streets is not an easy task at any time because of the complex problems they often have but there is enough accommodation for rough sleepers in Cardiff. We can deliver tailored recovery packages to rebuild their lives and we've already helped  204 people last year into accommodation, people who were once out there in the same position.

"We want everyone still on the streets to come in to allow us to do the same for them. Please accept the help we are offering."