Homeless forced out of hotels and left to live in tents and cars to make way for G7, charity says

'DISC Newquay says it has heard first hand from people who have had to leave the hotels to make way for police'

Vulnerable homeless people in Cornwall have had to move out of hotel accommodation with some left with no option but to live in tents and cars due to the G7 summit, a local charity has said.

DISC Newquay, a charity that seeks to help the homeless, vulnerable and anyone else in need of support in Newquay and the surrounding area, says it has heard first hand from people who have had to leave the hotels to make way for police and others connected with the summit that will see leaders of some of the wealthiest democracies arrive in one of the poorest areas of north west Europe.

Monique Collins, the charity’s manager told LFF: “From first-hand experience, I know that people have been moved out and it wasn’t the hotels fault that this happened because these hotels had been booked a year in advance.

“The council knew that this was going to happen and were given plenty of notice but when it came to it, people were left in their cars, we’ve got people in tents and people who have had to move out, because there is nowhere for them to go.”

Monique said she was certain that the people who had been moved out of hotel accommodation would be moved back in next week after the summit and accused the council of misleading the public as to why people had been moved out.

She added: “The rooms were block booked for G7 and purely for G7 for the police forces they have bought in from everywhere.”

Cornwall is one of the most deprived areas in the country, with 17 neighbourhoods in the area among the 10% most deprived in the country, with more than one in three children living in poverty in parts of Cornwall.

Monique said: “The solution to this is to build some normal affordable social housing like we used to have council houses, that’s what they need to bring back, houses that are affordable for local people to live in.”

She said that she knew of one lady who was now living in a car, after being moved out the Friday before the bank holiday and was told that she might have to go out of county.

“She’s been left in limbo with nowhere to go, other locals have resorted to living in tents because there is no accommodation,” said Monique.

She also added that people working in hotels and restaurants had been booted out of their accommodation not just because of G7 but also because landlords wanted to sublet because of the summer season and wanted to ‘make a quick buck’.

Cornwall Council insists that people have not been moved out of the hotels due to the G7 summit.

A spokesperson said: “The lack of availability of temporary accommodation in local hotels is not as a result of G7.  It is a seasonal issue which 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 offered alternative accommodation straight away.  Some have chosen to make their own arrangements and others have not wanted to take up the offer of the available alternative accommodation.  We continue to offer support to all those affected to help them find long term homes.”

Basit Mahmood is co-editor of Left Foot Forward

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