STATEMENT: Welfare of homeless person outside Sutton Station

Published Monday, 25th February 2019

A Sutton Council spokesperson said: 

“We are deeply shocked and concerned for the welfare of the individual in this video.

“Urgent enquiries have been made, and we can confirm that steps are underway to offer the individual our full assistance through social welfare and housing support.

"We are in touch with Govia Thameslink and are assisting them in making contact with the individual so that they can apologise on behalf of their employees who we understand have been suspended pending full investigation.

“Sutton is supporting an ever increasing number of homeless people, in common with councils across the country, especially in London. In April 2015, Sutton Council found homes for 280 homeless households. As of this week, the figure has risen to 621 households so far this year..

“Likewise, the number of people sleeping rough in the borough, whilst low by London standards, has increased in recent years. Our official rough sleeper count, used by the Government to allocate funding, is 5, having increased from 3 last year. SPEAR, a South West London charity that we pay to work with rough sleepers on our behalf, is currently supporting 19 rough sleepers in Sutton. The funding we receive from the Government to support people under our obligations set out in the Homelessness Act is  inadequate.

“Sky-high rents in London are simply unaffordable for people out of work or on low incomes. More and more families are facing eviction by private sector landlords. The chronic lack of affordable and social housing is a nationwide problem which requires  a government-led response.

“We cannot comment on individual cases but always want to speak to any resident at risk of, or currently, rough-sleeping. Please come and see us at our Civic or Sutton Gate offices to see how we can help.”