Leeds City Council offers site to ‘Tent City’

PIC: Tony Johnson
PIC: Tony Johnson
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Campaigners who set up a camp for homeless people in Leeds were in court again yesterday as the council sought to move them on for a second time.

But there was unexpected good news for the group behind ‘Tent City’ as they were offered an alternative site.

Campaigners and residents of 'Tent City' in Leeds celebrate after the council offered an alternative site. Picture: Dean Michaels Photography.

Campaigners and residents of 'Tent City' in Leeds celebrate after the council offered an alternative site. Picture: Dean Michaels Photography.

Leeds City Council has agreed to let Leeds Voice for the Homeless run its camp for the next six weeks on part of the former Leeds International Pool site in Westgate. It has also committed to carrying out housing assessments for everyone who is staying there.

A group spokesman said: “We went to the council a week ago asking for some land, they refused but today they conceded. It’s a massive victory.”

But the council has said that it does not support the idea of a permanent tented city.

A spokeswoman said: “It doesn’t resolve the issue or address the challenge of being able to engage with people who have a range of complicated problems that need various support and health services to help them to a better life.

We are keen to offer people support and accommodation.

Leeds City Council

“If, at the end of the six week period, everyone’s best endeavours haven’t resulted in the group disbanding voluntarily from the site, we’ll look at the legal options available to us.”

She said the council had to balance the needs of the vulnerable with those of other residents and businesses.

The camp started out with around 15 tents outside Leeds Art Gallery in Victoria Gardens on September 21. It then moved on to the gardens in Park Square last week after the council won a court order.

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A camp for the homeless was set up in Park Square last Monday night.

A camp for the homeless was set up in Park Square last Monday night.

The camp, known as Tent City, is offering shelter to the homeless.

The camp, known as Tent City, is offering shelter to the homeless.

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