Over 50 Indian Nationals Sleep Under M4

Hounslow Council urges swifter action from Indian High Commission over plight of homeless



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The London Borough of Hounslow has urged the Indian High Commission to work in partnership with the council and other agencies to help around 50 homeless people living under the M4 flyover at Heston.

The rough sleepers in the area are Indian nationals, with no legal documentation to live or work in the UK. They have settled in the area between Southall and Heston under the flyover, with no sanitation, lighting or heating. They do however have access to three meals a day at the nearby Southall Gurdwara Temple.

 Hounslow Council has been able to offer an outreach service to the homeless people at the site, and during the severe cold in previous weeks was able to offer severe weather emergency provision to ensure that a warm place to sleep at night was offered. However, the council is limited in the help it can offer the group as they have no legal status in the UK.

Cllr Steve Curran, Hounslow Council’s cabinet member for housing said:

 “We have been in contact many times with the large number of rough sleepers sleeping in the Heston area of the borough.

 “In partnership with key agencies including the Police, UKBA and Thamesreach, a homeless charity, the council has engaged with the rough sleepers, trying to find suitable solutions to their current problem.

“The majority of the individuals are Indian nationals who do not hold legal status in the UK and have no access to public funds. We therefore are restricted in what assistance we can offer.

 “We are making all efforts to secure emergency travel documents with the Indian High Commission; however requesting such papers can take a considerable period of time as investigations can be complex. We would urge the Indian High Commission to speed up the process to ensure these people are able to return home safely.”

February 27, 2012

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