CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Anti-homeless ‘boulders’ are removed after Extra intervenes

'Concrete-filled planters' are believed to have been placed outside former workhouse building by a resident

23 February, 2018 — By Tom Foot and Biba Kang

The blocks in Endell Street

BLOCKS believed to have been chained to a wall to stop the homeless bedding down on the floor have been removed – after the Extra asked the Town Hall who put them there.

On Wednesday Camden Council said it would remove the “concrete-filled planters” outside Dudley Court sheltered housing block in Endell Street, Covent Garden.

We contacted the council after barrister Tom Crisp, who works nearby, sent a photograph to the paper saying he was “disgusted”.

He said: “The need to care for the increasing amount of homeless people in this city has never been greater, especially given the bitterly cold winter we are having.

“These anti-homeless boulders are not only unnecessary but also serve to ostracise the homeless community from our society. “I am delighted to hear that the council has removed these boulders.”

Stickers have also been posted on the walls around Dudley Court – each of them around one foot from ground level – warning “children: keep clear”.

The boulders are also in front of the historic Sir Marmaduke’s Fountain, which  was donated by Sir Marmaduke Langdale in 1859. A Langdale Marmaduke and Thomas distillers of Holborn is mentioned in the Charles Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge.

The housing block is a former workhouse and now contains 23 retirement flats run by the council overlooking the Oasis swimming pool.

Its statement said: “These concrete-filled planters were placed on the public highway by a resident without our permission and we are now organising the removal of these.”

The blocks were removed yesterday (Thursday) and Mr Crisp said there was a homeless person back sleeping in the spot.

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