Homelessness: Newport roadside site gets 'tidy-up'

Council workers clean up
Image caption Homeless people have been at the city centre site for two years

Bedding, general waste and syringes were among the things removed from a city centre homeless site after "complaints from the public".

Rough sleepers have been living under a busy junction in Newport for about two years and on Thursday the council cleaned the site next to a main road.

It said support workers were working with rough sleepers on the site and they would keep their belongings safe.

The council said homeless people could stay on the site after the "tidy-up".

"The council works proactively, with partners, to alleviate homelessness and rough sleeping and this includes frontline staff engaging directly with those on the streets," Newport council said in a statement.

The authority added its housing needs team worked "hard to help families and individuals that find themselves in such difficult circumstances".

Image caption The site is next to one of the busiest roads into Newport, the A4042 from Cwmbran

One lane of the A4042 Usk Way road that runs through the city centre was shut when the work was carried out "to enable the work to take place as quickly and safely as possible".

"People who are homeless and approach the council are helped to find immediate emergency accommodation and then assisted with longer-term solutions," added the council.

The council said it worked closely with Gwent Police and homeless charities, but this depended on "the engagement of individuals, some of whom have multiple support needs".

"But that will not stop us continuing to reach out to offer help and advice," it added.

"The council also has to balance the needs and safety of other residents and businesses in the city centre in relation to sites used by people who are sleeping rough."

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