A baby has died after having to sleep rough with his homeless parents in a car in Bournemouth. I am not surprised at this as every time I walk through Oxford or any other town in England I see beggars and homeless people. I see them in Birmingham, I see them in Leicester, I see them in London. So does everybody else ...apart from the politicians, apparently. Our slithery, untrustworthy PM is far too busy with regime change in distant countries to take an interest in such domestic trivia.
A friend of mine was in an East London railway station yesterday and saw a young woman begging. She was about 25, and explained that she was from Liverpool and was homeless. My friend asked her if she needed money to go to the Night Shelter, and the young woman replied that there was a queue of 64 other people who would have to drop dead before she was offered a place. It was the same at most other Night Shelters she had tried.
The couple are understood to be living in a bed and breakfast and have yet to find permanent housing.
In July, they said they were unable to find enough money for a deposit and had stayed at a Boscombe bed and breakfast for a couple of nights, and had also slept in their car.
They said they felt let down by local councils.
Both Poole Borough Council and East Dorset District Council were contacted for comment after it emerged the mum had contacted their housing departments for help in the past. A spokesman for East Dorset said they had never received any requests to re-home the family.
Poole Borough Council confirmed their housing officers had spoken to the couple, and had offered advice and support, but were unable to help because she was based in Verwood at the time of her inquiry.
Donald's mum, referred to only as 39-year-old Jane, was admitted to Poole Hospital suffering pre-eclampsia and kidney problems. Donald was delivered two weeks early by emergency caesarean section on July 6. The pair were kept in for a week due to ongoing concerns for Jane's health, and the baby boy was also admitted to NICU for a time due to low blood sugar levels.
The first time mum, who didn't think she would ever have children, told the Echo at the time: "I love him to bits. I just want him to be safe."
After hearing of Donald's death, Ben Tomlin, housing services manager, Borough of Poole said: "Borough of Poole was contacted by the mother and though she was not eligible, she was provided with as much support and guidance as possible.
"She last approached us in May and hadn’t returned to Poole for help after her baby was born. Our deepest sympathies are with her at this time."Well that's a great help isn't it?