HOMELESSNESS is a significant problem in Eastbourne.

That was the message from Eastbourne business leaders at a recent meetng of the Eastbourne Cobra group.

Your Eastbourne BID is a business led, business funded organisation. It’s purpose is to improve and enhance Eastbourne Town Centre.

At the recent meeting, BID reinforced that homelessness was a significant issue, and out of area placements needed to be prevented.

That is a reference to Brighton and Hove City Council accused of having “quietly moved over 130 homeless people into Eastbourne hotels” earlier this year.

Caroline Ansell, the Conservative MP for Eastbourne, raised the matter at Business Questions on Thursday (1 October).

She said: “Last month, it came to light that a neighbouring council, Brighton and Hove, had, without any consultation with Eastbourne Borough Council, quietly moved over 130 homeless people into Eastbourne hotels.

“Those who it had moved along the coast in this way could not possibly be cared for at arm’s length by Brighton and Hove, nor could they be properly cared for in Eastbourne, unprepared and unaware as we were.

“Could we debate the framework that sits behind the way in which local councils operate together to consider whether aspects that are currently considered good practice might need to be raised to the level of a duty to make sure that a sorry situation such as this does not repeat itself?”

At the Eastbourne Cobra meeting, there was ‘a strong focus’ on not to place homeless people in different boroughs.