December 19, 2019 5.29 pm This story is over 47 months old

Lincoln homeless couple to fight eviction notice in court

They’ve been living in tents in Lincoln city centre for several weeks

A homeless couple living in tents in Lincoln city centre for several weeks has defiantly vowed to fight an eviction notice in court.

The City of Lincoln Council staked in the ground a notice outside their tents which warned of upcoming legal action for refusing to leave St Swithins Square.

In a letter shared with The Lincolnite by the couple, the council also added that it would try to pass on its legal costs to the tune of £432.

The couple, originally from Boston, told The Lincolnite they have been cleaning the square and getting on well with the nearby cafe and church.

“It’s not like we want to be here,” the woman who did not wish to be named said. “We are just nice ordinary people who fell foul to Universal Credit.

“I’m going in a minute to do my begging. I am ashamed of it, so I do it at night and hope that nobody recognises me.

“We are not drug users, we just lost our home and we have been treated like criminals ever since.”

She then proceeded to open up the tent and show a reporter inside that they do not take any drugs.

The man added: “We want to be here because my wife just does not feel safe by the river. Charities and the council don’t want to speak with us as a couple.

“They will house my wife for one night, it’s not permanent, but not as a couple.

“We have been together six years, for God’s sake, we are life partners, so I am not going to spend a day without my wife.

“Tomorrow [December 20] we will go to the court and tell the judge exactly what we have just told you.”

Homelessness has been on the rise in Lincoln. Photo: The Lincolnite

It comes as a time where Lincoln has been highlighted as having the fourth-highest number of rough sleepers in the East Midlands, according to a new report by Shelter.

Francesca Bell, public protection and anti-social behaviour manager at City of Lincoln Council told The Lincolnite that the couple has refused support.

She added: “We have spoken to the occupiers of the tent and offered them our support and assistance in finding more suitable accommodation, but this has been refused.

“We have highlighted to them that they are on private property and have asked them to leave the site. They have repeatedly stated that they would, but have yet to do so.

“We have received reports of anti-social behaviour from nearby residents and concerns have also been raised by local businesses.

“This step is a last resort and has only been done following all our previous actions being rebuffed. We remain able to assist if the occupiers of the tent are willing to engage with us.”

What to do if you see someone sleeping rough in Lincoln this winter.