BOURNEMOUTH’S council leader wants to find ways of getting more homeless people “back where they came from”.

Cllr John Beesley wants to stop the town’s taxpayers from having to “carry the burden” of helping those who relocate to the resort with nowhere to live.

Speaking at a Poole Hill Neighbourhood Watch meeting, Cllr Beesley said: “For too long, Bournemouth has been seen as a nice place for homeless people to come to and be sent to.

“We need to look after people and make sure we don’t have to carry the burden of other local authorities at the same time.”

He added: “If they have not got a local connection, we look after them temporarily and look at getting them in a position to get them back to where they came from and make sure their local authority is aware of that and get to the point of taking on their responsibility.”

Cllr Beesley wants the council to work with professional bodies like BCHA and homelessness charities “to find a better way”.

At the moment those without a local link receive help at St Paul’s night shelter for a limited number of days before they receive support towards “reconnecting” back to where they do have a link.

Bournemouth council funds £1.5million of housing-related support for 6,000 households who are homeless each year, providing rent deposit loans for 250 people.

It has the equivalent of eight full-time homelessness and debt advice officers.

The council funds a rough sleeper outreach team which helps 100 people each year to “reconnect” to the areas they come from but does consider the implications for those seen as vulnerable.

The council also spends approximately £100,000 on putting homeless people up in bed and breakfast accommodation.

Kate Parker of Shelter Dorset, based at Poole Hill, said they would welcome the chance to help with this.

Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, has been looking at how many people arrive in Bournemouth for drug rehabilitation and said he “fully supports the council on this”.

Chris Hunt, 67, from South-bourne, said: “What happens to those people from Bournemouth who go to Torquay and their local authority does the same as Bournemouth and sends them back? We go around in circles.”

And Paul Reuberson, 65, from Ringwood, said: “If you are local you are owed something. But there are people out there more worthy of help who have worked for all their lives.”

Brian Swann, BCHA’s director of operations and partnerships, said 95 per cent of beds at their St Paul’s Night shelter were used by local people last year.

Good idea "in principle"

BIG Issue seller Kelvin Willmott has been homeless, on and off, for the last nine years.

He has recently settled in supported housing with his dog Raven and would hate to go back on the streets.

He said: “I think it’s a good idea that they get you back to where you came from.  But in some cases people might’ve left because of  abuse or had to get away and are too scared to go back."

Kelvin, 27, is from Poole and said he feels the area has lots of homeless, with some coming for rehabilitation while many others tell him they would rather be homeless in a seaside resort.

He added: “A lot of people have come here in the past with the impression they can come down here, get put up in a night shelter and get somewhere to live but there are not enough houses.

“They are shocked when  told they get five nights and are told to go home.”