HOMELESS people causing disruption in a town centre street are being moved on as part of a clean-up.

Local business owners have complained about problems caused by homeless people sleeping in Albert Road, including discarded litter and human waste, for several years.

Back in October 2009 local businessman Stephen Bath, of Bath Travel, frustrated by the sight of empty bottles, dried vomit and dirty clothing marring the street, called on the council to act.

Lorraine Mealings, Strategic Housing Services Manager for Bournemouth council, said the authority has been working with Crime Reduction Initiatives, Dorset Police and the UK Border Agency to move the homeless people to “suitable accommodation”.

Nathaniel Rendell, owner of the Consortium clothes shop, said he believed the move was a positive step towards Albert Road regaining its former glory.

“I have sympathy for the homeless but these particular people have been creating a problem where we are trying to run a business,” he said.

“Since the Criterion Arcade closed Albert Road has become a forgotten road with very little passing trade.

“However I have had a very positive response from the authorities, and now it would be great to see Albert Road included more as part of the town centre.”

Ward councillor David Smith said: “As a town centre councillor I don’t like to see homeless people sleeping in doorways here, it shouldn’t happen, and visitors to the town don’t want to see it either. There is on-going work in Albert Road.”

Business rates holiday

BUSINESSMAN Stephen Bath believes Bournemouth Council should consider a business rates holiday to encourage new shops into the street.

The joint managing director of Bath Travel described the conditions in Albert Road as “absolutely disgusting”.

“I pay the council £71,000 per year in rates to have a shop in a street full of empty units, with overflowing bins, graffiti and human waste,” he said.

“Moving people out of the doorways along here every six months doesn’t really do it for us.

“It all started when the arcade closed about five years ago, people stopped coming through and the shops shut.

“If the council introduced a bit of a rates holiday it might encourage shops to move back in. We are all very grateful to Nathaniel who has been the saviour of the street with his successful businesses.