LAST year, over 4,000 people signed a petition objecting to the council’s treatment of the homeless around the travel interchange.

In December, at the council meeting, I raised a question about the inhumane practice of playing music at night to curb those seeking shelter from sleeping there.

This was in no way a criticism of the vital work carried out by the rough sleeping team and in order to learn more, I arranged to spend some time with them.

At 6am, on a cold, dark morning, I joined the team for a tour of Bournemouth you won’t find in a guidebook.

Many of the homeless people I met that morning were known to the team, however, for me, seeing them huddled in shop doorways, on benches, beneath bridges and in car parks, often with little more than the clothes they were wearing, really brought home how desperate their lives were.

There are countless reasons for people being homeless, but the figures continue to rise, not just here, but across the country.

And, while our government continues to implement its austerity programme, supported by Conservative-led councils, this will only get worse.

CLLR SIMON BULL, Bournemouth Town Hall