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Stroud Green Road rough sleepers moved while Islington Council installs ‘brighter LED lights’ under bridge

PUBLISHED: 09:56 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:56 12 March 2019

The barriers under the brige in Stroud Green Road. Picture: Mel Li

The barriers under the brige in Stroud Green Road. Picture: Mel Li

Archant

Rough sleepers and beggars have been moved from under the Stroud Green Road bridge in Finsbury Park while the council installs brighter LED lighting.

Islington Council yesterday started work to “improve the appearance” of the underpass and “increase feelings of safety”.

A notice issued on Thursday said everyone regularly camped under the bridge had accommodation and day centres available to them and outreach workers had been engaging with them for months to let them know about the situation and offer support.

Barriers will remain up until March 29, when the switch to the new lights is expected to be completed. Contractors will be on site all day and night.

Islington Council said: “While the works are taking place, for safety reasons we will be helping the street population to move from the area under the bridge.

“Our outreach teams have been engaging with them on an ongoing basis over several months to offer support to move them into safe and secure accommodation and to notify them of the upcoming bridge works.

“All of those under the bridge have accommodation and day centres available to them. We will continue to provide outreach support in the lead up and for the duration of the works and safely store any belongings for them.”

The work comes a month after Islington Council announced it would be going to the High Court to seek an injunction on rough sleeping, begging and anti-social behaviour under the bridge.

Following heated discussions with outreach groups the rough-sleeping element of the order was removed, and the hearing was postponed to a later date.

Over the last two years the council has housed 34 people who were rough sleeping, mostly under the bridge.

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