Homeless tents removed from Cardiff city centre

Tents on a Cardiff street
Image caption Dozens of tents have appeared on Cardiff's busiest shopping streets in recent months

Abandoned tents belonging to rough sleepers in Cardiff city centre have been removed, the council has said.

Dozens of tents have appeared on some of the city's busiest shopping streets recently, with warnings that they are causing the homeless to reject help.

In January, a Conservative councillor was branded "inhuman" after tweeting the tents should be "torn down".

The council said the tents belonged to people who had moved to accommodation and had given consent to remove them.

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Media captionRichard, who lives on the streets of Cardiff, says he has "no hope"

It added: "The council is concerned about the growing number of tents in the city centre and the impact they can have on rough sleepers who are deciding against taking up offers of support to come off the streets."

The number of people assisted off the streets fell in December from an average of 15 a month to four, the council added.

Two of the past four rough sleeper deaths in the city have happened in tents.

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Media captionHomeless people sleeping in tents speak of why they do not want to stay in shelters

Lydia Thorne, the council's cabinet member for housing, said: "I want to be very clear that we are not removing occupied tents.

"We want to support people and to help them get back on their feet. Helping people off the streets is not an easy task at any time because of the complex problems they often have, but there is enough accommodation for rough sleepers in Cardiff.

"We can deliver tailored recovery packages to rebuild their lives and we've already helped 204 people last year into accommodation, people who were once out there in the same position."

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