Homelessness in Paignton: ‘I, Daniel Blake’ (14.4.2019)


Situated on the corner of Victoria Street and Hyde Road (opposite Paignton Train Station and situated to the left of Poundland and the level-crossing) is an empty shop still carrying the name of ‘Store Twenty One’. This used to sell moderately priced clothing and I think as a family we have been in there on occasion over the years. My parents and brother-in-law and sister live in Torquay, but we live in Sutton in South London and visit when school and work holidays allow. London broke-up for Easter over a week ago, and so we have been here since Tuesday (9.4.2019). Everyone in Torquay and Paignton has been very polite, caring and helpful, and we have been touched by the general air of tolerance. Just after eating Sunday Lunch at Mo’s Grill (Crossways) today, we walked into Paignton and came across this boarded-up shop.


I am told by a person with relatives living in the area (and a father who carries-out very good work with the homeless), that two homeless gentleman were living in the doorway of this shop. They were well-known in the area, and well-liked, being polite and as tidy as their circumstances allowed. However, Torbay Council had the shop-front boarded-up so that the two men had to move-on – losing what little safety they had. Torbay Council took this action because the site of these two homeless men was supposedly ‘offending’ tourists! It is astonishing that these type of people are offended by the consequences of Tory Austerity – but not the Tory Austerity itself! Daniel Blake, of course, was murdered by the DWP applying the Tory-Libdems Austerity policy to people having to live on Benefits!


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