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Last Updated: Monday, 5 April, 2004, 20:47 GMT 21:47 UK
Big Issue could be made homeless
Big Issue magazine
Big Issue sellers could be forced back into begging on the streets
The magazine which works to support the homeless could soon find itself out on the streets.

Staff at the Big Issue offices in Brighton, East Sussex, have been told they must leave the premises in Queens Road following problems over the rent.

The landlords are a charity working for the community, called Community Base.

John Bird, who founded the magazine, said whatever happens they will continue their work even if they have to operate out of doorways and vans.

Brighton was one of the original locations for Big Issue offices, but it now looks as though the magazine will have to leave by July.

Big Issue offices in Brighton
Problems paying the rent mean the Brighton office could close by July
The offices are used for drug advice and re-training as well as for distributing the magazine, with their services supported by the local authorities.

But it may mean the 80 Big Issue vendors who sell the magazine across Sussex could be pushed back onto the streets and into begging.

Peter Wileman, manager of the Brighton office, said his concern was how soon they could find somewhere to go.

"Obviously when agencies such as ours tend to want to move it can often cause alarm to the residents of the area you might want to move to," he said.

He has held discussions with Brighton and Hove City Council and believes they are willing to help.

However, a council spokesman said it had entered "no firm commitments" to the Big Issue, although it recognised the valuable work it does.




SEE ALSO:
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09 Mar 04  |  England
Shane's party rights go for 1.10
05 Mar 04  |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Big Issue drug dealer jailed
28 Jan 04  |  Merseyside


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