COUNTY NEWS: Homeless woman on hunger strike outside council

Meg Ainsworth protesting outside the council
Meg Ainsworth protesting outside the council

A homeless woman is on hunger strike outside a Sussex council offices this week.

Meg Ainsworth, aged 69, says she is protesting about her treatment by Eastbourne Borough Council after being unable to find suitable accommodation.

She said: “I’m going on hunger strike until they house me or I die outside.

“I have got to do this – this is it. I don’t want to live like this any more.”

Ms Ainsworth said she left her accommodation last year because she was being bullied by other residents.

She said: “A group of people bullied me and made my life hell and swore and spat at me.

“I kept pleading with the council to get me out there. They said it’s that or the streets.

“I had no option, I had to get out of there, my doctor kept telling me to get out.

“So 18 months ago I gave a month’s notice and walked out.

“And now the council won’t help me because they say I have made myself intentionally homeless.”

She said she had since had to live in her car for five months last year and has stayed in a number of refuges.

And now she is asking for a one-bedroom flat to stay in.

She says the council has offered her a room in the centre of town but she cannot accept because she gets anxiety attacks from being in a busy area around a lot of people.

Ms Ainsworth said: “I don’t want to resort to these measures, it’s so humiliating, but I don’t stand a chance of anything at the moment.

“I won’t go down that road again, they’re not going to put me in a dark little corner. They let me go through hell before.

“I’d rather die outside the council than in my car.”

Contacted for comment, an Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said: “We have given Ms Ainsworth two offers of accommodation but unfortunately these were both refused.

“The council will continue to do everything it can to help and assist Ms Ainsworth.”