THERE is upset, anger and confusion after metal fences were put up where homeless people were living.

Shelters at Duke’s Mound, Brighton, which have been providing protection from the elements for rough sleepers for years, were fenced off on Thursday.

One homeless young man cried after seeing his belongings “dumped” outside and his “home” behind metal railings, according to homeless campaigner Jim Deans, who has blasted the decision.

The move comes after a leaked memo to Brighton and Hove City councillors claimed there was “no planned action” to remove rough sleepers last week.

Council leader Nancy Platts told campaigners she was unaware the fencing was being put up.

Mr Deans, from Sussex Homeless Support, said: “The guys turned up unannounced, pulled everything out... their belongings like tents, sleeping bags, food and toiletries and left them on the path.

“One of the guys was crying after he came down and saw what was happening. This is so stupid it’s unreal. This is only going to drive people on to the streets over the cold winter.”

Last week, The Argus reported how the council lead for homelessness pledged a “welfare first approach” to those sleeping in tents in the city when she spoke during a charity sleep out for the homeless.

Labour councillor Nichole Brennan, who was elected in May, said there would be “support, not eviction” for homeless tent dwellers across Brighton and Hove.

Then last week The Argus reported on a leaked council memo to councillors which claimed officers had moved on three homeless sites.

The memo stated there were “no plans this week” to move on rough sleepers at 15 other sites – including Duke’s Mound.

Days later the metal fences, which block off access to the shelters where the homeless were sleeping, were added to five locations at Duke’s Mound.

A council spokeswoman said: “The tent briefing which informed about this action was a previous issue, different from the one sent to The Argus last week.

“It referred to planned fencing at Dukes Mound. The briefing did not go into detail and so the nature of the gates was not shared widely.”

Speaking yesterday Ms Platts said: “We are going to look again at the fencing at Dukes Mound. It was installed following discussion by officers with local agencies and residents. The move was taken with the welfare of those sleeping at the arches as a top priority due to serious health and safety concerns at the site. All the same, moving people around the city is also not a good way to manage the needs of vulnerable people. We’re doing all we can to provide much-needed support in our city and are working hard to provide more shelter for all in need.”