BASILDON Council has been forced to move residents to northern counties as too many have been sent to the town from London.

Gavin Callaghan shared the news with actor Ross Kemp in the ITV documentary series “Living With ‘Forced Out’ Families”.

The programme reveals at least 60 councils failed to notify other authorities where they relocated hundreds of residents.

It found Basildon and Southend, as well as Bradford and Birmingham, had emerged as “dumping grounds” for homeless people.

Mr Callaghan told the programme that many London authorities have moved residents to Basildon without informing the council, and as a result they have had to relocate some borough residents as far as Durham.

Residents being displaced include those on the housing waiting list, the homeless, and vulnerable families.

Mr Callaghan said: “In the last four years over 700 children have come into the borough through the displacement from London boroughs scheme.

“That’s put a huge, huge pressure on school places, on GP practices, and on the hospital.

“In Basildon we have seen some of our residents leave the borough, they’ve gone as far as Durham and Nottingham. I wouldn’t defend it, I wouldn’t condone it.

“The public expect councils to be able to talk to one another about who is moving between their borough boundaries.

“That’s what we want to see happen in the short term. Then at least we understand who is here. Longer term this whole policy has to go.”

Mr Callaghan has previously met with London councils over permitted development rights – which allow conversion of offices into flats without planning approval – resulting in many offices being turned into poor quality homes.

The Echo reported last year that 52 per cent of Basildon’s homeless were being left in temporary accommodation for up to two years compared to the national statistic of 14 per cent.

Ross Kemp said: “We are living in the middle of a housing crisis, with a shortfall of some four million homes.

“Local authorities are having to look outside their boroughs to find accommodation.

“Twenty-four thousand people young and old have had little choice but to move in some cases hundreds of miles away from families, schools and jobs just to keep a roof above their heads.”