The mayor of Burnley, Bea Enpea, has opened the country's first squatting advice centre for layabouts, drug-addicts and fake Big Issue sellers who can't be bothered working and paying for a mortgage.
Based in an old Poundstretcher store on St James Street, the squatters advice team moved in unannounced 6 months ago. Their electricity supply has been sponsored by the council, who, even with the 30 metres of flex running from the traffic light box outside the store, don't actually realise they are sponsoring it. Although there is hot and cold running damp, there is no water because the inhabitants rarely wash.
The centre offers a range of advice on how to occupy vacant buildings, and how to identify a house that might be closed for six months while its owners live in Spain to avoid rip-off Britain. It also offers methods of breaking in as well as practical suggestions on redecorating, including furniture breaking, pulling wallpaper of the wall, damaging fixtures and fittings and smearing excrement all over the walls. There us also a fact sheet on stealing electricity from either electric street furniture or from neighbours.
Councillor Enpea said:
"This is a remarkable example of British Enterprise culture at work. It shoes that when push comes to shove, or when inhalation comes to injection, young people can be as entrepreneurial as anyone.
"The fact they can take over the running of or even the running down of a house, especially one that isn't theirs, and for free, shows financial acumen and creativity not even shown by Councillors claiming expenses for meeting they don't attend."