SOUTHEND Council is bracing itself after the London Borough of Camden announced it is to turf out almost 3,000 people.

The Labour council says it will displace 761 families, including 900 children, because a cap on housing benefit means they can no longer afford London rents.

In January the Echo reported private landlords outside London could be tempted by cash incentives of up to £1,500 being offered by some London councils.

Camden Council has been looking at areas as far away as Leicester and Birmingham but with the close proximity of Southend to the city it is more than likely some tenants will head this way.

A spokesman for Camden Council said she couldn’t confirm Southend was one of the authorities approached, but she said up to 30 councils had been contacted and it was “possible Southend was one of them”.

Council leader Nigel Holdcroft said: “Our officers are liaising with London local authorities to avoid this happening. We would certainly be opposed to any relocation of peole to Southend. “It is for local authorities to take responsibility for their residents rather than transfer them to us or other local authorities. It would create an unreasonable burden on our services and resources.”

Wayne Mearns, owner of Belvoir letting agents in Westcliff believes it could trigger a rise in the numbers of rogue landlords and agents. He said: “My concern is the possibility of more sub-standard properties appearing on the market from inexperienced or unregulated agents.”