‘Homeless’ man has left the bus shelter and it is all clean

We have been informed that the man who was ‘living’ in the bus shelter in Bickerstaffe has moved on. The male was spotted living in the bus shelter during the previous month and it raised concerns among drivers and passers by. Many people stopped to hand cash, clothes and food to the man, but it was never made clear whether he was in fact homeless or not. A local business man cleaned the area of rubbish.

Bickerstaffe Parish Council put out a statement on the issue which read:

Statement from Bickerstaffe parish council

1 BICKERSTAFFE PARISH COUNCIL March 23rd, 2018 To: Community members, members of the public; local businesses Re: Statement a…

MARGARET SUMNER·SATURDAY, 24 MARCH 2018

1 BICKERSTAFFE PARISH COUNCIL March 23rd, 2018 To: Community members, members of the public; local businesses Re: Statement about problems at Four Lane Ends Bus Shelter You will no doubt be aware of the person who stations himself by the bus shelter at Four Lane Ends opposite the Murco Petrol Station. The situation created is now causing serious health and safety concerns. From the start when the man first appeared, WLBC made every effort to assist him, including arranging for the Homeless Team to visit him, which they did on several occasions. The Parish Council sought the help from homeless charities and shelters also, but all assistance was declined. We are reliably informed that the man refused to engage with anyone about getting help. Working with WLBC, the Parish Council have now established that this person is not homeless but lives in a town outside the parish, and has been seen being dropped off in the morning and picked up at night. The Parish and local councils always do all they can to help anyone genuinely homeless or in need, but in this case the person seems to merely be begging at this location. Begging is against the law (it is illegal under the “Vagrancy Act of 1824”, but it does not carry a jail sentence). Now that it has been established that this man is most definitely NOT homeless, the authorities have begun to remove non-personal items bit by bit (some of which may have been left at the roadside by well-meaning passers-by, but which amount to fly tipping now), and we hope that eventually the bus- stop, area and shelter will be cleared as local residents cannot use the bus shelter as it is. There is deep concern caused about road safety also by traffic stopping on the busy road and the risk this creates for accidents: there has already been at least one accident here. The debris is now attracting rats, which is a public health concern, and we are sure that no-one wants to attract more vermin to the area as it is particularly undesirable with food outlets nearby. Unfortunately the success of this person in obtaining money at this location has meant it is a lucrative spot from which to beg. Whilst the Parish Council wish to make clear that it will do all it can for anyone genuinely in need, as we are sure the public would too, we would urge members of the public not to give money or items to the person who waits around the bus shelter, as he is not in fact homeless. Staff in the local outlets have informed us that people leave £10 and £20 notes for him regularly, food, beer and coffee. We hope that if everyone can work together, this issue might be solved to prevent accidents to the public, or the person himself at what is a very dangerous location; and to prevent the fly tipping and vermin issues also. Please help us to spread the word to stop this problem situation. Visit the Parish Council website for details of how to contact the Parish Clerk or Parish Councillors at www.bickerstaffeparishcouncil.org or email bickerstaffeparishcouncil@hotmail.com

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