Homeless camp set up in Corby woods

A homeless camp has been set up in Thoroughsale Woods. NNL-180425-103959005
A homeless camp has been set up in Thoroughsale Woods. NNL-180425-103959005

An unauthorised homeless camp has been set up in a Corby woodland.

A number of rough sleepers with dependency problems have made Thoroughsale Woods in the town centre their home, after losing the roof over their heads.

Cllr Kevin Watt is calling on something to be done to help the men, many of whom he says have alcohol problems.

It is estimated there about seven men currently living in the woods, some sharing a tent.

The councillor became aware of the camp after going on a woodland walk two weeks ago and last night (April 25) asked council officer Chris Stephenson at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee what more could be done.

He said: “They are very amiable, nice people who are down on their luck. The basic reason they are in the woodland is because of alcohol dependency and the inability to keep down a job and then keep a roof over their head.

“It is about helping them with their dependency issues. They are actually frightened of people coming in, kids throwing stones at them and theft.

“Is there any reason that we can do to help in that situation. Can we even give them toilet facilities?

Chris Stephenson told Cllr Watt the council was involved but it was a difficult situation.

He said: “The council is doing as much as it can but it is not as straightforward as you are possibly making out. If you provide toilet facilities close to the camps then in a sense you are establishing a camp. It is a really complicated and difficult situation.”

The meeting heard that there are 10 abandoned tent sites in the woods and the cost of the clean up is £1,800.

The authority is having to contract specialist cleaners as volunteers could not safely clear the camp because there were used needles.

Voluntary organisations and charities have been set up to help the rough sleepers in the town.

It is estimated there are about 50 rough sleepers in total across the town.

The council is supporting a scheme which operates from West Glebe Park twice weekly and gives the rough sleepers facilities to wash and eat.

A soup kitchen is also run by Dennis Binks and Corby Nightlight has been providing shelter for many rough sleepers over the winter months.

It is hoping to have a permanent base soon.