Tent village is taken down by town hall staff

Chris Conlin
Chris Conlin

An impromptu tent village has been dismantled by council officers days after the death of homeless man in the borough.

Chris Conlin, who was found dead on the streets of Leigh last week, was believed to have spent time staying at a shelter set up in bushes off King Street.

Council chiefs denied claims, made in the days after Chris’ passing, that they had neglected the popular homeless man.

However, one local resident has now come forward to allege they had made the council aware of the tent village as early as September but that nothing was done until the days after Chris’ tragic death - despite numerous emails and phone calls.

The resident also says last week they emailed all the officers who received the earlier reports to again demand action - but this time ‘blind’ copying in council chief executive Donna Hall.

Within days, the resident says, staff were despatched to the Ellesmere Street encampment. Council chiefs say they are now “working with” two homeless people living at the site.

Vicky Bannister, Wigan Council’s assistant director for homes, said: “We are working with two people who created the shelter. We have visited them to find out their circumstances and what has led them to be in this position.

“We are now helping them to find a suitable home. We will also continue to work closely with organisations like The Brick which engage on a daily basis with people who are sleeping rough to help them to re-enter mainstream services and access accommodation.”

Chris died after suffering a “medical episode” in nearby Bradshawgate.