Council considering taking action against rough sleepers camped outside former Northampton pound shop

The scene outside the former Poundland in Abington Street. Nicky, a 30-year-old man staying there told the Chron he has nowhere else to go.
The scene outside the former Poundland in Abington Street. Nicky, a 30-year-old man staying there told the Chron he has nowhere else to go.

A group of rough sleepers currently camped outside Northampton's former Poundland outlet on the main shopping drag have declined the council's night shelter.

Several people have contacted the Chronicle and Echo this week to talk about a group of around four people who have been sleeping in the arch of the former budget store in Abington Street.

Duvets, a shopping trolley and litter is currently covering the area, which has attracted a number of complaints from town shoppers.

But Councillor Stephen Hibbert, cabinet member for housing on the borough council, said the group has refused temporary accommodation

He said: "Our outreach team is making regular contact with this group of individuals. We have made them offers of accommodation which have been declined and they do not wish to engage with us or the support services available.

“There are some serious anti-social behaviour issues which need to be addressed and we will be working with our partners around the town to consider the appropriate enforcement action.

“There is no need for anyone to sleep rough in Northampton, so we will continue to try to engage with the individuals in question and hope that they choose to take advantage of the services on offer.”

However, one of the men staying there who just wished to be known by the name Nicky, aged 30, said he felt he had nowhere else to go.

He said: "If I go to the night shelter I'll have to leave in three days, what's the point?

"If they board this place up I will just have to move down the street."

Chief executive of the Hope Centre in Campbell Square, Robin Burgess, has urged the group to make contact.

The centre offers day respite to people in unstable housing and sees around 20 rough sleepers a day.

He said: "Any homeless person is welcome to come and see us between 8.30am and 1pm where they can receive two hot meals a day and all sorts of services."