THE BOROUGH council has said it is ‘providing support’ to a homeless man in Andover after a town councillor hit out at the authority for ‘bagging up’ his belongings.

At a meeting of Andover Town Council last week, Cllr Nigel Long asked Test Valley Borough Council representatives in attendance to make enquiries, after he witnessed a well-known rough sleeper’s belongings being “bagged up and thrown into a TVBC vehicle” outside the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill unit on Andover’s High Street.

He added that the building’s entrance has been “boarded up”, so the man is unable to return.

“I know he has refused help in the past, but this is not doing him any good,” said Cllr Long.

“It’s disgusting.”

A spokesperson for Test Valley Borough Council said: “We can confirm that the council is providing support to the gentleman in question and have been doing so for some time.

“We do not own the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill unit so we were not involved in boarding it up. However, as the gentleman’s belongings were subsequently left unattended in the street, we safely removed them and are currently storing them for him. We are in contact with him and he is aware of this.”

SEE ALSO: Support for homelessness from Test Valley Borough Council

They continued: “Although we are unable to discuss individual cases we will always make an offer of emergency accommodation to any local person we are aware is sleeping rough without exception. Unfortunately, not every offer we make is accepted.

“Though we will do everything we possibly can and will always continue to do so, it is important to recognise that encouraging some of the most vulnerable members of our community to come inside requires time and significant support.”

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