The Aquarium Top roundabout tent: Scarborough Council denies claims from occupant that 'they refused to house me'

Scarborough Council has denied claims that it has refused to house a man who has been living in a tent on a Scarborough seafront roundabout.

By Sarah Fitton
Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 12:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 12:06 pm

Gavin Wilson pitched a tent on the Aquarium Top roundabout in Scarborough last week, sparking a surge of interest from people on social media.

Yesterday, Mr Wilson, 34, told a news website that covers North Yorkshire that the council had “point-blank refused to house me” and had done nothing for him.

He is quoted as saying: "The way I see it is we wouldn't treat a dog like this - leaving it without food, shelter or water. Why is it okay to leave a homeless person like this?"

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The tent at the roundabout at Aquarium Top.

In response, Cllr Carl Maw, Scarborough Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities and Housing, said the authority had tried to house Mr Wilson on a number of occasions.

Cllr Maw said: “We strongly refute Mr Wilson’s claims that we have refused to house him and done nothing for him.

“Our housing team has always tried to help him.

The tent was surrounded by Christmas decorations and other objects.

“He has been provided with accommodation on numerous occasions in the past, including, most recently, in local hotels under the government’s ‘get everyone in’ initiative.

“Mr Wilson was given three different sets of accommodation during this period but sadly, he lost all three due to his serious anti-social behaviour.

“There has also been a significant amount of on-going work with our partner organisations to assist him, so it is disingenuous to suggest that no support has been offered.

“As recently as two weeks ago we helped Mr Wilson secure a private flat, including assistance with a bond and providing furniture.

“However, it seems that he has chosen not to stay in the flat and instead continues to stay in his tent.

“The tragedy of homelessness is complex and everyone’s situation is different, but we continue to have a genuine desire to help those in need of our help.”

The Scarborough News reported on our website that someone had pitched the red tent on the roundabout, surrounded by palm trees and wire-sculpture dinosaurs.

The roundabout is near the Rotunda museum, and connects Valley Road, before it runs down to the foreshore, with Ramshill Road and Vernon Road.