New ‘permanent’ fence plans to block homeless camp

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A more permanent fence could be installed to block off an area often used as a homeless camp in Lincoln for the “foreseeable future.”

As previously reported, the City of Lincoln Council cleared out and blocked off the stairs under the Wigford Way bridge to deter rough sleepers and anti social behaviour.

Blankets, sleeping bags and other belongings were cleaned out and a temporary fence was put up around the area.

A city council spokesperson told The Lincolnite: “We intend to fence or gate the area off with a new, more permanent structure for the foreseeable future, subject to approval from Lincolnshire County Council, the owners of the bridge.”

The new intervention team visited the site under the bridge and attempted to engage with the people based there before it was closed.

People were often spotted sleeping rough under the stairs. Photo: Tracie Aveling

Simon Walters, director for communities and environment at the council, told The Lincolnite: “The safety of residents and visitors to Lincoln is always a priority.

Prior to the closure [we] visited the site numerous times. Some were found to have housing, whereas others were placed into temporary accommodation.

“Unfortunately a small number were unwilling to engage with us. We will continue working with local organisations to offer help to rough sleepers and those with mental health and addiction issues.”

“We help them into a pathway of support that meets the very complex needs they each have, while also ensuring that public safety is maintained.”

The plans to install a more permanent fence subject to approval by Lincolnshire County Council.

All of the belongings were cleared out. Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Some residents were unhappy with the council’s decision to clear out the camp and claimed that it was “inhumane.”

“It is surely a horrid [and] inhumane thing to do,” local resident Stefan Thompson told The Lincolnite.

He continued: “It’s the equivalent of putting spikes on a shop door to stop rodent pigeons. Homeless people have never been an issue to me and have always been polite when I give them change.

“They huddle together for warmth at night. It’s recently been minus four degrees Celsius and it’s horrible to see.”