TOWN councillors are calling for a rough sleeper to be removed from a bus shelter in Walton following concerns for his welfare.

Frinton and Walton town councillors are concerned about the safety of the man, who has been living in the bus shelter in Naze Park Road, opposite the De La Mer House care home.

Councillors have called on police to take action to move him on, but PCSOs told the council it would not take action without co-operation of Tendring Council.

Delyth Miles, who represents the ward, said: “It is reported that the gentleman has severe mental health problems and I think I the police will not be so willing to intervene.

“The issue is exacerbated because residents are feeding him.

“We can’t use the bus shelter now and some of the local residents have said he behaves rather strangely, popping out of the bus shelter in front of cars.

“It’s for his own safety to do something.”

But councillor Terry Allen said action instead needed to be taken for the “safety of our residents”.

“This homeless person, from what I hear, has a home in Brighton – this is a sort of away day for him,” he said.

“He’s a rough sleeper, but has a home in Brighton.”

Mrs Miles called on the council to have more compassion for the man.

She added: “He has serious mental health problems and may not recall he has a house in Brighton. These things are never straight forward – and he is a human being at the end of the day.

“I’m not excusing or condoning him being there, but at the same time I can understand that we have to deal with people like this with some compassion or care.”

Mr Allen responded: “We are all compassionate, but you can be strained on compassion. He has been offered money to get a residence to live in while he’s sorted out.

“He’s offered food, he wants money. He uses the bus shelter en-suite. He’s taking right liberties.

“If mental health the police or someone should be taking care of this.”

Deputy mayor Jack Roberston said PCSOs told the council crime and disorder working party that until Tendring Council needed to get involved before police can move the man on.

The council said it has been in touch with the district council’s rough sleeper co-ordinator over the issue.

Patricia Tatum, who lives near to the shelter, said: “We have the police turn up regularly to check on him. I’ve phoned the council several times, but he is still there.

“He seems comfortable there as people are bringing him food. He’s got hot water bottles.

“He’s clearly there to stay and I feel sorry for him, but people do need to use the bus shelter.

“He should be helped and housed by the council.

“Elderly people who rely on the bus service are waiting out in the rain and cold. A bus shelter isn’t an appropriate home for anyone.”