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Macclesfield man sets up camp outside town hall after he became homeless

A man has set up a protest camp behind the town hall after the council could not offer him a home in Macclesfield.

A man has set up a protest camp behind the town hall after the council could not offer him a home in Macclesfield.

John Whyte, 46, attached a tent to the rear of the building on King Edward Street opposite the police station.

He has been sleeping there since becoming homeless 10 days ago.

Housing officers at Cheshire East council have been able to find suitable accommodation in Crewe but not Macclesfield.

But Mr Whyte, a recovering drug addict and reformed criminal, claims his only support network preventing him from reoffending is in the town.

He has vowed to stay in the camp, despite the freezing temperatures, until council bosses change their mind.

Mr Whyte said: “My sister and friends are in Macclesfield. They keep me on the straight and narrow and offer me a few extra quid to get by. I fear that if I am put somewhere else where I don’t know anyone, apart from a few people I met in prison, I could start reoffending.”

Mr Whyte said he has been buoyed by local support.

He said: “I have been given a coat and blanket from the charity shop, and the council even brought me some blankets. I’ve had a bit of trouble from some kids trying to dismantle the camp, but mostly people are supporting me. All I want to do is stay in my home town.”

A council spokesman said: “Cheshire East council is committed to assisting and providing suitable accommodation for all, either on a temporary or permanent basis. Especially, the small number of rough sleepers we now have in the borough.

“We understand this gentleman is protesting because he only wants to live in Macclesfield, where accommodation is currently unavailable.

“He has been offered one of our severe weather provision beds in Crewe, but he has refused this. He has also refused alternative accommodations at a Salvation Army hostel in St Helens.

“Nevertheless, the council does not want to see this man subjected to the cold weather and we will continue to try and engage with him to find suitable accommodation.”

 

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