ESSEX County Council has been able to shed some light on the events that made a 63-year-old Harlow man homeless.
As we reported, John Jones, aged 63, had, for some time, been living in a caravan in various spots along Commonside Road.
His most recent stay was on a patch of land (owned by Essex County Council) on Fern Hill Lane at junction of Commonside Road.
But the caravan went at the weekend, leaving Mr Jones to depend on the charity of strangers but at the mercy of the elements.
Initially, Essex County Council said they knew nothing about why a caravan had been removed but now they are able to confirm that they do.
An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “We posted notices regarding an illegal encampment on the roadside in Fernhill Lane, Harlow, after we received several complaints from residents.
“We had previously offered Mr Jones a pitch at the local Essex Countywide Traveller Unit caravan site nearby, which he declined. Last month we visited him to conduct welfare and human rights checks. In these cases, a court summons is a last resort.
“When Mr Jones did not attend his court hearing, we gave him an additional 24 hours to respond and then a further 48 hours to leave the site. When this time elapsed, his caravan was placed into secure storage and he was given the details of Harlow Council’s housing team for ongoing help and support.
“We understand Harlow Council has been in touch with Mr Jones to offer housing support and our Homelessness Mentors scheme has also been contacted to help Mr Jones wherever possible.”
A Harlow Council spokesperson said: “One of our housing officers visited Mr Jones on Saturday to offer housing support and the officer has remained in contact with him.
“There is support available and Mr Jones has been advised to contact us if he wants our help”.
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