Looking as though it was all a big con!Concerns over Bolton 'Tent City' project
CONCERNS have been raised over a homeless protest project that was launched in Bolton over Christmas.
The Bolton Tent City camp set up in Cheadle Square on Christmas Eve.
Organisers had asked local people to give items for the homeless.
A handful of tents were pitched and people called at the site on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day to donate clothes, camping equipment, sleeping bags and food to help.
The organisers said the project was largely taking place to protest against the way Bolton Council deals with homeless people, as well as to help those less fortunate in the town.
But now concerns have been raised among those who donated items after the Facebook group which was organising the project disappeared.
The main contact phone number being used to contact people is no longer working.
The four tents remain in Cheadle Square but they are empty and there is no sign of the organisers or any homeless people.
One of the organisers, who told The Bolton News his name was Jamie, said on Boxing Day that the camp would be moving because threats had been made against those involved.
But he refused to disclose the new location.
Liberal Democrat campaigner Warren Fox was contacted by Bolton Tent City and visited Cheadle Square on Christmas Day to donate warm clothes to the project.
He said: “I had been in contact with one of the organisers for about a week before and said I would help out. I do work with the homeless In Bolton and so I had some clothes.
“I thought it would be good to donate them to this project.
“I don’t know what has happened.
“The Facebook group has been deleted, they have left and the telephone number I had used to contact them is not receiving calls.
“I have read a lot of things on social media which have also made me concerned.”
Another person who donated items to Bolton Tent City was Linda Charnock, of the Bolton Against the Bedroom Tax campaign group.
She said: “I don’t know what has happened, I don’t know if they just abandoned it because it hadn’t worked or if it is something worse, but I think people would really like to know where their donations went and to whom.
“The Facebook page has disappeared and we have no way of contacting them, so obviously it is a bit concerning.”
On Facebook, ‘Shana Bee Bee’ said she had been blocked by the Bolton Tent City group on Facebook after volunteering to help.
She said: “I went down there on Christmas Day with my kids with lots of tea and cakes, only to find no one was there.
“We waited for two hours. We gave morning notice we’re coming in the evening.
“I contacted them and they told me they had to nip home to charge their phones.
"Then they blocked me on Facebook.”
The Bolton News was able to briefly make contact with Andy Dodd, one of the people purported to be organising the project.
He said he could not comment on the situation, as he was currently seeking legal advice about comments he said had been made about him on social media channels. http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/14989209.Concerns_over__Tent_City__project_in_Bolton/?ref=mrb&lp=2