Council say provisions were in place to stop homeless Retford man dying in cold

After the sad news of the death of a homeless man who died in freezing temperatures Bassetlaw Council say emergency provisions were already in place to stop a tragedy like this happening.

The man who was known as Ben by those in the community who supported was a bricklayer by trade but was sleeping rough and died near St Swithun’s Church in Retford.

His body was discovered in the early hours of Tuesday morning as temperatures plummeted.

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However, the council said there has been a Severe Weather Night Shelter and free transport to get people off the streets during plummeting temperatures.

Councillor Simon Greaves, Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “We were all saddened to learn about this tragedy and had put provisions in place in n attempt to prevent something like this occurring.”

“The Council had been providing a Severe Weather Night Shelter every night since Saturday, February 24 where anyone in Bassetlaw who is homeless can get out of the cold and into a warm and safe environment for the night.

Severe Weather Night Shelters are set up when the outside temperature is set to drop below zero degrees centigrade for three consecutive nights.

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Outreach Workers from Framework, the Council, the Police and a number of other agencies are in regular contact with people who are sleeping rough and made them aware of the shelter say the council.

While the shelter is based at Crown Place Community Centre in Worksop, free transport has been offered to people known to be homeless, regardless of where they are currently living.

Coun Greaves said: “Some people have taken up this offer and have used the shelter. Regrettably other individuals have made a personal choice to decline this offer.

“We are aware of between 15 and 20 people known to be sleeping in Worksop and around five people in the Retford area who are known to be homeless. We will be keeping the shelter open until at least Sunday night, and possibly longer, depending on the weather.”

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The council said up until Wednesday evening the Shelter has been used by a total of 11 people since it opened last weekend.

Coun Greaves added: “In terms of long-term provision for homelessness, the Council continues to work with the individuals concerned and the relevant agencies to place people in the most appropriate accommodation as well as work to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place.”

Nottinghamshire Police confirmed it was made aware of a sudden death near St Swithun’s Church by the ambulance service on Tuesday, February 27 at 8.40am.

A file will now be put together to hand to the coroner.