Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

'Roundabout man' offered a home

Nigel Walker
Nigel Walker set up home on the roundabout after becoming homeless

A homeless man who has been camping on a roundabout for the last two weeks has been offered temporary accommodation.

Scaffolder Nigel Walker has been staging his protest in Pembroke Dock to highlight the plight of the homeless.

Pembrokeshire Council has now offered him a sheltered housing place while they assess his case in full.

Mr Walker, 48, said he had asked for help because of threatened bad weather and he has not decided whether to quit his roundabout home for good.

He started living in the tent on the approach to Pembroke Dock earlier this month after losing his home following his mother's death last year.

The local authority said he did not have a "priority need" to be rehoused but Mr Walker said: "Either they find me a home or I'll drop dead here".

On Thursday, the council offered him interim accommodation while they assessed the latest details of his situation which it said they had only just received after a long wait.

Nigel Walker
I'm just a man on a roundabout sticking up for my own rights
Nigel Walker

By law, the council is obliged to provide interim accommodation while such details are assessed, and a council spokesman said those assessments can take several weeks.

Mr Walker told the council he would accept the offer after viewing the bedsit.

However, he immediately he told BBC Wales that his decision was based on the fact that gale force winds were being forecast on Thursday night with much worse weather to come.

Mr Walker said: "I shouldn't be in this position. I'm just a man on a roundabout sticking up for my own rights."

He said he has yet to make up his mind about whether to permanently leave the roundabout, as he feels that the problem of housing in Pembrokeshire still needs highlighting.

He said: "The council should get walk-in hostels for families. They split families up to go in hostels.

"The mother and kids go in one and the husband goes in another one."

Mr Walker also said a demonstration which has been planned to take place in Pembroke Dock on Saturday will go ahead, regardless of where he is sleeping.

While living on the roundabout, he said he has suffered frostbite and twice been attacked

But he said he has been overwhelmed by support from local people who have donated camping equipment, brought him food and water, and delivered a portable toilet.

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21 Jan 09 |  South West Wales

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