SOMETHING must be done to help homeless people in Deeside before someone dies on its streets this winter.

That is the stark warning from Connah’s Quay councillors concerned about facing “a big city issue” with the increasing number of rough sleepers.

A small “shanty town” of tents has been set up in front of Connah’s Quay library - and locals are concerned that, as the weather becomes more wintery, someone may lose their life.

The issue was raised again at the last meeting of Connah’s Quay Town Council.

Cllr Bernie Attridge said: “The debate was opened by myself and I raised concerns about the rough sleepers in Connah’s Quay.

“Flintshire County Council needs a coordinated approach with other agencies mental health, drug and alcohol, third sector etc.

The Leader:

Tents used by rough sleepers outside Connah's Quay Library. Photo: Aaliyah Rugg

“Flintshire County Council used to pride itself with having no rough sleepers and residents - our constituents are angry that, with the cold weather, someone is going to die on the streets.”

Concern has been expressed that the homelessness issue, more often associated with larger towns and cities like Chester and Wrexham, has become more prevalent in Deeside in 2019.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I have lived in Shotton and Connah’s Quay all my life and this is the first time I have seen people sleeping on the streets. It’s very worrying as I’m sure they do not want to be there - and the weather has been very cold and wet recently.

“The tents outside the library have been there for weeks now - surely something can be done to help these people. The way things are at the moment, many of us could easily be in their shoes.”

Cllr Gill Faulkner recently told the Leader she has received many phone calls from concerned residents who are worried about these people who are facing a cold winter out on the streets.

She said: “We have quite a few around Deeside this year but this time last year we only had the one who was helped straight away and taken to a hostel.

“It’s very worrying, it’s so cold out.”

And last week, Alyn and Deeside AM Jack Sargeant raised the issue at the Senedd.

Addressing the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, Mr Sargeant said: “This is not just a big city issue anymore. Towns like Connah’s Quay and Shotton have, for the first time in my memory, experienced people sleeping rough on the streets.

“Now, councils like Flintshire could well be overwhelmed this winter, so I have written to you, First Minister, to seek what urgent support you can offer as the Welsh Government to councils like Flintshire to ensure people are not left out in the cold this Christmas.”

In his reply, Mr Drakford said that a homelessness action group, chaired by Jon Sparkes of Crisis, has made a series of immediate recommendations to try to avoid the situation Mr Sargeant referred to.