Peterborough housing team keen to hear from rough sleeper Valerie

Homeless woman living in Bridge Street
Valerie Collins EMN-160111-154844009
Homeless woman living in Bridge Street Valerie Collins EMN-160111-154844009
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Peterborough City Council staff are keen to trace one of the city’s most colourful rough sleepers.

Valerie Collins has spent 11 months sleeping in the small sheltered entrance to the closed down Pizza Roma restaurant. She has become well known in the city, having set up a display of plants in the entrance - but she has not been seen since Saturday.

Valerie was asked to move on for her own safety after work started to turn the building into a new restaurant.

When she left her spot, she left behind many of her belongings. Peterborough City Council staff collected her possessions, and moved them to the Town Hall for her to collect.

However, despite a notice being left at her previous pitch, she has not been to pick them up.

Now council officers are being told to keep an eye out for her, and her photograph has been circulated amongst police officers in Ramsey, where she is though to have connections.

While the notice posted says her possessions will be kept until today, a Peterborough City Council spokesman said all items that were not perishable would be kept for a month. If Valerie returns to claim her possessions after the month has passed, anything of value to her will be replaced.

The Peterborough Telegraph spoke to Valerie in November last year, where she said she had plans to travel to Portugal ‘in the next few days.’

However, she was still living in Bridge Street until last week.

The council spokesman said in the past month officers had offered help to Valerie to find a place in a shelter, or to get assistance in the private accommodation market - but Valerie had not taken up the help offered.

Anyone who sees Valerie, or knows her whereabouts, is asked to contact the Peterborough Council housing team on 01733 747474.