Cornwall Council has moved a self-described Gypsy, who has been living in a double-decker bus on a Falmouth street for four years.

Neil Wainwright has now set up home on land owned by the council in Cornwall. We have agreed not to publish the location, at the request of the council.

The bus had been parked in Glasney Road in Old Hill, Falmouth, since 2019 after Mr Wainwright refused to move into a two-bedroom council house that was allotted to him on the street.

Residents of the area have continually complained about the bus’ presence. They also had safety concerns as Mr Wainwright was feeding electrical cables into the bus from his house.

As reported by the Packet on Sunday, the bus was towed away at the weekend.

FULL STORY HERE: Bus finally removed from residential street four years after owner first moved in

Cllr Jayne Kirkham took to her Facebook page to apologise to Falmouth residents that it had taken so long to move Mr Wainwright’s bus. She said: “The Glasney bus has gone! Finally. After a lot of sorting by an awful lot of people and this pushy councillor. Sorry it took so long to resolve a situation that was very difficult for everyone involved.”

Falmouth Packet: Neil Wainwright in the living room of his bus (Image: Lee Trewhela/LDRS)Neil Wainwright in the living room of his bus (Image: Lee Trewhela/LDRS)

Another Cornwall councillor said she had already stopped the council moving Mr Wainwright and his bus onto the multi-million-pound Langarth Garden Village development on the outskirts of Truro.

Cllr Dulcie Tudor told us: “In May I was told by the council’s strategic director of sustainable growth and development and the strategic director of care and wellbeing that a decision had been made to provide a site for Mr Wainwright and his bus within the Langarth Garden Village development area.

“After making my concerns known to the leader of the council a decision was made to send him elsewhere. 

“I must say I am at a loss to understand why such an awful lot of time, resource and taxpayers’ money has been spent on this individual who refuses to live either on one the council’s costly travellers’ sites or in the council house which was provided for him in Falmouth for the last four years.”

Neil Wainwright\s bus is adorned with a Hogwarts Express banner (Pic: Lee Trewhela / LDRS)

Neil Wainwright\'s bus is adorned with a Hogwarts Express banner (Pic: Lee Trewhela / LDRS)

I visited Mr Wainwright at his new home on Monday morning. 

He’s raised the floor in the bus to provide storage, has decorated it throughout with Spider-Man and comic book decor – “because I’m a superhero, ain’t I” – and installed a shower unit, 600-litre freshwater tank, 600-litre waste unit and a fridge on the lower deck, while the upper deck is his living quarters with a bedroom, toilet and ‘living room’ complete with TV. A tube from a large gas canister outside leads into the bus.

Neil Wainwright in the living room area of his bus (Pic: Lee Trewhela / LDRS)

Neil Wainwright in the living room area of his bus (Pic: Lee Trewhela / LDRS)

Mr Wainwright said: “I’m quite happy here as long as they make it level as I’ve just come from a hill.”

I asked him what he would say to people who believe he should have moved into his council house instead of living in a bus parked outside it. “It ain’t moving... I couldn’t live in a house because they don’t move. Unless it moves, I don’t feel safe.

“I’m a Gypsy. My name’s Wainwright. It means wagon maker, so I follow in my family name’s footsteps. I’ve been building wagons now for more than 35 years.”

The bedroom area on the top deck of Neil Wainwright\s bus (Pic: Lee Trewhela / LDRS)

The bedroom area on the top deck of Neil Wainwright\'s bus (Pic: Lee Trewhela / LDRS)

Did the council buy the bus for him? “Effectively, yes,” he told me, adding that he bought the double-decker using £24,000 compensation awarded to him after the council moved his previous ‘wagon’ from Wheal Kitty in St Agnes to a storage unit at Newquay Airport, where it deteriorated and “everything I’d built was destroyed”.

Mr Wainwright says that he has been fighting for years for Cornwall Council to provide him and other Gypsies with a suitable site. The local authority owns three residential Gypsy and Traveller sites in Cornwall at Boscarn Parc, Tregojorran at Pool, Wheal Jewel, St Day and Foredown Parc, Pensilva. He says these are unsuitable for his needs.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: “As with any individual that we have a duty of care for, we have to take each case on its merits and find a solution based on the facts of the case.

"Our priority is to provide a place of safety, balancing the needs of the individual and local community.”