FORMER prisoners and homeless people from outside Castle Point are being advised to set up home on Thorney Bay caravan park, a councillor claims.

At a heated public meeting, island councillor Anne Wood, who also works for the probation service, revealed how the park’s telephone number was given to ex-cons looking for accommodation.

Residents have long feared the park in Thorney Bay Road, which has expanded rapidly in recent years, is providing homes for convicted offenders and asylum seekers.

Mrs Wood told the latest council’s Canvey East Neighbourhood Meeting: “I work for the probation service and I know for a fact probation housing officers give the number out to ex-prisoners.”

One man, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s no surprise. I’m sure most of the crime on Canvey comes from Thorney Bay.”

Caravan park boss Jeff King said he had no knowledge of whether the probation service was recommending people approach the park.

It was also claimed at the meeting, held in Leigh Beck School, how other councils were trying to house homeless people on the site.

Craig Watts, Castle Point Council’s assistant chief executive, said: “We have asked other councils not to do so. Basildon Council for example has been asked not to.”

Mr Watts also said the council could not control where former prisoners lived once they had served their time.

He added: “Ex-prisoners could be located anywhere in the borough.”

Concerns first arose people on parole or on bail were living on the site when it was revealed brother of site owner Jeff King – Graham – runs Clearsprings, a company which has a Government contract to provide a number of bail hostels.

Yet Jeff King denies any deal has been done to house people from outside the borough on the park.

Basildon Council also denied it had housed anyone on the site.