The man behind the Big Yellow Bus initiative to provide beds for rough sleepers in Swindon is hoping that one of the organisations already working with the homeless in town will take it on.

But concerns have been raised that he hasn’t spoken to any of them.

Gerry Watkins is nearing completing the conversion of his second bus into emergency overnight accommodation.

One of his buses is already operating in Cirencester, but Highworth-born Mr Watkins wants one to be available for nine people – seven men and two women – in Swindon.

Members of the borough council’s adults’ health, care and housing overview and scrutiny committee have some reservations.

Rosemary Curtis, representing Homeless Organisations Standing Together in Swindon, told the committee: “I read in the Adver that the Big Yellow Bus Project is to come and operate here in Swindon, saying that there’s a need for it here.

“We’ve had no communication from them whatsoever, and as a group of registered charities, we need to work with other registered charities.

“There might be some way to work with them on common grounds, but it’s going to take some work especially if they’re planning to rock up in November and December.”

Mike Ash, the council’s head of housing said: “That’s a good point., We’ve found in recent years we have very well-co-ordinated voluntary sector groups, and they’re making a difference, providing what we need for homelessness in Swindon.”

Mr Watkins said he is about halfway through converting his bus, which cost him £2,900 to buy. The first took 14 months to convert, but he says he’s quicker at it now and is just a few months from completion.

He added: “I haven’t spoken to any of the existing groups yet. But I’d like to offer it to them, for them to run themselves, if they want it.

“In Cirencester I pay someone to be there at night, and then volunteers take over in the day. I hope an existing Swindon group will take it on, but if they don’t then I’ll have to do the same as in Cirencester – find a night warden and volunteers for the day.”

A trustee of charity Big Breakfast Plus, Mrs Curtis said she was speaking for herself when she told the Adver: “It’s a good intention, but I’m not sure Mr Watkins knows what’s going on. Services are being consolidated at The Haven, with the temporary winter accommodation, and day centre run by Swindon Night Shelter.”

“It means housing and other agencies and charities can offer help in one place, making it much more accessible.”

A fundraiser for Big Yellow Bus is being held on Saturday at The Steam Railway pub in Newport Street from noon.