A viral video showing Bolton Council workers throwing away a homeless man’s belongings isn’t what it seems, officials say.

The video posted on Facebook on Friday afternoon, shows council workers chucking belongings into the back of a truck on Trinity Street, in Bolton.

The Bolton News:

The belongings are understood to be those of rough sleeper 50-year-old Shaun Hibbert, who has become a familiar face on the bridge close to the railway station.

Last year Mr Hibbert hit the headlines when thugs set his tent on fire in the early hours. He was alerted by his dog, Bruce, a long haired Jack Russell.

READ MORE: Thug sets homeless man’s tent on fire while he’s sleeping inside in Bolton

But council officials responded to the video this afternoon to explain the situation. They say rather than targetting Mr Hibbert, the council has in fact helped him back into accomodation and had been called to the scene to throw away belongings he no longer wanted.

A council spokesman said: “We understand how this video could look but it is not what people may think, and we want to set the story straight for concerned residents.

“We are supporting this gentleman and over a fortnight ago we found and secured a flat for him, which he was happy to move into.

“We moved the belongings he wanted to keep into his new home. Some things he did not want to keep hold of and we agreed to remove them for him, which is what this video actually shows.

“This was all done in full co-operation and agreement with him. We understand why people may be concerned after seeing this video and we hope we’ve reassured them.”

The video was taken by concerned resident Angie Kirkman at around 10am on Friday and was shared hundreds of times on Facebook.

The Bolton News understands that Mr Hibbert helped the council officers and actually put some items into the van himself.