The District Council has a responsibility towards homeless people in our area, and for a number of reasons it needs to do better. It costs the council in the region of £400000 per year – in comparison , we spend £700,000 on street cleansing and £800,000 on parks and open spaces. And that money is spent on putting homeless families into accommodation in Southend which may not be of very good quality….
If a way can be found to put homeless people from our area into accommodation in our area that is cheaper but better quality, then that could be a great success.
So there’s a proposal to put homeless people into Frances Cottee Lodge in Rayleigh, which was built as sheltered housing for the elderly. From what we gather , the elderly people living there have been properly consulted, and from what we’ve seen on social media , generally seem to be OK. The intention is to move them all to other suitable (and actually probably better) accomodation.
However there seems to have been a lack of consultation with residents living nearby, and when people aren’t consulted they worry about what’s happening. (This sort of complaint about the Council not consulting residents is something we hear too often!) The council is now trying to improve the situation by holding drop-in sessions at Rayleigh Methodist Church on Tuesday.
We will write in more depth on this when we have some answers to some of our own questions that we have asked on this issue.