Manchester City Council

Tackling Homelessness

I've been intending to do something for some time on the very real issue of homelessness in the city. I will do that in the next couple of weeks but this post will largely consist of a statement made by Councillor Nigel Murphy following the eviction of homelessness "protestors" from a camp on Oxford Road. I get regular emails on the subject of these camps including some that suggest that evicting these camps are an attack on the homeless. They're not and in reality all the camps have achieved is to make it harder for us to help some very vulnerable people being exploited by a bunch of “activists ". Nigel's statement is below.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for neighbourhoods, said: "Members of our homelessness unit were on site this morning - as they have been on a regular basis since the first camps appeared in April - to offer accommodation, help and support to anyone who needs it. I am pleased to say that five people accepted our offers and are now in accommodation this morning as a result of the homeless team's work.

 "We have worked closely with our colleagues from Manchester Metropolitan University, and after the courts turned down the protesters' application to appeal against the possession order, have assisted them in carrying this out, alongside GMP, court bailiffs and immigration officers .

"Like the protesters, we don't believe anyone should be sleeping rough on the streets, and we sympathise with the plight of all genuinely homeless people, but some people connected with this camp are not homeless and have their own accommodation - including one person who was arrested this morning. We also cannot be expected to tolerate the level of disruption which this and other camps have caused to residents and businesses over the last five months, including vandalism, public urination, fighting and the intimidation of members of the public. The police also recovered large amounts of stolen property from a similar camp on King Street .

"Prior to this morning's operation, our officers had engaged with 72 people from the camps since they first appeared - 17 of whom have refused to work with us despite repeated offers of help, 24 of whom have been found accommodation, and nine of whom have refused to take up our offers of accommodation. The remainder had a number of different outcomes - such as drifting away from the camps after our initial engagement or returning to their home towns, while some already had accommodation when they appeared at the camp."




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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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