RMBC admitting its cuts may increase homelessness!

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Re: RMBC admitting its cuts may increase homelessness!

Post  Hinch on Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:52 pm

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Re: RMBC admitting its cuts may increase homelessness!

Post  Spartacus on Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:51 pm

Charly wrote:
Spartacus wrote:My own view of the report (which is an interim report) is positive in the sense it did not (as far as I could tell) attempt to sweep anything under the carpet and backs up all the points made by Chill-Out.

The report also, as stated in the RO article, identifies that adequate records have not been kept and highlights that there is trouble ahead with increasing homeless numbers and forthcoming changes to the benefits system.

"RMBC and partners" are currently working on reviewing their procedures in light of the report and its findings.

I am holding back any judgements until I see what evolves from this. Yes, it is taking time but I would rather they got it right and did a proper job than stuck a few plasters on it. The meeting I attended (together with Heywood PP and Hinch) on Friday was a positive one. Attitudes have turned full circle since Heywood PP and others first raised concerns.


But what has actually been achieved Sparky?
It doesnt seem anything, I cant believe they are not even keeping track of those who approach them for help.
I posted a week or so ago of a young chap who had been shown a room in one of the facilities and then told 'ring us in 2 weeks'! what was he was supposed to do in the meantime ?

Up until this report [i]we
and possibly they were unaware of the internal lack of records and accountability. The report has looked at what RMBC (and others) are doing and exposed where they are failing and/or where there are gaps.

Last year "they" were denying there were any gaps and that everything was hunky dory. Chill-Out exposed some of the gaps and gave examples where policies were failing. Now, there is an independent report backing up what Chill-Out reported and also highlighting other areas we had no idea about.

There has also been an investigation at provision across the Borough. This looked into how things have been working and in some case not working since the last two rounds of cuts. The report did not just concentrate on homelessness either, it also looked at those at risk now and when the changes kick in.

No second night out appears to be working well according to all reports. Furthermore, Cllrs Linden and Hornby have gone out and visited those working with the homeless throughout the Borough and I assume have gained from it a far better perspective than their predecessors.

Like yourself and Hinch I would prefer for things to be moving a lot quicker however I'm not going to bash RMBC for publishing a warts and all independent "interim" report as part of their Strategic Review of Homelessness when the alternative would have been for them to have produced a report which whitewashed the situation.

What happens next will be the benchmark. Have absolutely no doubt whatsover that Hinch and I will be shouting from the rooftops if we feel that RMBC are in any way failing to deliver but I for one am not prepared to shoot down RMBC before they have had chance to finish the review and produce new policies and procedures that will (hopefully) work effectively.

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Re: RMBC admitting its cuts may increase homelessness!

Post  Heywoodpp on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:56 pm

On the positive side: having been at a meeting with council leadership and officers before Chill-out when all I sensed was 'we are over-provided - the new regime will work' which followed the initial recommissioning process, and then having been at a meeting with Chill-out and council officers after the threatened sleep-out, when I senses a sincere desire to work together and a rather embarrassed sense that they had got it wrong, there has been a significant if slow shift in the Council's approach. If it had not been for chill-out then homelessness would have been much lower down the political agenda. I personally went off the idea of a sleep out when I was told that the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the town hall precints was against borough bye-laws. Chill-out's first success was to get the issue back on the agenda.

All credit to RMBC; the report is hard-hitting. It admits that the decision to get rid of direct access accomodation has caused problems. Maybe the SA hostel could not have continued as it was but the SA offered three million pounds to do it up. The report does not comment on this directly but its logic appears to suggest that this was a decision that should not have been taken.

There are some good people in RMBC working for homelessness provision. I hope, though, that if homelessness services are 'outsourced' as they are already discussing for adult care' they pick the right group. I think, for example, that if RMBC gives away homelessness services to RBH then RBH will need a radical shift in its mindset and ethos from being the managers of property to being the helpers of people.
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Re: RMBC admitting its cuts may increase homelessness!

Post  Spartacus on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:50 pm

Heywoodpp wrote:I hope, though, that if homelessness services are 'outsourced' as they are already discussing for adult care' they pick the right group. I think, for example, that if RMBC gives away homelessness services to RBH then RBH will need a radical shift in its mindset and ethos from being the managers of property to being the helpers of people.

Well said, HeywoodPP. RBH have in the past been accused of encouraging tenants to relinquish tenancies rather than supporting them to continue with them.

Whatever happens CARE needs to be part of the equation. As you said at the meeting on Friday, we need to dispose of "service users" and get back to people. Those responsible for any service in our Borough need to care about people and not perceive it as a problem to them when someone needs help.

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Re: RMBC admitting its cuts may increase homelessness!

Post  Hinch on Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:17 pm

I am not going to defend anything I write on RO but I will explain the context.

The interim report contains some startling stuff about the real and continuing situation on the ground and is therefore newsworthy. I reported the basic facts contained in the report. Reportage is about what happened and what is happening. It is not news to try to predict what COULD or MAY happen if everything goes ok but if it does pan out well, that too will be reported.

As far as 'Chill-Out' goes, we are a campaigning and pressure group and both Sparks and I do our best to maintain the pressure and hold them to account. That is our sole remit I think as well as feeding in ideas.

Of course, as previously reported on here and elswhere, the council refuse to speak to RO so they are effectively excluded from going to them for their comments.

Hoist by their own petard methinks.

I am not 'bashing' RMBC for publishing the report but it contains some very disturbing stuff and I am glad they say that they are going to try to address the issues raised.

As for 'caring', it is a good start but on its own will solve little. They need cash and resources. RMBC may not have created the homelessness situation but they have certainly made it far worse. Easy to make mistakes but a damned sight harder to undo them.

I agree with HPP, attitudes have changed since our first meeting with them but as the interim report shows, any piecemeal improvements have not resolved the situation and some have made it worse. Hostel beds and B&B are not a pick 'n mix option. One provides real support, the other is a catastrophe.
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Re: RMBC admitting its cuts may increase homelessness!

Post  teamplayer2 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:11 pm

There was me thinking that council had a reponsiblity and a duty of care to help the homeless and was a caring council. Or did I just dream it all? Mad

I did see one of the councillors in Rochdale yesterday and felt like saying something. There again there is a time and place to do that and not to bother anyone in their own time and going about their business I suppose.

Of all the reports I have seen on here so far it is so sad and feel ashamed of the councillors of this town so far. They should hold their heads in shame.
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Re: RMBC admitting its cuts may increase homelessness!

Post  Admin on Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:50 pm

http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/78/opinion/77510/homelessness-jaccuse

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