Manchester

Tameside homeless shelter relocated after complaints

Ryecroft Hall playgound Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Protests were organised about the shelter's proximity to a playground

A homeless shelter near a playground is due to be relocated after residents' complaints, council officials have said.

Rough sleepers have been accommodated at the Grade Two-listed Ryecroft Hall library in Tameside since the winter.

It is part of the "Bed every night" scheme by the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who hopes to eliminate rough sleeping in the region.

Tameside Council said it was "looking for a more suitable venue".

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Ryecroft Hall is also used as a wedding venue

Since November, more than 40 users of the homeless shelter have been moved into more permanent accommodation, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

However, a council meeting heard that nearby residents had been "vocal" by organising a petition and protests expressing their concern about the proximity of the hostel to a popular playground at Ryecroft Hall.

Measures including more security guards and ensuring that only the most "settled" individuals could stay at the hostel before being rehoused had been put in place, the council heard.

'Life-changing'

After it was confirmed the winter pilot for the "Bed every night" scheme would be extended until June 2020, the use of the hall needed to be "immediately reviewed", a council document said.

Audenshaw councillor Oliver Ryan said the shelter's work was "absolutely life changing" but added "the current facility is not suitable, either for the users or the wider service".

Ged Cooney, council cabinet member for housing, said: "What we are doing now is looking for a more suitable venue to grow this service.

"We do have to look at the venue as a matter of urgency."

The council wants any future site to be a permanent rough sleeping "resource" that will be staffed day and night.

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