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Town Hall meeting to ‘Get Answers’ on Scarborough Anti-Social Behaviour

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 06:00

By Anttoni James Numminen, Local Democracy Reporter

A public meeting has been held to discuss antisocial behaviour in Scarborough’s South Cliff area following complaints from residents.

On Monday, July 8, more than 40 residents attended a town hall meeting in Scarborough to discuss and ask questions about the ongoing work to address antisocial behaviour near the Prince of Wales Terrace and South Cliff area.

It was attended by senior members of North Yorkshire Council, Coun Rich Maw, North Yorkshire Police, and Homemore which provides temporary accommodation “whilst engaging with vital support services”.

Last year residents said that the level of noise and antisocial behaviour in the area was a “nightmare” and a previous meeting was held in December 2023 to try and resolve some of the issues.

Many of those attending Monday’s meeting said that there had been “a big improvement” since then and thanked the organisations involved for the work they had done.

The council and police also said they had received fewer reports of complaints compared to last year.

However, locals said they still had concerns about providing temporary accommodation services in a “primarily residential and tourist area” with many referencing Homemore’s provisions.

Andrew Waggitt, managing director at Homemore, told the meeting:

“We take everything you say very seriously and it is key to how we operate as a business and we have taken serious action since the last meeting.”

“We’ve opened a new site far away from the current site and that acts as the new Redcliffe and we are using our staff to patrol the park.”

North Yorkshire Council’s assistant director for housing, Andrew Rowe, highlighted that the council had a legal duty to help people experiencing homelessness and that failing to do so would lead to more people sleeping rough.

Officers also revealed that in a matter of weeks it would have a decision on whether in some cases “there has been a change of use in planning terms from a hotel to a hostel” which would then open a possibility for formal action.

Residents also raised serious concerns that people experiencing homelessness in other parts of the county were being moved to Scarborough and questioned why the levels of homelessness are so high in the area.

But Mr Rowe, the assistant director for housing said:

“I can categorically say we do not move people here.

“It is not a policy of NYC to move people from other parts of the county, and 95 per cent of people are from Scarborough, it is a home grown issue.”

Scarborough has some of the highest rates of homelessness in Yorkshire with around 40 homeless households placed in B&Bs and hotels at any one time, according to council documents.

It comes amid a council decision to invest millions of pounds in improving its provision of temporary accommodation across the county in order to cut costs, including the construction of a 20-unit “place of change” supported housing facility in Scarborough.

Rachel Joyce, assistant chief executive at North Yorkshire Council who also chaired the meeting, emphasised the importance of reporting any incidents to the police so that data could be collected and resources could be deployed as necessary.

Ms Joyce added that the council would be sending updates to residents soon and that another meeting could be held in six months if locals wanted it.

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