The homelessness charity Framework has been commissioned by Nottinghamshire County Council to provide much-needed accommodation and support for homeless young people (aged 16-21) in south Nottinghamshire. They have found what they consider would be ideal premises for the main accommodation on Trent Boulevard in West Bridgford which they will purchase subject to obtaining planning permission.
My personal view is that represents a fantastic opportunity for our wonderful community in Lady Bay to provide a welcoming, safe and supportive environment for some vulnerable young people. They could be placed in another area where they'd be exposed to people who might exploit their vulnerability in all kinds of ways that would be disastrous for their well-being. Being housed in Lady Bay could give them a real chance. This community could befriend and support them. People coming out of care do not necessarily represent any more of a safeguarding or antisocial behaviour risk than anyone else.
I don't speak for everyone at All Hallows' Church, and there may well be a range of views but our faith tradition places a high value on welcoming the stranger and caring for those less fortunate than yourself. I know a number of us will be wanting to do whatever we can to make these young people welcome and supported if this goes ahead. I hope it will.
I understand why people feel anxious, but I believe in this community and our ability to include people and share what's good about life here with some people who could really benefit from our care. I have posted my support for this plan on the council planning website. I hope others will do the same.
I will be chairing a meeting that Framework have organised on Wednesday 25 November in the Breckles Hall on Pierrepont Road between 6 and 8 pm. At that meeting I will make it clear at the beginning that I support this proposal, but thereafter, I will make it my concern to ensure that the fullest range of views and questions can be put to members of the Framework staff and that they are, in turn, given a proper opportunity to respond.
I hope that everyone who is concerned about this proposal, whether supportive or opposed will come and attend the meeting to listen as well as to speak.