HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
MANCHESTER HOMELESS CAMP HUMAN RIGHTS CHALLENGE
 

Star date: 23rd April 2015

MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL FACING HUMAN RIGHTS CHALLENGE

"I'm here because I'm homeless and had to flee my home through violence" Joanne from Salford.

Manchester City Council is facing a human rights challenge to its possession order on the Homeless Camp at Albert Square, when the case goes back to Manchester County Court next week.

In a bizarre twist, Manchester Council is trying to evict homeless people from its land, who it actually has a duty of care to re-home... "I think they should come up with a better solution" says homeless Salfordian Scott, who has joined the protest.

Full details here...


Manchester Homless Camp Manchester Homeless Camp Manchester Homeless Camp
Manchester Homeless Camp
click image to enlarge

Manchester City Council is facing a human rights challenge to its possession order on the Homeless Camp at Albert Square, outside the town hall. The Camp sprang up a week ago, following a Homeless Action march last Wednesday, and around twenty people have been living in tents as a protest against their plight ever since.

On Monday, Manchester City Council served a possession order on `persons unknown' at the Camp but solicitors got a stay of execution at Manchester County Court (see previous Salford Star article – click here). The case will now be heard Friday 24th April at 10:30am*, when homeless people will be challenging the possession order under three articles of the Human Rights Act - and, in a strange twist, under the Housing Act in which the local authority has a duty to house the homeless, rather than evicting them from their current tented home.

"For the people who are living on Albert Square, that land is now their home and they have protection under Human Rights Act article 8" says Ben Taylor of WTB Solicitors who has been representing two of the Camp's residents "The court has to respect an individual's home and only evict if it is legitimate and proportionate to do so. I don't believe that the court went through that exercise to assess those rights and to determine whether those rights should have been legitimately interfered with."

He added that the Camp is an act of protest and that, under Articles 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act, any eviction would be interfering with people's right to freedom of expression. But it's the third legal challenge that is potentially the most interesting and the most embarrassing for Manchester Council...

"Manchester City Council own the land and have brought these proceedings; but under the Housing Act 1996 Manchester Council also has obligations and duties to assess and provide accommodation to the homeless who are unintentionally homeless and have a priority need" Ben Taylor explains "It strikes me, and it's patently obvious, that those people on the Square are homeless. It may be that some of those individuals are unintentionally homeless, and, for instance, have been evicted from properties maybe through no fault of their own. It may be that some of those individuals have a priority need. The definition of `priority need' is someone who is vulnerable or who has children under the age of 16. If any of them are unintentionally homeless with priority need, the local authority has an obligation to re-home them.

"I would have liked and preferred to have seen Manchester City Council, instead of taking proceedings to evict, first to investigate whether any of the individuals on the land have homeless issues that the local authority has an obligation to address" he adds "If they have not, that is my third criticism to evicting people from the land."

In other words, Manchester City Council is actually attempting to evict homeless people from their homes on its land, who it actually has a duty of care to house. Yesterday, Coffee4Craig, which helps to find places to stay for the homeless in Salford and Manchester, told the Salford Star that there were no bed spaces in the whole of Manchester. Which is exactly what the Camp protest is about.

"I think Manchester Council should come up with a better solution than eviction" says Scott, a Salfordian who is resident at the Camp "In one shelter the most you get is maybe two nights and then you're back on the streets. I'd like a flat so we'll be here as long it takes to get them to change their policies. The public has been brilliant, they're impressed by what we're doing and say everyone should join up together and make it bigger like in London."

What is striking about the Camp, and most embarrassing for Manchester City Council, is that it's right in the middle of the city centre with obvious signs of wealth all around – from the tourists taking photos by the fountain, to the chic bars on the far side of Albert Square. All over town, massive office developments and million pound apartments have sprung up, yet the Camp is a very visual reminder of the divide that's more obvious in Manchester than even Salford. Every single set of poverty indicators that the Salford Star prints has Salford near the top, but Manchester at number one.

"They're not looking after their own" says Joanne, originally from Salford and now resident at the Camp "Because we can't speak for ourselves they just fob you off. I saw a housing officer and he said `Present yourself as homeless' but every time I do they just tell me to go away."

Joanne tells a horrific story of being made homeless after fleeing from violence, how she's been subject to sexual assaults, and the struggle she's had to make sure the younger of her sons is safe and able to complete his education... "I'm a hairdresser by trade" she adds "And now I'm here in this tent, living out of bags, trying to get myself a house. It's wrong, absolutely wrong.

"I've not come out of the tent for a week because it's like everyone's looking down on you but we're peaceful and we hope to make people listen" she explains "People are sitting closer to the Camp now particularly at dinner time; I think they're seeing that there must be a reason why we're still here. People are also coming at night with massive donations. It's all love and hopefully we'll be able to do something about it.

"I feel safe here and everyone's looking out for each other" she says "I'm just sitting and waiting to see who's going to help me – but my boys are waiting for me. I'm a good parent and I've done it right."

The Camp has been helped by RAPAR, which exists to work with displaced people whose human rights are under threat or being violated.... "We formed in Salford in 2001 when people, mostly young single refugee men from Afghanistan and Iraq, began to be forcibly dispersed to the city by the Government" recalls RAPAR founding member Dr Rhetta Moran

"Then, local people - both residents and workers - were already very already frustrated about housing and related service needs that had not been addressed over years" she adds "When we came across this camp of homeless people in Albert Square on Monday, we immediately began to talk with them. They too are displaced - but in this case they are British citizens. We opened up our networks to enable the camp members to speak directly for themselves and to access appropriate legal support. 

"The process is in its very early stages but RAPAR is committed to the protection and expansion of basic human rights, like safe shelter for all, whoever we are and wherever we come from" she explains "That's why this Saturday we will be at the demonstration at 5:30pm in Piccadilly Gardens to highlight the deaths of refugees in the Mediterranean - and to be part of developing understanding and action that can stop such terrible things from happening in the world."

* The Camp's challenge to the possession order will be heard Friday 24th April at 10:30am (changed from next Tuesday at 2pm) Manchester County Court

For updates on the Camp see Rapar website page - click here

And the Facebook page Homeless Rights of Justice - click here

Photos by Steven Speed

Felsey wrote
at 19:51:58 on 30 January 2018
Many homeless people will be suffering stress and mental health issues. With the law change on PIP the Council should provide a claim back service to local homeless people, filling in PIP forms to date back to at least when they were made homeless. It could mean thousands of pounds and regular benefits to each. Getting 3 or 4 to buddy as grouped tenants will even enable them to pool together the rent for Salford Quays appartments, further pulling down housing benefits. If I was Mayor this would be sorted quick.
 
joanne harrop wrote
at 08:03:32 on 30 January 2018
2 years later.. im still in same predicament feel like exposing truth im in privet property.. still not secure all monies raised what protest really about were moneys went what happend to Real homless ppl
 
john hardman wrote
at 20:40:45 on 19 May 2015
arrogance and uncaring ,what is wrong with this council. stop wasteing our money,and sort these folk out with help,not threats and bullying.
 
Cecilia wrote
at 19:06:59 on 23 April 2015
Fantastic. Keep it up . This is what is needed. Someone needs to sort the homeless problems out. Manchester is full of needy homeless. If they lived in Brazil they could happlily build an area of little homes and shelters to protect them from the weather but in England the situation is disgusting. I want flats and house shares built as inexpensive homes for those in need and NEVER SOLD. I totally support all of youl.
 
Exliebour voter wrote
at 11:32:49 on 23 April 2015
The arrogance of Manchester Council is appalling. Their land ????. It is our land . The taxpayers own it . The taxpayers own every council building , property , and land . So we have a right of access to our property . I give my permission , as a taxpayer , for the homeless to stay there until a solution is found .
 
dirty Manchester Labour wrote
at 09:32:38 on 23 April 2015
The following video will help you understand Manchester Labour councils attitude to being homeless and respecting peoples human rights . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-JNCjxwwIs
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Giraffe
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: COMMUNITY GREEN SPACE CAMPAIGNERS JOIN DEMO OUTSIDE SALFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING
How many of these people complaining will go out and vote labour in the next election? The only way to stop this vote them out and... [more]
article: COMMUNITY GREEN SPACE CAMPAIGNERS JOIN DEMO OUTSIDE SALFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Bob makes sense but after the Westminster shambles this week who knows how the public will vote come elections. Labour may be thro... [more]
article: STRANGE HEADLINES AND CUTS QUOTAS AT SALFORD CITY COUNCIL
Rossi,what do I know about you? I) You've got a personality disorder. II) You post views that you don't believe in ! III) You cra... [more]
article: ‘CONCERN’ OVER SALFORD CITY COUNCIL NURSERIES
Have our council not learned any lessons about outsourcing? Urban vision? Carrilion? Can these people not come up with some scheme... [more]
article: COMMUNITY GREEN SPACE CAMPAIGNERS JOIN DEMO OUTSIDE SALFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING
What a nice bunch of pleasant type dissidents you seem to have here. They are all wasting their time here though. Dennetts mob wil... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

ECCLES HOMELESS SHELTER COURT CASE SET FOR END OF JANUARY

Star date: 18th January 2019

TOOTHBRUSHES AND SOCKS FOR THE HOMELESS

On 9th January at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre, the judge allowed an eight day extension for those homeless people currently occupying the old doctor's surgery in Eccles. The case has now been set for the end of January, giving them an extra two weeks to prepare a legal defence.

Meanwhile this week, the Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre, which is helping the Shelter, took delivery of loads of pairs of thick winter socks and around one hundred toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes donated towards its new Medical and Dental Surgery for the homeless and ex-offenders.

Full details here...

SALFORD GRADE II LISTED VICTORIA THEATRE STEP CLOSER TO BEING SAVED

Star date: 17th January 2019

NEW OWNER CONSIDERS RESTORATION PLANS FOR LOWER BROUGHTON THEATRE

After Lower Broughton's 'at risk' Grade II listed Victoria Theatre was sold last year, there were fears that it would be pulled down for development but the Salford Victoria Theatre Trust has today announced that its new owner "has engaged with the group to seek out a way forward, even vowing to consider plans to restore it for its original purpose".

The Trust is now putting together a business plan and pitch to present to the owner at the end of the month, with a meeting planned with Salford City Council next month to discuss the theatre's future.

Full details here...

COMMUNITY GREEN SPACE CAMPAIGNERS JOIN DEMO OUTSIDE SALFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Star date: 16th January 2019

'IT'S THROWING RESIDENTS TO THE WOLVES OF RAMPANT DEVELOPMENT'

Before a full meeting of Salford Council this morning, residents campaigning against development on green spaces in the city held a demonstration outside the Civic Centre.

Representatives of campaigns including from Campbell Road, Duncan Matheson, Walkden and Buile Hill Park then went into the meeting to hear City Mayor, Paul Dennett, say that the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework was "protecting green belt and green spaces", after Carol Boyce of Saving Our Neighbourhood had accused the Council of "throwing residents to the wolves of rampant development".

Full details here...

NEVER MIND THE BREXITS HERE’S THERESA PUPPET BY CABINET OF MILLIONAIRES

Star date: 16th January 2019

SALFORD ACTOR CLAY WHITTER STARS IN THERESA VIDEO

As Theresa May balances on the political precipice, Cabinet of Millionaires has issued its Theresa track and video which sonically destroys her policies on homelessness, austerity and more.

Theresa stars Salford artist and actor, Clay Whitter, as a homeless bloke trying to make a buck out of a dancing Theresa puppet – it says it all, never mind the Brexits.

Full details here...

‘CONCERN’ OVER SALFORD CITY COUNCIL NURSERIES

Star date: 14th January 2019

'CONCERN' AS SALFORD COUNCIL NURSERIES PUT OUT TO TENDER

In a letter to Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, the Save Our Salford Nurseries Campaign has expressed concern that the uncertainty and "slow progress" over the future of the five outstanding Council nurseries "has had a significant impact on the staff and service".

The nurseries were put out to tender last month, and the Campaign, while inviting the Mayor to a meeting at the end of this month, warns him that "A privatised option has been shown to lead to problems of cost, delivery and long term viability".

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx