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SQUATTING ‘EXPLOSION’ IN GREATER MANCHESTER SINCE UNIVERSAL CREDIT ROLLED OUT
 

Star date: 18th December 2017

850 SQUAT INCIDENTS AND 39 EVICTIONS INCLUDING IN ECCLES, SWINTON AND SALFORD QUAYS

There has been an 'explosion' of squatting in Greater Manchester since Universal Credit was rolled out, according to data provided by Greater Manchester Police in response to a Freedom of Information request.

Over the last three years there have been 850 squat 'incidents' and 39 evictions... "Since Universal Credit rolled out to single people, I wanted to know the impact" says Debi Blanchard of Greater Manchester Housing Action "The answer was a squatting explosion..."

Full details here...


Squatting explosion in Greater Manchester Squatting explosion in Greater Manchester Squatting explosion in Greater Manchester
Squatting explosion in Greater Manchester
click image to enlarge

While there have been high profile squats in the centre of Manchesterat the Ducie Bridge pub, at the Cornerhouse and in South King Street - few people know about squatting evictions and incidents all over Greater Manchester.

Debi Blanchard of Greater Manchester Housing Action submitted a Freedom of Information request to Greater Manchester Police concerning squatting and was staggered by the response.

Between April 2014 and November 2017, there have been 850 incidents where police message texts or comments text contain the word 'Squat'. And within those 'incidents', the GMP state that 39 relate to evictions, some in the most unlikely places...

Five squat evictions on the list relate to Salford – at Chambersfield Court, Salford Quays (30/6/14 and 1/7/14); at Spring Bank in Seedley (7/11/14); at St Mary's road, Eccles (21/3/16); and at Chorley Road in Swinton (25/7/17).

Other unlikely squatting evictions took place in Droylsden, Leigh, Wigan, Trafford, Bolton, Sale and Rochdale.

"In the three years since Universal Credit rolled out to single people, I wanted to know the impact on those who now effectively have no recourse to public funds" says Debi "The answer was a squatting explosion...

"There are addresses here you would never think had a squatting problem...like Sale" she adds "Wigan is in there...everywhere in Greater Manchester. I've seen somebody has done some research on squat dwellers and in the past twelve months they estimate that, across Greater Manchester, nine hundred people took shelter in squats. It looks pretty credible to me, given the number in my FOI..."

Last week, the latest high profile squat opened on Cross Street facing Manchester Town Hall, almost as a challenge to Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham...

 "This isn't about anarchy, this isn't about being an activist, this isn't about charity - this is about the right to have a home; this about belonging and having a community and support" one of the occupiers, Chris Blaine, told the Salford Star

"So we're going to show you how it's done and make loads of noise" he added "We're fed up of walking past it, we're fed up of listening to your excuses and we're fed up of your inaction..."


For the full interview with Chris on the Cross Street squat see previous Salford Star article – click here


Meanwhile, almost 1,500 people have signed a petition calling for Manchester University to provide rooms for homeless people over Christmas. The text of the petition by Spencer Kay states...

"To open the vacant spare rooms for the homeless or vulnerably housed to use over Christmas. This can be implemented by giving them a temporary lease for a month, I believe that this is important as part of the mission statement of the University was to 'tackle homelessness' in the city. We could open up the Alan Hall and parts of Owen Park, such as the top of the tower or other elements of the student accommodation that is not being used. This is essential in the coldest winter since 2010, to make sure that people don't die on the streets..."

To sign the petition – click here   

Michael James Felse wrote
at 3:35:51 AM on Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Let me give two asks. Firstly ask everyone you know to Like this site making our local council seriously have to sit up and listen. I have seen this site grow likes from 700 to almost 1000 in 2 years. It is no doubt the reason why the Salford Labour Party vote has in fact dropped dramatically in every by-election as truth news is getting to local people via Salford Star. Second ask is why does our combined 10 councils of Greater Manchester sit on £3billion worth of assets that could be sold as shares, raising enough cash to give every homeless person a home and serve our many other needs. Sell Manchester Airport and put services to people first.
 
Bob wrote
at 3:49:03 PM on Monday, December 18, 2017
"about time".Thanks. bob
 
Michael James Felse wrote
at 10:58:44 AM on Monday, December 18, 2017
Remember when Salford Council went against public wishes to demolish Salford's Dock Cranes? Those last two stood outside Ontario House, now empty. Would make an ideal short stay property for about 50 homeless humans over Christmas and throughout the winter cold weather. Salford Mayor should get his mate Greater Manchester Mayor to requisition such large empty buildings and ask Churches and Charities to do greet-support welcomes for this winter's needy. Addressing my Mayor I ask "Paul why not?" Just do it man.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 10:58:09 AM on Monday, December 18, 2017
See Bob's comment below - all will be revealed hopefully very shortly.
 
Bob wrote
at 9:54:05 AM on Monday, December 18, 2017
All the rest have, but I have not. What happened to that £1.3 million quid Salix had for the homeless? Please tell me.
 
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SALFORD COUNCIL RUNNING FIRST AID FOR DOGS AFTER £1.6MILLION CUT TO HEALTH IMPROVEMENT

Star date: 19th January 2018 

DOGS FIRST AID COURSE AFTER HUMAN GROUPS CUT

"An insult to the people of Salford..."

Salford City Council is using its Health Improvement Team to run First Aid For Dogs courses, after slashing £1.6million from its budget which helped improve the lives of humans.

The courses, run in conjunction with the PDSA, cover doggy bloat, doggy bandaging and resuscitating doggies... "It's an insult to the people of Salford that managers are putting the health of dogs before the health of people" says one resident affected by the Health Improvement cuts.

Full details here...

‘ETHICAL’ AVIVA TRIES TO EVICT NEW MANCHESTER HOMELESS SQUAT

Star date: 18th January 2018

MANCHESTER COUNCIL SAYS 17 HOMELESS PEOPLE 'WOULD NOT BE INTERESTED IN RELOCATION BECAUSE THEY ARE ACTIVISTS'

After the brutal eviction of 17 homeless people from occupied offices above BetFred in Manchester centre on Monday morning, they have taken refuge in a new building on King Street owned by Aviva Investors Pensions Ltd. Tomorrow, the company is taking the homeless people to court to face further eviction, despite its 'social purpose' statement that "one of our values is to 'care more'"...

Meanwhile, the homeless people are furious about a statement purportedly made by Manchester City Council on the court papers that "they would not be interested in arranging any relocation because they are activists"...

Full details here...

91% OF SALFORD UNIVERSAL CREDIT CLAIMANTS IN ARREARS WITH CITY WEST

Star date: 18th January 2018

HUGE INCREASE IN SALFORD RENT ARREARS DUE TO UNIVERSAL CREDIT

91.3% of City West tenants claiming Universal Credit are currently in arrears with their rent payments, compared to 42.3% of tenants in arrears who are not claiming Universal Credit.

Relating the figures to yesterday's full meeting of Salford Council, City Mayor Paul Dennett added that there was "a clear correlation between the introduction of Universal Credit and increased use of collection orders.

Full details here...

NEW CLADDING FOR SALFORD TOWER BLOCKS IN MARCH SAYS DEPUTY MAYOR

Star date: 17th January 2018

PENDLETON BLOCKS WILL HAVE NEW CLADDING IN MARCH

At today's full meeting of Salford City Council, Deputy Mayor, John Merry, said he was "fairly confident" that new cladding will be put on the nine Pendleton tower blocks, beginning in March. He added that residents' safety had been put "top of the list...I don't think anyone can complain".

John Merry disclosed that documentation relating to cladding on blocks owned by Salix and City West had been sent to councillors, although nothing has been published for the public. He added that a report into how the dangerous cladding was put onto the blocks in the first place will soon be available.

Full details here...

SALFORD HOMELESSNESS CONFERENCE EXCLUDES HOMELESS AT OVER £325 PER TICKET

Star date: 16th January 2018

SALFORD UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE PROMISES 'UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS' – WITH NO HOMELESS PEOPLE PRESENT

A University of Salford conference which promises to "provide unique insights into the underlying causes and potential solutions to the homelessness crisis" is charging £325+VAT per ticket, thus excluding not only the homeless but also grass roots housing organisations.

One of the speakers is Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, while a panel will ask 'How can we most effectively improve services to vulnerable homeless households and individuals?'...without any 'vulnerable homeless' people there to share their views.

Full details here...

 



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