welcomes YMCA's adoption of Highbridge homeless facility
councillors have this week welcomed the news that a council-run
home which provides emergency accomodation for homeless people
and families in Highbridge is to be transferred to the YMCA.
Harvey of Sedgemoor District Council discussed the council's plans
for Wade House at Monday's town council meeting.
It follows the September 2009 Executive meeting of SDC, where
it was proposed that the premises should be transferred to Bridgwater
YMCA on a 125 year lease, subject to the YMCA being able to deliver
the service, SDC assisting with improvements, SDC signposting
services and SDC helping with searches for external finance.
Mr Harvey explained that the number of homeless had dropped dramatically
owing to preventative steps, including the construction of much
social housing in the area.
a result the facility was now financially unviable and needed
a subsidy of £100,000 in this financial year, which the
Council could no longer afford.
Janet Keen said: "I support this plan as once it settles
down it is likely to be cheaper than the consequences of a family
Cllr John Morgan added: "Burnham is a nice place to live
but SDC has a legal obligation to house the homeless. Is this
service a beacon to those outside the area or a service only for
those in the area?"
Harvey responded that: "We are not in the ethos of importing
people except in exceptional circumstances such as domestic violence
or for improved employment."
Cllr Chris Williams asked "whether SDC has to make a revenue
contribution to YMCA for the provision of the service," to
which Mr Harvey said no.
SDC is talking to the Homes & Community agency regarding grant
funding for capital expenditure on improvements.
Cllr Mike Mansfield told the meeting he is "sad to see SDC
sell off another property" while Cllr Joe Leach said the
scheme was a "good idea" and that the "YMCA would
do a very good job".