Bryn Road, Bryn, Wigan WN4 0AA
The following statement has been prepared by Jigsaw Homes on behalf of the applicant in response to concerns raised during the public consultation in relation to the development proposals at St. Peter's, Bryn Road, Bryn.
"As an established supported housing provider in the Wigan borough, we understand fully the issues facing our community in relation to drugs and alcohol. We are committed to supporting the efforts of local drug treatment services and the police are integrated within all of our accommodation services. We do not tolerate illegal drug use within any of our premises, including the immediate vicinity and we have clauses within our license agreements that give us power to take action if this is breached. Prevention, however is our priority and we will work closely with our residents from day one, to help them understand their personal and community responsibilities in relation to their behaviors. This would include patrols of immediate area by staff and residents to act as a visible deterrent but also to give back to our community, by undertaking litter picks and discussing any community concerns. Using the meeting facilities on site, we would also host/facilitate any support meetings and awareness/training events, which would be open for members of the local community to attend and contribute towards.
We are aware of the existing strong community spirit in the area and the work that is delivered from community buildings surrounding the proposed site. In other areas where we have similar sites, we have developed good links with local businesses, services, neighbors and council officials, to ensure communication and transparency in our management of the service. We believe it’s important for local services to feel confident in facilitating community events and where appropriate, for our residents to be involved. The discussions are communicated with our residents to help them better understand the concerns, needs and expectations of the wider community, so that they can become active, valued members within.
We acknowledge some people who are homeless do commit crime, predominantly as a means to survive. Once rehoused, residents would have access to benefits from the outset and committing crime to survive would not be necessary, so we would not expect to see a rise in crime to the area. On the contrary we would hope to see a reduction in crime as a result of our interventions and support.
From our experience of managing similar homelessness services in residential areas, we have actually seen crime rates reduce. This may be because we work in close partnership with the local police, we have robust CCTV of our premises and the immediate vicinity, we provide quality bespoke support packages that meet individual needs, regular patrols from staff, or because we have provided safe secure accommodation, therefore removing in part, a large motivating factor to the crime. With this being said, we work extremely hard to not allow our services to have a detrimental effect on the community in which we operate, a philosophy shared by our entire staff team and a philosophy we instill in our residents from day one. This is supported with tight clauses within our license agreements, which prohibit such actions in the areas our residents reside. We expect by residents establishing links and being encouraged to give back to their local community they will develop investment.
The Springboard Partnership provides supported housing to people across the Wigan and Leigh borough, and aims to have accommodation options available within each of the seven Service Delivery Footprints (SDF’s) identified by the Local Authority. This is to provide greater choice to people experiencing homelessness so that they can still work, volunteer or attend schools/colleges/training. Offering greater choice increases the likelihood that people experiencing homelessness will accept our housing and support, reducing the time people spend homeless and supporting them to move on to live independent lives. A provision close to people’s existing links such as family, friends, employment and social networks will be more beneficial. In order to meet the needs across the borough, we, Jigsaw Support also provide accommodation in Scholes in Leigh, Hindley and Orrell.
It is rare that we accept referrals for people who do not have a local connection to Wigan, as the service has such high demand from residents from within the district. Across the partnership we have over 200 properties and continually look to develop this portfolio to meet the changing demands of the borough. This site would predominantly be used to house single people, couples or in exceptional cases, families with one young child/baby, who demonstrate a willingness to engage in the support we offer. We can assure that our support packages are robust, tailored to meet the individual needs of our residents and include the in-reach of local specialist services where required. We have excellent working relationships with the local specialist services and our mutual aim is to support the development of our resident’s skills to enable them to live independently and become valued assets within the community.
Our referral procedures include the input from statutory, public and voluntary services, which provide us with detailed background information on each referral, which allows us to manage any associated risks and needs effectively. Our risk management procedures asses the potential risk to self, staff and the community, and we will not accommodate individuals who it is assessed pose a high risk to the members of the public.
Parking and traffic issues
Some of our residents may drive but from our experience few residents would have cars. We will have staff on site and visitors from local partner agencies, so the parking allowance we have included is more than enough parking spaces and has been allocated to ensure this does not impact negatively on the local community.
Although our service targets short term stays, the length of a person’s stay depends fully on their personal journey, their engagement in our support and their adherence to the terms and conditions of their license agreements. For a person to choose this area of accommodation from within the partnership, it likely means they already have links to the community, so any planned move-on from the service would likely be to the same area, so we do not see the length of a person’s stay being contributing factor to our efforts to instill a sense of pride and belonging to your community.
Our recruitment strategy focusses on the values and skills for care and our staff undertake a variety of training to equip and develop the skills necessary to provide quality support. We also have a management team experienced in delivering similar services, many of which are also located within residential areas and established communities. The accommodation will be a base for the staff team to deliver support to those living in the accommodation at Bryn and also in Scholes, Hindley and Orrell. Staff will work shifts, 24 hours a day and will start their shift at the accommodation at Bryn. They will spend a large amount of their time on site, visiting other sites across the partnership to provide support and manage the accommodation. If there are any concerns from the local community we welcome a call at any time of the day to ensure if there is a concern it can be looked into and dealt with quickly if needed.
We pride ourselves in delivering quality support services across the North West. We work with communities, families and individuals across the North West of England, with offices and properties based in Manchester, Tameside, Oldham, Stockport, Leigh, Wigan and Lancaster. Our projects and services are as diverse as the needs of the people we support and range from homelessness and housing advice, domestic abuse support, employment services to agency managed properties and more and includes our award winning Housing First and support programmes."