Changes to who can live in Market Rasen’s Foyer residential home have been slammed by a councillor as “another disaster waiting to happen.”
But Rasen’s own district councillors reject the comments from Gainsborough Lib-Dem Trevor Young.
Last week, the Rasen Mail reported how Lincolnshire County Council was changing its contractual arrangements, so the centre at King Street would take adults only, instead of the current 16-25s. The length of stay would also change from a maximum two years to six months.
This led to some fears of crime from the older residents, whom site operators Axiom Housing admitted would include “the occasional offender.”
District Councillors sought further information from West Lindsey District and Lincolnshire County Council, with some saying there was no consultation over the changes.
Coun Young said the existing arrangement of the Foyer housing 16-25s had “worked well” and was “valued by most residents in Market Rasen.”
These existing residents were quite settled, but slashing the time they can stay might cause problems.
“So many more homeless people will access the scheme, can a small rural town like Market Rasen cope with this extra demand. Is Market Rasen the right place to have a emergency accommodation unit?” he asked.
“This is another disaster waiting to happen regarding housing in the district, we have seen what has happened to elderly residents in sheltered type housing schemes, now it appears to be happening to other vulnerable groups,” he said.
Middle Rasen district councillor Geoff Wiseman had been “concerned” about the planned changes, but on researching them, now agreed it would be an improvement.
“The children that come in now are not from West Lindsey. They are from outside and can be looked after elsewhere,” he said.
Market Rasen district and county councillor Burt Keimach, a member of Lincolnshire’s Children & Young Person’s scrutiny committee, said the Foyer changes were a “routine thing” that had not come before his committee.
“It will be very well supported. Living in a quiet, progressive town like Market Rasen will give them a jolt of reality about how pleasant life can be. Maybe coming here will help sort themselves out. This is a good example of a typical English town where people behave themselves.”