New forum set to boost links in Rasen community

Market Rasen House
Market Rasen House

Town councillorsand staff at Market Rasen House have given their backing to setting up a community forum group to aid transparency between groups and community members in the town.

The proposal was brought forward at last Wednesday’s October meeting of Market Rasen Town Council.

The discussion was initially centred on Market Rasen House, which provides for homeless adults in West Lindsey and beyond, but it was resolved that the forum could extend to other bodies and groups in the community, including the area’s PCSOs.

Manager of Market Rasen House, David Barratt - who took over the post last week - and Assistant Service Manager Katrina Swan attended the meeting to clarify details about the provision at the centre.

Ms Swan acknowldeged there was ‘discussion’ in the community reagrading ‘who is being housed’ at the cenre, and assured the meeting that Market Rasen House ‘does not take anybody on that would not be housed in the local community’.

Ms Swan said: “Our provision is for 18-plus and we cater for people who are low to medium need.

“In other words, people who might have similar backgrounds, or similar needs, to your next door neighbour - only the people at Market Rasen House have 24 hour support.”

Regarding crime, Ms Swan said residents who offend are dealt with ‘appropriately’.

“We would not decline purely because they were coming out of prison,” said Ms Swan, ‘but neither would West Lindsey District Council for one of their council properties.

“If someone’s need or risk was assessed to be too high to be housed in the community, then they would be declined for Market Rasen House just as they would for an individual property in the district.

She added: “If a crime has been committed by a resident, we are usually involved in that process working very closely with the police.

“Recurring offences makes a resident high need - since we cater for low to medium need only, the resident would be moved on - as individuals have in the past.”

Mayor John Matthews brought forward the proposal of a quarterly meeting between various groups and the community as a means to ‘channel communication in the whole community’ - not just centred on Market Rasen House. It was agreed steps would be taken to set up those meetings as a ‘positive for the town’.

What does MR House offer?

Katrina Swan said: “We offer 20 beds, the majority of which are for homeless adults with a connection to West Lindsey, with six emergency beds for people without a connection.

“People housed with us are looking for their own accommodation and are often actively bidding on properties.

“We have 24-hour staff, trained in support and housing management.

“We are not a bail hostel - as such we do not impose restrictions like curfews. If we wanted to do this we would have to change to a bail hostel.”