COUNCILLOR IS SAID TO BE ‘EXTREMELY UNHAPPY’ OVER HOMELESS HUB ON PAN ESTATE

An ‘extremely unhappy’ Isle of Wight councillor has slammed the new homeless assessment hub in Newport — despite welcoming it with open arms months ago.

In the 3 months since the £750,000 Howard House opened at the former Barton Primary School site, Councillor Geoff Brodie said he has seen levels of anti-social behaviour, drink and drug abuse, noise and disturbance all increase in his ward of Pan and Barton.

Howard House is the Island’s only homeless assessment hub, led by the Salvation Army, providing accommodation for up to 17 people; moving away, the Isle of Wight Council says, from traditional models of support.

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Initially, Cllr Brodie had spoken with nearby residents to ensure they were happy with the hub opening and received no objection.

Speaking at the council’s planning committee meeting earlier this week, when the controversial Castle Road homeless recovery house of multiple occupancy application was discussed, Cllr Brodie shared issues that have occurred since it opened.

He said nearby residents had seen drunks falling into gardens and vomiting to incidents where police were called. On one occasion, Cllr Brodie said a man who was ‘clearly disturbed with complex needs’ created an individual riot where people were scared to leave their homes.

Despite being the police station being 300 metres away, Cllr Brodie said it took police 4-and-a-half hours to respond.

Hampshire Constabulary said it was called to a public order incident where staff were threatened and damaged caused. A person was also assaulted outside the building. A police spokesperson said the 43-year-old man continued to act aggressively, exposed himself and made racist comments until police arrived approximately 4 hours later. They said officers were sent to Howard House earlier but diverted to a higher priority incident.

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A spokesperson for the force added:

“Following the incident at Howard House, we conducted a review of our response and have met with partners to discuss how we can support residents and local community.

“Moving forward, the local Neighbourhoods Policing Team will be regularly patrolling this area and engaging with Howard House.”

Cllr Brodie said this all happens despite the round-the-clock staffing and the council’s response had not been great. He said:

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“I can deal with things, I am a tough guy, but this has given me more grief, social media responses, emails, phone calls, stopping me in the street. I have never known something quite like this.

“I have to ensure it is properly managed and that the agencies deal with the issues.”

The Isle of Wight Council says in the past 10 weeks, a small number of incidents had led to community concerns. A spokesperson said some were not linked to Howard House but where challenges had been highlighted, action has already been taken in collaboration with partners. They said:

“The information, feedback and complaints received are being used to shape the service and to ensure that it is not only supportive of the people who are accessing the service, but also the local community. Regular community engagement events are planned.

“The Howard House we know today will not be the same in the future as we will learn and change. We are hoping to add additional support services within Howard House as it evolves.”

Due to all the issues at Howard House, Cllr Brodie said his view on the Castle Road HMO had completely changed, welcoming the 3-year probation period as protection for residents, which those in Pan and Barton were not afforded.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
19 Comments
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Oldbutalive
Oldbutalive
22 days ago

Lets hope lessons are actually learnt and acted on rather than just swept under the carpet with the usual words sprouted.

Mmmm
Mmmm
22 days ago

Geoff, may be you should learn to say ‘No’ now and again. Might help.

Me me
Me me
Reply to  Mmmm
22 days ago

They built the place in Ryde for alcohol and drug people and it has ruined the area build these places out side are towns and teach them something instead of paying them to keep there habit it’s not fair on the people that are working and struggling to make ends meet all it says is don’t bother working and your be looked after

justme
justme
Reply to  Mmmm
22 days ago

Agree there. You reap what you sow

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  Mmmm
22 days ago

this is what happens when we are forced to listen to a bunch of hand wringing do gooders

Telling it like it is.
Telling it like it is.
22 days ago

Honestly, are any of us “snobs” and “nasty”, “Intolerant” people surprised? No, of course not! Only what we knew would happen. Let the do gooders in the SA who inflict this type of thing on others, have one of these places miles from anywhere, and the do gooders living in there themselves among these delightful ‘needy’ residents or at least very nearby, and see how they like it! When will idiot do gooders learn that putting trash into society does not make gold out of trash, it just brings down the rest of society, it happens every time. When will they learn?

The Truth
The Truth
Reply to  Telling it like it is.
20 days ago

But these (what you so kindly call) trash we’re ALREADY in society previously, weren’t they ?
That’s why they’ve been picked-up and helped.
Remember, these unfortunate people are a PRODUCT of society, they weren’t borne junkies or alcoholics.
They’ve succumbed to the societal BS that strips their individuality, ignores their needs, and has not the funding to support them.

Telling it like it is.
Telling it like it is.
Reply to  The Truth
20 days ago

Don’t give me that! Plenty of people go through allsorts of hell in their lives, me included, it doesn’t mean they all turn into trash. Some people are born into wealth and privilege but still turn out trash. I don’t much like how our society is, mainly because it’s so soft on trash and hard on decent people, Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that some violent drunken type is only like that because society ‘made’ them like it. we all have choices in life even though we might have been treated terribly by society. Don’t make other people have to suffer because others make bad choices and then expect other people to move aside for them when those people have suffered themselves and then suffer more because of the actions of trash.

Gorob
Gorob
22 days ago

sorry but it will never work opening this sort of facility in an established community.
have some sense for gods sake.

Stu
Stu
22 days ago

Well mr perfect every place has problem people this is why we live in a democratic country so you live where you want.why do you think the island should be just for island people.let me tell you if you have only people living here that were born here you will still have this problem as all island people are not like you mr perfect.

Home is where the heart is
Home is where the heart is
22 days ago

Yet again, housing providers (Salvation Army, Southern Housing, Two Saints) housing those likely to commit crime and anti-social behaviour in residential areas with no thought about the impact on the local community. After a while locals will stop reporting incidents due to the lack of action/response by authorities and those involved will be able to say everything has improved and Howard House is a success!

Janesville Read
Janesville Read
22 days ago

The building may be manned 24 hours a day by ordinary people on minimum wage or not much more who have no control

Surfingwithsharks
Surfingwithsharks
22 days ago

why delete all the other comments???? removes context and is not a valid representation of island feelings by doing so.

Asitis
Asitis
22 days ago

Most of these beings should be given a tent on Lynbottom tip, and NOTHING else, scavenge from others throw outs and even THAT is too good for such in many cases.

Fed up.
Fed up.
Reply to  Asitis
21 days ago

If even Pan estate can’t tolerate them, how do the sally army expect anyone else to put up with them? Maybe they can put them on one of the forts in the Solent. But that would be a shame for the forts having that in them.

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  Fed up.
21 days ago

people who genuinely need and want help will listen and follow the advice given and are grateful for any assistance provided, whilst they navigate a troubling time in their lives, however, the rest of just a bunch of junkie, alco deadbeats that burden anyone and everyone with their presence in the hope of stealing or begging cash to get more drugs, booze and baccy. They deserve to be left in the street.

Gary Toul
Gary Toul
20 days ago

Yes, I’d be unhappy as well if I was homeless and put in pan estate. Imagine having to deal with the drunk, rude, racist people who live there. These homeless people deserve better.

Ting tong from tooting
Ting tong from tooting
Reply to  Gary Toul
20 days ago

Lmfao… well said !

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