Rotherham Council officers meet with residents over Carlton Park Hotel

Carlton Park Hotel.Carlton Park Hotel.
Carlton Park Hotel.
RESIDENTS finally heard directly from council officials about Carlton Park Hotel – but were disappointed at the lack of publicity ahead of the meeting.

There were about 50 attendees at the town hall gathering last Tuesday – well under half of the number who attended ward member Cllr Taiba Yasseen’s meeting six weeks earlier.

The controversy arose from Rotherham Council’s use of the Moorgate hotel for temporary social housing places, which led to concerns about crime and antisocial behaviour linked to a minority of tenants.

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Regeneration and environment director Andrew Bramidge and assistant director of housing James Clark were at last week’s meeting, chaired by Cllr Sarah Allen, cabinet member for housing.

One resident said: “Talking to my neighbours afterwards, the feeling was this was a huge step forward as the council decision makers were able to hear directly as to how their inadequate decisions have put at risk children at two schools, a nursery and thousands of residents.

“Hopefully that collective awareness will help remove the very real safeguarding risks that currently exist relating to child grooming, drug abuse, robbery, assault and prostitution.”

The resident said it was unclear how the meeting had been communicated to residents, as he heard about it via a friend on the WhatsApp messaging app.

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Another resident added: “They seem to have done little or no publicity about the meeting.

“Having officers there to answer questions, unlike the last meeting, was a big advantage.

“Residents’ complaints were the same as before. There were some genuinely concerned parents worrying about their teenage children going to school or college on their own and what they are seeing.

“It was acknowledged that not all of this emanated from the Carlton Park but residents are adamant that problems have got much worse since the change of use at the hotel.”

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Police and RMBC maintain that the hotel has not been used as a “bail hostel,” with placements made for a variety of reasons – the most common being homelessness due to loss of private rented accommodation.

Mr Clark said: “As we had intended, there has been a reduction in the number of people needing to be homed temporarily at Carlton Park Hotel.

“We have written to residents in the area to ensure they have the right details to report any issues, and have increased the support to the area from our community protection team.

“We hope that this is helping to provide additional assurances to the community while we continue to face up to unprecedented need for homelessness services.”

Residents can report issues via 01709 823118 or [email protected]. Crime should be reported on 101 or 999.

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