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Safe Spots Wythenshawe have successfully negotiated the support of powerful individuals in their community, laying the ground to achieving their long-term goal of opening a women’s drop in centre.

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This included support from Garry Shewan, assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, who has agreed to create a mandatory training video to be shown to all police on domestic violence which will include stories from the Safe Spots group.

At the meeting they gained expertise from the Wythenshawe community, including MP Mike Kane, who will help to facilitate the creation of a women’s drop in centre.

The meeting, which took place in the Wythenshawe Forum, was attended by more than 50 people. This was despite the fact that a large storm blew up, blocking the roads and causing difficulty.

Derek Hewitt, Chief inspector of Wythenshawe, showed his support for the group by representing Greater Manchester Police at the meeting.

The meeting was set up and run by members of the Safe Spots Wythenshawe group. The group was set up to attempt to challenge the way domestic abuse is dealt with in an area which had previously had one of the greatest levels of domestic violence in the country.

They work in partnership with the police to find alternative solutions to combat domestic violence. The understanding of the women of the issue has proved invaluable in tackling it. They have set up Safe Spots across the city and helped recruit businesses to sign up to be trained in what to do when they encounter cases of domestic violence.

The meeting exemplified the journey that the women have been on and their achievements so far.

Previously, the majority had no interest in politics and had not undertaken any public speaking. However at the meeting, five members spoke in front of the large crowd that they had organised to be there. The asks had all been thought through and organised by the women involved, demonstrating the strength of their leadership.

This moved many members of the crowd, with one present, Rev’d Stephen Edwards saying:

“It was one of the most powerful, well presented and thoughtful presentations I have been to in a long time. A great sense of optimism and hope for everyone present and such positive, creative energy for the Wythenshawe community.”

Luke Breakspear, a police officer for Wythenshawe who has worked closely with the Safe Spots group said:

“The bravery of the Safe Spots group is astounding. They've come from not believing their own self worth, to being community champions in changing attitudes and behaviours around domestic abuse.

This has been an incredible journey which I have been very pleased to commit to further partnership activity. 

I and Greater Manchester Police as an organisation are very grateful for their efforts and look forward to further successes together.”

Heidi, a member of the Safe Spots group, supported Luke’s statement about the progress the group has made. She said:

“This project has helped me find my voice.”

Going forward the women hope to be successful in getting the funding required for the centre which will provide some refuge to women suffering from domestic violence.

Women challenging domestic violence win better police training & support for drop in centre

Safe Spots Wythenshawe have successfully negotiated the support of powerful individuals in their community, laying the ground to achieving their long-term goal of opening a women’s drop in centre.   Read More >


Consultation.jpgThis week Home Sweet Home welcomed the decision by Brighton and Hove Council to introduce an additional licensing scheme for smaller houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s) in seven more wards across the city, following a city-wide consultation.

Home Sweet Home campaigners have long-supported licensing for landlords, and made a number of contributions to the most recent consultation to encourage the introduction of further licensing.

Back in January, several members of Home Sweet Home gave evidence to the consultation on behalf of the campaign, outlining the stories we've heard from residents during our previous campaigns, sharing our own experiences, and passing on the evidence we have collected which shows just how bad standards our housing in the city can be in some places.

Home Sweet Home also ran a number of street actions throughout March and April to encourage members of the public to reply to the consultation and wrote to our wider network of supporters to draw their attention to the consultation, and asked them to share their opinion.

The new scheme, which will be started on November 2nd and will last for five years, will require landlords with HMOs to acquire the additional licenses.

The seven wards included in the scheme are Brunswick and Adelaide, Central Hove, East Brighton, Goldsmid, Preston Park, Regency and Westbourne. This is in addition to the scheme already running in Hanover & Elm Grove, Moulsecoomb & Bevendean, St Peter’s & North Laine, Hollingdean & Stanmer and Queen’s Park. 

In these areas of the city, landlords can now be fined up to £20,000 if they rent out an HMO without a license.

A house in multiple occupation is a house which is rented out by at least three people who are not from one household but share the facilities.

Home Sweet Home campaigner Jack Spooner said

"When I first moved to Brighton, I realised that the overcrowded, badly maintained properties were all over the market, and I've always thought that constructive licensing would help improve living conditions for residents across the city. Walk down almost any main street, and you see the proliferation of Estate and Letting Agents. With such a huge market for housing, where demand so out-strips supply, it is easy for standards to drop, and there's never been any consequences to that.

During the consultation, we gave evidence to the council and spoke in favor of a Landlord licensing scheme. We also took the consultation to public, raising support and awareness, and it is brilliant to see that within two months of taking administration, the new administration has taken this valuable and constructive move to improve standards across the city. There is more to be done, but this is a great step towards fixing local housing."

Home Sweet Home welcomes more Landlord Licensing in their city

This week Home Sweet Home welcomed the decision by Brighton and Hove Council to introduce an additional licensing scheme for smaller houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s) in seven more wards across the city, following a city-wide consultation. Read More >

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