Barking MP Margaret Hodge has questioned why two homes for young people were allowed to open in the same street.Did anyone question her about accurately locating Barking on a map? Because I doubt she could do it…
Mrs Hodge spoke at a community meeting which she held last Friday to tackle problems with the unruly behaviour of youths in Strathfield Gardens, Barking.Yes, you’ve already spotted the problem, I’m sure.
As reported in last week’s Post, residents have complained about a number of young people who live at the two privately-run homes – Holibrook House, which caters for teenagers with behavioural problems aged 14 to 18, and No. 20, an assisted living centre for 16 to 18-year-olds.
Two of them? In the same road? What could possibly go wro….
Oh. Right. This:
It is said youths have shouted abuse at passers-by, thrown stones at buses, climbed on to the roofs of the homes and on one occasion barricaded the street with furniture.Shocking! But not entirely unexpected.
But the care home managers say behaviour has improved significantly at both homes and that residents need to understand the young people come from “challenging” backgrounds.Do they? So what?
Does that excuse them behaving like animals? Does it mean the neighbours should just put up with it?
Just how did this situation come about, then?
According to one resident, planning permission was given to turn No. 1 Strathfield Gardens into a youth home around seven years ago, while No. 20 had received permission in the 1960s to become a care home for the elderly.Ahhh, a very cunning plan indeed. How useful.
Because the latter was already a care home, the new owners, Lodge Care Group, did not have to apply for change of use before it opened in 2009.
A number of residents spoke about incidents where they were allegedly taunted, intimidated and subjected to noise nuisance late at night.Indeed, as recounted in bloodcurdling detail by Winston Smith, these
Some felt more restrictions should be put on the youngsters, but managers at the homes said they could not force anyone to stay inside as they were not running secure units.