Project success for vulnerable families

Blackpool Town Hall

Blackpool Town Hall

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A DRIVE to tackle transience in one of Blackpool’s most deprived neighbourhoods is beginning to make a difference.

Vulnerable families are being given the support they need in order to play a more permanent role in the community, councillors were told.

Steve Matthews

Steve Matthews

Since the South Beach Transience Project was launched in July, 520 adults and 140 children have received help on issues ranging from domestic violence and social isolation to health and drug addictions.

Blackpool Council’s scrutiny committee was told teams of workers were “sweeping” through the area to identify vulnerable people.

At one point the number of problems being uncovered was so great, the teams had to scale back their work from three days a week to just one, because other services could not cope with the demand for support.

But more resources have now been made available, including from the health service, to enable the work to be stepped back up to two days a week.

Coun Tony Lee

Coun Tony Lee

Blackpool’s head of strategic housing Steve Matthews said: “The transience pilot is now well under way and we have swept through perhaps two thirds of the area. We’re finding some quite worrying statistics in terms of the vulnerability of the people. We found seven or eight people in crisis on the first day, requiring immediate assistance.

“The idea is to deal with anti-social behaviour we have to deal with these issues and help people to settle down in their homes. We can only reduce transience by helping people to stay in their homes.”

The selective licensing scheme is operating in tandem with the transience project, in order to tackle poor housing conditions in the private rented sector.

Mr Matthews said work was now under way in preparation for eventually rolling the scheme out into other parts of Blackpool.

Coun Tony Lee, who represents Waterloo ward which is included in the transience project, said it was beginning to make a difference.

Coun Peter Evans said he welcomed the work being done to tackle bad landlords.

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