Complaints made over youth hostel

Council leader Milan Radulovic
Council leader Milan Radulovic

Councillors and residents have raised serious concerns about the future of a homeless hostel for young people in Eastwood amid allegations of anti-social behaviour and long-running complaints.

In recent years, Eastwood Town Council, Broxtowe Borough Council and the police say they have received several complaints from residents about Stepping Stones on Church Street — a shelter which houses young homeless people aged between 16 and 21 for up to two years.

A frustrated neighbour, who has asked to remain anonymous, made allegations to the Advertiser about problems he claimed had been caused by residents of the project.

He added that he had been reporting the issues to the police for the last eight years.

He said: “I’ve had youths urinating on my lawn and I have been woken up by screaming and shouting.

“I feel trapped and targeted and I’m fed up.

“I believe it is in the wrong place - it needs to be in a location where people aren’t trying to have a quiet life.”

Police confirmed that they had received multiple complaints about the homeless shelter in recent years.

Asra Housing Group, which owns Stepping Stones, said extra security measures had been put in place as a response to claims of anti-social behaviour.

But the spokesman also refuted some of the complaints made by the public.

The leader of Eastwood Town Council, Cllr David Bagshaw, said that the council had received allegations of young people urinating out of windows and swearing.

He said: “People are saying their lives have been ruined for long enough and that can’t be right.

“If closing it is the way forward then that is for the people of Eastwood.

“I will support the move to say it has to go.”

Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, Cllr Milan Radulovic, agreed that Stepping Stones should be moved.

He also said that problems had allegedly been worse in the last couple of years.

He also raised concerns about funding for the shelter and added: “It is all over as far as I’m concerned.”

In a statement to the Advertiser, the spokesman from Asra Housing Group said: “We do not believe that these incidents have happened.”

He added: “We currently have a contract to use the premises until March 31, 2015.

“Until this date services at Stepping Stones will be open for business as usual.

“As with all contract renewals we will sit down with the local authority and discuss our options when we get closer to this date.

“Stepping Stones provides good quality accommodation and friendly, professional support for homeless young people, aged 16-to-21.

“The home, by providing on-site training, advice and support, and a place to stay, helps young people gain the confidence and skills they need to live more independently in the future.”