Star date: 12th September 2016


At the Manchester Civil Justice Centre this morning, NOMA GP, which is half owned by the Co-op, won a possession order on its Ducie Bridge pub which around thirty homeless people have occupied.

The judge gave the homeless people 48 hours to leave but Chris Blaine, from Salford, who spoke in court, said he will resist any attempt at eviction... "I've got no money, I ain't going nowhere and there's a group of people who feel the same so...if they want us out they're going to have to come and get us..."

Full details here...

Co-op Wins Possession Order on Ducie Bridge pub Co-op Wins Possession Order on Ducie Bridge pub Co-op Wins Possession Order on Ducie Bridge pub
Co-op Wins Possession Order on Ducie Bridge pub
click image to enlarge

A judge at Manchester Civil Justice Centre granted NOMA GP, which is half owned by the Co-op, a possession order on its Ducie Bridge pub, giving homeless people currently living there just 48 hours to vacate the property.

In court, the squatters had asked for an adjournment so they could get legal representation to fight the order. They had argued that there were grounds to oppose the possession order as some of NOMA's arguments were contentious, namely the health and safety aspect relating to asbestos and the assertion of forced entry into the building.

The judge ruled out both these grounds as he was unsure that they would have a bearing on the final verdict. The judge also ruled out a request by NOMA to include the properties next door to the Ducie Bridge within the possession order as that would `risk injustice'.

Despite NOMA wanting immediate possession of the property, the judge was asked to delay this, as the Co-op had no immediate plans for the building and to evict vulnerable homeless people in haste would have consequences in terms of stress and mental health, and would cause `devastation and harm'.

The judge agreed that there were a large number of vulnerable people in the building and talked of `common humanity' – but then told the squatters to give up possession within 48 hours, by noon on 14th September.

"The Co-operative is not being very co-operative under their guise as NOMA" said Chris Blaine, from Salford, after the hearing  "`NOMA - No money, No access' still applies, and I'm afraid I've got no money, got no access and I ain't going nowhere. There's a group of people who feel the same, so we're going to stay there.

"If they want us out they're going to have to come and get us out" he added "In the meantime we're going to try our best to find other safe, secure premises to house the homeless people who want to take enormous steps forward in their lives, be that education or proper housing. I feel that to walk away from those people now would be wrong and an injustice, so I'm going to fight their corner and carry on being a thorn in the side of NOMA and the Co-op."

Chris also had a direct message for the Co-op... "Stop saying it's not the Co-op, you own 50% of the business" he said "Get your heads together and come and talk to us, we are people. The building is empty, it's going to be pulled down, have a heart and show some support for your local community. It's time the Co-op was co-operative...

"If you co-operate with us, we'll co-operate with you" he concluded "But treat us like you're treating us, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to fight until the end..."

Almost 500 people have now signed a petition urging NOMA/Co-op to #LetThemStay – click here

For a full background see previous Salford Star articles...

Direct Action and Petition Against The Co-op – click here

Co-op Hits Homeless Squat With Court Date - click here

Ethical Co-op Threatens Homeless People With Eviction - click here

Main photo by Steven Speed

Tahir Chakotai (Indepndent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 07:44:54 on 20 September 2016
I will not be commenting about myself any further "J". The article was about the homeless @ the Ducie Bridge" not "Tahir Chakotai". As stated before, I have reason to suspect, in my opinion, that you either work for my landlord, or you just like targeting vulnerable adults online, who try to help and support the homeless, within Salford and Manchester. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate)
Evan Pritchard wrote
at 07:44:35 on 20 September 2016
Tahir. I was determined not to continue further but I'm not letting your last comment go. I never read your advice until you published it in this thread, so I was not in a position to advise the people in the Ducie Bridge to take it or not. Nor did I have anything to do with the fact that they were unrepresented. I'm unclear as to whether your advice was received by them and rejected or whether they ever received it. As I said at the outset, before making public statements you should have clarified privately with them why they did not have professional representation at the hearing and for that matter why they didn't follow your advice. As I say, this had nothing to do with me, but if I did know the reasons I would not be airing them in a public forum for the whole world to read. If that makes me paranoid then I suggest that we could do with a lot more paranoia in campaigning social media. We could also do with a lot more light and considerably less heat.
Gaynor Heaton wrote
at 07:44:00 on 20 September 2016
Dear “J”. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to be debating issues surrounding homelessness? Googling “Tahir Chakotai” seems a little bizarre and unseemly, and is not going to help the homeless. Personally, I am greatly concerned at the number of people sleeping rough in Manchester & Salford. There is Legislation in the Housing Act, the Localism Act, and the Care Act that requires Local Authorities (Councils) to take action. Both Mr Chakotai and myself have supplied verifiable Legislation that could have helped those at Ducie Bridge. Surely that is what we should be focusing on? Mr Chakotai and myself try to help people, mainly those with disabilities, with various problems. We have been extremely successful, because we research the Law and use it advantageously and expediently. However, I would be horrified if any reference to specific cases, or people we had helped, was listed on the Internet. They are mostly vulnerable disabled people and the problems have been of a personal nature.
J wrote
at 07:41:50 on 19 September 2016
I'm glad your friend Gaynor's come to back you up. She seems very articulate and level-headed and, to my mind, adds credence to this track record you're claiming. Anyone can say they're anything they want in the comments and we've had a long history of people making dubious claims of their own political power here and on a rival Salford news site. // You stated they didn't take your advice on 14/11/16 1.25.12am and I didn't comment until the next day. It's highly unlikely anyone would anticipate finding sound legal advice in a comment section inside these giant walls of text you've been posting. // What is this research I'm supposed to be doing? "tj chakotai" has 8 google hits, "tahir chakotai" has 300, and "tahira chakotai" has 84. I don't see the landing page about your housing law expertise? Could you maybe link me to it?
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 21:09:34 on 18 September 2016
Just wanted to say "thank you" to Mrs. Heaton, for speaking some common sense. If "J", in my opinion, had done his "so called research", he would have known that I have a good reputation when it comes to Housing Knowledge, Housing Advocacy, Homeless Matters, and Unlawful Eviction. So when I write an article or give someone housing advice, you can guarantee it has been research thoroughly. On this occasion I had managed to locate an amazing Solicitor and Barrister, to support and defend those who were homeless, and living at the Ducie Bridge. I was, and still am bed ridden, and I am constantly in a great deal of pain. But from my bedside, I used my two weapons of choice, an iPad and a Mobile Phone, to ensure these homeless people had a fighting chance in court. I had spent a whole day, while in pain and bed ridden, writing out and publishing on the Salford Star a "Legal Counterclaim", that could have easily been used to defend the homeless, who were living at the Ducie Bridge, within a court of law. However, in my opinion, thanks to the paranoid and deluded ravings of "Evan" and "J", the homeless did not take any of my advice, and also refused legal representation in court, which now means the homeless at the Ducie Bridge, are now beyond my help. Well done "Evan" and "J". If you both want to attack me online, that's fine with me, but may I request, that you do not do it at the expense of others. In conclusion, and in my opinion, we need less people in the world like "J" and "Evan" and more people like Mrs. Heaton. People like I, and Mrs. Heaton, fight for those who either get lost in the system, or those who no one else will defend. And in my opinion, "J" and "Evan", that is all you need to know about me. Anything else is irellevent. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai, (Independent Housing Advocate).
Gaynor Heaton wrote
at 17:02:07 on 18 September 2016
Dear “J”. I have to agree with Mr Chakotai (Tahir) your comments on here and on the Post Office article are inappropriate. I left a comment regarding the homeless of Ducie Bridge when the Story was first aired, and like Mr Chakotai’s comments, mine contained Legislation. Although I agree with you “J” that the homeless people might not have Internet access, many of their supporters clearly do. It shouldn’t matter if it is a random person leaving comments, the Legislation could be checked. // // Mr Chakotai has won numerous Legal challenges on various issues as have I. I successfully sued a previous Landlord, and have succeeded in challenging my present Landlord a number of times, but on fairly minor issues. However Mr Chakotai has far more experience and knowledge regarding Housing Law and Homelessness. // // As to your statement that “Trying to avoid being evicted whilst also trying to get out of somewhere seems so contradictory”, I deem a very naive statement. There is a big difference to moving out of your own accord and being forced out. Being evicted could very likely jeopardise someone’s chances of being suitably re-housed. // // There could also be a similar problem regarding the homeless of Ducie Bridge. They are already now in breach of a Court Order, which could cause them a problem. Also, if they resist eviction by Bailiffs, Police or others, including Council Officials, they could get an Anti-social Behaviour conviction and therefore forfeit their rights regarding Social Housing under the Anti-Social Behaviour and Policing Act 2014.
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 07:33:20 on 18 September 2016
@ "J" It is now obvious "J", in my opinion, that you have a personal issue with me, that has absolutely nothing to do with the Homeless at the Ducie Bridge, or the advice I supplied them. 1. I requested that the Salford Star hand my personal details to those at the Ducie Bridge, who in my opinion, did not contact me once via the phone. 2. I am certainly not a random person giving advice. I have saved hundreds of vulnerable, disabled, and elderly people from being unlawfull evicted from their homes in Salford & Manchester over the last 9 years. 3. The advice I gave the homeless at the Ducie Bridge came directly from the .gov website, so the information, in my opinion, was politically and legally accurate. 4. As a positive side effect of my Autism Spectrum Diagnosis, I have photographic memory, full video recall capabilities, combined with a working IQ of 159, tested by Mensa within the last 4 weeks, which puts me in the top 1%, within the UK, for inteligence. 5. I do know that one of the homeless had access to the internet, and requested, via email, that I re-type all my notes using a legal defense format. 6. I arranged an amazing Solicitor and Barrister, in my opinion, to defend the homeless at the Ducie Bridge, to which they refused to be legally supported in court. 7. The name of my current landlord, in my opinion, had absolutely nothing to do with the homeless case at the Ducie Bridge. 8. My housing case, in my opinion, had absolutely nothing to do with the homeless at the Ducie Bridge, as the cases are legally different. 9. My problems with my current landlord, in my opinion, are as a result of defending the vulnerable, elderly, and disabled from unlawful eviction, time and time again, which has made me a political target. 10. Among the elderly, disabled, and vulnerable, in my opinion, I have become a bit of a legend, as I am yet to lose one single legal case concerning housing disputes. 11. I am severely physically disabled and I am in a great deal of pain, day in and day out, and in my opinion, certainly do not deserve to have you challenge my housing expertise or agenda. 12. Last but not least, you seem to be preoccupied, in my opinion, with trying to get me to mention the name of my current landlord on the Salford Star. In conclusion, and in my opinion, I now feel that you are somehow connected with my landlord, either through a paid or non paid position or role. Your constant interest in my own housing concerns is completely irrelevant considering that my only goal was to help these homeless people find a stable tenancy, with a housing provider, instead of living in squats. In my opinion you have demonised me at every turn. In my opinion, you have picked faults with everything I have stated within my comments, but have not offered any constructive advise nor offered alternative ways to help the homeless at the Ducie Bridge. It is also of my opinion, that I feel you have purposely hindered the support and help I have tried to offer the homeless at the Ducie Bridge, which implies your agenda has nothing to do with helping me or the homeless within Salford or Manchester. I would therefore like to end this comment by saying that whatever you agenda was, in my opinion, "you failed". I would also like to say that those who hide their true identity, in my opinion, usually have something to hide. I would therefore request that you use your time and energy doing something that is more worth while, like defending and protecting the homeless who exist within Manchester and Salford. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai, (Independent Housing Advocate), (Since 2006).
J wrote
at 05:51:15 on 17 September 2016
I didn't say you mentioned that housing association whilst talking about Dulcie Bridge. How have you conveyed your legal advice to the homeless people? Not just via this comment section I hope? Do they have the internet? // You may be giving sound advice but no one in their right mind is going to take legal advice from a random person in a comment section, who has no demonstrable authority to be giving such advice, and very little internet presence elsewhere under the same name. That's probably why they haven't taken your advice. // I'm sure you have legally battled the housing association but why wouldn't it make a person sceptical when someone claiming to have knowledge and connections has had such a long-standing and serious housing problem of their own? Trying to avoid being evicted whilst also trying to get out of somewhere seems so contradictory, but yes, they're different situations. // You may look at it like I'm trying to discredit you but I'm not the only person who is extremely sceptical about taking certain kinds of advice (financial, medical or legal) off random people. That's just the way it looks objectively. Where you've had successes legally battling authorities, perhaps you could convey that, then the homeless people would be more likely to take your advice.
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 20:21:14 on 16 September 2016
@ "J" Dear J, I was somewhat disturbed at the fact, that you, in my opinion, wrongly stated that I had mentioned a certain housing association, when writing views concerning the Ducie Bridge story. However you are quite correct when you state that the Salford Star has written about my problems with a certain housing association. However, my plight, and the name of my housing association, in my opinion, had nothing to do with finding the homeless, at The Ducie Bridge, adequate and appropriate housing. The name of my housing association also had nothing to do with the housing legislation I typed up on my sick bed, nor the legal services I had arranged for the homeless, at the Ducie Bridge, who then declined the legal support, at a later date. So I am somewhat confused about you agenda "J". My agenda was very clear. I used my time in a sick bed, effectively, to ensure the homeless at The Ducie Bridge, had legal support and representation within a court of law, to delay their eviction, while my fellow housing advocates had them rehoused under a Section 184, which short term, would have seen them rehoused in temporary accommodation, and long term, in secured and permanent accommodation. You then questioned, in my opinion, the effectiveness and accuracy of the information I typed on the Salford Star, and compared my dilemma with those squatting at The Ducie Bridge. The two legal situations are quite different. But what really concerned me was the fact that, in my opinion, you presumed that I had failed to legally defend myself against my housing association, when the fact of the matter is, I won them, and have a Court Order to prove it. So I hope you can understand why I think your statements were a little inaccurate and certainly did cause me a great deal of concern. In future, could I please request that you stick to the named agenda, and not try, in my opinion, to discredit a person, who is trying to legally protect and rehouse the homeless within Manchester and Salford. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai, (Independent Housing Advocate).
J wrote
at 14:24:55 on 16 September 2016
So is there some issue with naming them in public or do you mean you've moved since this story about you and the property owned by [they who shall not be named]? (http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=2457) It's great that you're getting to move though.
J wrote
at 14:24:37 on 16 September 2016
Actually, there's a more recent one: http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=3306
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 12:42:50 on 16 September 2016
@J. Dear J, thank you for you ill informed comments. I never stated within my most recent comments which housing association I was having trouble with. Secondly, I won my case against that housing association recently, and possess a court order against them. And to conclude, within that court order it states that "The named housing association should see my property as unsuitable for a person with my disabilities". So I am now relocating to a new property, with a different landlord. So I did take my own advice, and as usual, won my case. And just for the record, it was Mrs. Amy Tagoe and Mr. Gary Lewis of Stephensons Solicitors who won that case for me, which is why I recommended their services to the homeless people who were squatting at the Ducie Bridge. If your going to put me down on a Public Domain "J", please ensure you do it using the correct information. Kindest Regards from Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate).
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 12:42:42 on 16 September 2016
@Evan Pritchard. Dear Evan, may I start by saying if you are going to comment on the Salford Star, could I possibly request that you spell your own name correctly. It really confuses my "Dyslexia". Secondly Evan, you have clearly stated you have "nothing left to say to me", but then you have typed another comment addressed to me. "I'm a little confused". In conclusion, and in my opinion, using your own words, within your latest comment, those at the Ducie Bridge are still squatting there. Well may I be the first to congratulate you, on your success of giving "private housing advice", to the homeless at the Ducie Bridge, in order to get them relocated to a permanent and legal property. Well done Evan. Your really sorting this homeless crisis out. Three cheers for Evan everybody!!!!
Evan Prtichard wrote
at 21:17:03 on 15 September 2016
Tahir I have nothing further to say on the subject of your initial comment, other than that your reply pretty much bears out what I said in response to it. I will certainly not get into a public debate on legal or other tactics with anyone. Sharon, if I had said that activism is a lifestyle choice not only would I be insulting you but myself as well. I would therefore apologise for offending you. The thing is I didn't, as you will understand if you read properly what I said. The clue is in the word "if". If that wasn't clear I apologise for that. Anyway, congratulations to the people at the Ducie Bridge for continuing to highlight this issue. There is clearly significant public support as shown by all the beeps of support from drivers who passed by while I was there briefly yesterday. We all need to find ways of translating this into pressure on the government and the council to do something about this shameful situation where one of the richest countries in the world can't provide a decent place to live for all. And congratulations to the Salford Star for the great coverage and photos.
J wrote
at 21:16:55 on 15 September 2016
Tahir - with your housing law expertise and legal connections, it's unfortunate you can't get out of your own situation. You said you're in wildly unsuitable accommodation AND Salix are desperate to evict you and you're fighting it. It's a shame a landlord desperate to evict a tenant and a tenant desperate to leave can't work something out. If they did evict you, wouldn't that make you involuntarily homeless and with a priority need with your disability?
Sharon Hooley (Independent Housing Advocate & Activist) wrote
at 04:37:29 on 15 September 2016
@Evan Pritchard, What can I say? I'm very much saddened to read that somewhere on the line Mr Chakotia`s sound advice and communication to the homeless at Ducie Bridge Pub got lost.// I know Mr Chakotia very well and yes he is very ill indeed. So there was no way of contacting the homeless as he had no info.// And for Activists to be called "lifestyle choice" I find very offensive personally. I didn't choose to be raped at 24... I didn't choose to land on the streets after a mental breakdown. I didn't choose to have a bike accident or become disabled and I certainly didn't choose to live with pain 24/7. But what I did choose was to use my past and my experiences to put back into society and refuse to be the victim of circumstances and help others. Rant over!
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 07:25:12 on 14 September 2016
@Evan Pritchard. Dear Evan, I have to strongly disagree with your comment. These homeless people stated to the Judge, according to the Salford Star story, "that they needed two weeks to find some legal representation". Therefore the homeless requested to the Judge that "they would like the court case adjourned for two weeks until they were able to find someone to legally represent them". But the fact of the matter is Evan, I had found them a very capable solicitor, two weeks before the trial, who has won many cases for other homeless individuals, and I even asked her if she could take on the Ducie Bridge case. I enclosed her name, address and contact details, but obviously the homeless at the Ducie Bridge never contacted her, but then asked the Judge two weeks later "to adjourned their case until they could find some legal representation". In my opinion, their is absolutely no excuse for these homeless people to refuse free legal assistance, and then state to the court that "they had no legal support and needed two weeks to find a solicitor". I'm sorry Evan, but your statement, in my opinion, is totally ludicrous. I have defended, supported, and won hundreds of legal cases for the homeless, vulnerable, and disabled, in Salford, and have never known anyone, who desperately needs free legal help, to refuse it. I would now like to answer the second part of your comment. Who mentioned life style choices and activism? I certainly did not mention this at all. I happen to know that there are 300 activists within Salford and Manchester. Non of them do it as a lifestyle choice, and approximately 250 out of the 300 are working professionals. They do peaceful protests in their own time, and certainly do not do it as a "life style choice", but as a "necessity". In my opinion Evan, your talking complete and utter nonsense, and your certainly not making any sense. I would now like to address the third part of your comment. I happen to know that approximately 75 known activists, who are also professionals, were off work on Monday. I know this, because most of them are acquaintances of mine. But the only person that turned up to support these homeless individuals, was a Housing Advocate, who I trained, and is also a very good friend of mine, called Sharon Hooley, who is crippled, and suffers from various physical disabilities. I would now answer the last part of your comment, which I did find to be the most offensive part of your statement. I am "On My Last Legs". In other words there are days when I cannot even walk to my bathroom. However while in my sick bed, after falling and breaking my ribs, dislocating my shoulder, and ripping another ligament in my hip, I spent a whole day researching the Ducie Bridge case, and managed to type up a lengthy, but accurate counter claim, that could be used to defend the homeless within a court of law, which I have done for many a homeless person, over the years. I did this publicly, using the Salford Star as my medium, because I could not move out of my bed, to visit those squatting at the Ducie Bridge. I even asked the Editor of the Salford Star to pass on my details to the homeless at the Ducie Bridge, because I was genuinely concerned about their safety and welfare. So my apologies Evan, for being too physically disabled to walk to the Ducie Bridge, and talk to the homeless privately. I will try not to be so physically disabled next time. And as far as you offering them some advice privately, what is it that your advising them on? The only real workable solution, which I yet again, spent time typing up, was to attempt a Section 184. If they were successful using a Section 184 then the homeless at the Ducie Bridge would finally be rehoused. So Evan, in my opinion, it is obvious that you have complained about my comment, that you have not fully read and / or understood, and have completely talked nonsensical drivel, and in the process, insulted one of the only people in Manchester and Salford, who has successfully, on many occasions, rehoused and defended the homeless and vulnerable. You talk about doing things privately, when the homeless at the Ducie Bridge agreed to have the Salford Star feature their story on a public domain. I am very concerned that you are giving these homeless people housing advice, when you have made it abundantly clear, in my opinion, that you are incapable of understanding housing law, and other peoples comments on the Salford Star. I am one of the good guys. I have never said in any of my comments that people have to take my advice. In my opinion you have simply manipulated my comments to suit your own agenda. The only thing I took exception too, is the fact that the homeless at the Ducie Bridge claimed they had no one to support them legally, when in reality, I found a fantastic solicitor, who I have just won a case with, who does a great deal of work for free, in order to help and support the homeless within Manchester and Salford. In conclusion and in my opinion, I cannot see any reason why a desperate bunch of homeless people, would refuse to use accurate legal housing advise, combined with an amazing solicitor who was offering her services for free. I, like everyone else Evan, was under the impression that the homeless at the Ducie Bridge were desperate for some support and legal assistance. I supplied both of these requirements, but the homeless at the Ducie Bridge refused both. Therefore in my opinion, the homeless at the Ducie Bridge obviously did not want anyone to help or support them, which is why they now have 48hrs to vacate the premises. So if there was a reason for them to refuse an offer of legal assistance, I certainly cannot understand it, and I'm pretty sure no one else will be able to understand it either. All I know for certain is that the homeless, who currently reside at the Ducie Bridge, are now going to be evicted from the premises, with a Court Order to enforce it. So I will be looking forward, with the greatest of antisipation, to see how your private housing advice will help these homeless people find other secure and safe accommodation. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai, (Independent Housing Advocate).
Evan Pritchard wrote
at 17:37:33 on 13 September 2016
Tahir, rather than critising people publicly for not following your advice why not find out from them privately why they did not? Also please bear in mind that not everyone can be at events like this and nobody can be in two places at once. I'm sure that many people were doing things equally important and which they had to attend to (Iknow I was). Political activism isn't effective if it's treated as a lifestyle choice and moralising people isn't an effective way to encourage them to participate in things. Social media can be incredibly helpful for political/ legal campaigning when used appropriately.But the opposite also applies. I will be discussing the best way to proceed with some of those involved but privately, and if they wish to listen- no hard feelings if they don't or,if they don't want to follow my advice. If you feel you have something further helpful to offer I suggest you do the same.
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 06:07:01 on 13 September 2016
I am really concerned about what will happens to these homeless people, once they a thrown back on the streets. I was also rubbing my eyes in disbelief, when the Salford Star stated "the homeless were representing themselves". I had wrote one of the biggest comments, which consisted of relevant, precise, up to date information that could have been used as a counterclaim against the Coop / NOMA, and also included the phone number, the name of a solicitor, and the address of Stephensons Solicitors nearly two weeks ago. So I simply cannot understand why they represented themselves, when I had sorted the homeless out with some legal assistance and support. The only advice I can give now, is what the solicitors call "damage control". The only thing left for the homeless at Ducie Bridge, is to present themselves as "unintentionally homeless" using a "Section 184". The homeless department for Manchester, to my best knowledge is still based within the Manchester Town Hall. Their address is Customer Service Centre, Town Hall Extension, Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5DB. Their telephone number is 0161 274 7066. If you present yourself as "unintentionally homeless" using a Section 184, and the Manchester Homeless Department refuses you that right, then contact, Mrs. Amy Tagoe, of Stephenson Solicitors on 01942 774 198 or you can phone Stephensons Solicitors Manchester Branch on 0161 979 0219. Their Manchester Address is Stephensons Solicitors LLP Unit 3, Brewery Yard, Deva City Office Park, Trinity Way, Salford, Manchester, M3 7BB. If any of the homeless at the Ducie Bridge have any recent letters of medical diagnosis, which proves they have a serious mental health condition, a mental and / or physical disability, then the Manchester City Council, using a Section 184, must deem them vulnerable. For those who are deemed vulnerable, the Manchester City Council have a duty to offer temporary housing. Although this is not ideal, it still keeps a roof over your head, and gives you a contact address so you can apply for benefits such as JSA, ESA, and PIP. The Salford Star story has not provided a clear and detailed explanation to why the homeless were evicted, other than stating general repossession. However under Section 144 under LASPO, brought into effect in September 2012, it clearly states that the owner cannot repossess the property using a section 144 if the building they are living in, without the owners consent, is deemed non residential. So I can only presume, due to lack of information, that the Judge was satisfied the homeless forced access into the building. That is the only reason I can think of for the Judge to decide to repossess the Ducie Bridge, on behalf of the owner. I am also concerned at the fact the Judge accepted that most of the homeless at the Ducie Bridge were deemed vulnerable, but has only offered the homeless 48hrs to vacate the building. This is completely unsatisfactory. What the Judge should of done, is to give the homeless at the Ducie Bridge, 10 working days to vacate, to ensure they have sufficient time to collect their belongings, and ensure they have sufficient time to present themselves to the Manchester Council as Homeless, using Section 184, combined with their vulnerable status. This would have ensured that the homeless at the Ducie Bridge had adequate temporary accommodation. I would also like to vent my disappointment at all the Activists, with the exception of one, who work the Manchester Area. My friend, and fellow Housing Advocate, Mrs. Sharon Hooley, was the only person that turned up today, at the courts, to support these homeless people. She advertised on Facebook and Twitter, and told all the activists to be there, but only she turned up. This really is quite disgusting. A woman, who is crippled, was the only person who turned up to support these homeless individuals. I am proud of her for doing her best, but quite annoyed that she was the only activist at the court today. I am deeply disappointed with the Citizens of Manchester. Obviously no one cares about the homeless any more, and most Mancunians must walk around with blindfolds strapped to their faces. Only I, The Saford Star, and Mrs. Hooley cared enough to help these homeless individuals out of the whole of Salford and Manchester, and neither me nor Mrs Hooley are Salfordian or Mancunian. So the only people who cared about the homeless and destitute in Salford and Manchester, with the exception of The Saford Star, are the only two people who were born and brought up in other cities.
Denise McCormick wrote
at 18:03:14 on 12 September 2016
Absolutely disgusting sending all these vulnerable people back onto the streets putting them all at risk. I know most of these people and they are the nicest people you could meet. They are looking after the building and causing no harm to anyone. I don't know how some people sleep at night knowing there are people at risk sleeping on the streets. Have a heart would you like it if it was you
Sharon Hooley (Independent Housing Advocate & Activist) wrote
at 16:02:38 on 12 September 2016
I'm gutted, absolutely gutted that these young people have to fight so much just to have their basic human needs. So wrong but glad I was there. Such lovely people. If I can, and I will try, to be there and protest against the eviction when they face NOMA. LOVE TO YOU ALL!!!
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Rayofsunshine - Yeh, both Labour and Tory national goverments. The Council and the contractors had to have known the cladding wasn... [more]
Rossi,why are you incapable of debating in a honest and rational manner? The point being that we can only judge Saĺford's pe... [more]
Rossi.. So right but not only councillors and the Mayor, where are our two Lady Mp's. In hiding some would say. You never hear fro... [more]
Bang on right Kenny. I know loads of benefit people, housing people, welfare people etc. They all say this problem coming up years... [more]
Like Dave says this is a very serious matter, and I agree my choice of words might not have been correct. The frustration I get wi... [more]


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Star date: 18th November 2018


The Walkden In A Winter Wonderland Christmas events programme kicks off on Saturday 24th November, with performances from Harrop Fold School, AK Theatre Arts and many others, free children's events, a thirty stall pop-up market, Santa and lots more.

Full details here...


Star date: 17th November 2018


Young Once
Saturday 24th November
The Greyhound, Boothstown free

From Dirty Old Town to Ed Sheeran songs, Young Once do great covers, original tunes and jokes, as Ian Leslie discovers.

Full details here...


Star date: 16th November 2018


In a new City West Housing report for Salford City Council, it is revealed that, in Salford, the percentage of tenants on Universal Credit and in rent arrears is over double that for tenants who are not on Universal Credit. The figure is 78% compared to 37%.

City West currently has 1109 tenants claiming Universal Credit, and the company states that "The overall rent collection rate for these tenants for 18/19 is 93.05%, which is significantly lower than our collection rate for all tenants." It's yet another shocking indictment of the controversial benefit system.

Full details here...


Star date: 15th November 2018


A Freedom of Information response from Salford City Council has revealed that during the year 2017-18, £118,920 income was received from parental fines but didn't go directly to help cash-strapped schools in the city. Instead the money went to 'support council services generally'.

"I think the money should go back into education as the lack of funding is clearly apparent" says parent Mandi Lee, who put in the FOI request.

Full details here...


Star date: 14th November 2018


New laws on the sales and keeping of animals mean that Salford City Council will be forced to tighten up on regulating puppy sellers and animal keepers through new national regulations.

One of the biggest changes is that a puppy at a breeder's "may only be shown to a prospective purchaser if it is together with its biological mother", and that inspections of premises are to be carried out by a qualified inspector, rather than the Council's Environment Health Team.

Full details here...


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