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Families living near to a hotel housing homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic say their area is being blighted by anti-social behaviour.

Fairways Lodge, in Prestwich, is one of a number of hotels being used to support Greater Manchester's homeless during the crisis.

But residents say drug dealing and fights have become commonplace, while discarded syringes have been dumped on driveways and a nearby golf course.

Mum Lucy Salem, 33, said she had come across drug paraphenalia on Prestwich Golf Club while out walking with her two-year-old son.

She said she now feels 'vulnerable' and frightened to leave her home for exercise or essentials.

Fairways Lodge in Prestwich (Image: Google Street View)

"It is terrible," she said. "There are drug dealers pulling up all the time.

"I was walking down the street and saw a group of three of four men staggering back. They were clearly off their faces and it was not nice to see.

"This is normally a quiet area."

More than 1,100 rough sleepers have been safely housed in hotels across the city-region since plans to make hotel rooms available were announced last month.

Rough sleepers, and those staying in shared accommodation, are said to be among the most at risk of contracting and spreading the disease.

Fairways Lodge has been jointly commissioned by Bury Council and Manchester City Council, and bosses insist it has the required support staff and security 24 hours a day.

However, residents believe it to be an unsuitable location for such a facility.

Ms Salam added: "The hotel is doing a great thing and these people need somewhere to stay, but if they are serious drug addicts then this is not the right environment.

Razors and needles found near to Fairways Lodge in Prestwich (Image: UGC)

"There are so many children who live around here. We have enough to worry about at the moment."

Residents have also taken to social media to complain about an increase in litter in the area surrounding the three-star hotel.

One said beer bottles and cans were being left on George Street.

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: “Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic Manchester City Council has worked around the clock to support some of the most vulnerable residents of Manchester.

"The homeless population was identified as one of the groups at most risk from the virus, and early steps were taken to get as many people as possible inside so that they could self isolate.

“We are supporting people with a range of complex needs, from addiction to mental health problems, and that in itself presents a series of challenges. We are aware of isolated incidents where drugs have been taken, with steps taken to prevent this occurring again.

“The council is working with our partners in Bury, as well as Change Grow Live to support people living with addiction problems, but also with the local community to reassure them that any concerns they have will be addressed quickly.”

A spokesperson for Bury Council added: “We have become aware of some issues and concerns reported by the community and we are reacting and investigating all reports as soon as possible. We have a partnership approach with all appropriate agencies and stakeholders to help support the rough sleepers at Fairways Lodge to help prevent any possible problems during these challenging times.

“We would like to reassure the community that we are taking all reports seriously and reacting immediately when we become aware and every effort will be made to continue to respond as quickly as possible.

“We also have a duty to assist and support these vulnerable and complex individuals during these challenging times.

“There is also an enhanced rough sleeper outreach provision in the area to try and prevent and react as quickly as possible to any inappropriate behaviours in the community."

Fairways Lodge has been approached for comment.


Read full article on Bury


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