Stephen Mosley hears local residents’ concerns over Richmond Court

Stephen Mosley MP attended a public meeting in Boughton on Wednesday to hear local residents concerns over plans to convert Richmond Court into a homeless accommodation centre. Stephen is closely following the plans for the centre, as well as the views of local residents.

Commenting on the public consultation process to date, Stephen Mosley MP said, “Local residents urgently need more information over what the specific proposals are for Richmond Court and I am very disappointed that they weren’t available at the public meeting.

“Residents’ opposition seems to centre on the possibility that people who require specialist care for alcohol or drug problems may be placed in a residential area and Forum Housing and CDHT need to ensure that residents’ concerns are taken into consideration.

“I will be carefully examining the plans when they are released next week”.

Comments

  1. Hi All,

    I’m afraid that I’m not regularly monitoring the comments on this post since it is now several months old. I will therefore be creating a new post on Richmond Court once I have had the opportunity to visit the drop-in consultation.

    Please be aware that this proposal has been proposed by CDHT, Forum Housing and Cheshire West and Chester Council. As the local MP I have no control over any of those organisations, however I have represented constituents views and ensured that your views are known to them. Unfortunately I am not able to force them to make a decision one way or the other.

    Anyone who wishes to contact me about Richmond Court (or any other issue) please write (Stephen Mosley MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA) or email (stephen@chestermp.com) and I will be delighted to reply, as I have done with everyone who has contacted me.

    Regards,
    Stephen

  2. andreas vogt says:

    Mr Mosley
    we (the residents, your constituents) are still waiting for you to make a statement and show your support for our concerns in a proper and public manner. so far all you have managed to do is defend yourself by saying ‘i have responded to everyone who has contacted me’ which is not true as we can see from comments on this page.
    When we ask for a response we do not mean ‘I intend to visit the drop-in center at some point’ – we want to know what your thoughts are on this matter and what you are doing to help you concerned constituent. People who put their trust in you by voting for you are now bitterly disappointed by you.

  3. Michael Chidley says:

    2000 newsletters delivered locally first time round by the Residents for Democracy action group, 4000 on the second edition delivered to a even wider catchment area, next addition out soon to an even wider area…last election conservatives win by a of majority 2583, no reponse for months on the councils sham of a consultation by yourself regarding Richmond Court, roll on 2015!

  4. andreas vogt says:

    Mr Mosley
    you have now had plenty of time to make some kind of response to the numerous requests for you to do so.

    i am sure your constituents will remember this come election time……………. who know I may be one of them.

    • Andreas
      Your comment above is incorrect. Everyone who has written or emailed me has received a response. If you are aware of anyone who has slipped through the net and not had a response please email their details to stephen@chestermp.com and I will make sure they get an immediate response.
      Stephen

      • Mr Mosley, I posted on here to you on July 25th and to date I have not received a response, so Mr Vogt’s comment is not incorrect is it? It would appear there are many who have ‘slipped through the net’….I look forward to my response from you. Thank you.

  5. Michael Chidley says:

    Exactly, the previous postings revision perfectly underlines our concerns regarding Richmond Court, and just to hammer home the potential impact today’s chronicle highlights what can happen, and in an area with no CCTV coverage or police support!

  6. Frederick Campbell says:

    Dear Stephen- I have to say I’m disappointed with Resident’s response to what may be a viable solution for the many homeless folk living in doorways etc who let’s face it, have no voice of their own! Indeed without an address at which to reside you cannot register as unemployed, for NHS, to work or even to vote- you effectively become a non-person, a reject of Society! Now not all of these individuals will be badly behaved skallies with drug problems etc, and I believe it’s a mistake to label them as such. Richmond Court has (lamentably) been an empty building sitting in it’s own grounds for several years without a purpose. Who is to say that a properly organized & structured plan such as this(with proper surpervision)could not succeed?

    • Frederick Campbell says:

      …I’m afraid I must revise my position on this- having learnt that Richmond Court is not providing even a
      short-term residential for down & outs, only overnight accomodation! IE- These sad individuals will be
      left to hang around the area unsupervised from 7am- 6.30pm,which is far less satisfactory! I’m afraid I
      can no longer support this idea in it’s present format…

  7. Michael Chidley says:

    You state on your recent e/newsletter that you attended a Richmond Court residents meeting, yes you did for a very short time, did not announce who you were, and meekly made one comment, well done! I formally invite you to the next residents meeting, where you are welcome to sit with our commitee on the stage and take questions from the community. Please can you get back to me on this,

    Regards,
    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      More than happy to attend one of your meetings.

      Could you phone my office on 01244 458120 or email stephen@chestermp.com and let me know when / where etc and we can check availability (Just a warning on availability – Parliament starts sitting again on Monday so I will need to be in London Mon-Thur from next week).

      Regards,
      Stephen

      • Michael Chidley says:

        Hi Stephen,

        Thank you for replying, it is a shame you were unable to make tonights meeting. Even though you a are a member of our facebook group, and will of seen the posts advertising the meeting.
        Can you tell us when you have a gap in your diary away from your Westminster commitments, and we will arrange it around that.

        Regards,
        Mike

  8. Caroline Harding says:

    I live in Hoole and have been considering buying a property in the canal area. The canal is beautiful area. I love walking the towpath with my children. I had put in an offer on a property close by but, when I was informed of the hostel decision, I withdrew it. I appeciate the great need for a homeless hostel properly built and resourced for Chester but this decision seems odd. It is a quiet residential area. The canal is an entry route to Chester. I used to live on a houseboat and the canal community countrywide is very close. I would not moor a boat near the lock once the hostel is up and running. Boats are very vunerable to break-ins and at night you need to feel safe.

  9. Michael Chidley says:

    Your reply, only says you have forwarded my concerns onto Steve Robinson,we know where he stands on the matter, I wanted your opinion, don’t worry we will manage on our own.
    I have been a conservative voter all my life, not any more!

  10. Karen Stevenson says:

    Mr Mosley,
    I posted a comment 11 days ago on this subject and have had no response. This is a serious issue for the residents of Boughton and Hoole and yet nobody appears to want to speak with us on the issue. We won a unanimous vote in the council meeting last Thursday, as yet no one has had any update on how the council propose to take this consultation process forward with us, the residents.
    Regards
    Karen

  11. Lynne Owen says:

    Mr Mosely, Just a quick and very short comment. Do you ever reply to these posts?

  12. andreas vogt says:

    Mr Mosely
    when are you going to make a proper and full statement as to your views on this matter?

  13. Julie Casey says:

    Dear Mr Mosley
    Firstly why are CWAC closing down facilities for the elderly when the demand for such facilities is due to increase? Secondly why were the local residents not consulted about the proposal to convert Richmond Court into a homeless hostel? A quiet residential area is obviously not a suitable location for such a facility particularly as it will be housing a large number of residents – many with serious psychological/addiction problems. I regularly cycle along the towpath but will be reluctant to continue do so if this development goes ahead.

  14. Simon Loyley says:

    Mr Mosley,
    As a resident of Water Tower View and owner of a fishing tackle shop opposite the Bridge Inn, it is obvious that the canal corridor passing Richmond Court is very important to me. Not only is it my route to work and the route many of my customers use to get to my shop, but we also encourage and teach children how to fish along this length of canal. The decision to open a homeless shelter in this area beggars belief as it is obviously not a suitable site, being in the centre of a residential and recreational area. There cannot possibly have been any assessment of the impact on the local area and businesses made before this decision was taken. I can assure you as a local business owner and a resident, that I was not consulted. This cannot be right or fair. As our elected MP when can we expect to hear your opinions on the subject?

    Simon Loyley
    Chester Tackle Locker

  15. Michael Chidley says:

    Dear Mr Mosley,
    Conservative councillors are repeatedly refusing to attend our meetings, with the exception of Jill Holbrook, who has attended one, the local community are entitled to have their questions answered.
    With an ever growing support proven again by tonights meeting, again not attended by conservative councillors,I am sure most of us would of liked to be sitting in the sunshine in the park watching Shakespeare, but have more pressing matters such as the fear of our boroughs crime rate and anti social behaviour incidents dramatically increasing.
    Support has spread from Boughton to Vicars Cross and Hoole, as our numbers grow and our questions continue to go unanswered our intention is to spread the word of the councils lack of consultation and arrogance across Chester.
    I am sure this is something you do not want especially after the reduced majority in the last election.

  16. Tara Bold says:

    I attended the meeting at Hoole Community Centre this evening and I am outraged at the total lack of public consultation with regards to this ‘development’. I relocated to Hoole 5 years ago from Rhyl, having witnessed first hand the detrimental impact drugs and alcohol abuse predominantly brought about by homelessness can have on a place. Granted, not all homeless people can be stereotyped in this way, but the majority do have other issues in addition to being homeless, which does make them Vulnerable Adults. My mother also relocated from Rhyl just 3 months ago and we will be heartbroken if Hoole were to go the same way as Rhyl. As a mother to two very small children I regularly walk along the canal, both ways, to the Narrows Community Park, to The Alexandra Park and round the village in general, and I know I would feel vulnerable doing this if these places were frequented by people using the services of this shelter. Hoole is renowned for having a village like atmosphere and a sense of community, these homeless people will not be integrated into the community as they will be periodically moved on. There has been no risk assessment completed, either for local residents or indeed for the people using the homeless shelter; no consideration to the impact of 24 hour mini buses through narrow terrace streets (mostly one way); no consideration given to security (we do not have the advantage of CCTV unlike in the city centre); No consideration given to the gap between Caths contract ending in November and the new shelter opening some months later…what happens in that time period?? When asked about the provision of services within the shelter the specifics are still yet to be disclosed…or even written yet?? Recent plans for The Leadworks that would have attracted investors and tourism to Chester, in the new hoped for ‘Business Quarter’ have been rejected due to ‘lack of commercial viability’ yet they allow this development?? This whole decision has been a shambolic disgrace thus far, it appears the Council hope the local residents will simply go away….This is not going to happen! We will work to enforce a proper public consultation.
    Thank you

  17. sam biggins says:

    Dear,Stephen
    What a disgrace,not only have the residents,and business community not been consulted about the proposed Richmond Court development but the councilors have declined to attend a meeting of concerned residents and business people .This shows a total disregard for everyone.Unfortunatly the longer this goes on the more it leaves the council looking more and more isolated and out of touch.Its reputation in pieces,leaving people to draw their own conclusions.
    A party which once held high standards has now been left facing accusations of dishonesty arrogance and a complete disregard of the democratic principles which it held in high regard.Many local people now will expect this matter to reach Westminster to ask questions of a council that has acted in this way.

  18. David Ford says:

    Mr Mosley,
    As a local resident I am greatly disappointed that the rights of the local residents are being over looked and that we have had no voice in this at its inception. I am also greatly concerned for the proposed residents of the proposed facility. If this premises was being applied for under planning regulations, due to the canal and the canal lock there is no way it would be considered as it is a dangerous location for such a proposed purpose. I believe that it is ill considered as the rights of the proposed users are being considered, as it is well established they need the facilities of the City Centre, they also need to be safe. A canal is dangerous, a lock is very very dangerous. When the first death of the unfortunate victim of a ridiculous scheme occurs I believe all those taking part will be culpable for corporate manslaughter as they are seriously overlooking this aspect. When this does happen I hope that you will be championing the poor unfortunate victim’s family to hold someone to account.

  19. Peter Jackson says:

    Dear Mr Mosley,

    Regarding the proposed homeless shelter at Richmond Court; as a regular user of the canal path for cycling and walking I am staggered by this proposal and the potential impact not only on local residents but also on tourists. It is clearly an entirely inappropriate location for such a hostel and will create an awful impression of Chester to those who frequently visit by canal boat. I for one will cease to use the area if the proposal goes ahead and I will not be alone. Think about the impact!

  20. We have a property up for sale directly opposite Richmond Court, we had accepted an offer on this property just before this development was announced. This offer was withdrawn immediately that this became public knowledge, we have subsequently had viewings cancelled citing the Homeless Centre opposite as the only reason for the cancellation. Is it fair on homeowners in the area that their properties have become unsaleable? Ultimately we feel it will have the same effect on the long term rental market in the area. As the council could have continued to use the City Centre facility and not made this dreadful decision to move it to Richmond Court, will they be compensating property owners for the subsequent loss in the resale price of their house?

  21. Carol Jones says:

    Extremely disappointed at how this has been decided without due consultation with residents and the fact that CW&C believe that siting a Homeless facility in a residential area that is a scenic gateway into the city is the right thing to do. I believe that it all boils down to the fact that Richmond Court was lying idle and its an economic decision hidden behind the ‘supposed need’ to develop better services for the homeless. I cannot deny that Chester needs to address this problem but to do so by developing a facility next to the canal and providing a 24hr bus service that will need to drive through a one way system of narrow terraced houses is utter madness! I was at the meeting last Monday and came away very disillusioned with the proposal and for me this just typifies how the powers that be walk roughshod over the rights of residents and people who pay taxes etc.

  22. Michael Chidley says:

    Dear Mr Mosley,

    The decision to choose Richmond Court as a homeless hostel is a terrible decision in itself, considering its residential location, its proximity to a deep lock, its distance from the city centre along a canalside without the security and protection of cctv, and also because of the complete lack of consultation with the local community, is it right that Chesire is one of a few Counties that is promoting its honesty and openess with its constituents, and this scheme has the backing of our own prime minister !!!?
    If you have time, come down for a walk with your family on a sunny Sunday afternoon, consider the above points and then compare them to a city centre location, with an organisation that is already working hard to improve homeless peoples problems.

  23. Steven Hague says:

    “We will make sure that our communities can inform and influence the decisions we take”
    This statement is part of CWAC’s “aims and vision”. At this stage it seem that the proposed homeless shelter at Richmond Court has circumvented this essential requirement.
    Mr Mosley, I hope you will ensure that the proposal for the future of Richmond Court is judged and decided upon in a fair and reasonable manner.

  24. Angela Chidley says:

    Dear Mr Mosley,
    As Chester residents from the Boughton/Hoole area, we are becoming increasingly concerned with the autocratic nature of the decision making of our current council. The lack of due and proper public consultation on this significant development at Richmond Court is yet one more case where our elected members have failed to give Chester residents any consideration and ignored public opinion. It is very worrying that a council, whom we vote in, regard their rate paying constituents in such a disdainful manner. Am I mistaken in the belief that the council actually are an elected body, there to serve and be accountable to the people in its district? Up until now I had thought this was the case, but once more I am disappointed.
    In actual fact it’s way beyond disappointing, it’s enraging. I am incensed that our democratic rights have been utterly and completely disregarded.
    I am left wondering if the other specially selected councils in this ‘Altoghether Better’ initiative also believe, and act, as if they are above the democratic process.
    We urgently require your assistance and support in helping to urge our council to review its strategy on communications and inclusivity with its electorate, we really do need an ‘altogether better’ way forward! In addition, I hear this ‘Altoghether Better’ initiative puts us under a national spotlight, I am afraid that glossy corporate offices, council champions and cost saving outsourcing activities will all look great on the surface, but dig deeper and what is really underneath it all? Democracy is not optional, its the fundamental foundation of our nation, ignoring that simple fact puts all of us on very shaky ground indeed.

    Thank you for reading this and please help.

    Best regards,
    Mrs A Chidley

  25. Tim Bean says:

    Admin, please edit my post please

    It should read -We need your help Mr Mosley.

    Thank You

  26. Tim Bean says:

    Mr Mosley

    Although the area around Spital in Boughton is predominantly terraced owner occupied, rented and Social Housing, and inconveniently for the Conservative lead Council, having a Labour Councillor.
    Can you assure us that the City of Chester is still a Democracy and that our MP will do his utmost to represent the hard working, tax paying, voters of his constituency, that he will work for all the residents of Chester?

    Do you think that that a leafy Conservative area of Chester would have been considered for the Homeless drug and alcohol shelter? Or is that just a floating voter being cynical?

    We are need your help Mosley, the impact on residents, businesses and tourism in the area, will be catastrophic.
    Stop those wanting to move a PROBLEM out of the City and in to a residential area,encouraging even more homeless people to descend on a City with the second largest amount of rough sleepers outside of London!

    Thank You

  27. Randi Carmichael says:

    Dear Mr Mosley
    Thank you for looking into this matter. As Chester residents we are very concerned that the council promote being a council who consult and listen to the people, but then go behind their backs and award a contract that will gravely affect the community. All we want is our basic human rights to be consulted in a case that will affect our families future.

  28. Dear Stephen, I am not very happy at all about the proposal of Richmond House becoming a homeless hostel. The annoying thing about it, is that nobody was informed and we dont have a say in the matter. I would be very if this could be overturned and then let the residents have a say. Thats Democricy.

  29. andreas vogt says:

    Stephen
    Residents are also – maybe even more -concerned about the fact that this is presented to them as a ‘open and shot’ case without out any form of public consultation of the plans.

    • andreas vogt says:

      further to the above I would ask you to explain you views by way of personal reply.

  30. Karen Stevenson says:

    Mr Mosley,
    You are correct we are concerned about the planned use and users of Richmond Court and as you note this is due, in part, to the lack of information. However, the Information ‘issue’ is more fundamental what you are suggesting.

    Lack of information/consultation with residents appears to be endemic throughout the entire process. We, the residents, have not been included at any stage in the consultation. Indeed, information was only provided to the wider community when the contract had been awarded. This seems to be in complete disagreement with the ‘Altogether Better’ initiative that CWandC is piloting on behalf of the Government and Mrs Ghosh? Could you please explain how the process that has been followed at Richmond Court fits in with the Altogether Better initiative. Thank you.