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Rossendale councillor vows to keep tabs on hostel residents
A COUNCILLOR in Edenfield has vowed to continue backing campaigners in their opposition to a sex offenders’ rehabilitation unit.
Coun Darryl Smith said he raised concerns at a recent police briefing about the suitability of service users at the controversial Chatterton Hey House hostel to walk freely around the village.
It comes as one of the main figures behind the Keep Edenfield Safe Campaign Group expressed his disappointment that many residents had given up the fight against the home.
Matthew Mead said the group, which attracted up to 500 people to protests in 2011, had all but ceased activity.
But Coun Darryl Smith said he continued to raise the villagers’ concerns at police briefings.
He said: “Very recently I asked questions of the police asking for clarification as to the terms of two of the residents’ care plans and whether they were allowed to walk freely in the village.
“We don’t know who is in there and what for but I will continue to work with residents against the home.
“Unfortunately our relationship with them (Langley House Trust) is not very good and communication is limited.”
Independent charity Langley House Trust operates the unit and attracted criticism when it reclassified from housing drug and alcohol addicts to working with convicted sex offenders.
It is located just 100 yards from a children’s play area and nursery.
Mr Mead, a father-of-two who lives just yards from the hostel in Exchange Street, said: “The house is allowed up to 12 residents but previously it only had four or five occupants.
“In the last few weeks there have been a lot more cars coming and going which makes me think there are more offenders moving in. Obviously that’s a bit worrying for the people who live nearby.
“In terms of lobbying and campaigning, nobody seems interested anymore.
“People move on with their lives and concentrate on other things.
“I still try to keep people informed online when I can.
“The council have done all they can and I think people just got fed up of having doors shut in our faces.”
A spokesman for Langley House Trust said he could not disclose how many residents were using the home at present.