Neighbours storm out of Portsmouth hostel meeting

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ANGRY residents stormed out of a meeting set up to discuss problems centred around a hostel in Milton.

People living near the Two Saints supported housing centre in Locksway Road, Milton, say some of its residents run riot when staff are off-duty in the evenings and at weekends.

The frustrated neighbours have reported suspected drug-dealing to police.

They say they have complained about some of the hostel’s residents causing excessive levels of noise throughout the night and disturbing others who live nearby.

Staff who run Two Saints called the meeting on Tuesday to discuss recent improvements they have made since receiving complaints. But neighbours felt not enough was being done and some walked out of the meeting.

Petra Farrell, of Locksway Road, has formed a steering group for neighbours to approach MPs and support organisations. She said: ‘People are very upset, it has been going on a long time and they feel like nothing is getting better – no one is listening to us or answering our questions.’

Anne Atkinson, who owns The Larder convenience store in Locksway Road, said she had repeatedly had things stolen from her store by residents of the centre.

She said: ‘There needs to be 24-hour surveillance because it’s totally different when staff are there. It feels like the staff are grossly unaware of what goes on when they are not around.’

In response to previous complaints, Two Saints has removed some troublesome residents, extended staff working hours, altered rotas so there will be a higher staff presence at weekends, is installing better CCTV, and will call another meeting in four weeks to discuss progress.

Pauline Gibbs, the centre’s manager, said: ‘We can’t change what went on in the past, but what we can do is work together with the community to change the future and we have already started to do that.’