THIS WEEK IN 1979: Council refuses to help ex-offenders

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A bid by probation officers to give Portsmouth ex-offenders a fresh start in life in their home city was foiled by city councillors’ refusal to lend a helping hand.

Hampshire Probation Service asked members of Portsmouth’s housing general purposes sub-committee to back a scheme to resettle former prisoners in short-life, derelict properties throughout the city.

With a voluntary organisation, the Hampshire Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, the service planned to make the homes habitable at their own expense and pay the council an economic rent.

Councillors rejected the scheme because the demand for housing was too great.

Housing committee chairman, Councillor Cyril Wakefield, said other calls on the housing stock must be prioritised.