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Residents of Grange Road hostel in Bermondsey have raised concerns after it was announced that management of the hostel is to pass from St Mungo?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s to charitable housing association Look Ahead.
Long-term resident Jakki Sheehy said all the 39 residents are depressed about the news: ?¢‚Ç¨?ìIt?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s the best hostel, the best staff I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ve ever been involved with – they?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ll all have to leave their jobs... and they?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢re trying to bring new people in.?¢‚Ç¨¬ù
The Grange Road building will still be owned by St Mungo?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s, but from February onwards the support services it provides will be run by Look Ahead – most recently mentioned in The Pavement as one the supporters of Westminster Council?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s doomed soup run bylaw.
Mike McCall, St Mungo?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s Executive Director of Operations, confirmed this, saying: ?¢‚Ç¨?ìSt Mungo?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s Grange Road will continue to be a hostel providing accommodation for homeless people, although there will be a change in the agency providing support.?¢‚Ç¨¬ù
The Pavement was unable to get through to anyone at Look Ahead to speak to about the plans. However, according to Ms Sheehy, Look Ahead have already been ruffling feathers at the hostel: ?¢‚Ç¨?ìThey came here the other day to ask us questions – we all walked out of the meeting. They don?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t even have a manager, they couldn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t answer anything ... They couldn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t even relate to us. You know what they?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢re calling us? Customers. Call us residents or call us people but don?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t call us customers.?¢‚Ç¨¬ù
According to the South London Press, St Mungo?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s has had its funding from Southwark council cut by ?Ç¬£10,000. St Mungo?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s would not comment on financial details or confirm any link between the cuts and the change in service provider at Grange Road hostel.
Under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) or TUPE regulations, staff are protected from losing their jobs following a change of service provider – such as when contract is assigned to a new contractor during a re-tendering process, as in this case.
The legislation is designed to protect staff, guaranteeing them a job transfer to the new company, the transfer of their employment terms and conditions, and continuity of employment.
St Mungo?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s spokesperson was unable to say whether any St Mungo?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s staff at Grange Road have applied to continue working in the hostel under Look Ahead, and said it would be up to Look Ahead what contracts and terms and conditions they agree.