THE HOMELESS: A small request to help the less fortunate this winter

London – VIJAY SHAH

According to homelessness and housing issues charity Shelter, there are 320,000 people classified as homeless in the UK, with the number rising by a thousand a month (according to the Guardian newspaper). This has intensified with a combination of factors causing more people finding themselves without a roof over their heads. These factors include rising rents, lack of suitable housing, and a weakened economy owing to the aftermath of the 2008 credit crunch, and now Brexit.

For the homeless forced to live on the streets and in parks, life is unbearable. Many experience mental/physical health and addiction problems, are marginalised by the better-off and face discrimination and outright abuse even. There have been incidences of thugs setting fire to homeless men and urinating on them as they slept.

In Britain, winter is in full swing, with temperatures dropping below freezing now on most nights. People who can go home and warm up with the central heating are understandably frustrated about the cold and chills, but spare a thought for those who only have a tatty and dirty sleeping bag being all that separates them from the harsh icy elements.

StreetLink is a nationwide charity which encourages people to look out for those who are dwelling on the streets and have nowhere else to go. The charity helps connect rough sleepers to services that can help get them off the streets, including emergency shelters and other accommodation. As the harsh British winter continues its relentless grip, readers are being urged to keep an eye for the ignored. If you see someone who is sleeping rough, you can call StreetLink directly on their freephone number 0300 500 0914 and tell the operator where and when you saw the person. The charity will send out a street outreach team to check up on the rough sleeper, and potentially, you could be the one that means that person will not die early and instead see their life turn around for the better. You can also send your notification in via the StreetLink app or their website: streetlink.org.uk

 

SOURCES/IMAGE CREDIT:

Steve Thorogood/Facebook.

“Welcome to StreetLink” – StreetLink https://www.streetlink.org.uk/StreetLink_HomePage

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UPPER-CLASS PARTY ANIMALS: Neighbours complain about Duke of Rutland’s children’s non-stop parties

Three sisters, the children of the Duke of Rutland, have come under fire from sleep-deprived neighbours for holding a series of late-night parties at their mansion in the London district of Fulham, according to national newspaper The Telegraph.

The trio, Ladies Violet, Alice and Eliza Manners, were accused by a neighbour of showing a distinct lack of manners after allegedly organising a series of all-nighter parties which kept locals awake with their ‘awful’ noise, The Telegraph‘s Camilla Turner writes. The three are the daughters of the Lord of Rutland, who himself dwells in a sprawling Gothic style castle complete with 16,000 acres of woodland and farmland in the county of Leicestershire, and had allowed the daughters to settle in London to further their experiences and opportunities.

Neighbours have become increasingly incensed at the Manners sister’s glamorous and hedonistic partying; with many complaining that they feel as if though they were living next to a nightclub. One Fulham resident wrote to the eldest sister, Violet, aged 21, bringing her attention to a litany of “broken nights, unpleasantness and noise” caused by the sisters and their high-society friends partying into the wee hours.

Another concerned neighbour, marketing and communications consultant Jackie Elliot, took her frustration with the sisters’ partying directly to their father, writing him a letter detailing her and others’ ongoing battle with the clubbing young aristocrats. Elliot told the Duke she had complained to Hammersmith and Fulham council numerous times about the level of noise and that on one occasion, police were called to his daughters’ £2 million townhouse. She also expressed dismay at the fact that despite her telling Violet Manners several times to keep her music down, she still continued partying even after apologising for inconveniencing the residents of one of London’s most fashionable and expensive neighbourhoods.

She told the Duke: “I have also written to Violet and on occasions, after the event, we have received an apology. But not always and in any case, the apology has never prevented callous repetition.

In her note of apology after last week’s party your daughter Eliza said she has ‘little experience of London life’: I was brought up in the country and know that these are not the ways of the country either.”

Violet was alleged to have responded to the letter from Ms. Elliot by reproducing it on a social media account, while jokingly claiming that her neighbours ‘complain about everything’, according to The Telegraph. Ms. Elliot, who has lived on the same street for twenty-five years, did not see the funny side.

It has been on and on for two years,” she told The Telegraph. “Loud music, people coming and going very late, talking in the road, shouting, cars arriving, cars going.”

The neighbour, who lives with her husband, reported one serious incident involving guests attending a party at the Manners’ townhouse degenerating into  a ‘frightful raucous’ squabble outside on the street, which warranted a police car attending the scene, and that other neighbours have quit the area altogether rather than tolerate the excessive noise and hordes of partygoers that has been a hallmark of the sisters’ stay in London since they relocated to the area two years ago.

It is like having a nightclub on your doorstep in the middle of a quiet terraced street in Fulham.” Ms. Elliot said.

Responding to the 21-year-old’s claim that her neighbours complain about “everything”, Ms Elliot said: “We are highly tolerant, relaxed neighbours but we are living somewhere where you can’t get a decent night’s sleep.

I don’t know what they do, it’s like they have elephants in the house, it’s awful.”

The sisters’ father, David Manners, is the eleventh Duke of Rutland. Born in 1959, he is a lesser-known member of the British aristocracy and a landowner. He split from their mother, Duchess Emma Watkins, an opera singer, after an alleged romantic affair with a member of his castle staff. They married in 1992 and had five children – three daughters and two sons, all with titles. His home, Belvoir Castle is in the northern part of Leicestershire, and he also runs a hotel and restaurant, the Manners Arms Country Hotel and Restaurant. The Sunday Times Rich List 2013 estimated his personal fortune at £125 million.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives local authorities such as councils like Hammersmith and Fulham the legal right to deal with reports and complaints of excessive noise and anti-social behaviour emanating from both residential and commercial properties. The council receives 6,000 complaints a year about noisy neighbours. In severe cases, council can authorise the seizure of stereo equipment or other musical devices and can fine people up to £5,000 and take them to court if they break noise abatement orders served on them.

The Manners sisters did not comment on the situation with their neighbours to The Telegraph.