'Embrace these kids, rather than complain about them,' says Milton Keynes councillor
Parents petitioning against a home for vulnerable young people opening next to a primary school have been urged to stop worrying and embrace the concept instead.
Councillor Zoe Nolan, Labour’s Cabinet member for children and families, insists the teenagers due to live at Bletchley’s Fenny House will pose LESS risk than any other young adult.
The former caretaker’s property is metres away from Knowles school and parents have “safeguarding” concerns over their children.
They launched a petition urging the council to stop the plans, and within days there were almost 200 signatures. They have also slammed MK Council for insufficient consultation about who will be living in the housee
But Councillor Nolan insists protesters have no need to worry at all.
She said there will be up to four people moving into Fenny House. All of them will be care leavers, straight from foster parents used by the council.
The youngsters, aged between 17 and 19, will be moved into Fenny House, with support workers in place, simply because they have nowhere else to go, said the councillor.
“The fact is that they have no family to support them towards the next step of living independently,” she said.
The teenagers could be going to uni or college, finding a job or starting an apprenticeship.
Though there will be space for four young people, at times there will be fewer. A uni student, for example, would only be there during holiday times, said Zoe
She said: “They’re just like any other young people. In many ways they’re better. These kids are amazing – partly because of the difficult journey they’ve had through their lives and the help they’ve received from our wonderful foster families in MK.
MK Council put the Fenny House proposal out to public consultation five months ago, after planning consent was granted. But Knowles School parents claim they have only just heard the news.