max temp: 12°C

min temp: 2°C


Ipswich: MP claims teenagers are being ‘dragged into the wrong crowds’ because they are being housed in B&Bs after leaving care at 16

14:44 13 May 2014

Bed and breakfast

Bed and breakfast


Ipswich teenagers leaving care have been left languishing in bed and breakfasts for weeks, an MP has said following a recent visit to the town.


Education select committee member Alex Cunningham said youngsters from Suffolk were being put in “unsafe placements” and were being dragged into the “wrong crowds” following the fact-finding visit as part of a national probe into options for care post-16.

But Suffolk County Council said that the placements were only used in exceptional circumstances, such as night-time family crises or when dealing with cases with very specific requirements, and currently just nine out of 720 young people in care were in B&Bs.

Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “B&B placements are always made for as short a period as possible.

“The use of B&B accommodation is reviewed weekly and has decreased significantly in the last year.

“We will of course continue to monitor this closely so that we can keep the number of placements to a minimum.”

The MP made the comments during a select committee evidence session looking at how suitable and safe alternative accommodation provided by local authorities is.

The Government recently announced a new legal duty on local authorities to financially support every care leaver who wants to stay with their foster parents until their 21st birthday.

But the new law does not apply to young people living in residential children’s homes, or those placed in alternative types of accommodation.

Education committee member Mr Cunningham said during the evidence session said: “We have had young people who have told us they have been left languishing in a bed and breakfast for weeks on end.”

While committee chairman Graham Stuart said he had met children in Suffolk, some who had talked about provisions being “not that fantastic”. “It was mixed, if I remember,” he added.

Denise Hatton, national secretary and chief executive of YMCA England, told the committee: “We have a really good example of what is suitable for 16 and 17-year-olds in particular in Suffolk, where we have purchased a number of houses in residential areas.

“We would have a house with four bedrooms, but it would be supported accommodation, so there would be a trusted adult, on-site, staying overnight and working with those 16 and 17-year-olds to support them.”

The MPs visited YMCA accommodation as part of their visit to Suffolk, but they also saw other providers and met a number of young people.

Angela Thornton, director of accommodation at the YMCA in Suffolk, said that the recently refurbished homes in Norwich Road provided 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week support. The charity has 165 bed spaces across Suffolk.

She said: “We have come away from historic provision across the country when we had people working nine until 5pm or working shifts. We now offer a different model of service.”

She added the visit from the MPs was “all very positive”. “I did not get any negative feedback. The young people and the staff felt they had made a contribution to the way things would move forward. ”



  • Waspie's wife ..Yes I'm pleased this is being highlighted and I agree with hayley and lee, except because there are not enough supported units provided by the council social services have no choice in the emergency situations they face.. I agree about the areas they are well known.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • I am so glad this point has been highlighted as i've been saying it for years. The majority of the B&B's the council use are situated in the high crime areas, with some even in the centre of the 'red light district'. To me that is nowhere for any vulnerable youngster to be housed, but it seems to be ok with the council, in particular social services, who i am under the belief are meant to protect children in their care.

    Report this comment

    hayley and lee

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Museum bosses have gone back to the drawing board following their lottery bid rejection.

Hopes of a multi-million-pound lottery windfall for Ipswich Museum have been dashed – forcing borough chiefs to reconsider the ambitious £23m project to transform the High Street campus.

Cannabis was found at Ipswich house

An illegal immigrant is facing a jail term after police found nearly 400 plants and seedlings at a cannabis factory set up in an east Ipswich house.

Orwell Bridge

A man has died after falling from the Orwell Bridge.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet arrived at Elstree today - the home of the Star Wars franchise.

On the day after county councillors at Endeavour House discussed cutting millions from the authority’s budget over the next two years, the nine members of its cabinet are today on a £4,000 training course at the world famous Elstree studios.

Childhood obesity figures revealed

One in 10 Suffolk children will become obese or overweight before leaving primary school, new figures have revealed.

Ben Gummer and Mark Pendlington at Ipswich rail station.

Campaigners seeking to improve rail services between East Anglia and London have insisted that the new report into infrastructure is good for the region – because it makes little reference to the route.

John Hobson, 65, of Mill Road in Colchester, who died following the crash

The partner of a man, who died following a crash in west Suffolk, has paid tribute to her “one true love”.

Alison Wheeler and Tony Brown.

Suffolk’s libraries are facing budget cuts of more than 11% over the next two years – but their chairman has pledged that no branches will be closed.

Nick Alexander, who died in the Bataclan massacre, in Paris, France. Photo: Foreign & Commonwealth Office/PA Wire.

The parents of Essex man Nick Alexander, killed in the Paris terror attacks two weeks’ ago, have released a statement ahead of a memorial service taking place in the French capital today.

Kieron Dyer on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. Photo:  ITV/PA Wire

It was a rather uneventful night for former Ipswich Town player Kieron Dyer in the I’m A Celebrity... jungle last night

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24