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Empty council offices could 'solve homelessness and rough sleeping' in Salford

Empty council offices should be used to help people who are homeless or rough sleeping in Salford, a councillor has said. Offices in Salford Civic Centre in Swinton are often left empty when staff work from home, Councillor Robin Garrido said.

The building was first opened in 1938 and later extended - and the newer part of the site could offer accommodation to those in need or even be turned into new homes, Coun Garrido believes.

READ MORE: Salford faces 'absolute crisis' when cost of living fund ends in March

The leader of Salford Conservatives said: "That building could be used to solve the problem of homelessness and rough sleeping. We think we could have put some people in there but we were told it wasn't practical.

"Andy Burnham when he was elected four years ago one of his pledges was to solve that problem, but he's failed.

"In the longer term it could be knocked down and several houses could be built on that site, where we've already got the infrastructure.

"Some social housing, some affordable rents, some shared ownership, It should be a mixed development."

Swinton is one of the towns which make up the city of Salford, and the local authority is working up plans for the future of the area.

After a survey launched in 2022, people said that "Swinton needed to be a more vibrant place" and called for "a plan to tackle empty buildings and shops".

The council's masterplan for the town, called the Swinton Vision, includes a plan to "repurpose the Civic Centre" and "rethinking" the shopping centre on the other side of Chorley Road.

This work has taken place with a homelessness crisis rumbling on in the background, which led to the opening of an emergency shelter last December in an old school building in the town.