Activists leave former Glasgow homeless shelter after court order

Activists had occupied the former Hamish Allan Centre and asylum seeker’s night shelter. Activists had occupied the former Hamish Allan Centre and asylum seeker’s night shelter.
Activists had occupied the former Hamish Allan Centre and asylum seeker’s night shelter.
Protesters who took over a council building during COP26 to house climate activists have said they will leave today after a court ordered they could be evicted.

They have stayed in the former homeless shelter, nicknamed Baile Hoose, to campaign against “lack of accessible and emergency accommodation in Glasgow”.

But the council and fire service say the old Hamish Allan Centre, in Tradeston, is “not suitable or safe to be used as accommodation”.

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What did the activists say?

In a statement on social media, the campaigners at Baile Hoose said: “We will be leaving the former Hamish Allan Centre at 2pm. We would love to see you at the gates.

“We achieved our primary goal of providing shelter to activists who had nowhere to stay during COP26. Our continued occupation has been a protest against the lack of accessible and emergency accommodation in Glasgow, as well as the continuing degradation of public buildings.

“We now ask that the council work to put this building and similar buildings in the city back into use, with community needs and community autonomy at the centre.”

On Sunday, they had asked for help to make the building “clean and tidy” before they left.

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Why are they leaving?

Last week, the council took the campaigners to court and secured a decree, which allows a property owner to employ Sheriff officers to take back possession of their building.

A council spokesman said the occupation had invalidated the building’s insurance, creating a “potentially huge financial risk” for taxpayers.

He said the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has “served a statutory notice that makes clear its serious concerns in terms of fire safety”.

The spokesman added: “It remains deeply concerning that potentially vulnerable people are being encouraged to use it, despite that fact, and we welcome the court’s decision to grant the decree.”

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Roddie Keith, the fire service’s local senior officer for Glasgow, said: “We do not condone vacant or empty buildings being used as sleeping premises due to the lack of fire precautions.

“We have been liaising closely with Glasgow City Council and have taken the appropriate legislative steps due to identified fire risks for occupants at the Hamish Allan Centre.”

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