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Council bids for £1.2million to reduce rough sleepers

Sleeping rough in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2018. Photo: Mark Williamson
Sleeping rough in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2018. Photo: Mark Williamson

A BID has been made for £1.2million of government money to tackle reduce the number of rough sleepers.

It has been drawn up by Warwick District Council to pay for a team of dedicated staff, and the cost of providing five three-bedroomed properties to get people off the street a 22-place homeless hostel.

The proposals have been drawn up in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police, neighbouring Stratford District Council, which will get one of the two outreach officers being proposed, as well as voluntary organisations and homeless charities.

In March a homeless summit was chaired by Warwick and Leamington MP, Matt Western, following the publication of annual rough sleeper figures which showed by Warwick District and Stratford District had numbers well above the national average and rising.

In Warwickshire as a whole there were 49 rough sleepers recorded on the day of the national county, the majority of whom were in the south of the county.

That prompted Warwickshire County Council to pledge £300,000 to tackling the issue.

At a meeting on Thursday, Warwick District Council’s ruling executive approved the bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), which has made £80million available to councils as part of its Rough Sleepers Initiative.

A decision is expected at the end of June, although it has pledged to try to fund some elements itself should the bid be rejected.

A report to councillors said that action to tackle the issue was necessary ‘given the levels of public sympathy towards rough sleepers that has grown considerably in recent months’.

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