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Opposition councillors urge more help for the homeless

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

There is growing pressure on the district council to provide more immediate help for the homeless over the festive period.

During Monday’s full council meeting, councillors from the opposition Liberal Democrat group urged the council to consider extra measures, following the closure of Stratford’s homeless drop in centre earlier in the year.

Cllr Kate Rolfe explained that while some help had been provided at emergency drop-in sessions at the United Reform Church and now at the Baptist Church, these were not set up to provide hot meals or showers.

Cllr Rolfe suggested that Stratford Leisure Centre could potentially be made available two times per week to provide hot showers for the homeless.

Cllr Victoria Alcock added that something needed to be done urgently as cold weather was more likely during the winter months.

Council leader Cllr Tony Jefferson responded that there is a cold weather protocol in place to provide emergency accommodation for the homeless during spells of cold weather.

However he said that he would examine the points raised and respond to the councillors’ suggestions in the coming days.

He added that a recent annual count had found there to be six rough sleepers in the district.

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