Tackling outdoor sleeping – more money for local Councils

I am glad the government has announced new measures and money to reduce  sleeping on our streets. People should never have to sleep outside, especially when it so cold and wet. West Berkshire Council will receive £69,585 for Homelessness Support next year, and £104,834 to help homelessness prevention.  Wokingham Council will receive £338,056  for Homelessness Support and £65,253 for Homelessness prevention.

These sums are proportionate to the level of rough sleeping we find in our area. It is a much greater problem in parts of London, where for example the Borough of Newham will receive £10.7m under the two headings to deal with their much larger problem. Other London Boroughs also receive several millions each reflecting their higher level of  need.

I look forward to the local Councils adding these sums to their existing housing and social service budgets., Very often the underlying problem for a rough sleeper is wider than the immediate absence of a roof over their heads. It requires help to be offered to deal with addictions or to help  them find work. The policy is for everyone to have the option of a hostel place or temporary accommodation, though of course the authorities cannot make someone take up such an offer. If you do meet someone with no shelter to go to please  tell them that the Council is there with ways to help.

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  1. Shirley
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    It appears that UK politicians value refugees far more than the indigenous. We have all seen photos of refugees living in hotels cost free, or in houses worth millions (again at zero cost to themselves but at great cost to the taxpayer), etc. No wonder they all flock here. Treat them the same as the indigenous and maybe the flood will stop. Treat them no better, and no worse. Stop treating those who have passed through one or more safe countries as ‘refugees’. They are economic migrants, not refugees.

    Deportation figures of failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are virtually non-existent. Opt out of the UN Migration pact immediately as it is detrimental to all those who live here (including migrants already here) and is yet more draconian destruction of free speech.

  2. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Without passing judgement as an individuals circumstances are so varied that no one recipe can be assumed to be applicable to all.
    However, your thoughts have reminded me of me of a recent rough sleeper in Wokingham enjoying the shelter outside of ‘Boots’, for a week or so. He had large handwritten sign telling people to “Stop ‘dishing’ him on social media”
    I didn’t know how to take that – rough sleeping, good internet connection and a social media account and clearly owned a device to stay connected.
    The sign raised a smile and a sort of irony to those that passed by.

  3. Irene
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Out of interest, JR, would you please give figures of the number of homeless people in:

    (a) West Berkshire
    (b) Wokingham

    Also, the number of rough sleepers in (a) and (b).

    I appreciate that not all homeless people are sleeping rough, and not all rough sleepers are homeless.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply I have not seen any rough sleepers in Wokingham in the evenings when I have been around. IF you have seen someone then please let the Council know.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Sir John, up until about 3 weeks ago there were at least 3 in the town centre and 2 in Palmer Park. I only get to see them rousing from their sleeping bags on my early morning walk.

      Reply So none currently

    • Irene
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      So how many homeless people are there in Wokingham area?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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