Cabinet approves strategy to tackle homelessness

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Cheshire East Council's Cabinet has approved a new three-year strategy today (Tuesday, 10th April) to tackle the issue of rough sleeping and homelessness in the borough.

The new draft strategy has four key areas of focus:

· To help secure appropriate, affordable accommodation for the homeless;
· To take steps to prevent homelessness;
· Avoid rough sleeping wherever possible; and
· Ensure appropriate support to help people stay in their accommodation.

The statement came as new figures showed the levels of rough sleeping were increasing across the country. Estimated figures for November 2017 showed the number of people sleeping rough in Cheshire East was 21. This is up from 12 in 2014, the last time the council undertook an estimated count.

The council has been working with a number of groups and organisations to develop ways to reduce the problem of homelessness and provide the right services for the homeless and rough sleepers.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing planning and regeneration, said: "Rough sleeping is a national issue and Cheshire East is not immune to these pressures.

"Thankfully, we have a very low number of people sleeping rough in the borough. However, one person sleeping rough is still one too many.

"Homelessness is an issue that we are determined to deal with in the most positive and sensitive way. Statutory bodies, the voluntary sector, charities and faith groups, as well as local businesses and local residents, have all been involved in contributing to our homelessness strategy.

"The council is determined to tackle the harmful effects of homelessness, such as the impact on family life and children, an individual's physical and mental health, including the loss of self-esteem and confidence and the loss of employment.

"While homelessness in the borough has risen, from a very low base, this is put down to a number of factors, including family or tenancy issues, rising rents and benefit cuts. However, the number of cases where homelessness has been prevented, has also risen year on year."

Tags:
Cheshire East Council
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Charlie Gaughan
Friday 13th April 2018 at 2:18 am
Council houses , flats, bungalows places for people ah no money in that
Alan Brough
Friday 13th April 2018 at 8:20 am
Perhaps if CE Council (or their outsourced housing provider - Peaky Blinders) stopped allocating three bedroomed houses to single people they might make long strides in the right direction.

If they genuinely care about the welfare of "rough sleepers" why not convert one of the many empty Council buildings into a hostel - shouldn't be too difficult to provide warmth and shelter for 21 people and interface them with support services to help get them back on their feet.

And please, don't anyone tell me it's a question of money whilst yet another "fat cat" withdraws home to await the outcome of a costly and lengthy enquiry into his inability to do the job he was (is) paid to do - hundreds of thousands of pounds of our hard-earned money being stuffed down that particular waste-chute!

Here's a thought - there must be nearly 21 empty offices at CE HQ in Sandbach. Why not clear out the desks and replace them with bunks and a few home comforts and invite the homeless folk in?

I cant be the only one becoming frustrated at Cheshire East's inability to deal with problems that are entirely and easily solvable. If it were a business the ineptitude of it's management would have caused it's bankruptcy long ago. In the case of CE Council they just prop themselves up with more of our money so that they can continue their squander-spree.
David Hadfield
Friday 13th April 2018 at 4:18 pm
Great comments from Alan Brough's article above.