by mikebell on 12 January, 2018
Councillor Bell said: “The number of rough sleepers in North Somerset grew by 33% in the last year for which figures are available and, although it remains relatively low, is double the number in South Gloucestershire and four times higher than neighbouring Sedgemoor.
“I’ve had a growing number of people contact me to report people sleeping rough and the council must not be complacent about the challenge.
“There is a lot of good work undertaken by local volunteers, churches and other groups, but the council’s crucial role in providing the means to provide night shelters, emotional and employment support and access to the housing ladder must not be understated.”
Councillor Bell highlighted the council’s homelessness prevention strategy, and its call for more work to be done to tackle rough sleeping.
Councillor Reyna Knight, chair of the council’s Adult Services and Housing Panel, and Councillor Dawn Payne, the assistant executive member for adult care, both agreed to look at the issue in more detail.
Anyone who sees a rough sleeper in need of assistance should contact StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or online at www.streetlink.org.uk StreetLink is a charity that exists to help end rough sleeping by enabling members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them.