Friday, 21 June 2013

Important progress-Southport get an emergency shelter for rough sleepers

Back in January I got a number of letters from local residents about the arrangements for rough sleeper in Southport during severe weather. I blogged about it then :http://birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/people-with-no-home-are-facing-another.html

As a result of those letters I received I contacted the leading Southport Homeless Charity Light for Life and asked their advice. I was appalled by what they told me. Firstly that Sefton Council discharged their statutory obligations to the homeless by doing a deal with Liverpool City Council for the Whitechapel Project to open up a Church Hall in Liverpool and to tell rough sleepers to make their own way there. This is wrong on so many levels. Firstly how do they get there-Southport is a long way from the heart of Liverpool-some of our town is close to the City of Preston than it is to Liverpool, secondly there may be very good reason why they don't want to be there, this is a typical Merseyside solution that simply doesn't work from our town. As a result the council may have ticked the box but they have failed to provide an adequate service.

After much negotiation the charity came up with a Southport solution and on Wednesday at the Area Committee  I proposed that we fund the start up costs for the service. After some discussion this was agreed A small but important victory

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