MPs like Caroline need to call for appropriate and useful resources


This call from Caroline Ansell came on Monday as part of a discussion on rough sleeping that began with a question from three Conservative MPs including Caroline directed at Robert Jenrick who is the latest Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The question was “What steps he is taking to deliver the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping by the end of the 2019 Parliament”. With regard to Carolines follow up question I have real concerns that this is not the right request to ask for. I have worked in Eastbourne and throughout Sussex for many years on behalf of Churches and businesses and as a nearby resident from Brighton I have worked as a Trustee for several charities that have delivered services and support to Eastbourne. Some of these have worked to support and help people who have ended up as homeless, or to try to avoid this happening. I also know a great deal regarding the way in which agencies need to operate to try to end street sleeping and although I am not a resident of Eastbourne, I would raise concerns regarding the effectiveness of a night shelter as a long term solution to the challenges, many of which have occurred during the Conservative Government tenure. Caroline may be right and I may be wrong regarding the need for a permanent shelter in Eastbourne. Certainly it is vital for the Government to assist charities and public sector agencies in all locations including those like Eastbourne and Brighton & Hove. However such calls need to be based on a much more careful definition of what is appropriate to improve matters and that is rarely a long term night shelter. It is usually other forms of provision so that individuals can be moved away from the streets and into a more permanent solution for them, even though such approaches take much longer than opening up a night shelter.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Brighton & Hove, Charities, Housing, Parliament and Democracy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to MPs like Caroline need to call for appropriate and useful resources

  1. Howard says:

    Good point Ian. If by a shelter she means a permanent hostel or accessible housing I’d support her. If she means more of the temporary church hall camp bed type accommodation I’d suggest she thinks again. There are a lot of charities and individuals working with and helping the homeless in Eastbourne. What we need is joined up clear thinking and cooperation from everyone.

    • ianchisnall says:

      Thanks Howard, my understanding based on our work in Brighton at St Patricks is that a Shelter is exactly what you are saying won’t be helpful and although they did offer some longer term settings, the shelter was a one night at a time space. It was closed in the end because of its failure to achieve any real solutions.

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