More than 60 rough sleepers in Warwick district sheltered from freezing temperatures this winter

Homelessness: stock photo
Homelessness: stock photo

More than 60 rough sleepers in the Warwick district were provided a bed during freezing temperatures this winter.

Last month the ‘Beast from the East’ battered the country bringing snow and freezing temperatures and snow also hit the district in December.

Because of a change in council protocol 61 rough sleepers were sheltered from the freezing temperatures on 25 nights.

This is the first winter when rough sleepers have been offered a bed by Warwick District Council on every night when temperatures hit zero or below.

The council agreed back in November to offer overnight accommodation to rough sleepers on every night that the temperature is predicted to drop below zero over the winter.

Previous council protocol was to provide accommodation if the temperature was predicted to drop below zero on three consecutive nights.

Labour councillor Kristie Naimo had originally put forward the motion suggesting that the authority improve its provision for rough sleepers.

Jane Knight, Labour councillor for Clarendon Ward, said: “It’s a great relief to us all that Labour persuaded fellow councillors last autumn, before the prolonged bitter weather set in, to improve support to rough sleepers so that every freezing night is now covered.

“Thanks to great efforts by council officers, 61 people have been spared the risk of rough sleeping on 25 freezing nights.

“We have much more to do to tackle rough sleeping and the huge hidden problem of homelessness in the district, but this is a good start.”

Andrew Mobbs, leader of Warwick District Council, said: “I wholeheartedly support the efforts our council is taking to support those less fortunate than us.

“The changes of provided accommodation has worked well when temperatures are low.

“We are committed to fully assisting the night shelter financially and I await a report from officers about the next stage of our plans to help rough sleepers.”