Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

North Somerset rough sleeping figures ‘misleading’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 March 2011

The figures have been described as misleading

The figures have been described as misleading

Archant

GOVERNMENT figures estimating that North Somerset has two homeless people in the entire district have been described as ‘misleading’by local experts.

The new statistics, released this week by the Department for Communities and Local Government, are designed to paint a picture of homelessness across the UK.

North Somerset data shows just two people are estimated to be rough sleepers - leading homeless charities and campaigners to question whether the count was thorough enough.

Jon Codd, organiser of the annual Comfort at Christmas shelter which welcomes many homeless people, thinks the estimates may prove to be deceptive.

He said: “The fact that the report says there are two people sleeping rough in the whole of North Somerset would seem to be a little misleading.

“What’s astonishing is that these figures are mainly estimates. Of the 1,768 (UK homeless people) stated in the report, only 407 were counted.”

Mr Codd believes that not only are the figures misleading, they also mask the larger issue of homeless people, who are being ‘shunted from pillar to post’.

He continued: “There are a lot of people sofa surfing, moving from one mate’s flat or bedsit to another; B&B accommodation; non-close family - all of these are not homes.

“If the figures for these people were counted the whole country would be astounded.”

The figures were released after changes were made in the way numbers of rough sleepers were counted, with local authorities now responsible for carrying out an estimate.

Duncan Shrubsole, a spokesman for homeless charity Crisis, says councils need to be more thorough.

He said: “While these figures are encouraging in the context of last year’s ones before the method was changed, they are only ever an estimate or snapshot from the authorities.

“We would urge authorities to be more active and look at the wide range of places where homeless people might be.

“While it is good to see the figures picking up more of the people living what can be an awful existence out on the streets, authorities should look harder as this method simply cannot find all of the people who might be sleeping rough.”

A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: “We conducted a multi-agency street count in May 2008 and found no rough sleepers at all. Our officers were walking the streets at 2am looking in bins and sheds but didn’t find anyone at all. Not even in the park.

“Historically we don’t have high numbers of rough sleepers, summertime sees a slight increase but this is mainly people passing through the district. We occasionally hear of people sleeping in the woods as well but these are generally known to us and refuse assistance.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

30 minutes ago

An international hotel chain hopes to build a multi-million-pound, 119-room building in Weston-super-Mare.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

The developer behind Locking Parklands has been given a five-star rating from the House Builders’ Federation.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Secret World Wildlife Rescue hosted an open weekend to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

A man from Uphill has been ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work after he left his ex-partner bruised and bleeding from the head following a fight in his home.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

In the 1930s, a wooden cabin on Weston-super-Mare’s seafront was pulled up, and driven down the road to the airfield in Locking, where it became part of an aircraft control tower.

Read more
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Youngsters from a North Somerset village got into the Easter spirit with a special art and crafts session last weekend.

Read more
Saturday, April 22, 2017

It was a busy weekend in North Somerset with Easter celebrations taking place across the district, and a village market had one of its busiest events to date.

Read more
Saturday, April 22, 2017

School services for children with autism and for those who need additional welfare support in North Somerset could soon be provided from outside the district.

Read more
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Rows and rows of vintage vehicles lined Weston’s Beach Lawns at the weekend, as the town’s Pageant of Transport returned.

Read more
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dr Liam Fox has been confirmed as the Conservative Party’s candidate for North Somerset in June’s General Election.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder