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MP praises ‘timely’ help for rough sleepers

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has welcomed news of a multi-million pound Government initiative to tackle the rough sleeper crisis.

The South-West is set to receive a £28.5 million share of a £150 million fund to provide new, safe homes for rough sleepers and other vulnerable people.

Its target is for more than 3,300 such homes to be completed by the end of by the end of March 2021, providing long-term accommodation for vulnerable people to keep them safe from coronavirus and help them rebuild their lives.

Somerset will receive £3.6 million under the scheme and, according to Mr Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, the allocation was an extremely timely one.

He said: “Somerset has its share of rough sleepers like any other county but I know from the calls I have been receiving that people are becoming more aware of and concerned about such people and the problems they face.

“No-one should be left sleeping on the streets or on park benches in the 21st century and I am glad the Government is prioritising the issue.

“We now have to get on and ensure the money is spent and the new accommodation provided on time.”

The initiative is an important step towards achieving the Conservative manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024, alongside investment in new homes for social rent.

Ministers plan to spend £433 million to deliver 6,000 new homes for rough sleepers by the end of this Parliament, building on the ‘Everyone In’ campaign launched at the start of the pandemic which has helped to support over 29,000 vulnerable people, enabling councils to keep rough sleepers safe this winter.

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