Issue details

Review of the Management of Rough Sleepers

Cabinet considered the report and recommendations from the cross party task and finish group formed to review the management of rough sleepers, and RESOLVED as follows:


1)    That a strategic group be set up which meets regularly in order to identify duplication and gaps in current provision for rough sleepers and which includes representation from partner agencies including from the faith and voluntary sector. This group will develop a Rough Sleeper Strategy to be developed and approved by Council to support the work of officers and the wider partnership arrangements, and will monitor and respond to fluctuations in the delivery of the council’s homelessness policy.


2)    The creation of a multi-agency task and targeting group to work on a long-term plan to ensure that individual rough sleepers are supported to move away from a street-based lifestyle.


3)    That the staff resource dedicated to supporting rough sleepers is increased beyond the current single officer by one full time additional officer to provide greater resilience and capacity, including provision for weekend outreach work in addition to the existing Monday to Friday service, subject to the availability of funding.


4)    That, with a growing rough sleeping population, the availability of suitable all year round night shelter accommodation is maintained, or increased if demand increases, to ensure that those most vulnerable are able to get some shelter especially during severe weather conditions.


5)    That night shelter accommodation is identified for rough sleepers with dogs where the rough sleeper would not be willing to allow the council to place the dog into kennels as is current practice, subject to the availability of funding


Additionally, work with organisations in the voluntary sector to develop pet-sitting or other similar projects to enable a rough sleeper with a dog to access services.


6)    That consideration be given to establishing formal daytime drop-in advice and advocacy services for rough sleepers, in partnership with the voluntary and faith sectors, focussed on offering advice and guidance as well as case management for service users, with the caveat that this is not a daytime shelter.


7)    That consideration be given to a flexible approach to activating severe weather emergency provision (SWEP), taking into account the good practice guidelines provided by Homeless Link.


8)    That an urgent solution is found to the deficit of on-street drugs and alcohol support through renegotiating the existing contract the council holds with the provider.


9)    That a focussed and ongoing communications campaign is undertaken to encourage the public to report rough sleeping to the council so that the most appropriate support can be provided.


10)To design and print business card sized information cards for rough sleepers with contact details for rough sleeper touch points and durable conveniently sized hand-outs, which can be personalised with key advice and action plans for rough sleepers to support them to leave the streets.  


11)That, following a recent announcement from Government about potential support to roll out the Housing First model, further work is carried out to understand the detail behind this announcement with a view to extending local provision by at least two further beds.


12)That the current Chronically Excluded Adults (CEA) project which provides personalised support to rough sleepers and others with the most complex needs be mainstreamed into normal council business from 1 August 2017, the point at which existing grant funding ceases, subject to the availability of funding.


13)That the relationship between affordable housing and rough sleeping be further explored. If it is found that there is a direct correlation between volumes of rough sleeping and availability of affordable housing, that a full report is prepared for Cabinet that explains this connection to enable Cabinet to consider the consequences in the Local Plan.


14)That, following the conclusion of the task and finish group, the Adults and Communities Scrutiny Committee continue to provide oversight of the recommendations and support to officers by way of a report to the committee in September 2017.




Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 20/03/2017

Decision due: 20 Mar 2017 by Cabinet

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Communities and Environment Capital

Lead director: Corporate Director People and Communities

Contact: Adrian Chapman, Service Director Community & Safety Cambridgeshire County Council & Peterborough City Council Email: Tel: 01733 863887.


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