City to pro­vide shel­ter in floods and storms

Western Daily Press - - News -

ROUGH sleep­ers in Glouces­ter will be given a bed for a night when ex­treme weather hits the city.

The city coun­cil’s cabi­net ap­proved the plans on Wed­nes­day, af­ter up­dat­ing a pol­icy which pre­vi­ously meant it of­fered emer­gency hous­ing when tem­per­a­tures were be­low zero for three con­sec­u­tive nights, or hit -3C on a sin­gle night.

Rough sleep­ers will now also be shel­tered if the Met Of­fice an­nounces a se­vere weather warn­ing due to heavy rain, winds, snow and flood­ing.

The coun­cil said costs to pro­vide rough sleep­ers shel­ter are ex­pected to rise over the win­ter pe­riod, but added that it would be met within bud­get.

The pol­icy that was re­viewed, the Se­vere Weather Emer­gency Pro­to­col (SWEP), of­fers rough sleep­ers ac­com­mo­da­tion dur­ing sub-zero tem­per­a­tures or when weather warn­ings are is­sued.

The coun­cil would en­force SWEP the day be­fore the weather warn­ing takes ef­fect or freez­ing tem­per­a­ture is ex­pected.

In Glouces­ter SWEP ac­com­mo­da­tion providers in­clude New­ton House, the Ge­orge White­field Cen­tre, Tay­lor House, and Park View Court and ac­com­mo­da­tion is pro­vided be­tween November and March. Coun­cil­lor Jen­nie Watkins, cabi­net mem­ber for com­mu­ni­ties and neigh­bour­hoods, said: “We will con­tinue to do our best to en­gage those who are vul­ner­a­ble and to sup­port them to ac­cess help. I am in­cred­i­bly grate­ful for the part­ner­ship work and pas­sion across the sec­tors who make a real dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives.

“By ex­tend­ing SWEP we are re­spond­ing to feed­back from our com­mu­nity to pro­tect peo­ple dur­ing ex­treme weather and we are also able to take the op­por­tu­nity to work with them to try and guide them into break­ing the cy­cle of rough sleep­ing.”

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