Milton Keynes Council to consult on rough sleepers strategy

Latest estimates show there may be up to 130 rough sleepers in MK
Latest estimates show there may be up to 130 rough sleepers in MK

MK Council has put together a five-point strategy to try and reduce the number of rough sleepers in the city.

And residents will be given the chance to share their views on the proposals over a 12-week consultation.

Latest council figures show that there are an estimated 130 rough sleepers in the city, and the council's cabinet is hoping its new plan will tackle the problem.

The Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy aims to "work in partnership to prevent people rough sleeping in the first place", by providing a "joined up response when people end up on the streets."

The strategy also aims to provide an outreach service for those with complex or multiple needs, "enable the provision of suitable housing solutions" and to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime.

The council's cabinet meets on Tuesday (September 12) and will agree to consult on the strategy, which covers the next three years. There will be a 12 week period for residents, partners, business and homeless people to comment on the draft strategy.

Cabinet member for adult social care and Housing, Councillor Nigel Long, said: “The Council faces a huge challenge on homelessness. The ‘Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy’ aims to tackle the problem of people, for whom the Council previously, often, did not have a duty to help.

"We will be consulting widely on the draft strategy and welcome comments from residents, partners, business and from rough sleepers and other homeless people.

"We are determined that through effective partnership working, both with local partners and with other Councils we will be able to prevent rough sleeping and provide effective support to rough sleepers. We also have an outreach service to address the needs of rough sleepers with mental health challenges.

"This strategy, once finalised, will help some of the most vulnerable people who face homelessness in Milton Keynes.”

Council leader, Cllr Pete Marland added: “We believe that many rough sleepers have a difficult time, but we also have an obligation to ensure anti social behaviour is not a side effect of rough sleeping.

"This strategy aims to get the balance right between preventing rough sleeping, meeting the needs of rough sleepers and ensuring that anti social behaviour is not a consequence of rough sleeping.”