Emergency protocol launched in Milton Keynes as rough sleepers are promised a warm bed
Anybody sleeping rough in Milton Keynes can go to the council offices today and get emergency accommodation under the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) scheme.
The protocol is launched when the temperature on the streets plummets to below zero.
Milton Keynes Council has promised to keep it in place until Thursday, when all will be asked to leave their accommodation.
A council spokesman said: “If you or someone you know is sleeping rough, please go to the Civic offices before 5pm and we can help with somewhere to stay. After 5pm please call 01908 226699.”
He added: “We want vulnerable people to be protected and provided for during the cold weather. The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, which all councils follow, is designed to get rough sleepers off the streets when temperatures are very low."
The Ministry of Housing Community and Local Government advise that SWEP should be activated by a weather forecast predicting three consecutive nights, or more, of a temperature of zero degrees Celsius or lower. SWEP is implemented on the first day of the Met Office forecast.
Other rough sleepers are currently staying with the Winter Night Shelter, which offers hot meals and 30 bed spaces each night in churches and halls throughout the city.
The shelter will remain open until 31 March 2020.
Each client is assessed for a space. Singles and couples aged 18 plus are eligible but the project cannot cater for children.