The Liberal Democrats have today called for cross-party support for Layla Moran’s Bill to scrap the Vagrancy Act following the publication of official figures which reveal there were 4,677 rough sleepers across England in Autumn 2018.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:
“The fact that thousands of people sleep rough every night shames our whole country. These figures don’t even capture the many more ‘hidden homeless’ in insecure and unsuitable accommodation.
“Even worse, hundreds of homeless people die each year, as the tragic death of Kane Walker in Birmingham on Sunday reminded us. The Tories are failing our most vulnerable people.
“The Liberal Democrats demand better. We want the Government to be building up to 100,000 social homes a year, provide accommodation and support to those in need, and finally back my Bill to scrap the Vagrancy Act.”
Liberal Democrats Councillor on North East Derbyshire District Council, David Hancock said:
“Across the East Midlands there are 358 people registered as homeless which is a 12.5% rise on 2017 figures. This sort of increase must be ringing alarm bells to those in power that urgent action is required to get these people out of these freezing temperatures.”
“We need to work together across party lines to make a real difference in what is a tragic situation for the country with the 5th biggest economy; we can no longer turn a blind eye as the problem gets worse.
The ‘Rough sleeping in England: autumn 2018’ statistics can be found here.
They show 4,677 rough sleepers in Autumn 2018, down slightly from the 2017 number (4,751) but still well up on previous years.
Rough sleepers in the East Midlands rose from 313 to 358, an increase of just over 12.5%.
More on Vagrancy (Repeal) Bill 2017-19 can be found here.