A wide-ranging strategy to reduce rough sleeping in Eastbourne and Lewes was launched last week at an event attended by around 40 people.
Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council have been working with key partners such as police, charities, business leaders and government agencies to develop the Street Community Strategy.
The overarching plan is in response to an increase in the number of people sleeping, drinking or begging on local streets in the last two years.
Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, Eastbourne’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “We are committed to tackling rough sleeping and this strategy reflects our determination to do that.”
Councillor Ron Maskell, Lewes’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “We are working closely with our partners to ensure appropriate services are accessible to members of the street community and that an effective route into settled housing is established for rough sleepers. Our priority is that the streets are safe for everyone.”
Under the strategy, a dedicated outreach worker has been appointed to engage with rough sleepers. Other initiatives include expansion of accommodation for rough sleepers, the establishment of monthly multi-agency meetings and a Landlords Reward Scheme providing incentives for landlords to let their properties through the councils.
The launch event at The International Lawn Tennis Centre in Eastbourne on Wednesday, 12 September, featured speeches by:
- Katie Dawkins, Housing Needs and Allocations Lead at Eastbourne Borough Council
- Ed Ripley, Lewes District Inspector, with an update on the work of the Multi-Agency Street Community Operations Team known as MASCOT
- Becky Jackson, of the Rough Sleeper’s Initiative
- Sarah Noble, from the Department for Works and Pensions
Published on 18 September, 2018