Fenland Council recruits outreach worker as report says seven people sleep rough each night

A NEW outreach worker has been taken on by Fenland District Council to help tackle the number of rough sleepers.

The council says it believes there are on average seven people sleeping rough each night.

“The council has a statutory responsibility to undertake an annual survey to identify the number of people sleeping rough on a specific date in Fenland,” says a report to councillors.

“This data is reported to the Government and helps to identify the scale of the issue both regionally and nationally.

“Our estimate for this year is that an average of seven people are sleeping rough each night.”

The Octavia View and Migrant Night Shelter projects in Fenland provide assistance to rough sleepers and encouraging them to find accommodation, says the report, but more is needed.

“Fenland has been successful as part of a broad sub-regional application for funding to provide an outreach worker for a year,” the report adds.

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“The role will help to signpost rough sleepers to local hostels, to return to their country of origin or to re-connect to other areas where they have a local link.”

Three years ago Steve Barclay, the then prospective Parliamentary Conservative candidate for NE Cambs, headed a homelessness action group to examine the problem in Fenland.

The findings of his group – made up of church leaders, councillors and charity workers - drew up the proposals that led to the temporary night shelter now run by the Ferry Project in Norfolk Street, Wisbech.