As Scotland fights to eliminate homelessness, in England, it soars, hundreds are fined and imprisoned and others are cleansed from the streets of Windsor’s royal wedding streets.


(c) Daily Express

In September 2017, I wrote:

‘In Scotland, homeless applications in 2015/2016, were down 4% on the previous year. There was a fall in 22 out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities. It’s thought that the continuing fall in homelessness, during the period of SNP administrations, is mainly due to the introduction of the Housing Options service in Scottish local authorities with an emphasis on prevention and the abolishment of the Priority Need Test in Scotland. The underlying drivers of homelessness such as UK Government welfare reforms remain the same and make the above fall something of an achievement. It is, of course, still wholly unsatisfactory that here should be any homelessness in this country.

In England, in sharp contrast, homelessness is on the rise from 11% in 2009/2010 to 32% in 2016/2017. According to a report from the National Audit Office (NAO), reported strangely in Scottish Housing News, households in temporary accommodation in March 2017, were 73% up on 2011. The NAO attribute this in the main to [Tory] welfare reforms. Homelessness has increased every year since 2010 with steep increase in rough sleeping and families living in temporary accommodation. English Ministers are accused by the NAO of being slow to understand the problem. I suspect that’s far too understanding of the NAO. Do they really think Tory minsters give a?’

Today, in the Guardian, we read:

‘Hundreds of homeless people fined and imprisoned in England and Wales. Homeless people are banned from town centres, routinely fined hundreds of pounds and jailed if caught repeatedly asking for money in some cases. Growing numbers of vulnerable homeless people are being fined, given criminal convictions and even imprisoned for begging and rough sleeping, the Guardian can reveal. Homeless people are banned from town centres, routinely fined hundreds of pounds and sent to prison if caught repeatedly asking for money in some cases. Local authorities in England and Wales have issued hundreds of fixed-penalty notices and pursued criminal convictions for “begging”, “persistent and aggressive begging” and “loitering” since they were given strengthened powers to combat antisocial behaviour in 2014 by then home secretary, Theresa May.’

Meanwhile, back in Scotland, we heard, a few days ago:

‘Gazing down on the handful of colourful, cottage-style houses set amongst flower beds below, Rico Wallace jokes that he is “quite jealous” – and it is easy to see why. Arranged in neat rows on a hillside in Granton on the north side of Edinburgh, with views out to the Firth of Forth, the 11 newly-built dwellings make up Scotland’s first village for homeless people. The development is expecting its first residents within weeks, where they will be supported by a dedicated on-site team until they are ready to move to a permanent home.’

I’ve written several times here on Scotland’s increasingly more enlightened approach to homelessness. If you need a reminder or evidence to use in an argument, see:

SNP Government to fund frontline efforts to help hardcore of street homeless while Ruth Davidson goes from baking show to celebrity list membership games and our media rats sniff the sewer air for SNP-bad aroma

As Windsor Council calls on police to clear the homeless from its streets before the royal wedding, Scottish Government gives £328 000 to reduce rough sleeping this winter

The world’s biggest sleep-out raises £3.6 million and 475 homes are allocated to homeless people in Central Scotland

Could Scotland end homelessness?



3 thoughts on “As Scotland fights to eliminate homelessness, in England, it soars, hundreds are fined and imprisoned and others are cleansed from the streets of Windsor’s royal wedding streets.

  1. gavin May 21, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    Things can only get worse in England. It was reported the other day that England is short by four million houses. If true there really needs to be a heroic house building program. Do we see one?

    Ruthie is giving a speech decrying the centralisation of everything in London. Where is she giving her speech? Why London of course. I suspect she is house-hunting down there in the leafy ‘shires.

    Heard the Hon Sarah Smith on “From our Home correspondent” on radio 4. whining about ‘nats giving her a hard time. That’ll be Scots who want to run their own country, as there simply are NO such thing as British nationalists. Her take on events are straight from the little book of “dae whit yer telt, Scotland”.
    Scotland cannot have a referendum till May give permission. Only that would make it LEGAL.
    There will be NO referendum till after the next election.
    Sturgeon would have to get a majority of SNP MSP’s before that permission would be granted—apparently Green MSP’s don’t count for Hon Sarah, either NOW(when there is a majority at Holyrood in favour of a referendum) or after the next election.
    She hasn’t heard of Maggie Thatcher telling the SNP they would need a majority of Scots MP’s for a mandate for independence. That is what Sturgeon needs to remind people like the Hon Sarah about. Referendum first—if knocked back, then a simple majority of MPs.

    The Hon Sarah was complaining that she had been accused of being paid by the State as a propagandist.
    I had just heard on the World at 1 that the BBC had refused to run a documentary (I think it by Tom Mangold) on Jeremy Thorpe at the time of his “indiscretions”. The Old Boys circling the wagons. I don’t think Smith gets paid by anyone but the BBC, but I do think that pay comes with Old Boy conditions regarding her reporting on Scotland.

    Liked by 1 person

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