In an official report today:
Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, has published new research which shines a light on the thousands of children growing up in homeless families. The report, “Bleak houses: Tackling the crisis of family homelessness in England”, reveals the terrible reality of how some children are living in converted shipping containers and office blocks, and B&Bs, in cramped conditions, often miles away from their schools. The report shows that while official statistics show 124,000 children in England living in temporary accommodation, this does not include the hidden homeless who are ‘sofa-surfing’, often in very cramped conditions. New analysis conducted for the Children’s Commissioner for England estimates that in 2016/17 there were 92,000 children living in sofa-surfing families.
No doubt a similar reservation on the official statistics might apply in Scotland but using them for like-for-like comparison, the Scottish rate of child homelessness looks to be just over half per head of population of that in England
The number of children in temporary accommodation increased by 180 children (3%), to 6,795 compared with the same date one year ago.
‘Bairns Not Bombs’ is a cry that one still hears regularly at SNP/YES gatherings. Good to see yet further evidence that the SNP Scottish Govt (and YES majority Scottish Parlt) are according child homelessness a rather higher priority than seems to be the case with our neighbour govts in Westminster (of whichever tory hue) over recent years. Still masses of work to do – but strenuous efforts are being made in the right direction.
Since we learnt from GERS figures today that the (rather unlikely) suggestion is being made that Scotland (8.2% of the UK population) is racking up 60% of the UK annual deficit might it not be an ideal moment to crowd fund an outright ‘purchase’ of Scotland? (Given the extreme gravity of the economic crisis we are experiencing (pace the GERS figures) the Westminster/Whitehall elites must be desperate to offload us pronto. (A bid of 5 or 10 quid max must, necessarily, swing the deal for such an unmitigated basket-case economy).
I confess I have to thank Pres. Trump for the brainwave of this @ ‘Scottish Purchase’ idea. Anyone reckon Johnson and Co won’t be biting off our hand to accept the, most generous, offer? No – somehow I don’t imagine they lend the GERS nonsense any more credence than we do.
The news tonight covered the child homelessness in England. CH4 News in particular did a longish piece on the issue in particular the use of containers to create ‘homes’. Cramped, hot in summer, freezing in winter. Supposedly temporary, a word with an elastic timescale, One family they interviewed were supposed to be there for a few weeks but 2 years later they are still there. It was heartbreaking.
Hi John – A curious thing – I’ve just been looking through the beeb main UK news and UK business and economics website pages. Nowhere am I seeing outraged articles demanding blood from some Westminster idiot for permitting the situation whereby 8.2% of the UK population (namely residents of Scotland) can, unimpeded, rack up fully 60% of the UK funding deficit over the past year. (That is, after all, what beeb Scotland is reporting that the GERS figures prove – and beeb Scotland are correct – that is, indeed, what the reported GERS figures show).
Yes – very strange – Logically, such an untenable situation would be the overwhelming news story on the beeb London desk tonight and for the foreseeable future. Interesting that the story is being blanked entirely. Couldn’t be because they realise the figures don’t stand up to a moment’s serious scrutiny when framed in a UK context could it? – Surely not? – Good to see beeb Scotland dutifully carrying out their State Broadcaster function though, even if in a rather lower key than the Better Together brigade would favour.
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Seems to be an intriguing falling out going on within the tory group on Perth and Kinross council. 2 tory councillors challenged how an important committee was being chaired and have been suspended for their trouble. The tory/lib dem administration are now a minority administration. Predictably, the lib dem group leader lent his backing to the tory group actions (well – they’re simply a different shade of tory aren’t they?). Link and snippets below:
Two councillors suspended by the Conservative group over fall-out from a mental health meeting have been backed by other members of their board.
Both Mr Purves and Mr Stewart have been backed in their stance by the other two councillors sitting on the IJB, SNP councillor Eric Drysdale and Independent Xander McDade.
The suspension now leaves the Conservative and Liberal Democrat council with a minority administration but Liberal Democrat group leader Peter Barrett backed the suspension.
The Colonel’s regiment seems to be becoming increasingly fractious as the meeja follow instructions to build up Swinson as the replacement britnat CinC Scotlandshire.
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Thanks Ludo. Remember email me longer pieces. I’m finding less time to read blog comments.