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Are You Sitting Comfortably?

November 8, 2016 10:19 AM
By Jo Hanney
Josephine Hanney

Jo Hanney - Lib Dem Campaigner

Then I'll begin a tale of those who are almost invisible, the homeless.

Homelessness has risen significantly over recent years with rough sleeping doubling since 2010. It is shocking that the average age of death of a street homeless person is 47! (81 years for the rest of us in England). The needs of the homeless are complex, but failing to prevent homelessness not only has a devastating effect on the individual, but also on our already overstretched and underfunded health and social care services and the criminal justice system, costing an estimated annual gross of £1 billion.

I was at our recent Liberal Democrat national party conference. Tim Farron made it very clear in his speech that the Liberal Democrats are the party which has a heart for the homeless and will stand up for those who have no voice. We already have a good record in coalition of investing an extra £26.5 million to help councils deliver appropriate services and the motion passed by conference calls for increased funding and an end to the current Government's policy of forcing local authorities to sell their higher value council homes. Also in this motion local authorities would be required to provide emergency accommodation for a longer period to enable support services to become involved and the applicant signposted to the appropriate physical and mental health services.

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

Full details of the motion can be found here.