Have your say on tackling homelessness and rough sleeping in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Posted on Wednesday 28 October 2020

In the last year, organisations from every part of life have been working under the banner of the Homelessness Partnership BCP to end homelessness in the area with the shared goal that ‘everyone has a safe place to live that they can call home’.

From today, Wednesday 28 October, the Partnership is inviting local residents, businesses and the general public to have their say on how homelessness and rough sleeping can be resolved and prevented across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. The consultation will run until 20 January 2021, and will help create a shared approach to tackling this issue. The consultation can be viewed here: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/HRSS

The council has a statutory duty to produce a homelessness and rough sleeping strategy. Partners have co-produced this draft strategy by listening to those with lived experience of homelessness, representatives of businesses, charities, faith groups, universities and other educational institutions, all statutory bodies (Council, Police, Health, Probation).

The draft strategy focuses on three core aims, namely: early and effective prevention; reducing and stopping the reoccurrence of homelessness; and ongoing service improvement and development. Each aim has a number of related commitments with associated action plans.

The council welcomes the views of all residents and those from outside the area who may rely on the area for work or business growth, including organisations and businesses who may be affected by homelessness.

Councillor Robert Lawton, Portfolio Holder for Homes, BCP Council said:

“We welcome this consultation to help those who are sleeping rough and the homeless to be provided with opportunities for improving lives and having somewhere safe to live. It is important that all partners work collectively to make this happen and for BCP Council to lead in its goal to end homelessness for all residents.”

Alistair Doxat-Purser Deputy Chair of the Homelessness Reduction Board and Chief Executive of Faithworks Wessex said:

“The extraordinary response during lockdown to bring so many people into temporary accommodation and provide them with support and hope, was a visible demonstration that it will take people and organisations from every walk of life to bring an end to the reality and fear of homelessness in our towns.”

“The Homelessness Partnership and Homelessness Reduction Board was set up to harness the ideas and capacity of every part of the community. So, we really hope that many people will take a moment to share their ideas and thoughts on how we can make our vision of ending homelessness here, a reality.”

Notes to editors

  • The Homelessness Reduction Board (HRB) was formed to provide overall strategic lead and governance for the Partnership. The Board includes representatives from various key services including the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, Dorset Police, Probation, Adult and Childrens Social Care, Housing, and Third Sector representatives. As the Covid-19 pandemic started to impact, the HRB started to meet more frequently, initially every fortnight, before moving to the current monthly frequency
  • The council has a statutory duty to produce a homelessness and rough sleeping strategy and BCP Council is taking this forward, building on the work of the legacy councils
  • The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy supports the Council’s Strategic Plan which includes the aim to tackle homelessness and prevent rough sleeping