06.11.19

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol invoked for rough sleepers

Stoke-on-trent City council has today initiated their Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)

The emergency measures are there to help and protect rough sleepers during the coldest and most difficult periods of the year.

The council, and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough council, working in collaboration with Brighter Futures and a number of other charities and organisations, aim to ensure support is in place to protect the most anyone sleeping outside in severe cold.

SWEP looks to get people off the streets as quickly as possible in the extreme weather and guide them into appropriate services and accommodation.

The protocol is triggered by local authorities across the UK when the temperature is expected to fall below zero degrees or lower. This is monitored on a daily basis between November 1 2019 and March 31 2020.

Councillor Randolph Conteh, Cabinet Member for Communities and Safer City at Stoke-on-Trent City Council said:

“This is the start of the launch of our severe weather protocol to help anyone who finds themselves sleeping rough in the city during periods of severe weather to access emergency accommodation.

“We’re working hard with our partners to eradicate rough sleeping in Stoke-on-Trent but we recognise that for some people immediate solutions are not always available. For those individuals, it’s important that we have emergency accommodation especially periods of extreme cold or other severe weather. This protocol will complement the wide range of services that are already available to prevent homelessness and tackle rough sleeping.”

According to the Office of National Statistics, eighteen homeless people have died in Stoke-on-Trent over the last five years, three of which were not registered as being homeless.

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