Chris Matheson, MP for City of Chester, raised Cheshire West and Chester Council’s effective response to homelessness in cold weather in parliament this week.

In his question in the House of Commons, Chris highlighted the council’s commitment to trigger its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) on any night where the ‘feels like’ temperature is below zero. The guidance to councils advocates it should be triggered after the third consecutive night of below zero temperatures.

Chris commented: “We have a humanitarian duty to support members of our community living on the streets over the cold winter period.

“Homelessness has doubled since 2010, including a reported 130,000 homeless children living in temporary accommodation this Christmas. As a nation we must have a rapid response to provide emergency provision to those who need it most this winter.”

Local Chester charity, Share, is working with Chris to highlight the rapid trigger of emergency provision in Cheshire West and Chester so that other councils may follow their lead.

Chris said: “I am always proud to stand up in parliament and talk about the work we do here in Chester. Share are right to encourage more councils to take quicker action on this issue and I am committed to finding a way to support councils to fund rapid response support for homeless people and rough sleepers during cold weather.”

Notes

  1. The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is designed to support Local Authorities to provide an emergency accommodation to those sleeping outside in poor weather conditions in order to prevent deaths during the winter months.
  2. Share is a Chester charity that works to support homeless people across the city.

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