What is the procedure for rough sleepers in Shropshire over the winter?

Rough sleeping is one of the big problems of modern society. There are a lot of reasons why people rough sleep, including difficulties with the benefits system and problems with housing. Very often rough sleepers have mental health problems, sometimes triggered by trauma as is often the case for ex-military rough sleepers.

Shropshire Council has good rough sleeper policies and offers accommodation all winter long. But not everyone wants to take this up and many refuse mental health support. This is where specialist workers like the Shrewsbury Ark can do a lot to help. But some cases prove to be difficult to resolve and people cannot be forced to take help.

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Housing development on Bromfield Road is set to create a polluted neighbourhood of poor doors

The principle of housing development between Bromfield Road and the A49 was approved at a public inquiry and cannot now be challenged. However, the details of the scheme are very much up for debate and negotiation. One of my main concerns about this 213-home development is its treatment of affordable housing. Thirteen of the 28 affordable homes planned are squeezed into triangle between the railway, Bromfield Road and the A49. These homes will be blighted by noise and pollution.

“Poor doors”, developments where social housing is distinctively different and with reduced access to amenity, have been common in major cities. It now seems that this practice, which the prime minister Theresa May has said should be outlawed looks set to spread to Ludlow.

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Highways disputes and mediocre plans for trees delay progress on 340 Ludlow homes

Delays continue in getting final planning approval for the housing developments at Foldgate Lane and Bromfield Road. Trees and highways are the main issues. Network Rail has also warned about the potential for a future increase in noise from trains affecting the Bromfield Road site.  

Delays are not unusual in planning matters though approval Foldgate Lane, which has received a third “stop notice” from Highways England, is rather dragging on.

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The housing scandal Shropshire Council is hiding – it gives most the money it gets for struggling people back to Whitehall

Shropshire Council received more than half a million pounds in funding from the ministry of housing last year. The funding was for Discretionary Housing Payments, which help those struggling to meet housing costs, including advance rent and removal bills and  people that need a top up to ensure benefits cover the rent charged.

What did the council do with its £531,974 grant? It sent more than half of the money back to Whitehall.

I’ll pass that by you again. Shropshire Council thinks that there is so little need for short term housing support in our county it thinks it has the luxury of sending money back to the government. It gave back £300,000 last year. Only six out of more than 300 councils in England and Wales give back a higher proportion of their grant. This scandal is hurting people in Shropshire who struggle with housing costs. Yet you won’t find any information about it on the council website.

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Shropshire Council is planning to set up a company to build homes – it must build affordable and green homes

Shropshire is getting serious about building homes. That’s good news but we councillors will need to study the detail carefully. All developments should include affordable housing and all should meet the highest green standards.

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