This week the Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to “equip Stockport Council with the financial resources needed” to accommodate all rough sleepers locally.
The call comes in response to reports that the Government has written to local councils asking them to find homes for all rough sleepers by the weekend to protect them from the coronavirus outbreak.
Liberal Democrats have consistently been campaigning for a clear strategy to protect homeless people from catching coronavirus, including calling for empty offices and hotel rooms to be requisitioned to ensure homeless and other vulnerable people can self-isolate.
According to the latest official figures, 4,266 people across England, including 12 in Stockport, were estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in autumn 2019.
Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Cheadle, Tom Morrison said:
“The Coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. It is leaving the most vulnerable in our communities at risk.
"The Government must equip Stockport council with the financial resources needed to provide sufficient secure emergency accommodation to meet demand.
“Ministers must also make specialist support available to those who struggle with addiction or other mental health issues, as is the case for so many people sleeping rough right across the UK.”
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran added:
“It is right that the Government is taking urgent action to find secure accommodation for rough sleepers, as Liberal Democrats have called for since this crisis began.
"Ultimately, this announcement must be the first step towards long term efforts to end rough sleeping, not just in the face of the current crisis. The Government can make that commitment today by supporting my Bill to scrap the Vagrancy Act, repealing a Dickensian law which needlessly criminalises rough sleepers."