Guest column: Council has a new plan to help the homeless in Bassetlaw

Coun Simon Greaves
Coun Simon Greaves

Homelessness has become a more visible problem in Bassetlaw in the last 12 months.

But this does not mean that it hasn’t always been here.

As a local authority we have been working with statutory, voluntary and charitable organisations for many years to address the problem of homelessness and deliver effective intervention and early prevention where possible.

But homelessness is a complex problem with multiple causes.

And tackling it requires flexible solutions.

That’s why we have published a new draft ‘homeless prevention strategy’ that will running for the next five years.

But before we can adopt this new document, we are consulting with the public and seeking your views.

We want to eradicate rough sleeping and offer help and support for those who seek it.

And the strategy outlines how we intend to identify the challenges facing local homeless people and manage our priorities to achieve that goal.

This aim is set within very challenging times as the Government has made significant changes to benefits via the Welfare Reform Act.

These changes could provide a very real danger of increasing the number of individuals and families who become homeless.

That’s why it is extremely important that we have a strategy in place that can prevent people from becoming homeless, as well as support young people, and provide services that are personalised, so that vulnerable people and excluded groups have increased access to accommodation.

Please have a look at this strategy on our wesbite at http://bit.ly/2xnmdxw and give us your views throughout the consultation period.

During the school holidays, and during weekends, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to keep the kids entertained.

One idea for them try could be lantern making.

Between now and November 12, the council will be hosting a series of free lantern-making sessions ahead of the illuminate lantern parade on November 21.

The parade celebrates the region’s important connections to the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and has grown in popularity and stature as we move closer to the 400th anniversary, in 2020, of the Mayflower sailing to America.

The lantern-making workshops and parade have been made possible thanks to an Arts Council England grant of £15,000.

For full details, please visit the council’s website at www.bassetlaw.gov.uk or go to its Facebook and Twitter sites.