Whilst statistics from Cornwall council have shown rough sleeping in Cornwall has dropped by 31% compared to the previous year, Councillor for Penwerris Anna Gilbert still believes more needs to be done to help those in need of housing.
The press release from Cornwall Council states: “Official estimates show that whilst Cornwall still has relatively high numbers of rough sleepers, 68 individuals were reported as rough sleeping compared to 99 reported the previous year.”
On the 25th of April, Councillor Gillett held the “re-imagning our community” panel in the Falmouth Poly. The panel was held to discuss issues with housing and welcomed people in the local area to come and share thoughts, insights, and ideas. Gillet spoke with business leaders, housing development experts, and concerned members of the community about the amount of people unable to find a house, the lack of affordable housing in and around Falmouth, and the amount rough sleepers in the area.
When asked how she felt the panel went, Gillett said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with how the night went. We weren’t sure how many people would turn up, but I think it was a good turnout, and when anyone from the community attends it’s great.”
“We had invited specific people with an interest in housing, in developing housing, and people who I know to have a good vision of the future. I was really excited by who came, and I think this is a really good starting block for building on.”
The panel covered a variety of issues, from affordable housing, the private contracting of Cornwall’s housing services, rough sleepers, and the lack of space for new developments to be built.
On the drop in numbers of rough sleepers in Cornwall, Gillett said: “If people are now being housed, that’s fantastic news and I welcome it. However, that doesn’t change the fact that we still have a problem, as there are still 68 people sleeping rough on the streets that we know of.”
“I will say whilst the drop is positive news, I don’t think that changes the overall picture of what we’re looking, at in terms of the prospect of the amount of people who are going to be rolling out onto Universal Credit.”