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West Norfolk Council to ‘develop further plans’ to help homeless

Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn
Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn

Council chiefs have said further plans are to be developed over the coming months to help homeless people in West Norfolk.

The comments were made at a meeting of the full council on Thursday last week, after North West Norfolk Labour party secretary Jo Rust questioned West Norfolk Council’s strategy towards homelessness.

Mrs Rust said: “The night shelter based at the Purfleet Trust supported 43 people and provided a warm and secure bed for two nights a week.

“Does the council know where these people will be sleeping now?”

Adrian Lawrence, portfolio holder for housing and community, said that 43 was an “aggregate number” of different individuals who used the facility over the winter period.

He said: “As I previously mentioned, we have commissioned new services, one of which is delivered by Genesis, who are actively seeking to engage people, which can be challenging for a number of reasons, for example, if they don’t want to engage.

“Efforts are being made to engage with other organisations to ensure those in greatest need are offered appropriate assistance. We are looking to develop new plans over the months ahead.”

Sandra Squire asked what happens to those who will not engage with them.

“They try their utmost to engage, it’s important not to let anyone slip through the net,” Mr Lawrence said.

“We should give it a chance and hopefully we will get some fantastic results, which is what we are aiming for.”

Gary Howman said statistics from the Lynn Food Bank showed that there had been a 16 per cent increase from 2016.

He said: “There are more homeless people getting fed than ever before. Are there any suggestions as to how we can improve this disturbing situation?”

Council leader Brian Long said: “This is a national phenomenon. I think it’s disappointing to hear that folks have to rely on food banks.

“We are working in partnership with agencies for all manner of problems that mean they need the food bank.

“We will continue to strive for business growth in King’s Lynn and providing those jobs so people don’t need secondary help.”

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