West Norfolk councillor responds to rough sleeping challenge by asking: ‘Is that down the docks?’
A debate on homelessness was overshadowed when a West Norfolk councillor asked whether an invitation to experience a night sleeping rough would be “down the docks.”
Labour activist Jo Rust raised the issue during public questions at last night’s full council meeting.
Following the publication of new figures which showed the number of homelessness cases nationally had risen for a seventh successive year, Mrs Rust challenged members of the Conservative adminstration to spend a night with her sleeping rough on the streets.
However, a councillor then responded: “Is that down the docks?” The remark appeared to come from the Conservatives backbenches.
Mrs Rust said she wanted to lodge a complaint about the remark, which officials offered to discuss with her after the meeting.
Housing portfolio holder Adrian Lawrence insisted the authority was doing “everything we can” to tackle the problem.
He said the council had worked with Genesis Housing to provide six emergency access beds, which have been in use since November, plus an emergency shelter. He added that the shelter had not been in continuous use.