HC Deb 20 May 1998 vol 312 cc416-7W
Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received urging that funds be made available for a Rough Sleepers Initiative programme in Wales. [42225]

Mr. Win Griffiths

I have received representations from three sources. These were from my hon. Friends the Members for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Ms Lawrence) and for Gower (Mr. Caton), and from Shelter Cymru. They have all made representations that we should introduce a Rough Sleepers Initiative in Wales similar to that in England.

Our initial analysis of local authorities' Housing Strategies and Operational Plans shows that few have surveyed the level of rough sleeping or made any estimate of numbers. Nor has a case been made for substantial investment of capital. However, I believe that it is important that all local authorities have the strategies and structures to respond to the needs of rough sleepers in their area, and my officials will be discussing this with authorities over the coming months.

We have said that we would welcome hard information about the level of rough sleepers from organisations other than local authorities, including Shelter Cymru, but we have received nothing substantial.