HC Deb 10 January 2000 vol 342 c6W
Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what recent representations he has received over the Government's plans to tackle homelessness. [102936]

Mr. Mullin

My Department has received a large number of representations in recent months from both interested organisations and members of the public, on a wide range of homelessness issues, and in particular on our recently published plans to tackle rough sleeping.

From its establishment in April 1999, the Rough Sleepers Unit consulted extensively with key partners as part of the development of its strategy, "Coming in from the Cold", which was published on 15 December 1999. Organisations that made representations during this process included other Government departments, local government, other statutory bodies including the Police and the National Health Service, key national and local voluntary organisations, the business community, faith leaders and rough sleepers themselves, as well as members of the general public.

Also, my Department has set up an official-level sounding board, which includes representatives from the Local Government Association, the Association of London Government, Shelter, the Chartered Institute of Housing, the National Housing Federation and other organisations with an interest in social housing, to discuss proposals for changes to policy on homelessness and the allocation of social housing. Our proposals are still at an early stage, but we intend to consult on them widely in due course.