HL Deb 08 September 2003 vol 652 c49WA
Lord Patten

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they expect that overnight rough sleeping in the piazza in front of Westminster Cathedral will cease. [HL4103]

Lord Rooker

The Government do not set targets to reduce rough sleeping in specific areas such as the piazza in front of Westminster Cathedral. Westminster City Council has the responsibility for addressing rough sleeping in the local authority and the wider daytime street activity issues that the piazza experiences, such as street drinking.

The Government's Homelessness Directorate funds voluntary and statutory agencies to help, on a daily basis, those sleeping rough on the piazza.

Across the authority there has been nearly a 45 per cent reduction in numbers of people sleeping rough from 1998 levels. The last full street count in March this year found 133 people sleeping out, across Westminster. More recent, informal evening surveys have found that this figure has reduced still further.