Tory MP Andrew Bridgen sparks controversy with ‘no rough sleepers’ in North West Leicestershire claim
From Leicestershire Live: Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has ignited controversy by stating there are no rough sleepers in his constituency, North West Leicestershire.
The Conservative politician highlighted the statistic in a debate about house building during Prime Minister’s Questions.
While the official figures back up what Mr Bridgen said, Mark Grant, the boss of Leicester-based charity Action Homeless said they did not reflect the current reality in the MP’s patch.
Mr Grant said: “We all know the limitations with the figures. They are based on a count of rough sleepers on one given night of the year. They are just a snapshot. It is no criticism of the council that carries out the count but we know rough sleepers can be hard to locate. If you did the count on a different night, you would get a different number. Pretending rough sleepers aren’t out there is not the way to tackle the problem. Not all is rosy in North West Leicestershire. We get rough sleepers from there presenting to us.
“In fact, North West Leicestershire and Charnwood are the areas in the county where we have most people presenting from and they do have their particular social and economic problems. We know rough sleepers from North West Leicestershire migrate to Leicester to get access to services there that aren’t available where they are from.”