Appalling rise in rough sleeping in Brighton is a symptom of a wider problem that shames Britain, says Keith Taylor MEP

The “hideous” rough sleeping crisis in Brighton should “shame Britain”, says Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for the South East, on the release of shocking new figures.

Government figures reveal that in England between 2015 and 2016, the number of people on the streets rose by an average of 20% outside London, whereas in the capital it was 3%.

Brighton is second only to London for the number of people sleeping rough on its streets, and that figure rose by a staggering 84% .

Mr. Taylor, a former Brighton councillor, said:

“These statistics are an utter disgrace; they should shame Britain. They offer a stark picture of a country ravaged by appalling, and ideologically-driven, austerity policies that are continuing to cut public services to the bone while starving local authorities of funding for vital services.”

“Meanwhile, the Government has managed to find up to £205bn to commit to the renewal of a nuclear weapons system that only this week we learned is not only immoral and unusable but also a dangerous liability. A fact Theresa May was keen to conceal from the public.”

“Frankly, it’s hideous that in Brighton, in one of the wealthiest regions, in one of the richest countries in the world, rough sleeping has jumped a staggering 84% in just one year. And, what is worse, a separate report released this week found that the Conservative government’s plans will exacerbate a truly terrible homelessness problem that it is already failing to tackle.”

“While people face financial ruin this Government is cutting gaping great holes in the safety net that should be there to help them in their time of need. Rough sleeping is no way for anybody to have to try and survive; it ruins lives. I’m sure Brighton Council will be doing its best, but they are up against savage budget cuts.”