The rough end of a night’s sleep

Barry Peters, editor ANL-141113-155212001

Barry Peters, editor ANL-141113-155212001

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I lock my front door each night, walk up my stairs and get into bed. Simple things. Repetitive and pretty much taken for granted for a huge swathe of the UK population.

For some though, simple acts like sleeping in a warm, safe bed are a dream. And some of those are closer to home than we might feel comfortable with.

The number of ‘rough sleepers’ – that’s people sleeping, or bedded down, in the open air or in buildings and other places not designed for habitation – is rising right here in West Suffolk. The number in St Edmundsbury has gone from three in 2014 to 15 last year. There are 11 in Bury St Edmunds alone.

The good news is the appointment of a rough sleepers prevention and support worker, paid for by a £100,000 grant to a group of local councils. That’s money well spent.

But we should all be challenging councillors, MPs and other officials about what their thoughts are and what they are doing about the issue. It’s getting worse – and needs focus.