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Nearly 60 people found sleeping rough in Cornwal in one night say St Petroc's

By CMScott  |  Posted: December 22, 2013

By Scott Hamilton

Rough sleeping in a Bodmin shop doorway

Rough sleeping in a Bodmin shop doorway

Comments (6)

Nearly 60 people were found sleeping rough or in makeshift shelters in Cornwall in one night, according to a campaigning charity.

As severe rain and gusting winds of up to 70 miles per hour are set to hit Cornwall again many of those rough sleepers may still be out there.

The figure comes from the St Petroc's Society, whose staff and volunteers counted 59 people when walking footpaths across Cornwall, from Bude to Lizard, Saltash to Penzance.

They were found between 8pm and the following morning when teams set off on a range of routes along coastal paths and fields.

In November, Truro based St Petroc’s said they estimated there were about 50 people sleeping rough each night in Cornwall.

Details of the count of homeless people sleeping rough were released as the charity launched its winter 24-hour open door policy.

Steve Ellis, from St Petroc’s, said they tried to cover as much of the county as possible in their search.

The organisation is working hard to highlight the problem of rough sleeping and have been working with Cornwall Council to get a clear picture of its scale, but they admitted the exact number of rough sleepers was still unclear.

He explained many – like on man he personally found sleeping on a farm near Bude – had managed to find places off the beaten track to rest their heads.

He said: "He was in a disused farm building with a collapsed roof.

"When we first arrived, we heard rustling which we thought was vermin.

"It was quite frightening, it was pitch black, and we only had a small torch.

"The farmer had allowed him to use the building and was hoping to feed him. If it hadn't been for that, I'm not sure what state he would have been in.

"In 2013, even for people who work in this field, I'm not sure if I'm embarrassed or ashamed - just as a human being - that this was the only shelter he could find."

He said the man was later given a better place to sleep on the farm.

St Petroc's Society, formed in 1986, offers support to homeless people in Cornwall.

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  • nickthompson  |  December 23 2013, 11:23AM

    Dipstick: " give it a rest! What have your 'cut and paste' comments got to do with sleeping rough in Cornwall? ------------------------------ Everything, all the time there are people about who (give it a rest) are prepared to ignore those members of the ruling class who's greed and selfishness have no bounds, people in both Cornwall, and the rest of the UK will be homeless and forced to sleep rough. I do hope you will join me and hundreds of other volunteers across the rest of the Tory Britain who will be helping out at your local soup kitchen, or food bank.

    Rate   6
  • DipStick  |  December 23 2013, 9:51AM

    @nickthompson: give it a rest! What have your 'cut and paste' comments got to do with sleeping rough in Cornwall? As to the numbers, I'm sure there are more people than that but does that relatively small number justify the "thousands" of new homes that the government say we need in the next couple of years? DS

    Rate   -2
  • Turnerscrafts Ltd  |  December 23 2013, 9:46AM

    by nickthompson "Here are a few more who will not be among there number !! Whilst I see that you want to make all politicians seem like a bunch of scoundrels and yes perhaps some of them are. The article is about people in Cornwall sleeping rough. Not about politicians in London claiming their expenses. We need to focus on what is happening with these people and find some solution if possible, and not leave it to charities like St.Petroc's. Have I got an answer no I have not I wish I had. What worries me more is that with all the cuts both from central government and local government, the situation is only going to get worse.

    Rate   7
  • nickthompson  |  December 23 2013, 8:17AM

    Here are a few more who will not be among there number !!------------------------- Taxpayers' £57,000 bill to kit out Lords and staff with wigs and waistcoats Public purse stumped up thousands for small items like a £2,045 wig There was a £5,200 bill for uniform for Black Rod David Leakey In the Commons, figures reveal nine pairs of stockings cost £262,63p Wigs, ceremonial outfits and their accessories for peers and their staff at Westminster have cost taxpayers a staggering £57,000, it was revealed today. Crossbench peer Baroness D'Souza of Wychwood alone has had £8,234 spent on her outfits since being elected to the job in September 2011. The public purse also stumped up thousands for small items like a wig for Clerk of the Parliaments David Beamish which had a £2,045 price tag.

    Rate   8
  • Turnerscrafts Ltd  |  December 22 2013, 9:41PM

    by nickthompsonSunday, December 22 2013, 7:46PM "Was this MPs daughter one of them?- No of course she was not, however, this is only 59 people that they found. There is possibly more that they didn't. It is a sad indictment of our government both local and national that we have many people sleeping rough at all. There are of course some that would prefer to sleep rough, there has been and always will be those that do. The figure does not cover those who are couch hopping, and sooner or later these too may run out of couches and have to sleep rough. It is also going to get worse, as the austerity cutbacks take hold and get worse.

    Rate   9
  • nickthompson  |  December 22 2013, 7:46PM

    Was this MPs daughter one of them?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anne Main MP is one of Tories' most vocal backers of the bedroom tax, but one person who certainly wasn't "paying for the accommodation they were using" was Mains 27 year daughter, who lived rent free for up to three years in a second home funded by MPs' expenses. So that's £40,000 in mortgage interest payments on the taxpayer (plus conveyancing fees, furnishings, council tax and refurbishments). This is a woman who wants to charge 400,000 disabled people up to £832 per year to remain in their own homes.

    Rate   14