Taunton Deane sees number of rough sleepers reduced

The number of rough sleepers in a part of Somerset has fallen by almost half in a year, according to official council figures.

Taunton Deane Council said 15 people were sleeping on the streets in 2012 compared with 25 in 2011.

Councillor Jean Adkins, head of housing services, said the drop had been achieved by a new outreach programme to help those who are hardest to reach.

Additional bed spaces have also been provided at its Lindley House hostel.

The council is also implementing the government's No Second Night Out policy, which aims to prevent homelessness and contact people within 24 hours of first sleeping rough.

"This reduction is good news, but we are not complacent as one rough sleeper is one too many and we hope the 'No Second Night Out' scheme will bring numbers down further," said Mrs Adkins.

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