Rough sleeping inquiry launched by Welsh Assembly

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A cross-party group of Welsh Assembly members is to examine the issue of rough sleepers in a new inquiry.

The equality, local government and communities committee is to examine the scale and causes of the problem.

AMs will also examine the support available.

John Griffiths, who chairs the committee, said it seemed that more "shop doorways, stairwells and park benches" are being used by people sleeping rough.

The committee will take evidence from organisations, but is also looking to hear about people's own experiences.

"Particularly at this time of year, people's health and even their lives are being put at risk," the Newport East AM said.

"A lot of good work is being carried out by volunteers, charities, local authorities and health and social care professionals to provide help and support, but we want to know what else can be done."

Current legislation to tackle homelessness in Wales is based on early intervention and prevention, with local authorities having to find accommodation for those considered to be in "priority need".

Rough sleeping, in itself, is not considered to be priority need under the law.

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