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Mansfield and Ashfield Chad

Gloria’s Chad column: Homelessness is on the rise

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Every week Gloria writes a column for the Ashfield Chad newspaper. Here is her column from November 2:

It is the sad truth that in 21st century England, homelessness is an increasing problem.

Since 2010, the number of people sleeping rough has doubled and statutory homelessness – when a household has nowhere to stay and their local council has a duty to rehouse them because of their needs – has increased by 44 per cent.

A number of heartless Tory cuts to housing benefits and services that help homeless people, plus an undersupply of affordable housing and rental properties, are all contributing to this rise.

In Ashfield there were eight official rough sleepers in 2015, compared with just one in 2010, while the number of statutory homeless rose from 42 to 93 over the same period.

Something needs to be done and that is why I am backing the new Homelessness Reduction law.

This will place stronger duties on councils to help homeless people but to make it a success, these new rules need to be properly funded and the government must do more to address the root causes of homelessness.

Parents often come to my advice surgeries to discuss child maintenance.

In Ashfield a massive £4.8 million of unpaid child maintenance is owed to parents who care for children when a relationship has broken down.

That means that there are many single parent families out there who are owed money from their partner to help pay for the essentials that their child or children need, be it food on the table, clothes on their backs or even a roof over their head.

The charity Gingerbread is calling for a fairer child maintenance system to be put in place and is asking the Government to put more energy and expertise into getting this money to the families that are owed it.

The old Child Support Agency is currently being replaced by the Child Maintenance Service and it is vital that these two organisations, together with the government, make a substantial improvement in enforcement action and debt collection for unpaid child maintenance.

I have signed a parliamentary motion backing their campaign and have written to minister Caroline Nokes, asking her to look into making the much-needed improvements.

 

Gloria with children from Morven Park Primary School in Parliament.

Gloria with children from Morven Park Primary School in Parliament.

Lastly I want to congratulate the organisers of the Nottingham in Parliament Day which was held at Westminster last week.

This special day included over 45 events and showcased all that is great about Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – from education to engineering and science to sport.

Everyone agreed that the day was a huge success and I was delighted to be able to meet some pupils from Morven Park Primary School who were among those who had made the trip to London.

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