Starmer calls for Government to 'go the extra mile' to tackle homelessness - The Evesham Observer

Starmer calls for Government to 'go the extra mile' to tackle homelessness

Evesham Editorial 16th Dec, 2020   0

LABOUR leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the Government to go the extra mile in Worcestershire and across the UK after hearing first-hand tales from some of Worcester’s former homeless population.

Speaking after a ‘virtual’ visit to the county in a round-table discussion led by the party’s former General Election candidate for the city Coun Lynn Denham, Sir Keir said more needed to be done to tackle the various causes of homelessness which have been heightened during the Covid pandemic.

The Labour leader was shown a video of the work being done in Worcester, such as outreach projects and heard from representatives from district councils across south Worcestershire.

As well as hearing of tales from the city, Sir Keir also heard how a homeless man sleeping in a tent in Evesham High Street was supported by Wychavon council chiefs.

Sir Keir attended the meeting alongside Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire and both praised those who took part for their powerful testimonies.

Speaking to the Observer following the visit, Sir Keir said: “I want to pay tribute to the various groups and individuals in Worcester and across the county who are working with homeless people who are really inspiring.

“Hearing from them about the roof over the head they are providing but also the support package and it’s the link between the two that is most important.

“Perhaps the most powerful thing was hearing from those who were homeless but have been helped. To hear them talk in their own terms about the challenges they have faced and what a difference it has made that Worcester has pulled together in the way it has to provide the support they need,” he added.

The former Shadow Brexit Secretary also hit out at the Government’s continued Brexit negotiations and the uncertainty being caused as a result.

“Everyone is concerned about what the next few months will bring, we’ve got the highest death toll from Covid in Europe, it looks like we will have the slowest economic recovery of the major economies and we still face the prospect of a No Deal Brexit,” he said.

“I think people will be very worried going into the New Year about those failures of Government over the last year or so.”

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