1. ITV Report

West Midlands Mayor sets up task force to tackle rough sleeping

Andy Street was elected the regions first ever Metro Mayor last week. Credit: PA Images

A task force has been set up by the newly appointed West Midlands Mayor to attempt to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the region.

Andy Street told ITV News Central that the issue would be one of his first priorities in his new role.

Its members include the Police and Crime Commissioner, West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable and national and regional charities.

Housing groups, local authorities and business organisations from across the region have also been invited to give their insights.

A homeless person sleeps on the street as people walk past. Credit: PA Images

Frankly, it’s a situation that shames us as a region. This is why I am personally going to lead the response.

Reflecting on the meeting, it is clear there is already lots of brilliant work, notably from the charity sector. However, there is also a clear need for co-ordination addressing the underlying issues.

This is about everybody working together, using the resources we have and securing new resources, to solve the challenge.

There is real enthusiasm for a concerted and co-ordinated approach to this and I am encouraged by the early progress we have made.

– Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands

The focus of the group is to oversee a dramatic reduction in the levels of rough sleeping by focussing on the underlying issues.

One of the ideas suggested is an alternative giving system which would enable people to donate to organisations which prevent rough sleeping.