Wellingborough Council will tonight start its emergency shelter accommodation for rough sleepers.
The authority says it is bringing in its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) until further notice and will provide bed and breakfast accommodation for those who have been sleeping on the streets.
The Wellingborough authority is the last of the councils in north Northamptonshire to do so, with Corby, Kettering and East Northants offering accommodation and breakfast to rough sleepers since the middle of last week.
Wellingborough Council’s own SWEP policy provides temporary accommodation for rough sleepers after the Met Office forecasts freezing temperatures for three consecutive nights.
A statement from the council issued today said: “SWEP has been triggered in Wellingborough until further notice. Emergency bed space for residents without anywhere to sleep who would like access to accommodation and register with the council, will be provided in bed and breakfast accommodation. Residents are advised to contact the housing options team on 01933 229777 Option 3 option 2 or visit the Tithe Barn Road Offices Reception before 3pm to access these provisions.”
Yesterday Labour opposition councillor Andrew Scarborough criticised the council’s current three zero temperature night policy, saying he thought it was unduly harsh and that the authority should be more liberal with the SWEP policy.
The council said that as soon as SWEP is triggered, as it has been today, it advises its housing options team, customer services, out of hours officers, local churches and statutory and voluntary agencies by email to confirm that the protocol is in place.
A spokesman said: “We work with partner agencies which come into contact with rough sleepers to pool resources, expertise and facilities to meet the needs of vulnerable people during periods of extreme weather.”
Snow is predicted across parts of Northamptonshire today.