Councillor Stephen Robinson writes: “Exactly five years ago I marched with hundreds of others concerned about a Public Space Protection Order with plans for £100 fines (from then-Conservative Chelmsford City Council).
Last night, now as Council Leader, I and Chelmsford Lib Dems colleagues voted for the funds to continue to support rough sleepers and the other 250 or so homeless families in Chelmsford.
The Conservatives and Independents voted AGAINST the budget that will deliver this work.
Twelve months ago we committed to buy 20 homes locally for homeless families. We only need to buy a couple more to meet this target and will have done so shortly.
We have also housed well over 30 rough sleepers. Every rough sleeper is offered accommodation and support; most accept the Council's offer and we continue to try to support those that don't.
Solving the complex problems behind the scandal of homelessness and rough sleeping is not easy, but we will not stop this essential work.”