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To help inform implementation of the second phase of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ), the council is seeking views through consultation on a variety of key aspects including its geographical boundary, enforcement dates and temporary local exemptions – as well as how it might influence people’s future transport choices.

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Glasgow’s LEZ affects local service buses only at present, however its second phase, which is expected to be enforced from 31 December 2022, will apply to all vehicles driving into the city centre zone, including private cars.  A grace period (additional time to comply with the emission requirements) will be considered for individuals whose vehicle is registered at a residential property within the zone.

To reduce levels of harmful air pollution caused by road traffic and to protect public health, Glasgow introduced Scotland’s first ever Low Emission Zone at the end of 2018.  Only vehicles which meet specific, cleaner emission standards are permitted to drive into LEZs.

As well as Glasgow, some other Scottish cities are expected to follow suit; with plans for Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee to introduce LEZs by 2020. The Scottish Government is developing legislation setting out the detail of how LEZs will operate across Scotland, and for national consistency this framework will include matters such as emission standards, penalty charge rate, enforcement and exemptions.

To complement the introduction of Glasgow’s own LEZ, a wide range of work is underway in our city to improve air quality. This would include encouraging higher levels of active and sustainable travel, driving up standards in public transport and reducing reliance on private vehicles.

Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Carbon Reduction and Sustainability said: “The introduction of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone shows our resolute determination to tackle air pollution in the city centre and beyond.

“Given that our LEZ will affect all vehicles by the end of 2022, I’d urge as many people as possible to take part in the consultation. Whilst the Scottish Government will set out the detail of how Low Emission Zones will operate nationally, various local aspects for Glasgow’s LEZ are yet to be set. Participation will give you the ideal opportunity to make your voice heard.”

The Low Emission Zone Consultation is open until 29 March 2020 and the online survey can be accessed through the council’s Consultation Hub webpage, or directly via this link.

Smarts Count 14 Dundee 02-003

The Count 14 tour, set to visit 12 locations across Scotland, will roll into Lidl Tollcross on Saturday 22 February to put shoppers’ knowledge of what 14 units means in terms of alcoholic drinks to the test.

Smarts Count 14 Dundee 02-003

With the UK Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines stating men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week to reduce the risks of harm, the roadshow will challenge shoppers to estimate how many of their favourite drinks make up the weekly maximum guideline, and staff will be on hand to bring to life how quickly 14 units can add up.

The guidelines also highlight that if people do regularly drink around 14 units per week, it should be spread over three days or more, with some alcohol-free days.

Smarts Count 14 Dundee 02-005

Regularly exceeding the recommended maximum weekly guideline increases the risk of developing a range of health problems, including cancer of the mouth, throat and breast.

The Scottish Government’s Count 14 campaign, backed by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, aims to help people understand how their weekly drinking adds up.

NHSGGC’s Director of Public Health, Linda de Caestecker, said:

“We all know there are recommended weekly guidelines for alcohol and these have been around for many years.  They were updated a few years ago, with no more than 14 units in a week being recommended for both men and women now.  It’s important people know the guidelines and the risks they may face if regularly drinking more than that.

“If you think you are regularly drinking too much and would like to change your drinking habits, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.  Confide in or talk to a friend, colleague or someone you trust about ways you could tackle this.  It’s also helpful to keep a drinks diary for a month to record where, when and how much you drink as you could be underestimating it.

“Lastly, consider laying off alcohol for a while to give your body time to recover and you time to think about your alcohol use and what changes you want to make whether it be drinking less alcohol, drinking less often or maybe stopping drinking completely.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said:

“The alcohol guidelines are based on the clear evidence that as alcohol use increases, so does the risk of a range of health harms.  To keep these risks low it’s recommended that men and women don’t drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.

“The 14 unit guideline equates to six pints of medium strength beer, lager or cider; six medium glasses of wine or seven double measures of spirits over the course of a week.

“By increasing understanding of what this means in terms of actual alcoholic drinks, our hope is that adults in Scotland are able to make more informed choices.”

For further information on the guidelines visit

HIV test

Rapid new HIV tests which provide results in minutes has been introduced in Glasgow to help tackle the worst outbreak in decades.

john campbell

City addictions workers are using fast new finger prick blood tests as part of work to tackle the spread of the virus among drug users who share needles.

Around 170 people are believed to have contracted HIV in the current outbreak. However, the actual figure may be much higher, as many drug users do not engage with needle exchange services which offer blood tests and harm reduction advice as well as clean injecting equipment.

HIV test

John Campbell, Glasgow’s Injecting Equipment Provision Improvement Manager, said: “Undoubtedly, the current HIV outbreak is due to people sharing drug-taking equipment, often on public injecting sites in the city centre. Glasgow has some of the best needle exchange services in the world, but it is very hard for us to influence people’s injecting behaviour unless professionals are present when they inject.

“Currently people are injecting outdoors in filthy, sometimes, urine soaked alleyways or on derelict ground. This is causing all sorts of harms from ulcers and maggot-infested wounds to HIV and Hepatitis C infections.

“Blood borne virus infections such as HIV are just one of the reasons why Glasgow urgently needs a Safer Drug Consumption Facility to ensure people have a clean, safe place where they can be supervised when injecting and with access to harm reduction advice, running water, wound treatment and clean needles.”

In just one month last year (Nov 2019), needle exchanges in Greater Glasgow gave out 25,000 needles and sheets of foil. Safe sharps disposal boxes are also supplied for free, however, publically discarded needles are concern for the public.

Mr Campbell said: “When public injecting sites on derelict ground are found and fenced off, it often disperses people further into communities. We receive regular complaints about discarded needles. The health risk to the public is low, but it is obviously a concern.

“A Safer Drug Consumption Facility would help address this too. It would reduce the number of publically discarded needles in its vicinity, benefiting communities and businesses.”

Speaking about the new HIV tests, Mr Campbell added: “Previously HIV test results could take up to two weeks to come back from the lab. This was a problem because the people we work with have very chaotic lifestyles, they may not be in the city centre in two weeks. We may get their results back, saying they have tested positive, but we can’t find them to tell them and minimise the risk of further infection.

“With these new tests we have the results in minutes and if they are positive, we can link the person into treatment instantly and if it’s negative, we can provide them with harm reduction advice which will help keep them that way.”

Rapid HIV tests were first piloted by Waverley Care and the city’s Blood Borne Virus team. They are currently available at a number of needle exchanges in the city.

woodside day care arvinder

A new dementia-friendly day care centre is transforming the lives of older people and their relatives in Glasgow.

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Arvinder Kainth, believes Woodside Day Care Centre has improved her 88-year-old, blind and partially deaf, father’s life and given her family peace of mind.


Speaking at the official opening of Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership’s new centre, she said her dad, Gurnam Singh Bedi, lost interest in life after his wife died, becoming very withdrawn and quiet.

cake cutting

Arvinder said: “My family were all very worried about my dad after mum died, until a friend introduced us to day care services for the elderly and disabled.


“Coming to Woodside has changed my father’s life. His quality of life has improved greatly and he wouldn’t miss a day here – even for a family occasion! He talks about the centre with fondness, and we, as a family, have peace of mind.


“Our father is happy, he is in a place where he is safe and is treated with respect and dignity. We also get respite and are able to take some time for ourselves.”


Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, officially opened the purpose built centre, and met service users who enjoy activities such as armchair bowls, dominos, bingo, yoga, quizzes, arts and crafts and outings. People usually attend for one, two or three days a week. They are collected from home each morning and driven to the centre in Hinshaw Street where they enjoy lunch and activities before heading home.


Eighty-three-year-old service user, Pavittar Majhu, praised the “polite and respectful” staff and the food at the centre which caters for any special dietary requirements. Pavittar told visitors she loves to sing Bollywood songs with friends at the centre as well as being pampered at the in-house hair salon.


She said: “The facilities in Woodside are amazing, including the beautiful gardens which are so therapeutic. I enjoy gardening at the centre and having a hairdresser here is wonderful.

“All the staff are polite and respectful and ensure all our needs are met. We enjoy all the cultural celebrations including Christmas and Halloween etc, Asian festivals like Diwali, Vaisakhi and Eid are also celebrated here.


“My family have visited Woodside and are very happy with the facilities. My son who is in a band, came and entertained us all.”


Cllr Aitken unveiled a plaque and cut a cake to mark the occasion after touring the facility and chatting to staff and service users.


She said: “This is really such an impressive place. There is a great atmosphere and everyone is very welcoming, positive and cheerful. The overwhelming feeling I’m getting from talking to everyone, is that you are all delighted with the facilities.


“There is so much life about the place, and the dedication and professionalism of the staff is obvious to see. From talking to them and seeing them in action, you can tell how much they care about service users and how they take pride and pleasure in ensuring everyone is looked after and happy.


“I’m delighted to declare this lovely day care centre officially open!”


Woodside can accommodate 30 older people a day Monday to Friday. Facilities include several activity rooms, a hair salon, a dining room, two sitting rooms, a quiet / prayer room, a hair salon and a treatment room as well as the dementia friendly garden with raised beds.

It provides a registered service for people with complex needs and service users are all assigned their own key worker.


Susanne Millar, Interim Chief Officer of Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership, said it was committed to providing services which help people live in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.


She said: “This is a fabulous building with all the facilities that go with it. There is a lot of buzz and activity and it feels really homely and safe. I’d like to recognise all the hard work of staff that got us here. Thank you for your dedication.”

The day care centre is located alongside the HSCP’s new Woodside Health Centre.

Glasgow City Council today (6 February) adopted the Open Space Strategy for the city – a document that will identify and guide how open space can be used to improve health, liveability and the resilience of Glasgow.


Open spaces in Glasgow are diverse and include the city’s parks, gardens, allotments, civic spaces, rivers, lochs and ponds.


A draft version of the strategy was put out to public consultation, and the overwhelmingly positive response – along with the input of other stakeholders – helped to inform the future response.


Through the Open Space Strategy (OSS), there is now the ability to analyse open spaces on a local level, audit existing open spaces and their functions, and use this information to guide engagement on how best to use and manage these open spaces.


A process has been identified to help monitor and deliver how the strategy can achieve its aims of enhancing local quality of life and the environment, and this is shown below:


  • Establish current and future need;
  • Plan for current and future need;
  • Inform future use; and
  • Deliver future use.


Through this process, the strategy’s action plan will help to deliver the aims of a more healthy, liveable and resilient Glasgow.


The strategy will direct future decisions on open spaces, such as whether they should be enhanced or used for other open space purposes; where priorities for maintenance may lie; and where opportunities may exist to plant trees or let them regenerate naturally. It will also identify where new open spaces should be created and where using existing open spaces for other purposes may be appropriate.


The strategy has responded to the Climate Emergency – open space has a key role to play in providing for both carbon savings and in helping the city adapt to climate change – as well as the council’s recently-published Pollinator Plan, and will be published as an accessible, easy to read document.


Discussions with local communities and organisations will take place to establish aspirations for open spaces in their areas, and the council will work with partners – such as the NHS – to deliver mutually supporting aims. The strategy will also help to co-ordinate the roles, policies and strategies of council services with open space responsibilities.


Delivery of the strategy will also see the council supporting community groups to manage open spaces through asset transfer, participatory working and/or co-production; identifying options for maintaining open spaces less intensively – for instance, growing trees can reduce grass cutting that generate benefits for biodiversity; investigate where our open spaces might be able to generate income – e.g. by generating renewable heat or energy; and identifying whether there may be open spaces that are not needed to meet current or future need and where income may be generated from their sale.


Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Our open spaces are enormously important to us, socially, economically and environmentally, and considering how we can best use them is crucial to our future quality of life and success.  The Open Space Strategy for Glasgow will guide us in our efforts to make the city more healthy, liveable and resilient.”

A Glasgow City Council committee today (6 February) approved almost £70,000 ENV2 funding towards the creation of a children’s play area and a woodlands community space in the North Toryglen Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA).


Both the play area and the community space will be built on council-owned land.  ENV2 funding for these comes from contributions from the building of the Crudens’ housebuilding.


North Toryglen is one of Glasgow’s eight Transformational Regeneration Areas, with extensive demolition of unpopular housing stocks clearing land for new housing, with 100 socially-rented homes for GHA tenants displaced by demolition and 104 homes for sale (by Crudens) built.  Another 127 for sale are either on site or planned.  The area also now has a 120-bedspace elderly care home.


Although North Toryglen has benefited from these developments, the surrounding quality of open space and standards of connectivity with other areas need to be improved.  To address this, a greenspace group was set up though the local delivery group.  The main partners of this sub-group – Glasgow City Council, Clyde Gateway and Urban Roots – have now drawn up proposals for improvements, following public consultation events.


These proposals include the delivery of new public space, parkland and a network of sustainable transport routes with the intention the area will become more permeable, raising the profile for local residents, visitors and those using the through routes on bikes and other non-motorised transport.  The creation of the children’s play area and the woodlands community space will be important part of these proposals to come to, and will be delivered by the summer of 2022.


Both projects sit within the wider greenspace strategy for the area, which aims to attract a capital budget of almost £3.35million.  The greenspace group is attracting funding from Glasgow City Council; the Scottish Government’s Vacant & Derelict Land Fund; Scottish Natural Heritage’s Green Infrastructure Fund, SUSTRANS and Transforming Communities: Glasgow.


Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “While the standard of housing in North Toryglen has been transformed in recent years, there have been issues with the quality of open space, accessibility and connections to surroundings areas.  The new children’s play area and woodlands community space will be the first of a series of projects to tackles these issues, allowing the community the chance to fully enjoy their local spaces.”

Glasgow City Council today (6 February) approved the release of the £132,000 final allocation of funding for heritage projects on and around Glasgow’s Canal.


This funding, from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Great Space Scheme, is part of the £340,100 funding – with match funding bringing the project budget to almost £520,000 – that was given in 2018 to allow organisations along Glasgow’s Canal can work together to ensure that local heritage contributes more to meeting local social, environmental and economic objectives.


The Glasgow Canal Heritage project is being coordinated by Glasgow City Council, with some activities being delivered through local organisations, with the Glasgow Canal Co-operative – made up of local social, cultural, arts, sports and nature-based bodies, and delivering the Canal Festival – a key partner.


The project’s scope was developed in partnership with the Glasgow Canal Co-operative and Scottish Canals, and evolved out of the intensive local engagement undertaken in 2014 and 2015 for the two planning charrettes for Port Dundas and Woodside, Hamiltonhill, Applecross and Firhill.


Funding already allocated in 2018 and 2019 has supported the development of the Canal Festival, the Canal Stalled Spaces programme, and the Glasgow Canal Cultural Heritage and Arts Strategy and Action Plan.


The remaining part of the project has three components:


  • A physical commission – this will support the delivery of physical artworks (e.g. sculpture) within the canal corridor, to be led by Scottish Canals on behalf of the wider Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership (£64,000).
  • A digital commission – this part of the project looks to support the development of an app (or similar) to allow for visitors to engage with the heritage and development of Glasgow’s Canal through the use of technology. One possible option could see this linked with the roll-out of iPads to pupils across Glasgow (£32,000).
  • The Community Ideas Fund –  a grant fund to be used to support community groups to bring forward proposals that explore and unlock local heritage projects linked to the canal and the overall aims and objectives of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Great Places project and the key themes emerging from the Glasgow Canal Heritage and Arts Strategy.  While guidance on the types of project that could be brought forward has been provided, this fund is very much intended to allow local community groups to bring forward their own ideas and projects.  This project will be administered by the Glasgow Canal Co-operative (£36,000).


The Glasgow Canal Heritage Project will be completed by December 2020.


Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow’s Canal has witnessed a remarkable transformation over the past decade, with many people and a host of cultural, sporting and regeneration organisations calling the area home.  The release of this final tranche of the Great Space Scheme funding will allow the fantastic heritage potential of the canal to be more fully realised, and continue the regeneration of the canal corridor and the wider North Glasgow area.”

The new Planning Enforcement Charter for Glasgow was approved by the city council today (6 February).


While the power to take enforcement action is discretionary, local authorities – through the Planning Etc. (Scotland) Act 2006 – must provide a publicly available document (the Charter) explaining not only their approach to dealing with breaches of planning control, but also how the enforcement system works, how the public can raise complaints about alleged breaches of planning control, the role of the planning authority and the service standards it sets itself.


The Planning Etc. (Scotland) Act 2006 Act requires a new Charter to be produced every two years, taking into consideration any changes in legislation that may have occurred throughout the duration of the previous Charter. The most significant change in this period was the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 passed by the Scottish Parliament in June 2019.   The new Act guides the future structure of the modernised planning system and will include measures to strengthen planning enforcement.


Increases in fines for non-compliance with effective enforcement notices came into place from 20 December 2019 onwards as well the potential for fines to take into account financial benefits accrued as a consequence of the breach.  Nevertheless, some changes have been made to the Charter in anticipation of requirements that will come in through the lifespan of the 2020-2022 Planning Enforcement Charter.


The Charter is revised to be more user-friendly, splitting the enforcement process into two main parts, the first being the separation of what can and what cannot be dealt with in relation to enforcement powers.  Upon establishing that there is a remit for planning enforcement, the second part of the process explains how stakeholders should engage with the service, advising what information is crucial and/or helpful at the initiation of an investigation, and what stakeholders may expect thereafter in terms of service standards.


The current Charter has introduced Planning Impact Reports, which underpin confidence in the enforcement service through providing a formal way of assessing unauthorized  development and providing a greater degree of certainty regarding the direction of the case.  In doing so, they remove minor breaches from the system at an earlier stage, helping channel resources to where enforcement action is necessary.


In November 2019, Glasgow City Council’s Planning Enforcement team received an award at the Scottish Government’s 20th Annual Scottish Awards in Quality Planning for introducing Planning Impact Reports into its processes.


Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “The city’s new Planning Enforcement Charter will both make our enforcement powers more effective, and explain more clearly rights and responsibilities for everyone with an interest.  This is an important step in ensuring that work without planning consent does not take place in Glasgow.”


The Charter will now be submitted to the Scottish Government for approval.


Glasgow’s Planning Enforcement Charter will be made available at all public libraries and at the offices of the council’s Development and Regeneration Services at 231 George Street.

George Square Conversation

Glasgow City Council has now approved the beginning of work on a design strategy and traffic reconfiguration at George Square, the city’s civic centre and principal urban space.

George Square Conversation

A recent public engagement on the use and future use of the square reinforced the results of similar exercises, and found that the people of Glasgow want more greening, trees and flowers; less traffic and parking; good quality and accessible events; a permanently available public space where people can meet, sit, protest and walk through; and a high quality in design – with public engagement in that design.


Today’s approval means that the traffic plan for George Square will be developed as part of the emerging City Centre Transport Strategy, and the statutory process on a new traffic layout to be delivered before the European Championships in June 2020 will begin.  The proposed new layout will involve full closure (or pedestrianisation) of the east and west sides, while north and south will be public transport corridors.  All parking will be removed, and these changes will be enabled through temporary measures like signage and street furniture.


The design strategy for George Square – to be achieved through the Avenues programme – will begin in late 2020, when the design team is in place.  The project scope will include Hanover Street and Miller Street, aiming to create a new pedestrian link from Queen Street Station through George Square down to Argyle Street and the Clyde.


Glasgow’s hosting of major events in 2020 including the UEFA European Championships and COP 26 – and more in the next few years – has led to the phasing of the redevelopment of the square, with construction works likely to begin after the UCI Cycling World Championships in the summer of 2023.


The delivery of the redeveloped George Square will be part of the wider Avenues programme in the city centre, with the design, quality and consistency of both projects are aligned, so the project scope with include the George Street and St Vincent Street Avenues as well as the square.


The estimated cost for the proposed George Square works is between £8million – £10million, with the proposed works at Hanover Street and Miller Street estimated at £2 – £3million.  These costs will be met from existing capital budgets, including the Glasgow City Region City Deal.


The works will be procured and governed as part of the Avenue’s ‘Block C’ (covering George Square, George Street, Hanover Street, Hope Street, IFSD West, John Street, Miller Street, St Vincent Place and St Vincent Street) design contract, which is going out to tender in April with a contract appointment expected in October this year.


There will also be a need for a sustainable solution to the interface between George Square and Queen Street Station, to ensure necessary accessibility and servicing requirements with appropriate public transport and active travel facilities and infrastructure.  The scope of works for all the work around the square will be established as the design process progresses, with detail to be developed through a further process of intensive analysis and public engagement.


The design process for the redevelopment of the square responds to the global climate emergency in a number of ways, including the introduction of green infrastructure; tackling poor air quality; promoting and prioritising active travel and public transport; using SMART infrastructure to make this city centre neighbourhood resilient and sustainable; and mitigating against the possible impacts of climate change through surface water management.


It is recognised that in all phases of the project that there will be challenges with regards to servicing of various shops, businesses, residential developments, refuse collection facilities, etc.  Local access for residents will still be maintained.  These issues will be fully considered in due course, and appropriate mitigation measures put in place.


The design process for the square will include further public engagement as options are developed, proactively consulting with vulnerable user groups and other key stakeholders


The delivery of the George Square Area Strategy project will be monitored by a cross-party group which will review the project as it develops.


Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “We can now begin work on the redevelopment of George Square to deliver the changes that the people of Glasgow have told us they want.  Throughout this process, we will continue to engage with everyone with a stake in the square to create a civic space we can all enjoy and be proud of.”


Images of how George Square may look after the first phase of redevelopment are available on request.

Potential partners in a pioneering Alliance to End Homelessness are revealed in a report going before Glasgow councillors on February 6th.

Third and independent sector organisations teamed up to bid to become partners in a ground-breaking Alliance to End Homelessness in the city. Bids from two groups were received for the contract which is worth more than £187million over a maximum of 10 years.

Glasgow – Everyone’s Home group has been named as the preferred bidder to work with the city council to transform the planning, design and delivery of homelessness services in the city. Seven organisations – Aspire, Crossreach, Loretto Care, Mungo Foundation, Sacro, Salvation Army and YPeople – make up the group.

The council will retain sole responsibility for statutory homelessness services and be a member of the Alliance which will make financial and operational decisions on the provision of “purchased services” such as street and community outreach services, Housing First provision, emergency and supported accommodation, day services and specific outreach support for young people aged over 16 years.

Councillor Mhairi Hunter, Glasgow’s Convener for Health & Social Care, said: “Glasgow’s Alliance to End Homelessness will be the first of its kind. It is an ambitious and innovative approach to partnership working and offers a significant opportunity to demonstrate that by pooling our resources, skills and considerable expertise, we can deliver our shared ambitions for the transformation of homelessness services.

“Currently homelessness services in the city are quite traditional and, although there is already partnership working, services can sometimes be provided in silos. The Alliance will provide a more inclusive and collaborative approach to service provision and decision-making. It will create more flexible and adaptable services which can react faster to changing demands to help prevent homelessness, end rough sleeping and help people integrate into communities when they move out of temporary accommodation and into their own permanent tenancies.”

Work to establish the Alliance has been ongoing since 2016 when a review highlighted the need to modernise services. People with lived or personal experience of homelessness were involved throughout the development process and will continue to be involved in the work of the Alliance.

A Director will be appointed to lead the Alliance which will have a budget of £23million in its first year. For the first two years, the council, will also provide a further £100,000 annually in set-up costs.

Susanne Millar, Interim Chief Officer of Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership, said: “The Alliance represents real cultural and whole-system change in the provision of homelessness services. It is about true collaboration – the decision-making will be shared and it will bring together considerable expertise to provide person-centred services. It will increase access to settled accommodation and support people to sustain their tenancies – reducing the cycle of repeat homelessness as well as addressing rough sleeping.”

The report will be considered by council’s Contracts & Property Committee on February 6th. It can be viewed here