A NEW plan to prevent homelessness in Malvern has been approved to prevent the number of rough sleepers increasing.

At the full meeting of Malvern Hills District Council on Tuesday night, members voted unanimously to approve the plan, which lays out a new framework for preventing homelessness.

This came after they heard that the number of rough sleepers in Worcester had risen from 12 to 24 and they feared there could be a similar increase in Malvern if no action is taken.

The plan, put forward by Councillor David Watkins, portfolio holder for housing and communities, has three main aims:

  • To prevent homelessness at a much earlier stage by targeting groups that are more vulnerable to becoming homeless.
  • To provide flexible and comprehensive responses to those in crisis and those with complex needs.
  • To improve the supply of and access to good quality, affordable and supported housing over the next three years.

Cllr Watkins said: “This plan sets out high-level action to prevent homelessness at a much earlier stage.

“The fact is that this is something which all district councils are facing and rest assured we will do what we need to do.”

This new plan comes after the death of bus shelter-dwelling homeless man Remigiusz, known as ‘Rem’, who was born in Poland and is believed to have taken his own life on October 30, aged 40.

Rem lived in the bus shelter in Wells Road, Malvern, and one of his friends says she believes his parents have arranged to repatriate him.

A friend of Rem said he had been offered places in shelters in the past, but due to mental health issues preferred to live alone.

At the meeting, councillors voted unanimously in favour of adopting the measures as part of the Worcestershire Strategic Direction for Tackling Homelessness 2018 -2021.

A spokesman for Malvern Hills District Council said: “We will ensure the strategy is properly funded through either existing budgets or we will look to access additional funding if needed.”