Join us for a members-only discussion with Roanne Wootten, Julian House Operations Director. Julian House is the leading local charity helping Bath's homeless and rough sleepers. It is the organisation's 30th Anniversary, and - as Bath residents know - despite much work by the Council and several charities, we still have rough sleepers here, as in other Cities.
However, there are signs of a new, more pro-active attitude from central government and the party: Conservative West Midlands Metro-Mayor, Andy Street, has launched a pilot scheme - "Change into Action" - to address the issue, and Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, Sajid Javid MP, has said he wants to introduce something like Finland's "Housing First" initiative: this radical concept places homeless people in permanent housing before they become afflicted by issues such as drug addiction and mental illness. It removes any initial complicated tests, and in essence trusts individuals to turn a corner independently, with support provided further down the line.
So - away from the sloganising and name-calling, what is the true nature of rough sleeping and homelessness problem, why is it proving so hard to solve, and what new Conservative ideas and approaches are there which could be applied here in Bath?