ROUGH sleeping has reached record-high levels in Cheshire West and Chester.

New Government data has revealed there were 22 rough sleepers in the borough in 2023.

This was up from 10 in 2022 and is the highest figure since 2010, which is as far back as the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ data goes.

However, the council say this figure is just a 'snapshot' of one evening and that since then, this figure has dropped.

A spokesperson said: “Cheshire West and Chester’s autumn single-night snapshot of people sleeping rough was taken on November 9, 2023, and found 22 people sleeping rough, which was up by 12 people from 2022.

“This rise does follow the national upward trend, however, since then numbers have been lower.

“In December, they ranged from two to 10 (an average of four per day) and in January they ranged from two to 14 (an average of seven per day).

“Most of the rough sleepers found on November 9 are known to services already, and unfortunately have slept rough for a long time or have slept rough on and off for some time.

“These individuals are not able to maintain hotel accommodation for different reasons and the Multi-Agency Rough Sleeper project is working to provide a bespoke solution for the individuals.”

Northwich Guardian: A total of 3,898 rough sleepers were recorded in one night in England in 2023A total of 3,898 rough sleepers were recorded in one night in England in 2023 (Image: PA)

Across the country, there has been an upward trend in the number of people sleeping rough, with a total of 3,898 on one night in 2023.

This is up 27 per cent from 3,069 the previous year and more than double the 1,768 recorded in 2010.

The Cheshire West and Chester Council spokesperson explained several factors have impacted these figures but reiterated that they are doing all they can to tackle the problem.

“There are a number of challenges which have made the UK vulnerable to a rise in rough sleeping, whilst also inhibiting its ability to respond to this rising need,” they said.

“In Cheshire West and Chester, the number of people sleeping rough has not reduced, despite the council continuing to offer a hotel room for anyone found sleeping rough.

“Hotels are not suitable and do not provide the support needed for vulnerable homeless people.

“Many people return to the street after staying in a hotel because there is not enough suitable supported housing to meet their needs.”

On how they plan to address the issue, they added: “The council remains fully committed to ensuring that nobody is forced to sleep on the streets in our borough.

“To do this, we are prioritising managing demand and increasing prevention to ensure that nobody has to sleep on the streets, increasing the supply of supported housing for people at risk of homelessness through schemes such as Christleton Road, Curzon House and Sutton Beeches, and increasing the supply of permanent move-on accommodation.

“The council and our housing association partners are on target to build 450 new affordable homes in 2023-24 and there are plans to build more affordable homes in 2024-25.

“In 2024-25, we will also launch a pilot project to try to improve our offer to private landlords to encourage them to work with us to find housing solutions for people who have been homeless.

"As always, the council and our partners will continue to work together to support the most vulnerable individuals on the street and provide a warm space for anyone at risk of rough sleeping when the weather is extreme or severe under the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol."

If you are homeless or threatened with homeless and need assistance, contact the council's Housing Options team on 0808 175 3595 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am - 4.30pm) and Wednesday 1pm - 4.30pm). 

You can also report a rough sleeper on this number or via Streetlink -