Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Headcount controversy rages on

May 23 2009
Fewer rough sleepers... and fewer councils counting them, accuses Tory MP Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps MP has criticised the government, after it emerged that this year's drop in the number of rough sleepers was accompanied by a fall in the number of councils holding formal counts. The Department for Communities and Local Government released the national rough sleeping estimates last month, revealing a small drop from 498 to 483. But nine fewer councils carried out head counts last year. Mr Shapps, a regular critic of the head count system, said he was "deeply concerned" that no changes had been made to the system. He told the social housing website Inside Housing (IH): "It seems this year's figures could underestimate the number even further, once again preventing rough sleeping from getting the attention it deserves." IH calculated that if two of the councils had been included in 2007's national figures, the total number of people sleeping rough in the UK would have been over 500.