Conservative housing spokesperson Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has
asked the National Audit Office to conduct a public inquiry into
the rough sleepers unit homeless count last November.
Clifton-Brown said he wrote to the NAO after receiving
information from homelessness charities claiming the unit’s
methodology and tactics during the rough sleepers count were
unsound. He said he was also unhappy with the “unsatisfactory
answers” he got in parliament concerning the matter.
He said: “There needs to be an inquiry to see if these figures
have been artificially massaged down.”
The unit’s figures revealed a 71 per cent decrease in the number
of rough sleepers in England from 1,850 in 1998 to just 532
Clifton-Brown added the accusations of manipulating the figures
had been made by a number of independent charities with no axe to
grind against the government.