Spent most of today in budget meetings. Although the comprehensive spending review has now been published we are still no clearer about what our budget position will be for the next financial year but Executive Members are spending a lot of time getting under the skin of the budgets we are individually and collectively responsible for so that we are ready to act early in the New Year, assuming we have a provisional settlement by then.
This gives me a chance to return to something I've blogged about before, homelessness, and particularly street homelessness. The Council operates with a fairly broad definition of homelessness including for example couch surfers as well as those sleeping rough. My colleague Councillor Paul Andrews, has already announced measures we are taking to try and ensure nobody need be without a roof over their head through the winter months, but of course we also need more lasting measures to help people get into permanent accommodation.
So today's announcement from a number of organisations working with homeless people in the city about the establishment of the Big Change fund, aimed at helping rough sleepers of the street into home and ultimately a job, is very welcome news indeed. We know lots of people in the city want to make a contribution to help and this gives a very practical way of doing so. Not only practical but it can also give supporters of the fund real confidence that a contribution is going to a long term solution, not just a quick fix.
If you want to help homeless people you can donate at BigChangeMCR.co.uk /JustGiving or text REAL01 £1 to give £1, REAL01 £10 to give £10 to 70070.