Cllr Keith Aspden writes…Tackling homelessness in York

Last week the York Liberal Democrats were delighted to welcome Sir Vince Cable for a flying visit to his home city.

Vince was born and brought up in York and many local members have fond memories of the two energetic general election campaigns we fought when Vince was Parliamentary Candidate for the old York constituency in 1983 and 1987.

York is an interesting city politically in that the three main parties each have roughly the same number of councillors. Since 2015 the Liberal Democrat Group has formed part of the joint administration running the Council.

One area in which we can take pride in the Council’s record is homelessness. York’s services for preventing and managing homelessness have been awarded the National Practitioner Support Service’s Gold Standard award. At the time of the award we were only the third local authority to have achieved this. Gold Standard requires the service to have a focus on early intervention and prevention of homelessness at its core.

On Sunday 30 July Vince joined our Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Carol Runciman, and myself for a tour of the Peasholme Centre on Fishergate. Many members will be familiar with this part of the city since it is very close to the Novotel and the Barbican Centre where the party has held three successful Spring Conferences.

As the centre’s website says:

The Peasholme Centre is a supported accommodation centre for 22 people, staffed 24 hours a day. Residents are referred to the centre by agencies and once accepted, they will remain at the centre for a short period until the Council is able to find them more permanent accommodation.

Peasholme offers a comprehensive support package for individuals who are homeless. It offers a structured and stable environment that gives residents the space they need to address the issues that have contributed to their homelessness. The centre plays a crucial role in helping resettle homeless people in the city and helps them to reintegrate themselves back into mainstream society.

Tim Farron rightly made housing policy a central plank of his leadership and I know that addressing the causes of homelessness is something that all Liberal Democrats will support. I’m grateful to Vince for helping to provide some well-deserved positive local media coverage for York’s excellent homelessness service.


* Keith Aspden has been the Councillor for Fulford Ward in York since 2003 and for Fulford and Heslington Ward since 2015. Since 2019 he is the Leader of City of York Council, and the Liberal Democrat Deputy Chair of the LGA Fire Services Management Committee.

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  • Keith, I’m pleased you posted this.

    For added info, I was in Acomb about a month ago and visit the Community Cafe there. They told me they know of at least 12 ex-servicemen sleeping rough in the Acomb area. Could you this follow up ?

  • Keith, Full info sent, David….

  • A Social Liberal 8th Aug '17 - 8:32pm

    David, Keith

    Could you contact the RBL in Leeds and coordinate with them. They might be able help

  • @ Social Liberal Good suggestion. I’m in Scotland so maybe Keith could do that as he’s in York..

    The really sad thing is that very often there are issues of substance/alcohol abuse as well as PTSD and other health issues. It’s not easy to deal with.

  • Peter Galton 9th Aug '17 - 9:45am

    Good to see our activist and Cllrs working on this site trying to help those in great need. Very well done.

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