Thanet council activates severe weather measures for rough sleepers

Rough sleeping Photo Steven Collis

Thanet council has activated its Severe Weather emergency measures from today (December 6) for the next seven nights to ensure the safety and wellbeing of rough sleepers due to a Met Office warning of snow and ice.

During periods of extreme weather, the council operates a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP). Extreme weather can include any conditions that increase the risk of harm to people who are rough sleeping. This is often, but not exclusively, periods of cold weather or significant rainfall.  When deciding whether to trigger the protocol, the Local Authority must take into consideration local context and weather forecasts.

When the protocol is triggered, the council will promote it on its website and via social media channels that it will provide emergency accommodation for any person sleeping rough in the district so that it can prevent unnecessary deaths due to extreme weather.

The council response aims to ensure the safety and wellbeing of anybody officers believe to be rough sleeping. RISE, the rough sleeping outreach team, is working hard to ensure that any known rough sleepers are proactively offered relief during this cold snap. It is important to note that even when SWEP is in place, some people do still turn down offers of support and we cannot forcefully intervene if someone refuses, but staff will keep trying.

The council works closely with partners including the GAP project, Salvation Army and Porchlight all year round to provide support.

Any known rough sleepers will be offered temporary accommodation and support – call 01843 577277

Learn more at


      • Enlighten me: what is so “despicable” about suggesting getting people off the streets and into a near-empty local centre with all the facilities already in place? If I was sleeping rough in sub-zero temperatures, I’d welcome it… and so would you.

        • Ms. Quot at it again!
          She’d be more than happy to sample the relative good comforts of the Manston (illegal) refugee centre, the same as you and I would in freezing cold temperature, and don’t forget the pocket money!
          She really is shameless, I’d love to know what goes through the crackpot mind of hers at times.

          Incidentally, I think using Manston for this purpose is an excellent idea, at least our own would benefit first.

  1. that will be the day peter , we seem to avoid looking after our own , china has killed an unknown amount of people with a a laboratory made disease , and we send them millions ?? can any one explaint that one ? over to you craig or roger

  2. I would like to know what is “despicable” about the comment above.

    There is room for 10000 at Manston , all with bathing conditions , heating , health care , food.

    Don’t tell me eh, its too good for our homeless they can be chucked anywhere .

    • I’ve been reliably informed that the school of english buildings in broadstairs have been and maybe still are used to house those in need on a temporary basis.

      • The buildings have been in use for quite some time, as you say, in preference to the previous different church hall each evening. The article says accommodation ‘is being offered’ to those who prefer not to be in the shelter who risk hypothermia on the streets. Many rough sleepers prefer not to be regimented,as they see it, in a shelter or feel vulnerable.

    • There is only room for 1600 at Manston. Levels of 4000+ were decried recently as severe overcrowding and led to an outbreak of communicable diseases, resulting in one death.

      I’m fascinated by what makes you think the local community collectively owns homeless people, but notwithstanding – I think they’ve dodged a bullet avoiding the facilities at Manston. They are neither effectively locked up, nor released only to be abandoned at coach stations.

      You’ll note that the council are trying to house ‘our’ people too (in general I might add, as well as during cold weather). I agree this should be done locally, but everyone kicks off whenever house building is mentioned, so they’re aren’t many (or any affordable) rental properties available.

  3. So all the boat people are tucked up in Nice warm beds . Yet the homeless people of thanet have to wait till its sub zero before they get there warm bed. Everybody deserves a dry warm bed. And before you jump down my throat that I’m a racist my best friend of 33 years is from Pakistan

    • No they don’t, if the homeless were to approach TDC at any time they’d get help and advice, it’s just that under SWEP additional efforts are made to try and persuade / find those on the streets and get them inside.

    • Many rough sleepers are currently accommodated in the 365 days a year shelter in Broadstairs that was brought into use because church halls that had been used before couldn’t isolate any COVID cases or prevent it spreading. They are still there but some prefer not to be restricted by a shelter that doesn’t allow drugs or alcohol and will sleep outside.

  4. Get some of the 3000 airbnbs/2nd homes in Thanet to open their doors when not hosting. They all seem like a right-on bunch, I’m sure they’d be WELL up for it…

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