Natalie Statham, one of Labours candidates in the next local elections in May for Castle Ward, is apparently going to ‘tackle’ the homelessness problem in Tamworth. Which would be great, if there actually was one. The official rough sleeper count for Tamworth is zero. Yes 0, zilch, nada, nothing (you get the point). There is no-one sleeping on the streets of Tamworth, go take a look here and scroll down to 8.5 to see for yourself. They physically go and look for people sleeping rough to produce these numbers and so can you.

Local knowledge is well aware that those characters we have seen ‘on the streets’ in Tamworth begging have been chancers who live in decent size houses in Lichfield or have a canal boat to go back to in a couple of notable mentions. They came to Tamworth to rake in hundreds of pounds per day from the pockets of people who could probably ill afford it themselves. We know of one person who used to sit in the middle entry simply because he liked to watch people go by, not because he needed the money (that he got anyway) or because he was homeless.

What Tamworth does have apparently, is plenty of people who are identified as ‘homeless’ but have a roof over their heads thanks to the good grace of their friends and family. We have no-one in our town actually sleeping rough. If ever it did happen, they have usually come here from Birmingham because they know Tamworth actually deals with anyone who did end up on the street and puts them in accommodation. Let’s not forget that some people actually choose to be homeless and don’t want any help despite being offered it. Plenty of people ignore that fact when they pass judgement.

So back to Natalie, it’s great that you are taking part in this sleep out for a good cause, but don’t lie and pretend Tamworth has a rough sleeper problem to try and further your election chances. It’s why you’re in Derby raising the money for a homelessness charity rather than here.

Updated: Roughly 10 minutes later, Natalie posts this:

Which is all well and good, and as we had already pointed out, homelessness does not equal rough sleeping. She’s the one that made the link in her original post, not us. But again Natalie dear, we think you’ll find the Tories already have it in hand with legislation, and Natalie, maybe read this before you go launching an unneeded crusade for popularity points. Oh, and Hi Natalie!

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