Saturday, October 1, 2022
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A Thurrock home for veterans still on course

THURROCK Conservatives have expressed their delight at Thurrock Council taking forward their idea for a home to help homeless veterans.

Wednesday’s Full Council meeting saw the Conservative Group Leader, Rob Gledhill, reaffirm that Thurrock Council is committed to creating a home to help homeless veterans off the street in Thurrock within 12 months. After the meeting he said "last month I proposed that Thurrock Council investigate how it can help get our homeless veterans off the streets and back on their feet. However the unanimously agreed proposal was missed off the list of decisions.

I am told that Thurrock may not have a specific problem with homeless veterans but there are 1000s on the streets across the UK. I think it’s terrible that someone who signs up to protect the nation ends up living on the street because they need extra when they rejoin civvy street. There may not be a legal obligation to help solve this problem, but I believe the moral obligation to look after those who protect us is more than enough to prompt every council into taking action. By working collectively local councils can help towards consigning this problem to the history books."

The plight of homeless veterans has been raised in the past by Cllr Gledhill, and has recently been highlighted by the Independent and Evening Standard newspapers. Councillor Gledhill regularly raises veterans issues at Thurrock Council, confirming that Council policies exclude any income from service related injuries when calculating benefits, that the Veterans Charter was refreshed, and that the Council look to do more to help former service personnel.

He added "I am delighted that this issue is back on the agenda, but a little disappointed this error will delay action on this until after the election. I would envisage that the home becomes a stepping stone for our veterans to get off the the street then into homes of their own. Combining accommodation, and where needed, dependancy, mental health and/or employment support, could make a huge difference to those veterans who need that extra help when the leave the forces. If Thurrock gets this right, it could be a model that other councils adopt to help get more and more veterans off the street, showing that Thurrock can lead the way on veterans support."

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