Shelter Scotland seeks public support for court action against Glasgow City Council

Shelter Scotland seeks public support for court action against Glasgow City Council

Graeme Brown

Shelter Scotland is preparing to take Glasgow City Council to court unless it ends the practice of “unlawfully” denying homeless people temporary accommodation.

The charity has outlined its intention to seek a judicial review in a solicitor’s letter delivered today. The letter was hand-delivered by a delegation of formerly homeless people who are inviting the public to join the court action.

The threat of judicial review follows repeated engagement by Shelter Scotland with Glasgow City Council councillors and officials over several years to raise concerns about ‘gatekeeping’ activity and failures within the city’s homelessness services.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Quite simply, enough is enough. The facts are clear; Glasgow City Council is breaking the law; homeless people are being forced onto the streets; officials are unable or unwilling to tackle the problem; and the numbers are getting worse not better.

“This is a Glasgow problem that needs leadership from the top to tackle. When Shelter Scotland supporters protested outside the City Chambers last year, we were hopeful that things would get better. Instead the numbers have gone up during a year when 47 people have died on Glasgow’s streets.”

He added: “Rights are not a privilege – they are a legal entitlement enforceable by law and GCC should not be allowed to disregard the law with impunity. If action is not taken to end this practice and public bodies can pick and choose which laws they wish to follow, then it will undermine citizens’ rights across the board.

“I hope that the City Council will respond positively to our lawyer’s letter today and avoid the need for court, but there may be little choice. If the judicial review goes ahead then Shelter Scotland will ask the court to declare that Glasgow City Council are acting unlawfully and that they should prepare and submit to Scottish Ministers a revised homelessness strategy that puts a plan in place to guarantee temporary accommodation for every homeless person that needs it.”

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