Here in Chelmsford, many Christians are pleased to support a charity set up by the local churches called Chelmsford CHESS, which supports homeless people, not only with night shelters but also with long term help. About 25% of their funding comes from Government grants administered by Essex County Council. They have recently learned that their funding application to accommodate rough sleepers in the colder winter months has been declined. Even right now in June, the charity knows of fourteen people sleeping rough in the town.
Of course, we all understand the need for austerity in these straitened times. And especially Essex County Council, who – in the spirit of self-discipline – have just awarded themselves a 41% increase in councillors’ allowances. I mean, you can’t afford to risk running out of biscuits at council meetings, can you?