Calls have been made to check whether there is only one rough sleeper in the whole of Powys.

At a joint scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday, 28 February, members went through the quarter three performance report of Powys County Council’s Corporate Strategic and Equality, Strategic Plan, which covers the period from the end of September to the end of December.

This plan is supposed to keep track of how the council is performing against the three objectives of the Liberal Democrat/Labour cabinet’s Stronger Fairer, Greener agenda.

In the report one of measures is for rough sleeping and it was said to be “on track” with just one rough sleeper reported during the third quarter of the year Independent for Powys Cllr Gareth E Jones said: “How confident are we that the figure of one is accurate,

“Have we checked with people like foodbanks?”

Director of social services and wellbeing, Nina Davies said: “We only know the people we are informed about or who contact us.

“It would wrong of me to say I could guarantee that we know of all the rough sleepers.”

Mrs Davies added that she would check.

This led on to a further question by Cllr Josie Ewing around the number of households that are homeless in Powys.

The report shows that the figure is 265 households for quarter three which is showing green and “on track.”

This is lower than the 278 reported in quarter two and much less than the 408 reported on quarter one which was in the red and “off track.”

Liberal Democrat Cllr Ewing said: “Those numbers seem very low.

“I get a lot of people in my ward in (Llandrindod South) telling me they need larger properties or have been kicked out of the family home.”

She wondered whether the figures for homelessness and rough sleepers included those people who “sofa surf” or are “living in caravans.”

Cllr Ewing said, “I’d like a bit more clarity about whom we are including in these figures.”

Cllr Angela Davies who chaired the joint meeting explained her Economy Residents and Communities scrutiny committee had looked at the issue of rough sleepers and homeless people in past meeting.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Davies explained that the definition for a rough sleeper is someone that is “roofless” and completely without a property to sleep in.

Whereas the homeless are people “without a home of their own,” which would mean sofa surfer and people “staying at a mates.”

Mrs (Nina) Davies said: “In the housing register you have more than 4,000 households wanting or waiting for a move.

“A lot of those are people who currently have homes but are looking to move to larger or smaller homes, have different needs or want to move to a different area.

“The numbers you have here are those that have presented themselves to the council and we have secured temporary accommodation for them.

“That could be from our stock a housing association or bed and breakfast.”

“Those number are quite large when you compare them to those from before the Covid-19 pandemic.

She added that she could put Cllr Ewing in touch with someone from the housing department that could go through the data in more depth with her.

The report will go on to be presented to senior councillors at a cabinet meeting on 19 March.