#HomelessnessReductionBill: Passing Second Reading stage – REACTION from @HugoSugg

The Homelessness Reduction Bill (HRB) has passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons today and will now progress into Committee Stage . It has a way to become law, but its heading that way. See below for Hugo Sugg’s response to the news.

The passage the Bill must go through before Royal Assent which makes it legislation.
“I am pleased with this progress today and would like to congratulate Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East for his vision to change 40 year old homeless legislation that one step closer to being changed.

As much as I support this Bill, I heavily scrutinise it as well. The HRB only looks into the immediate point of walking into your Local Authority and presenting as homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. It has to be recognised that this Bill cannot and won’t solve the bigger issues as to how or why people become homeless.

These issues include relationship breakdowns, job losses, high use of Foodbanks and domestic violence.  All of these are part and parcel of human life, and to think differently would be insensitive. This Bill draws little acknowledgement of these situations. Homelessness and housing issues with people goes further than just not having a home or a roof over your head. Extensive research has pointed out that the main homelessness is very rarely just losing a house, but can be more entrenched issues like trauma, loss of trust and family breakdown.

The Bill mentions about an increase on the time that the Local Authority have to assess you – rising to 54 days. This presents a huge issue, and incredibly high expectation for the Council which, unless more resources are guaranteed and provided, will likely make matters worse for both.

Backing Government into a corner to fund and resource this Bill is risky in my eyes, but this is what Mr Blackman has effectively done. The Government and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government have given support to the Bill, however does this mean millions of pounds will be available for emergency accommodation, staff and more social housing?

This Bill makes for better provision for the homeless or threatened with homelessness however if the product at the end is not there (like it tends to be now), we will have even further blockages in an even bigger pipe between acceptances and accommodation, support or help.

The current legislation is a way of filtering out what goes down the pipe, and what gets pushed out – even though that this isn’t the best way of sorting out the homeless (as widely agreed by those in the homeless sector), it is a way of managing resource.


I don’t want to be too negative but instead realistic. The Homelessness Reduction Bill is a step forward to dismantling and recreating the jigsaw that is people’s lives and homelessness. Bob Blackman has taken a brave step to make this change, and although I have highlighted issues in this response – there is still time to iron those out.

I want Hugo’s Earthquake, its staff and supporters to work with Mr Blackman, the APPG on Homelessness, Communities and Local Government Committee, Shelter, St Mungo’s, Crisis and other stakeholders in this Parliamentary work to help create a better life and louder voice for the millions that are homeless in this country and need help.

Thanks to all MP’s who were in the Commons Chamber today and made it one step closer to law – it’s a very big achievement. There’s more to be done, and we will make sure to have a crucial say in the development and implementation of this Bill.”


Hugo Sugg, Founder of Hugo’s Earthquake.


Government back the Bill!

Government today have backed the Homelessness Reduction Bill. Rt. Hon Sajid Javid MP (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) today announced he would officially support the Private Members’ Bill.

When the Bill was first created, we acknowledged that Government were being backed into a corner about the issue and they could resist. We wanted Government backing before we officially supported the Bill.

Hugo’s Earthquake officially backs reducing homelessness at the point of access to Local Authority services and therefore supports this Bill.
Press Release out shortly.

#TentDeath Campaign: A word from #HugosEarthquake Founder @HugoSugg

#TentDeath has run for 3 days now, and severe ripples have been made. A positive dialogue opened with CCP, Worcester Labour Party publicly saying they are working to a solution about the contract and others reacting behind the scenes.

It will now be a case of relaxing our social media barrage to organisations, and wait to see what comes out in the coming days. This is no way a retreat away from getting Justice for the circumstances to finding Mr Banfield’s body, but rather opportunity to allow things to happen and the people accountable to do their jobs.

It’s a fact that there is £250,000 of Worcester taxpayer’s money being spent on a contract that isn’t fit for purpose for the increasing rough sleeping community in Worcester – and I call for a review to happen of the contract and also homeless services in Worcester as a whole.
#TentDeath will continue as a live Campaign, but will refocus our energies on #WhereIsYourNextHome.

For as long as it is my name above the door of #HugosEarthquake (or whatever it transforms into), I will never not be an activist and fight for injustices. Homelessness is very close to me, and I am determined to see a better service for all whether new to the streets, living in hostel accommodation or entrenched rough sleepers A follow-up newspaper article is due to come out, and we will be sharing a reaction to that but until there has been a fair amount of time for things to happen, we will not be continuing the immense social media campaign we have undertaken up until today.

Any comments about the running of this campaign welcomed as I am always trying to improve our campaigning, please do email them to me at hugo@hugosearthquake.org.

I bid you to stay safe and lets ride the next few waves together.

A huge thank you for all who support #TentDeath and #HugosEarthquake in general, and look forward to reconnecting with you all soon.

Hugo Sugg

14.20 BST, 19/10/2016

#TentDeath BREAKING NEWS: Labour Party in charge of @myworcester breaks silence


@WorcesterLabour Constituency Labour Party who are in control (with Greens) of Worcester City Council BREAK SILENCE over #TentDeath, but their action MUST go deeper than budget cuts.

Our response to this:

#TentDeath: Update Day 3, 11am

Ramping up the Campaign to being on the phone to organisations involved.
Had a conversation with a Director at CCP and would like to put on record that they, nor anyone personally inside that organisation, are NOT responsible for Cardon’s Death.

It is understood but unconfirmed (at time of writing) a statement has been produced in response to the #TentDeath article. We await that statement, and will respond accordingly.

For all supporters of #TentDeath, please use this image and pressure the Twitter accounts listed on there only:


11.00 BST, 19/10/2016

#TentDeath Campaign: Day 2 Evening Update

Justice for Cardon is now into day 2, and after continuously Tweeting Maggs, Worcester City Council, CCP and Worcester Labour Party there is STILL no response.

We move into another day where 74 year old Cardon Banfield currently died in vain. As proven with ‘Scarfgate’ back in December – we can break this resistance.

Please, please up this pressure by Tweeting the organisations named above using #TentDeath. Links to their Twitter profiles are on the top of our homepage.

We need to club together now and push them to justify the cut to Outreach and create a £250,000 a year taxpayer-funded service that does an undefined “light touch” service through Cheltenham-based CCP.

Tomorrow morning we will be assessing #TentDeath strategy – until then, please Tweet and Retweet our messages.


18.05 BST 18/10/2016

#TentDeath Campaign: The questions we want answering.

There has been a unified silence amongst CCP, Worcester City Council and Maggs Day Centre today, but that can only last so long.
The Council have are spending £250,000 per year (for 2 years with possibility of extension for one more year) and commissioned CCP to provide the new service.
We demand the questions below get answered immediately, as this is using taxpayers money and producing bad results:


– Can Worcester City Council explain what research went into the decision to delete the outreach service, and who authorised this decision?

– Worcester City Council and CCP have a contract which is worth £250,000 of TAXPAYERS MONEY per year, but what is a “light touch” and is this service performing satisfactorily?


– In the first report to Mr Banfield’s death, Worcester City Council said they did not know of Cardon. Why didn’t you share information with the Council, CCP and St Paul’s about Mr Banfield and his needs?

Please help spread this message and pressure @myworcester, @CCPWorcs and @MaggsDayCentre by sending these questions to them on Twitter using these handles.

MORE ON THE STORY: http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/regional/14804151.Horrified_campaigners_speak_out_after_rough_sleeper_found_dead_in_tent/.

22.50 BST, 17/10/2016


Cardon Banfield died in Worcester by the River Severn sometime in June/early July 2016, in a tent, alone. A passer-by smelt then saw his badly decomposed body. A cause of death nor a timeline could not be established due to the condition of the body. The coroner recorded an Open Verdict on Monday 10th October and I write this a week later with still no justification made.

THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. 3 months in to a new commissioned service, Worcester City Council have created a service (CCP) which has systematically FAILED an elderly gentleman living by the side of the River Severn in Worcester.

Neither CCP or Worcester City Council have made a comment to JUSTIFY why he was alone and no alarm bells were ringing when no one had seen him.

This is an URGENT call for Worcester City Council Officers and Political Leaders to explain and justify how Cardon was missed and immediately review its service for Rough Sleepers in Worcester.

I don’t want to see Mr Banfield dying in vain. Someone is responsible and they will be found out.
Keep up to date with this urgent campaign using #TentDeath.

13.38 BST 17/10/16

Homeless Talk – Worcester Green Party Event, 8th November 2016

Founder of Hugo’s Earthquake, Hugo Sugg, will be doing a special speech at a Worcester Green Party event on Homelessness in Worcester.

Hosted at Worcester Arts Workshop, Sansome Street, there will be a presentation opening from Worcester Green Party committee, then a talk about homelessness and Hugo’s own experience of homelessness. The event is completely free to attend, and due to space – attendance will be on a ticket-basis. To get a free ticket, CLICK HERE (opens a new window), and once clicked, please join the Facebook Event for the occasion here.

We look forward to welcoming you there, and if you have any questions please do email Hugo on Hugo@hugosearthquake.org.