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Shelter Scotland launches legal action against city council

The charity says Glasgow City Council has denied people in need a place in temporary accommodation.

Legal: The charity maintains Glasgow City Council has illegally denied people in need a place in temporary accommodation.
Legal: The charity maintains Glasgow City Council has illegally denied people in need a place in temporary accommodation. Pixabay

Shelter Scotland has started legal action against Glasgow City Council.

The move follows concerns from the homelessness and housing charity over "gatekeeping" - where a homeless person is denied access to services - and other "failings in the homelessness services" at the council.

The charity maintains Glasgow City Council has illegally denied people in need a place in temporary accommodation.

Shelter Scotland is now seeking a judicial review at the Court of Session, following the council's inability to respond to a pre-action letter, which set a deadline of September 30.

Graeme Brown, the director of Shelter Scotland, said: "Time's up, Glasgow City Council. We are taking you to court.

"We are not taking this action lightly. We exist to fight for people's rights to a decent home and to stop homelessness happening.

"By taking legal action we are trying to stop Glasgow City Council denying hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of people their right to a roof over their head.

"Rights are not a privilege - they are a legal entitlement enforceable by law and the Council should not be allowed to disregard the law with impunity.

"We believe that if action isn't taken now to stop this practice - and public bodies are left to pick and choose which laws they wish to follow - then it will undermine citizens' rights across the board.

"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. So, we are taking them to court to put a stop to this unlawful practice once and for all."

Shelter Scotland has raised more than £15,000 to fund the action, through a crowdfunding campaign.

The charity hopes the action will force Glasgow City Council to revise its homelessness plans, including a pledge to provide temporary accommodation for every person who needs it.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "Glasgow faces significant - and in a Scottish context, perhaps unique - pressures on our homelessness accommodation, and we continue to work with the Scottish Housing Regulator and partners in the housing and third sectors to help those facing homelessness and the threat of homelessness.

"We share a common aim with Shelter and, rather than focusing on court action, we would hope it could work together with the council and its partners to ensure that these challenges are met."

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