WHILE it is excellent news that Malvern Hills District Council has adopted a new plan to tackle homelessness, the major concern is that there is no one clear reason for why the number of rough sleepers is on the rise nationally.

The district council's plan seeks to address some of the key reasons why people become homeless rather than simply offer rough sleepers somewhere to stay.

Their plan includes preventing 'homelessness at a much earlier stage by targeting groups that are more vulnerable to becoming homeless'.

This, of course, means working with people who have an alcohol or drugs issue, to help them find or stay within employment and thus not lose their home.

However, still there is the question of why there are more homeless people now than, say, 10 years ago.

Is it simply the case that drugs and alcohol are easier to access and therefore more people are becoming addicts?

Is it because the benefits system no longer provides people with the money and support they need to afford to keep a roof over their heads?

Do we have a generation now who expect to live on benefits rather than work for a living, and when those benefits dry up, they end up on the streets?

The answer is probably a mixture of all of the above, with no one clear catch-all solution. However, Malvern Hills District Council should be commended for forming a plan to take action.