Plans refused to charge Aberdeen’s homeless households for storage

Aberdeen City CouncilAberdeen City Council is to continue to meet storage costs for homeless households after councillors rejected proposals to introduce a new charge to store their belongings.

The local authority has a duty to provide removal storage and disposal facilities for the furniture and personal belongings of people who are determined as statutory homeless or threatened with homelessness, a service it provides free of charge.

A report to the council’s finance, policy and resources committee, which was considered on Wednesday, recommended that the local authority falls in line with other councils in Scotland by introducing charges, depending on the applicant’s individual circumstances - which it was estimated would have resulted in savings of £26,898 over the next year.

Members of the committee opted instead to continue the existing policy on the storage of belongings and not to introduce charges.

As part of the decision officers have been tasked with continuing to develop other initiatives to reduce the length of time households spend in temporary accommodation and in turn reduce the length of time required for storage.

Councillor Douglas Lumsden, Aberdeen City Council co-leader and convener of the finance, policy and resources committee, said: “Whilst the need to make savings throughout the council is pressing, that must be balanced against the needs of those we serve and particularly the most vulnerable. There was agreement across the committee that the introduction of charges is not a road we wish to go down.”

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