EARLIER this year, when Brighton and Hove City Council discussed winter provision for rough sleepers, they stated that its night shelter would open from November 2 until March 20, 2019.

Earlier this month figures from the Bureau of Investagative Journalism (TBIJ) reported that at least 449 people have died homeless in the UK in the last year - including 15 people in Brighton. This is a national scandal caused by Government austerity.

Yet with the Government now directing more funding to local authorities to target rough sleeping, the council does have a responsibility to direct this where it’s needed most, and with winter upon us, surely rough sleeping should be a priority to get right? After the night shelter opening was delayed last winter, I also would have hoped that lessons would have been learnt to avoid the same happening again this year.

Worryingly, I’ve received no response to the email I sent on September 25 to Councillor Clare Moonan, the Labour administration’s lead for rough sleepers.

I specifically asked her whether the night shelter was on track to open on the November 2, and I’m quite shocked by the lack of response on this. I have gone back to Councillor Moonan to chase up a reply, and reiterate the need for cross-party dialogue on such a crucial issue affecting the city. If the Council faces barriers getting the night shelter up and running, then this should be clearly communicated, and difficult questions should not be avoided or remain unanswered.

Caroline Lucas is the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.