A Harrow councillor has called on the Government to step up its efforts on tackling homelessness following the latest rough sleeping statistics.

Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick, who is also the Labour parliamentary candidate for Harrow East, said more must be done to address the issue in her borough, London and beyond.

Figures released by the Government estimate that there were 13 people sleeping rough in Harrow in autumn 2018, while 87 households were thought to be without a home.

Cllr Fitzpatrick pointed out that rough sleeping in London has increased by 243 per cent since 2010, while there have been more than double the cases across the UK.

She added that the figures presented by the Government do not tell the whole story – often there are many more people on the streets who are unaccounted for.

“These new figures are deeply disturbing, and reveal the damage caused by eight years of austerity to families and communities in London,” she said.

“This is a national emergency and the Government needs to take immediate action by guaranteeing emergency accommodation for every rough sleeper in this cold weather and 8,000 homes to keep those who have slept rough off the streets for good.”

The Government insists that it is seriously targeting homelessness and aims to end rough sleeping by 2027.

In December, communities secretary gave an update on its strategy, which includes an £11 million fund dedicated to councils across the country.

He said: “No-one is predestined to spend their lives sleeping on the streets. Yet, despite this, too many people still sleep rough on any given night.

“That is why we are taking action to provide support to help get people off the street this winter and set the foundations to put an end to rough sleeping altogether by 2027.”

In particularly severe weather where the temperature drops below zero, local authorities including Harrow open emergency shelters for the homeless.