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Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Friday, 3 December 2010
B & B stay for cold rough sleepers in Somerset
A person sleeping rough on the streets
12 people have been put up in Bed & Breakfasts in the Sedgemoor area

Temperatures across Somerset have plummeted, with the weather station at RNAS Yeovilton recording -11 C early on Friday morning.

And with the temperatures so low, there's even more pressure on those supporting the county's rough sleepers.

Somerset's councils say they have seen a peak in people seeking help.

In one scheme, when temperatures fall below zero for three consecutive nights, rough sleepers can be put up in bed and breakfasts.

Last year Sedgemoor District Council had three people come forward - this year they have seen 12 come forward.

'Not moaning'

One person who has taken advantage of this is Nick Farrell, an amputee who lives on the streets of Taunton.

"That was absolutely fantastic as you can imagine to go from homelessness to a hotel," he said.

"I don't know the star rating on it but to me it was a 20 star."

That has now come to an end and he has taken to sleeping in a shed after turning down a place to stay in Bridgwater as it was too far for him to collect his medication everyday.

If you're out on the streets I'm sure one degree doesn't seem a lot more comfortable than minus one
John Shipley from Taunton Association for the Homeless

"I'm not moaning here, I'm not having a whinge saying 'poor old me' but it is quite difficult to get to sleep when the temperature is that low because actually you're shivering and that kind of wakes you up but you do manage to get some sleep eventually."

Despite the cold weather continuing, Jerry Miton, the housing advice manager at Sedgmoor District Council, said he thought the number of people seeking help had peaked.

He said: "The first couple of nights saw a large number coming in but that has tailed off."

John Shipley from Taunton Association for the Homeless said: "If you're out on the streets I'm sure one degree doesn't seem a lot more comfortable than minus one but the reality is there has to be an arbitrary point.

"If every single person sleeping on the streets was to be put in bed and breakfast every night of the year, then the country would be even more bankrupt than it already is."




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