£5k bill for housing just three families

Cash-strapped South Ribble Council is spending thousands of pounds on hotel bills for families waiting to find out if they're even eligible for social housing.

The figures emerged after the Leyland-based local authority published details of all its expenditure over 500.

Between August and October, 2010, the council forked out 4,720 in three separate payments to a hotel 15 miles outside of Leyland, where rooms can cost up to 85 a night.

According to the hotel's website the plush rooms come with a continental breakfast and access to Sky TV and Wi-fi access.

The Leyland Guardian has chosen not to name the hotel because in some cases the victims of domestic violence are accommodated there.

The 4,720 cost relates to emergency accommodation for just three families, who were waiting to see if they were eligible for social housing.

The authority already funds homeless projects in the town such as SLEAP and KEY, as well as sheltered housing.

Under strict rules, South Ribble Borough Council has an obligation to provide help and support for homeless people.

* FULL STORY IN WEDNESDAY'S LEYLAND GUARDIAN

** christopher.maguire@lep.co.uk