EVERY council department is under pressure and each could spend more cash on their services if finances allowed it.

However, the city council has an duty as the authority responsible for homelessness to ensure its obligations are met.

Sadly, the same economic circumstances that led to the council having less cash to spend are those which give rise to an increase in homelessness. People are at greater risk of losing their job and family break-ups are more common for the same reasons.

The 'bedroom tax' places another burden on housing providers who are looking to re-house people in one-bedroom flats, the very properties that would otherwise have been available for people who have become homeless.

There is no easy solution to this crisis, but when the Housing Regulator tells the council it has concerns and staff are warning of a service that is at breaking point then it has to be taken seriously.

However to simply demand more money from an already reducing council budget is not the solution, as the cash would come from somewhere else.

The threat of creating a new generation of young homeless people has to be considered at all levels of government before decisions are taken to reduce public spending.