Leader comment: No-one should be sleeping rough in Edinburgh in 2018

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WE do not know how the man who tragically died on East London Street yesterday came to be sleeping rough.

A police investigation is ongoing and at the moment it is unclear whether he was homeless and regularly sleeping out.

However, SNP councillor Kate Campbell is right to suggest that the tragedy highlights an issue which should “shame us all” and spur politicians to act.

The grim statistics tell us that similar tragedies are all too common on the streets of the Capital.

According to council figures, ten men and eight women died while sleeping on the streets in the year to March 2016, a rate of more than one every three weeks.

Housing and economy convener Gavin Barrie admitted this week that Edinburgh is now facing a “homeless crisis”.

Just hours after the desperate attempts of locals to save the man, the city council met to approve its budget. Included in this is £2 million for a new homelessness task force to try to reduce the number being placed in emergency B&B accommodation. It’s a start but clearly it is not enough. In a wealthy city in 2018, it surely cannot be an unrealistic ambition that no one should ever be sleeping rough.