FIGURES suggest that no-one is was sleeping rough in Braintree last autumn.

Thousands of people were preparing to sleep on the streets across England as stricter lockdown measures were introduced during October and November last year.

But Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows Braintree was among just 30 local authority areas where no rough sleepers were recorded during a spot check on one night in that period.

According to the Government's annual rough sleeping count, the figure dropped from five the year before.

But charities warn that there could be a post-pandemic surge in homelessness nationally.

Across England, there was a significant decrease in rough sleeping linked to 2020's Everyone In scheme, which saw the Government give councils extra funding to accommodate as many homeless people as possible in order to shield them from the coronavirus.

The countrywide count showed a fall of more than a third in the number of people estimated to be on the streets – from 4,266 in 2019 to 2,688 last year.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said rough sleeping was a "personal mission" as he celebrated the success of Everyone In.

He said the count reflected huge progress and was achieved by the Government working with councils, charities and faith groups, adding: “There is more to do, but I am determined to continue to drive progress forward.”