AN investment of nearly a million pounds has been shared between local authorities in Essex which have the highest number of rough sleepers.

A sum of £925,183 has been allocated to Colchester, Southend and Basildon councils from the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative fund.

The £30 million pot was divvied up across 83 UK authorities.

James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for ministry of housing, communities and local government, made the announcement this week.

The Conservative politician said: “It will be followed by a cross-government strategy, published in July, which will set out how we intend to meet the manifesto commitment of halving rough sleeping by 2022, and eliminating it altogether by 2027.”

Funds will provide more than 500 new staff including outreach workers, specialist mental health and substance misuse workers, and dedicated coordinators.

It will also provide for more than 1,700 new bed spaces including both emergency and settled accommodation.