You are here:


NBBC Severe Weather Emergency Protocol for Rough Sleepers

NBBC recognises that there are, unfortunately, a number of rough sleepers in the Borough. In times of severe weather, they are particularly at risk of harm and in extreme cases, death. The Council is committed to helping them get the right support and services to end rough sleeping and access settled housing.

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is therefore intended to get rough sleepers off the streets during periods of below zero temperatures. It has two aims:

  • to ensure that no-one dies on the streets due to severe weather
  • to ensure that every effort is made to engage individuals with support services during the coldest months

When is the SWEP Protocol triggered?

The SWEP arrangements are activated when the night time temperature is predicted to be zero degrees Celsius for three consecutive nights.

Who decides when to trigger the SWEP Protocol?

During periods of cold weather, the Housing Solutions Team will check the forecast for Nuneaton and Bedworth on the Meteorological Office website.

The person responsible for initiating the protocol is the Housing Solutions Team Leader or Manager.

Weather checks will be made during the morning and again in the afternoon each day.

Who is Eligible?

Anyone who is sleeping rough is eligible. During the period of the SWEP they do not need to be eligible for assistance under homelessness legislation, have priority need or a local connection or be unintentionally homeless.


Once it has been decided to activate the SWEP, an officer from the Housing Solutions Team will manage the emergency accommodation bookings. If the SWEP has been triggered outside of office hours then this will be managed by the Out of Hours Service.

The Council will notify all organisations and agencies engaging with rough sleepers as soon as possible that the SWEP has been triggered.

The accommodation provided will range from hostel accommodation, the winter night shelter or Bed and Breakfast.

The Council will provide the most appropriate accommodation available at the time.

The weather forecast will be checked daily and, once the minimum temperature is predicted to rise above zero degrees, then the SWEP will be lifted and emergency accommodation for that night will no longer be provided.

All clients placed into emergency accommodation when the SWEP is in operation will be offered Housing advice to help them access the support they require to obtain settled housing.

If any incidents of anti-social behaviour occur during the time that emergency accommodation is provided then the Housing Solutions Manager will review the assistance provided and decide if alternative accommodation is appropriate to manage any risk.

People who refuse shelter during severe weather

Rough sleepers may make unpredictable decision if they are exhausted, hungry, afraid, in pain or intoxicated. If someone refuses help during severe weather this may therefore be grounds for contacting mental health services.

The following organisations offer advice and assistance to the homeless or those threatened with homelessness in addition to the Council:

Doorway - 25-27, Dugdale St, Nuneaton,CV11 5QJ. Telephone - 02476 345583 

P3 – 128 Abbey Street, Nuneaton, CV11 5BZ. Telephone - 0808 164 6220          

Salvation Army - 1 Victoria Street, Nuneaton, CV11 5QE. Telephone - 02476 343143

St. Basil’s – 02476 889673




















Last updated Friday, 14th January 2022

Was this information useful?

You said, we did