An online petition about this issue, which has been running since November 2015, highlights what many see as an injustice, where women (often with young children) who find themselves in dangerous situations and feel forced to flee their homes, only fall into a Band 2 category on the Council’s housing register.
Campaigners want to upgrade this ranking to the top ‘priority’ Band 1 status.
Now, the Tories have tabled a motion to the next available Full Council (March) which calls on the Mayor and housing officers to carry out this revision as a matter of urgency.
Cllr Weston (Con, Henbury & Brentry) said: “I have been contacted on this very issue only recently.
“My colleagues fully agree with me that the current designation is a peculiarity which really needs to be redressed at the earliest opportunity.
“Sadly, many Members will encounter examples of such dysfunctional households in their own wards and the desperate plight of those seeking to escape potential harm.
“The local Authority has a moral and legal obligation to often extremely vulnerable people, especially where young children are also involved or at risk.
“Because of their current classification, it is not uncommon for individuals and families to wait months for emergency and temporary accommodation to become available. Often, this delay will see many resort to relying on friends and resorting to so-called sofa surfing.
“Councils now have much greater control and flexibility over their housing stocks. Therefore, we are calling for this special or exceptional class of applicant to be moved into the highest priority grouping possible under our allocation system (Band 1).
“This move deserves to be debated and, is one which I am confident would gain all-Party support to rectify an obvious injustice.”