Lives are at stake and the government “must not sit on its hands” when it comes to homelessness, a politician has warned.

Figures show that around 239 people were sleeping rough in Redbridge between April 2017 and April 2018, an eight per cent increase on the previous year when there were 220.

London Assembly member Tom Copley has blamed Universal Credit and welfare cuts for this rise.

He said: “With the lives and wellbeing of local people at stake, we cannot afford for the Government to sit on its hands.

“It is shameful that so many Londoners have been left to suffer, and in some tragic circumstances, perish, on London’s streets.

“Thousands more families are left to languish in unsuitable temporary accommodation, and hidden homelessness is also on the increase.

“With the right political interventions, we can turn this sad situation around.”

As of March 2018, 2,270 households in Redbridge have had to rely on temporary accommodation.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates at least 109 homeless Londoners have died on the streets over the last 12 months.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, estimated that an additional £574 million of government funding is needed to end homelessness in London.

Mr Copley added: “We need the Government to urgently take drastic action and join the mayor in trying to bring this awful injustice to an end. The Prime Minister tells us austerity has had its time.

“I want to see her warm words followed with action to reverse the Government’s ruthless cuts to public services. I want to see the Government swiftly reconsider their disastrous welfare reforms which have presided over a rise in homelessness.”

Redbridge Council has admitted that homelessness is rising across the borough.

Council representatives counted 65 rough sleepers across in the borough on a single night in November 2017.

A council spokesman said that this was “in common with a number of outer London boroughs.”

Cllr Farah Hussain, cabinet member for housing and homelessness, said: “We want to do all we can to stop the causes of rough sleeping and better support those that find themselves on the streets.

“Rough sleeping is not inevitable and our efforts to secure nearly £1million in grants shows our determination to do even more for our most vulnerable residents and to not just address rough sleeping and homelessness, but end it.”