YOUNG people who have come out of care will have more places to live soon, as Wiltshire Council has agreed to look into creating a 25-bed block of flats for them to start living independently in their home county.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, councillors supported the proposal for the accommodation, which could also benefit the homeless and vulnerable young people.

Currently most of the accommodation for care leavers is provided by South Gloucestershire Council near the M5.

There are only two providers in Wiltshire, meaning too many care leavers are being placed away from the support they need.

There is also the opportunity to create the flats in partnership with Swindon Council.

Cabinet member for children, education and skills Cllr Pauline Church said: “In the next three years, at least 125 young people will leave care in Wiltshire and in the next 10 years, more than 300 high-quality semi-independence placements will be needed.

“Wherever possible, when a young person is ready to leave care between the ages of 16 and 18, their social worker or personal advisor will seek to find the most suitable alternative.

“I just want to remind everyone that in our responsibility as corporate parents, Wiltshire Council pledges to find young people access to support to find work and to participate in their communities, and also to find appropriate accommodation with good transport links.

“However delivering on many of these promises is only possible for care leavers living in Wiltshire.

“If a young person is staying outside of the county we cannot chose which resources other authorities chose to make available for them.”

Cllr Jon Hubbard was an ardent supporter of the plan, commenting: “Yes, yes, yes now let’s get on with it.”

Accommodation and support packages for care leavers and homeless people aged 16 and 17 years old are not regulated, meaning neither Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission inspect providers and the responsibility lies with Wiltshire Council.

Supported housing is available in hostel-type accommodation across the county to prepare young people to take on their own tenancy. However councillors have said this type of support cannot always meet the needs of young people.