Rough sleeping is already visibly increasing in Glasgow city centre.

The mere suggestion that any government would take a decision that would knowingly add to that is unfathomable.

But that is what is happening with the UK Home Office planning to pursue a course of action that will certainly see the number on the streets rise and with the potential to cripple homelessness services in the city.

Yesterday, the officials at the council at an emergency meeting laid bare the scale of what lies ahead.

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It was a picture of an already overstretched service being pulled even more taught to the brink of snapping.

It will pile hundreds more people onto an already groaning caseload, that sees thousands of people placed in temporary accommodation, and several hundred on any given day stuck in unsuitable hotels.

We are not talking about the sort of hotel you browse through on for a relaxing city break.

Fluffy towels, gown, slippers and a mini-bar are not included in this deal.

And as a result of a range of factors including spending decisions and external pressures including council funding, cost of living crisis and asylum problems, there are many, too many, for whom there is no room in this system.

Recently, early on a Tuesday morning, the Glasgow Times walked the main city centre streets before 7am, before the shops opened and the streets were still fairly quiet.

On Sauchiehall Street, two people were asleep in different doorways.

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The front doors of now closed-down shops are being used as shelter by people who find themselves with nowhere else to go.

In recent weeks, someone has been seen sleeping in a tent outside the old Marks & Spencer building.

Others can be seen regularly in the morning, still asleep outside the old BHS on Sauchiehall Street and Bath Street and the old Boots towards Charing Cross.

Their sleeping bags are separated by the cold pavement only by a layer of cardboard attempting to give some insulation.

Plastic bags of belongings are stuffed beside them.

The council has sadly had to resort to looking at taking over these very premises to take people indoors.

The fact that it has even been considered should be enough to shame those who want to put hundreds more in this situation.

On Argyle Street, one man was sitting outside after spending the night in a nearby car park.

He said he had been outside for several weeks.

He said: “I have been waiting more than eight weeks now for an offer of temporary accommodation.”

He would rather take his chances in the cold outside than spend the night in one of the many hotels the council uses for overnight accommodation.

He added: “I have refused emergency accommodation because I will not go into one of the hotels I have been offered. They are not safe.”

He said there are several people wandering the city centre through the night with nowhere to go.

On Queen Street, someone’s belongings and sleeping bag was left in a doorway. It can be seen there most days with the person returning at night.  

On Union Street, a woman was crammed in a narrow doorway asleep in a sleeping bag, just yards from one of the hotels used by the council as emergency accommodation.

At Gordon Street, a man was sitting at the traffic lights after yet another night on the street, waiting for the first influx of city centre workers from Central Station hoping they fill his cup with change.

He said he has been homeless since June and has had no offer of accommodation.

The Glasgow Times has also reported in recent months on people who have been told there is no emergency accommodation available, with one man told four nights in a row there was nowhere to put him.

We were witness to the phone call when he was informed of the news he had no option but to spend another night on the street.

It lasted less than two minutes and left him desolate.

The Scottish Government Housing Minister, Paul McLennan, was yards away visiting the soup kitchen the man had come to rely on.

He said he couldn’t do anything to help until Monday as it was Friday night.

We are also aware of others who have been in this situation, it is not a one-off.

The homeless services are struggling to cope. The council is in breach of statutory duties on thousands of cases, with people stuck in hotels and B&Bs.

It wants to end the use of B&Bs but can’t and has had to go back on a decision to shut down one of the city centre hotels it uses at great expense.

The decision by the Home Office to speed up applications and kick people out of accommodation will put even more people in this situation.

It will make it even harder for services to cope with the stream of people already needing help.

But the Home Office and Suella Braverman, the current Home Secretary, know all this.

And it doesn’t seem to matter.