THE number of homeless applications made in Argyll and Bute has risen sharply, according to new Scottish Government figures.

Statistics show that the number of homeless applications in the area rose from 418 in the nine-month period between January and September 2016 to 506 in the same period 12 months later – a year-on-year increase of 21 per cent.

In neighbouring West Dunbartonshire the number of applications fell by 3 per cent over the same period, while Scotland as a whole saw an increase of 2 per cent.

Helensburgh’s MSP, Jackie Baillie, said: “While I welcome the reduction in homeless applications in the West Dunbartonshire area, I am deeply concerned by the sharp rise in applications in Argyll and Bute.

“This places many people, in particular children, at risk. This problem is not just limited to Argyll and Bute.”