Denbighshire has a problem with the amount of people official figures say are rough sleeping on the county’s streets.

According to official numbers from StatsWales, which are calculated by the Welsh Government and the council, there is only one rough sleeper in the county for 2018/19.

A figure which led to Vale of Clwyd MP, Chris Ruane questioned how the count was carried out and said more accurate information was needed.

He said: “I find this hard to believe when you’ve got 24 in Wrexham and even Anglesey has three.

“It’s such an important issue. Taking the pulse across the nation on one night does not seem very sensible or accurate, this should be done every season. Then you could plan to put more resources in place.

“We need to have a clearer picture and I think this lack of clarity is not just at local authority level, it is at a national level as well.”

And in the last year one homeless charity in the county said it had worked with 13 people who were homeless on the street.

A spokeswoman for Shelter Cymru said: “The way we currently count people sleeping rough is totally inadequate. It involves a single one-night count in November when it is usually freezing cold and all too easy to miss people. At that time of year people often stay up all night and walk around to stay warm, meaning they won’t be counted as they haven’t met the definition of ‘bedding down’.

“The danger of using such outdated monitoring methods is that rough sleeping is under-estimated, the need to provide services isn’t recognised, and people sleeping rough go without the help they need.

“However we know that the Welsh Government is actively developing better monitoring methods. This is really important work – hopefully it won’t be too much longer until we can get a better system in place, and this in turn will lead to better services to help people get the homes and support they need.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “The Welsh Government is investing more than £30m this year and next year to help tackle and prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, including supporting people off the streets.

“The published data is based on information provided by the local authority who are responsible for managing the night count in their local area. Denbighshire Council recorded one rough sleeper over the two weeks between 15 and 28 October 2018 and on the night of the count between the hours of 10pm on Thursday 8 November and 5am on Friday 9 November 2018.

“The single night count provides a very broad indication of rough sleeping levels and there are a range of factors which can impact on single-night counts of rough sleepers, including location, timing and weather. On 8 and 9 November 2018 severe weather conditions were recorded across Wales including flooding in some areas which may have had an impact on numbers on the streets.”

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “We follow national guidelines regarding the rough sleeper count which is undertaken on a specific night in November and the statistics come from that session.

“In Denbighshire one person was identified and was offered accommodation that night.

“Rhyl’s Ty Golau night shelter, which is funded by Denbighshire County Council’s Supporting People Fund and delivered by Clwyd Alyn, engages with anyone identified as a rough sleeper and last year had an overall occupancy rate of 87 per cent.

“As well as the council’s ongoing work to support residents and prevent homelessness in Denbighshire, a new pilot scheme to assist homeless people with high and complex needs is being launched.

“The Housing First pilot aims to ensure people are settled as quickly as possible in ordinary housing such as a private or social rented flat or house and are provided with the support they need, at their own pace, and for as long as they need it, to sustain their tenancy.

“There is an emerging evidence base to show this approach has the potential to deliver a sustainable exit from homelessness, improve health and well-being and enable social integration and is being supported by the Welsh Government.”