ROUGH sleepers are being handed free hot drinks by a leading coffee chain as snow and sub-zero temperatures arrive in Taunton.

A red warning is currently in place for wind and snow for parts of the South West as the Beast from the East has seen the mercury plummet to -4 degrees Celsius in Taunton.

Starbucks has tweeted to say they will be giving hot drinks to rough sleepers today.

The tweet said: “Starbucks Taunton are kindly giving free hot drinks out to all rough sleepers today.

“If you see anyone sleeping out, please let them know if it is safe for you to do so. All rough sleepers have been made aware of emergency accommodation in place.”

The move comes as a crunch meeting is set to be held today to discuss how rough sleeping and problems with rough sleeping can be tackled.

A multi-agency forum bringing a number of authorities and agencies together will be held in a bid to address issues surrounding homelessness.

Taunton Deane Borough Council is working closely with partners including Avon and Somerset Police, Somerset County Council, Taunton Association for the Homeless (TAH), Open Door and local businesses to find ways to reduce the issues affecting the town centre.