Homelessness

Oxford City Council has introduced homeless fines and failed to spend money set aside to support people rough sleeping and homeless.

In last year's budget, the council failed to spend £400,000 of their homeless support budget, meanwhile, shelters are being closed due to funding cuts.

What's more, in 2015 the City Council introduced a £1,000 fine targeting busking and 'begging', and in 2017 they introduced a £2,500 fine which almost exclusively affects people rough sleeping.

To make matters worse a senior Labour councillor said, "I'd like to go up to some of these rough sleepers and say 'you are a disgrace'.", and advised that if you see a 'beggar' you should "call the police".

Local Liberal Democrats have consistently called for greater support service funding and for an end to the homeless fines.

The Liberal Democrat's short-term plan for homelessness is:

1. Extending 'SWEP', to ensure no one needs to sleep rough for even one night during freezing temperatures

2. Increasing funding for homeless support services, ending the yearly fall in bed numbers and providing greater counselling support

3. Scrapping Labour's homeless fines, and ending the use of powers to remove sleeping bags and tents from people rough sleeping

Agree with us? Add your name to the campaign, and help put pressure on Oxford City Council to end their homeless fines, spend their support budgets and invest more in homeless support services.

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