At the last meeting of Oxford City Councillors, NOT ONE Labour councillor voted to even consider funding a project which could have taken ten people sleeping rough off the streets this winter.
This is following the City Council not spending £400k of their homeless support budget in the last budgetary year and the introduction of a £2.5k fine almost exclusively affecting people rough sleeping.
Commenting, Conor McKenzie said:
“Oxford has dire issues with homelessness, not spending the homeless budget is unjustifiable, let alone not funding key volunteer-run projects.
“The City Council seem more focused on using fines as a means of preventing homelessness and rough sleeping. These just encourage greater stigma and are an ineffective means of solving a complex issue.
“This winter, churches and community groups have stepped up to meet the City Council’s failure to provide enough support. This is very welcome, but not sustainable or what we should expect.”