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Labour's appalling 'homeless clearance' scheme revealed

April 6, 2018 1:50 PM
By Southampton Liberal Democrats

Southampton Liberal Democrats have challenged the Labour-run city council to explain why they are prepared to hand over thousands of pounds a month to a private security firm to 'turf out' rough sleepers, rather than invest that money in measures that will actually help the homeless community.

Following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the City Council, we have discovered that Labour spent £1680 a month on a private security contract during a 'successful' trial to remove rough sleepers from the Grosvenor Square multi-storey car park.

If rolled out city-wide, costs would escalate to as much as £8400 a month.

Ben Curd, Grosvenor Square car parkCommunities Spokesperson and Bargate Council Candidate Ben Curd says:

"I have writen to the Labour Cabinet member responsible for this scheme to voice my concerns over this policy. Typically, they're in no hurry to meet with me to discuss the issue.

"Spending taxpayers money in this way does nothing to address the issues faced by rough sleepers, it merely serves to dehumanise them. Is this the way we should treat some of the most vulnerable members of society? Southampton Labour seem to think so.

"This money could be put to much better use, uses might actually help people. For example, £8400 per month would be enough to employ three full-time case workers or hostel staff, or even pay for a three-month residential drug rehabilitation programme for 14 individuals over the course of a year.

"Rather than spend public money on private sector security, Southampton Liberal Democrats would like to see the funds put to better, more practical use, with long-term benefits for rough sleepers and other city residents."