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Southampton Liberal Democrats are making the headlines

April 16, 2018 12:30 PM
By Southampton Liberal Democrats

As reported on the front page of the Echo today, Bargate candidate Benjamin Curd and Southampton Liberal Democrats are urging the Labour-run City Council to rethink a controversial 'homeless clearance' scheme.

Daily Echo 16/4/18_Benjamin Curd on 'homeless clearance scheme' campaignInstead of spending in the region of £8400 per month of public money on a private security firm to remove rough sleepers from city centre car parks - with no support staff on hand to provide advice or guidance to those people being evicted - the same money 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.

Following pressure from Lib Dem campaigner Benjamin Curd, Labour's Cabinet Member for Health and Community Safety has admitted that he didn't know if other options had been considered, and that no local charities were consulted prior to the trial.

Benjamin Curd comments:

"I'm glad the Echo has decided to report on this 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.

"You would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the current situation. We need to look properly at the options and consider the impact of each option."

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