Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/16074
Defending the homeless in Leicester
A protest by homeless people took place in Leicester on Saturday 2nd February, supported by the Socialist Party and others.
The Labour council is planning £2.2 million worth of cuts to the homeless service which could lead to 200 hostel beds being lost. Other vital services to the homeless will also be cut.
Homeless people sat on cardboard with placards to show what the city centre will see a lot more of - if these cuts go through. Supporters leafleted, petitioned and megaphoned to make local people aware of what is happening.The 'Streetlife' action group has been formed by homeless people to campaign against the proposals. Leicester City Council's own homelessness review predicts that by the end of the financial year 2012-13 the council will have dealt with over 2,350 households facing homelessness, an increase of almost 20% on the previous year.
It makes no sense to cut these services. If enough council accommodation existed to rehouse the homeless permanently then maybe the number of hostel beds could be cut - but since that isn’t the case it is crazy to make these cuts.
A Streetlife member commented: “The council don't think we matter, and think that we have been ground down so much that we are now a soft target and so won't do anything to oppose the cuts”.The council is wrong! There will be on-going protests as long as the Labour mayor and council continue to pass on the Tory-Liberal government’s cuts.