The Green Party Group on the County Council has unveiled its amendment to the forthcoming budget for 2014/15 which targets homelessness services as part of a £60m cuts package. The Tory-Independent administration is proposing to cut £1.5m from homelessness services as part of its Housing Related Support grant.
Sam Coates, Deputy Leader of the Green Group said:
"The proposed 38% cuts to homeless services raise the very real prospect of many more people sleeping rough in Oxford and we are disappointed that the administration hasn't taken the chance to stop the cuts to homeless services with the extra funding it has found itself with. These new cuts are coming on top of £170m already taken out of local services. There is nothing left to go apart from brutal attacks on services for the most vulnerable people in our County and targeting homeless people in this way demonstrates that.
“Green Councillors will be proposing an alternative Budget to stop all of the most damaging cuts to local services, by asking residents to chip in an extra 30p a week, the price of a postage stamp."
The Green Group is proposing a budget amendment package which would include cancelling the proposed cut to homeless services. Cllr Coates said:
"By proposing a 4.5% increase in Council Tax we could get the extra funding needed to stop the proposed cuts to homeless services, support for asylum seekers and older people. Proposing more than a 2% increase requires a local referendum. So far only the Green Party has come out locally as willing to have the conversation as a community: are we willing to pay a bit more to save absolutely vital services for our most vulnerable neighbours?"