Oxford Green City Councillors have called on Oxford City Council's Labour-run administration to release emergency funds from the Council's Homelessness Reserve to provide accommodation for the City's rising number of rough sleepers during the current cold snap.
Says City Green Group Leader, Craig Simmons, who also Chairs the City's Finance Panel:
"The Greens have long been critical of the Council's policies on homelessness; their use of Protection Orders to criminalise some rough sleepers and the failure to stop the closure of Lucy Faithful House with the consequent loss of homeless accommodation. We have also opposed money being held back in the Council's Homelessness Reserve at a time when the numbers of rough sleepers is growing. But, if there was ever a time to set aside our differences and work together, it is surely now. The Council can and should release money to help provide temporary accommodation for rough sleepers who are facing the harshest weather we have seen for some time."
At the last count there was around £800,000 in the homelessness reserve - money which is held back in case of need but which is otherwise unallocated.