Oxford City Council defies Liberty and votes to fine beggars and buskers

The Greens have reacted angrily to a vote today by the Labour-run City Executive Board (CEB) to push ahead with a controversial Public Spaces Protection Order which gives Oxford City Council powers to fine beggars and buskers. This vote was taken despite a clear challenge from civil liberty campaign group, Liberty, that the PSPO was disproportionate, failed to take into account less draconian alternatives or the detrimental effects.

Protests have also been mounted against the PSPO in recent weeks by the comedian and activist Mark Thomas. 

Says Green Councillor David Thomas (no relation) who spoke against the Council's plans at the CEB meeting today: "The Council today voted to defy Liberty and fine beggars and buskers. Fining beggars makes no sense at all and will just lead to more misery and poverty."

Furthermore, the threat of a fine will just displace the 'problem' elsewhere.

Says Green Councillor Craig Simmons, who was prevented from speaking on the item by CEB Chair Cllr Ed Turner: "The Council says they will fine buskers who don't comply with their new code of conduct'. The only problem is, this new code of conduct doesn't exist yet!"

For more information contact Cllr David Thomas on 07792 527421.

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