Green Councillors are calling on the city's Labour leadership to face the reality that the council's current severe weather homelessness provision - despite the heroic efforts of council officers to cope with demand - is leaving men and women out in freezing conditions after it emerged that (despite initial claims ) people were being turned away from shelters last week due to insufficient resources.
Says Cllr David Thomas - Leader of the Green Group on Oxford City Council, “Where the council is struggling to allocate its own resources, we are calling on it to reach out and engage with voluntary agencies who have the necessary resources and are only too willing to help. It's just a matter of making that first phone call."
Says Green Cllr Craig Simmons - Deputy Leader of the Green Group - "We are hearing distressing stories about people being turned away from the SWEP [severe weather emergency protocol) accommodation when temperatures are sub-zero. This message doesn't appear to be getting through to the Council Portfolio Holder, who has repeatedly claimed that everyone is being catered for . Council officers are doing an incredible job but are understaffed and overwhelmed. We need to see our political leaders act quickly and help get resources to where they are needed."
FMI: 07792 527421 Cllr David Thomas
PS: Cllr David Thomas has been working with Lush and Homes4All to provide services for rough sleepers over the winter out of the old Lush unit on Cornmarket Street. This is despite Council efforts to frustrate the work of Homes4All by claiming (as has been disproved) that there is no need for the service .