Around 250 people joined a lobby today against a proposed 38% cut in Oxford County Council’s budget for homeless provision, reports John Walker. The lobby was called by Oxford Homeless Pathways. This proposed cut comes on top of the budget being cut by 20% over the past five years.
If the cuts go ahead then it will mean that homeless shelters will have to close, with the result that homeless people will be thrown out onto the streets. In the current cold weather, this could mean that some could potentially die.
The lobby was angry and widely supported. Representation included people from local advice centres, trade unions and the Chinese Community Centre, which itself is under threats of cuts. Speakers at the lobby included Rosie Dewhurst of Oxford Homeless Pathways, John Tanner, an Oxford City Labour councillor, Nick Evans of Oxford People’s Assembly, Ian McKendrick of Oxford Unison Health branch and Dr Sheik Ramzy, imam of Oxford’s largest mosque.
Following the lobby a petition opposing the cuts was handed by those who went into the public gallery to watch the cabinet meeting. The Tory cabinet supported the cuts. The cuts will be now voted on by the full council on February 18th.