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Tories “Still not Listening” on Homelessness Services

October 10, 2014 2:02 PM

Leicestershire Tories have been accused of failing to listen after rejecting calls to rethink a decision to cut homelessness services. The decision, made in September, was "called in" by Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors who accused the Tories of ignoring evidence submitted by charitable organisations who provide homelessness services and have expressed concerns over the cuts to homelessness services.

Jeff Kaufman said: "When Cabinet made their decision last month, a number of comments were submitted from various organisations warning that the decision would lead to closure of a homeless shelter, and that the reduction of support for homeless people would lead to more expensive problems down the line.

But when Cabinet made their decision, they merely said that they 'note' the comments but didn't address any of the concerns raised. We needed to make sure that they full understood the implications of the decision they made."

Council officers provided more detail about the proposals and questions revealed that the proposed split in funding between accommodation and floating split wasn't set in stone and could be altered if issues arose. This addressed key concerns of the opposition.

When Dave Houseman, the Cabinet lead member responsible for these services, was asked whether the proposals were expected lead to the closure of Kennedy House homeless hostel, he was unable to give a clear and decisive response.

Michael Charlesworth said: "The meeting showed that the Tories had not fully considered the implications of the decision they were making, but pressed ahead regardless.

Unfortunately they weren't willing to listen and rethink, but I'm glad that we got the opportunity to scrutinise them further."