Tories Forced to Rethink Cuts to Homelessness Services
Opposition Councillors on Leicestershire County Council have "called in" a decision by the Conservative run Cabinet to cut funding for prevention services for homeless people. The "call in" procedure can be used to force a re-think on a decision if councillors believe there is a flaw in the process or if evidence has not been listened to. The "call in" has been signed by Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors.
The Tories stand accused of failing to properly consider evidence from homelessness charities; warning of the potential impact of the cuts, including the closure of homeless shelter spaces; and of not addressing calls from opposition councillors that more money be allocated to "accommodation-based support", that provides homeless people with a place to stay, than "floating support" which doesn't provide such shelter.
Simon Galton, Liberal Democrat Leader said, "We don't do this lightly. The 'call in' procedure is only used on rare occasions. On this occasion we don't believe that Cabinet properly assessed the evidence and arguments provided so we are asking them to look again.
Our homelessness services are vital to protect the most vulnerable in society and to ensure that they don't require more expensive public services further down the line. It's essential that this decision is properly scrutinised."
The decision on the cuts to prevention services has been paused until the Adults and Communities Scrutiny committee has had a chance to revisit the issue at a meeting on Thursday 9th October.