There is a petition to Leicester City Council to reconsider the drastic step of cutting funding to homeless shelters, like the Dawn Centre, Upper Tichbourne St and Lower Hastings St Hostels, which are all under threat. Please support it.
Some reasons why we need to win the fight to keep our homeless shelters open:
Leicester has the highest rate of rough sleepers per head of population outside of London (2012).
The Con-Dems are capping benefits, which will have a knock-on effect on housing benefit, forcing people into expensive and largely poor quality private accommodation or onto the street.
There is a projected rise in demand for homelessness services.
The economy continues to stagnate and Leicester has seen firms such as Dunelm Mills, Jessops, HMV and RF Brookes cut jobs in the city. With high unemployment, some people will be unable to afford mortgages and be forced into temporary accommodation or onto the street.
But there is an alternative – the council could build council housing, providing much-needed construction work. There is also no need to make these cuts. The Labour council is making swingeing cuts to services without a whimper of protest – yet it has reserves, which it could use to buy time in order to build a campaign, along with other Labour councils across the country, to force the government to back down. Instead the council is earmarking reserves to make people redundant.
This is a powerful argument for building a new party to represent ordinary people – Labour are no different, in reality to the Tories or the Lib Dems – they are all making the most vulnerable in society, in this case homeless people, pay for the crisis which their policies introduced.
Yet MPs have the gall to award themselves a £20,000 pay rise! I support TUSC (the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition). I support the idea of having elected representatives on the same wages as working-class people. Let’s build a left-wing alternative to cuts, privatisation and austerity.