John Leech: Lib Dems will oppose Labour’s fines for homeless people till the end of time

Rough sleepers in Manchester are to be hit with fines of up to £1,000 as part of Labour’s latest social cleansing plans.

Former Lib Dem MP  John Leech who is now one of Manchester’s two Lib Dem councillors and the only opposition to Labour in City Hall, vowed that the party would ‘oppose it until the end of time’.

He said:

Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester Council, described Christmas as “peak begging season”, the council claimed soup kitchens organised by communities and outreach teams are a “bad idea” whilst fining and trying to sue the homeless, spending £10,000 on one-way tickets to get rid of rough sleepers, refusing to build affordable and social housing and claiming the only way to tackle “offenders” is to fine them.

Whilst this city experiences the worst homeless crisis in decades, rather than tackling the causes, Labour in Manchester is investing in fines, court orders and inane policies that are so broad and lacking in detail that it can only be seen as an attempt to clean up the streets.

If this isn’t social cleansing then I’ve got no idea what is and I want to make it absolutely crystal clear; Liberal Democrat councillors will oppose this until the end of time.

Manchester council has already taken out a number of injunctions against homeless people living in tents across the city. 

This proposal is now open for consultation. If you’re from Manchester, have your say here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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3 Comments

  • Fining anyone for sleeping rough.. Wrong, Wrong, WRONG!

  • Given the typical homeless person doesn’t have savings etc. is the intention to get the person to default on the fines and thus get a custodial sentence; making them someone else’s problem…

  • Peter Hirst 16th Feb '19 - 3:45pm

    Though it is not straightforward, I view homeless people as victims rather than offenders until proven otherwise. As such they should be supported and helped. This help should be broader, bringing in a wide range of agencies such as counseling, negotiating and goal setting.

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