To mark world homeless day, Cambridge Lib Dems are calling for a renewed efforts to address Cambridge’s homeless issues.
The call comes as research released this week shows that at least 449 homeless people died in the UK in the last 12 months.
It also follows the detailed report on homelessness in Cambridge undertaken by Lib Dem councillors Tim Bick and Nichola Harrison, published earlier this year. The report set out a number of recommendations including exploring a Cambridge Charter for rough sleeping and considering a Housing First approach to the provision of accommodation for people who are homeless.
Rod Cantrill, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Cambridge said, “As a trustee of a local homeless charity, I have seen at first hand the number of people who are homeless in Cambridge increase by a large number over the last few years. The winter period is especially tough for people who are forced to sleep rough on the street. The council’s recent policy of offering people at risk of being homeless accommodation up to 50 miles away from Cambridge could potentially make the problem worse.
It is clear the council has not been able to make a material break through on solving this issue, despite Cambridge being a city of immense prosperity. Cambridge Liberal Democrats have been calling for the council to double its efforts and explore creative new ideas in conjunction with the homeless charities in the city. Such ideas include a Cambridge Charter for rough sleeping and for Cambridge and Housing First a targeted provision of housing for homeless people linked with a comprehensive support programme.”
Copy of homeless report by Cllr Tim Bick and Cllr Nichola Harrison https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sym-rbTO5UCC9lmQjeiNjzUWYwycPBQ2/view
Already, County Council budget planning discussions for February have been taking place in earnest, with a close-up view of what is increasingly accepted as potential bankruptcy by 2020. At the same time, Council staff are being forced to take unpaid leave.
Cambridge Lib Dems have repeated their call for Cambridge to have a Local Living Rent, based on one third of household disposable income. The call is in response to the BBC research released today on cost of renting for young people between 22-29 across the country. The Labour City Council has so far refused to consider such an option.
The BBC research highlights that rent for a 1 bedroom flat costs over 60% of an individual’s income in parts of Cambridge.
Councillor Rod Cantrill, Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Cambridge said, “I have been calling for some time for Labour to look at a Local Living Rent for Cambridge. Our amendment to the Council Budget in February included proposals for a Local Living Rent that were rejected by the Labour ruling group.
As the BBC research highlights, many young people such as teachers and nurses, who are the glue that makes Cambridge work cannot afford to live in the city or the surrounding area. We need to do something to help these people – and a local Living Rent does this.”
I've submitted the following written question to the next meeting of the County Council:
In September, it was reported that some Councils have been developing profiling for at risk residents and/or families:
Has the County Council any plan now or in the future to do this?
Following sustained pressure from a LibDem campaign, Labour run Cambridge City Council have today announced a 50% reduction in charges for the Shopmobilty services, which they introduced in May. Previously the service had been free.
Cllr Tim Bick, Lib Dem leader of the Opposition on Cambridge City Council issued the following statement in response to the resignation of Labour Cllr Ann Sinnott:
"It is incredible that the Labour Party chooses not to comment when one of its councillors resigns her seat on the council and then quits her party, bitterly criticising their counci's policy.
Residents have approached us to request that trees be planted along the verges on Eachard Road, to match those on Woodlark.
Cambridge Liberal Democrats have announced former City Councillor Sarah Brown as their candidate for the Cambridge City Council by-election in Petersfield, which takes place on September 13th.
Last night, a petition calling on Cambridge Labour Party to scrap their unfair Shopmobility charges was presented to a meeting of the City Council.
Pictured above is local resident Sue Simms, who spoke on behalf of over 1000 petitioners.
Incredibly, Labour councillors again said no.