Oxfordshire County Labour Group pledges to restore County Council funding for homelessness services

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Oxfordshire County Council is on track to withdraw funding for the housing related support pooled budget unless a Labour amendment to the budget is adopted by the Council next Tuesday.

The Labour Group wants to reverse a decision made by the Tory-dominated Cabinet, which commits the County Council to withdraw all remaining homelessness funding by 2019/20.

The Labour Group have identified £500,000 per year of County Council funds that could be used to support local homelessness organisations, such as O’Hanlon House, and commission new targeted support services for people with complex needs.

The new services would aim to address current gaps of provision across the county, especially where those affected are young people, recent care leavers, and people with mental health needs.

Emma Turnbull, Labour County Councillor for University Parks division in Oxford, commenting on the Labour amendment to the County Council budget, said:

“Oxfordshire’s homelessness services will be left with a £380,000 funding gap if the County Council adopts the Tory-led Cabinet’s budget proposals next week.

Labour’s proposal would stop the withdrawal of County Council funds, and instead commit the Council to putting £500,000 per year into the pooled budget.

This funding could be transformative: it would provide additional support for the most vulnerable rough sleepers and extend the services currently on offer to individuals with complex psychological and mental health needs.

It would help alleviate the crisis, creating new provision that is so desperately needed both in the city and the districts.”