There is a lot of confusion over claims that Oxford City Council is fining homeless people. This could not be further from the truth.
It's irresponsible of the Leader of another political party to be grossly misrepresenting the truth. When the City Council is wrongly attacked for cheap political gain, it's the city's vulnerable people who suffer because they begin to lose confidence in key council services.
This full statement from Oxford City Council sets out the reality of the situation. This is a fire safety issue, nobody has been fined and the issue has been resolved. No local council can take risks with people's fire safety. Incredible sensitivity has been used by council officers because they know this city's vulnerable people. Officers know these people because they are in regular touch, finding out how they are doing and what they need.
It also explains in details the lengths Oxford City Council, its officers and staff, have gone to in the face of massive Government cuts.
As a Labour-led council, we're a caring council with engagement and protection of the vulnerable at the heart of everything we do. It's in our DNA to invest money in public sector workers to engage and link vulnerable people with key services. We need to remember who is to blame for this situation - it's seven years of austerity and this leaderless and weak Conservative Government.