Manchester City Council spent £88,000 fighting homeless protest

Tony Gosling tony at
Fri May 22 21:17:27 BST 2015

Manchester City Council has spent £88,000 on Fighting homelessness Protest 


May 22, 2015

Manchester’s City Council have spent a staggering 
£88,000 on Police, bailiffs, security and court 
costs to prevent homeless people from sleeping 
outside council buildings, more than enough to 
pay a year’s rent for each protester.

A group of around 30 campaigners have camped 
outside council buildings in the city for the 
past month in order to raise awareness to the problem of homelessness.

Manchester council cut £50million from local 
services in its last budget, including services 
for the young, homeless and victims of gender 
violence. Official figures show that homelessness 
has risen by 79% in Manchester in the last year.

Over the course of the last month, Manchester 
Council have called bailiffs on the camp, taken 
the protestors to court, and banned them from 
entering the Central Library to use the toilets. 
The camp moved from Albert Square to St. Peter’s 
Square after a court order. On Tuesday, the 
Greater Manchester Police evicted the protesters 
again, and they have now moved to St. Anne’s Square.

The Deputy Leader of Manchester Council, Bernard 
Priest, said the council and GMP have spent more 
than £88,000 in additional policing, security and 
legal costs since it set up on Albert Square more 
than a month ago. The council’s expenditure is 
equivalent to paying £244 a month in rent, to each protestor, for a year.

Laura Bannister of Manchester Green Party said 
“It’s great to see homeless people working 
together to stand up for their rights. This 
protest makes it very difficult for them to be 
ignored any longer – I hope the council and the government are taking notice”

The Green Party are calling for an end to budget 
cuts for homelessness services in Manchester, as 
well as an end to the benefit sanctions and 
bedroom tax – which have left many without a 
home. Manchester Green Party will be joining 
5,000 others protesting against austerity cuts in 
Piccadilly Gardens from 12pm tomorrow. This 
includes a solidarity protest with the homeless camp at 2pm.

The homeless camp are currently appealing for 
donations from the public. They require tents to 
house new homeless people, and to set up a 
‘kitchen tent’ to help feed the hungry. Residents 
are also looking for sleeping bags and sleeping 
mats, tarpaulins to cover leaking tents, razors, 
deodorant, toiletries, toothbrushes and sanitary products.

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