Petition opposes Leicester City Council homeless cuts

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A 900-name petition opposing cuts to the number of beds for homeless people in Leicester is being sent to the city council.

The Labour-led authority is proposing a reduction in the number of beds at hostels from 433 to 200.

Leicester city councillor Andy Connelly said they were concentrating the budget on preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place.

A consultation on the city's homeless policy will end on Monday.

'More rough sleepers'

The online petition was organised by Save Homeless Services in Leicester to oppose what the group described as "drastic cuts".

Frazer Robson, of Shelter Housing Aid and Research Project (SHARP), said the proposed cuts could force more people to sleep rough on the streets.

"Fifteen or 16 months ago there were as many as 50 people sleeping rough in the city every night but the city council has managed to reduce the number to 10 or 12," Mr Robson said.

"But the worry is that if we close so many of the city's hostel spaces then potentially there will be people back on the streets.

"The idea of preventing homelessness is clearly a good idea but our real worry is that the consultation proposals include a massive reduction of bed spaces available for homeless people living in hostels and supported accommodation."

The authority needs to reduce its £6.6m homelessness services budget by £2.2m, in 2015.

The city council's final strategy on homelessness is expected to be ready in six to eight months, Mr Connelly said.

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