Monday, 6 February 2012

Manchester Labour take £55,000 off homeless in storage charge plans

I have joined a number of my Liberal Democrats colleagues and "called in" controversial plans by Labour's Town Hall bosses to raise £55,000 from charging people made homeless to store their furniture and belongings.

There is currently no charge for the service, but officers estimate that it costs £25.44 per week to store 3 boxes, £149.11 to move furniture, and £26.97 to access stored furniture. They plan to remove any subsidy and charge people who have just been made homeless the full amount for these costs.

A family made homeless and put in temporary accomodation for three months would incur costs of £479.83. At the suggested repayment rate of £3.50 per week, it would take 137 weeks to pay off.

Manchester Lib Dem Leader Marc Ramsbottom said, "We want to scrutinise these plans. Labour are proposing to take £55,000 out of the pockets of people at their most vulnerable. Once again, Labour are proposing something unfair, and I bet a pound to a penny it will be all the government's fault. The people of Manchester are getting wise to Manchester Labour making things worse for political gain."

As this item has been 'called in' it will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider. If, having considered the decision, the overview and scrutiny committee is still concerned about it, then it may refer it back to the decision making person or body for reconsideration,setting out in writing the nature of its concerns or refer the matter to full Council.

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