“Caring Conservatives” Axe New Forest Night Stop Grant
Conservatives on New Forest District Council have decided to cease funding any grant towards the operation of New Forest Nightstop.
Nightstop, an initiative organised through Community First in the New Forest, is the one charity which organises emergency accommodation for people who would otherwise have to sleep rough, using volunteer hosts.
The wisdom of this decision was questioned by Lib Dem Leader, Cllr David Harrison, as a question to the Tory Cabinet Member, Cllr Diane Andrews at a meeting of the full Council this week.
The Tory Councillor claimed that that the cost of running the service amounted to over £300 per night per person and said that it could not be justified in terms of getting value for public money.
Cllr. Harrison did not get an answer to a follow up question suggesting that the Council should make sure that proper alternative arrangements should have been put in hand before pulling the funding that supports these particularly vulnerable people.
Speaking after the meeting Cllr Harrison said ” I am not sure about the accuracy of the figures being quoted by the Conservatives, or that they are doing nearly enough to support homeless people in the area.
The lack of provision here in the New Forest suggests that they are content to push the problem onto neighbouring authorities”.