The latest UK Uncut fib relates to Westminster Council's proposals to "fine the homeless":
Westminster city council, the richest and most powerful council in the UK, is proposing a new bye-law to ban rough sleeping and “soup runs” in the Victoria area of London. The proposed new bye-law will make it an offence punishable by a fine to “sleep or lie down”, “deposit materials used as bedding” and to “give out, or permit another to give out, food for free”.
Clearly this is the work of Evil Tories as they crush the poor and vulnerable? How very dare they!
But when you look briefly into the matter it doesn't quite seem that way at all:
Westminster Council wants to pass a byelaw to stop rough sleeping and soup runs on Westminster Cathedral piazza and the surrounding area.
Westminster Council announced yesterday it has launched a consultation on the proposals with residents, businesses, local day centres and hostels and the voluntary sector.
If it gets a positive response from this, it will ask the Communities and Local Government department to pass a byelaw. It wants this in place by October.
Westminster Council estimates up to 100 people at a time congregate around the piazza while food is being given out and said people travel into the area to receive food hand-outs. The council has said vulnerable adults will be asked to leave the area before being subjected to any enforcement.
So why is the Council doing this? Here's a representative of homeless charity St Mungo's on the subject:
‘While we recognize the compassion involved in providing food to vulnerable people, those in distress and rough sleeping need services that will support them off the streets for good and give them the opportunity for longer term better housing, health and work as they move on with their lives.’
And, for good measure the Chief Executive of another homeless charity, Thames Reach:
‘Street handouts do little to help people make the step away from rough sleeping. Instead they frequently prevent people from facing up to the reality of the harmful lifestyle they have adopted.
‘The Westminster Cathedral piazza and surrounding area has been the focus for soup run activity and rough sleeping for many years and this has inevitably had a detrimental impact on the lives of people living and working in the immediate vicinity.’
So it seems that, in truth Westminster are working alongside homeless charities to try and deliver better support to rough sleepers!
So UK Uncut lied?