Rough sleepers in Manchester are to be hit with fines of up to £1,000 as part of Labour's latest social cleansing plans.
Manchester Lib Dem leader John Leech promised his party will ‘oppose it until the end of time’.
The new ‘public space protection order’ will ban erecting tents and fine people who refuse to move out of doorways or stairwells in what the Lib Dems have slammed as ‘social cleansing’.
The council says only those caught ‘aggressively’ begging will be hit with fines of up to £1,000 but John Leech said policies like this can and have been used as an excuse to ‘clean up the streets’.
Former Liberal Democrat MP John Leech who now leads the opposition on Manchester Council said:
“Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester Council, described Christmas as “peak begging season”, the council claimed soup kitchens organised by communities and outreach teams are a “bad idea” whilst fining and trying to sue the homeless, spending £10,000 on one-way tickets to get rid of rough sleepers, refusing to build affordable and social housing and claiming the only way to tackle “offenders” is to fine them.
“Whilst this city experiences the worst homeless crisis in decades, rather than tackling the causes, Labour in Manchester is investing in fines, court orders and inane policies that are so broad and lacking in detail that it can only be seen as an attempt to clean up the streets.
“If this isn't social cleansing then I've got no idea what is and I want to make it absolutely crystal clear; Liberal Democrat councillors will oppose this until the end of time."
Manchester council has already taken out a number of injunctions against homeless people living in tents across the city.
The council’s proposal went out for consultation today.