Conservative Homelessness Policies Need a Heart
"I can't stay silent about the recent comments by Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who called rough sleeping a "lifestyle choice" and wants to restrict the use of tents by homeless people.
This just feels wrong on so many levels, and it certainly doesn't represent the views of local people that I know.
Our towns have always been known for their sense of community, compassion, and the way we rally around those in need.
Just last night, we saw it at the Harrogate Round Table's Bonfire Night event, where they were raising money for the Harrogate Homeless Project.
That's the spirit of our towns, where people genuinely care about each other.
The Conservative Home Secretary suggested, Charities providing homeless people with tents should be penalised, this is not only unhelpful, but it is cold in every sense of the word.
Charities are doing their best to support those in need, and these proposals undermine their important hard work.
Homelessness is not a "lifestyle choice" and any suggestion it is is the most desperate of politics.
The majority of homeless individuals are often dealing with difficult circumstances beyond their control.
We should be focused on addressing the root causes of homelessness, such as this governments chronic failure of housing policy, rather than penalising those who are trying to survive on the streets.
Let's remember what makes our towns special – our sense of community, empathy, and the willingness to support those who are struggling.
We need solutions that address homelessness, such as better shelter facilities, affordable housing, and comprehensive mental health services.
It's time for a more compassionate and empathetic approach. The Government should reflect the spirit of places like Harrogate and Knaresborough and prioritise helping those who need it most."
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough