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TORY-RUN Gloucester City Council has come under fire after it put up posters asking people not to give money to homeless people as they may be faking it.
The posters in question asks: “Are you really helping homeless people?
“In some cases, the people you see sleeping rough are not homeless.
“They are in accommodation, receiving support and benefits. Think before you give — change is more than coins.”
Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Gloucester Fran Boait condemned the posters and issued a joint statement with Labour councillor Terry Pullen, attacking the “disgusting” bid to “demonise one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our society who need our kindness and care.”
The posters encourage people who are worried about sleeping rough to instead contact StreetLink — a charity which connects people sleeping rough with local services — or give money to another “established homeless charity.”
Tory communities and neighbourhoods councillor Jennie Watkins defended the posters by stating that giving money to people who begged only “helped them in the short term, but, in the worst case, could feed dependency. It takes more than money to turn a life around.”
Labour has called on the Tories to remove the posters. The statement went on: “Clearly the nasty party is alive and kicking in Gloucester. The posters imply that most homeless people are not genuine but trying to con people out of money.
“StreetLink is an important organisation but it’s advertised in small print at the bottom of the page. The current campaign is based on negativity and not the right way to go about things.”
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