Manchester Council has spent enough money to house every single person sleeping rough in Manchester for an entire year…on fountains, according to the Liberal Democrats.
In an Executive meeting on 16 January, the council approved spending a further £771,000 on revamping Exchange Square’s fountains on top of the £400,000 spent on Piccadilly Garden’s fountains.
This means nearly £1.2m will have been spent on city centre fountains in just two years. The Lib Dems claim that this is enough money to house every single person sleeping rough for an entire year. Additionally, the money is enough for a hot meal, warm shower and access to a support worker.
The Liberal Democrat opposition voted against the plans.
Liberal Democrat Opposition Finance Spokesperson, Greg Stanton, said:
“In the last couple of years, Labour have wasted £1.2m on failing fountains; had we spent that same amount on Liberal Democrat priorities, we could have housed every single person sleeping rough in Manchester for an entire year, along with a hot meal, a warm shower and access to a support worker.
“Now, weigh up the difference that could have made versus the difference a revamped fountain will make.
“But, only Manchester Labour could talk about taking homelessness seriously whilst recklessly throwing away enough money to house every rough sleeper… on fountains. It’s deplorable.
“As with all of Labour’s vanity projects, the Liberal Democrats will oppose this with all our energy and fight to re-prioritise public money for social change, not vanity projects and endless failing fountains.”