Kathryn Kelloway, a Cardiff Tory councillor, thought it would be a good idea last night, at the end of a week of freezing temperatures, to post a picture of herself in front of the tents of homeless people in Cardiff city centre – and tweet a call for those tents to be torn down:
Kelloway’s comments provoked an outraged reaction – over two thousand at the time of writing – from Twitter users:
So much so, in fact, that a few hours later she appeared to be trying to backtrack and claim that it was a ploy to ‘raise attention of this important issue’ – and to justify her call for homeless people to be deprived of their thin protection from the elements:
Cllr Kelloway did not respond to a request for comment. However, she subsequently put out a statement that read:
The small minority of homeless people who do not use the housing provision available must be further encouraged to come indoors and engage with council services designed to help them. This will not be achieved if we send out the message that the tents can stay.
I have long wanted to raise awareness that there are enough spaces in Cardiff’s hostels, where homeless people receive fantastic support from the council and partnered charities. I have many times asked the council executive to do more to make the public aware of this and dispel the myth that rough sleepers have nowhere to go. I’m glad that my tweet has gone some way to achieving this.Cllr Kathryn Kelloway
How typical of the Tories to create a horrendous problem and then blame the victims. The outraged reaction has been entirely justified.
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