25 April, 2005


The big voice tour panel and members of the big issue panel met with a record number of PPCs in Bristol today but because of the size of the PPCs attending the panel made an agenda of the issues that single homeless people face. Firstly we gave them a carefully worded manifesto of our own, written in plain simple English. It was only two pages long and for a manifesto was an achievement in it's self as we could have gone on for days bringing light to issues not on any political agenda. Not only for the homeless people but on issues that affect us all. We decided just keep our manifesto simple. So even the PPCs could understand it. No big words were included.
These where some of the issues discussed that where in our manifesto.
1. Education: why was it left to charities to pay for college tuition. Why the 16hr maximum of learning cannot be more and cover the loss of benefits because by someone one learning say to read and write this could lead to better jobs with adequate skills.
2. Pensions and nursing: one of our panel had parents who had to go into a nursing home and after they died the costs of the care was gotten by selling the house they lived in. This had made our panel member homeless and in this day and age we think that this is unacceptable and shouldn't happen to anyone.
3. Benefits: the way benefits are handled the problems of getting benefits ie: bank accounts
we asked the PPCs why it was getting so tough as we were not terrorists and the laws on banking fraud was designed for them not everyday working people. We asked what could be done to improve this?
4. We discussed housing but not in great detail because all future MPs know what is required to end homelessness but we did emphasis that it was not only housing but a support network was needed for people with problems.
The answers from some were what you would expect from a PPC. Some where a bit vague as we tried to avoid local issues. The panel see homelessness and hidden homelessness as a national issue. We hoped by touring some key cities we could highlight some of the problems faced nationally and get some of the issues on to some of the PPCs election agenda.

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