Protesting councillors are planning to sleep outside the offices of Wycombe District Council in a bid to fight a proposal of adopting powers to potentially fine homeless people £100.

WDC cabinet members caused uproar last month as they proposed to have the rights to enforce fines against anti-social behaviour – including against rough sleepers.

Residents criticised the council for their plans, although WDC have insisted that it would be used to try and stamp out other types of issues in the town.

Bucks Free Press:

Wycombe District Council offices.

Both Wycombe Labour and the regional Liberal Democrats team are proposing to protest outside the council offices on the night of the next meeting (July 27) and stay overnight.

On behalf of the Lib Dems, former WDC councillor, Trevor Snaith, said: “Only the Tories could enthusiastically come up with a plan to solve the homeless situation in Wycombe by charging them £100.

“Notwithstanding the obvious if they had £100...

“How would they collect the fine? What is the next step for non payment of the fine? Jail?

“It is unenforceable and will do little to solve this complex problem in Wycombe.

“It is an attempt to hide the problem rather than solve it. The only people to benefit from this plan is those Councillors who will not have to see the failure of their policies on the streets on Wycombe.”

Bucks Free Press:

Former councillor, Trevor Snaith.

Following the Lib Dems announcement, Cllr Khalil Ahmed of Labour, said he was also planning a protest.

He said: “Of course the proposals to fine rough sleepers will be ineffective and unhelpful. We welcome the Lib Dems' protest on the day of WDC's Full Council. Wycombe Labour will be joining them.

“What the Lib Dems don't mention is that I am arranging a sleepover that same night on behalf of Wycombe Labour also in protest about the fines.

“We welcomed the priority the new leader [Katrina Wood] said she would give to the homeless a month ago.

“Rough sleepers are only the tip of the iceberg. Our sleepover is also in protest against the way in which the Government has caused thousands of people to be homeless, including young people sleeping on friends' sofas and families in B&Bs.

Bucks Free Press:

Cllr Khalil Ahmed.

“The Lib Dems were of course part of the last government and responsible for the decisions they took on for example the bedroom tax.

“Nevertheless, I hope they and many others will support our sleepover and in particular protest against the vicious cuts to the poor which the Chancellor announced yesterday."

Both parties are hopeful members of the public will join in the protest and sleep out.

A petition against the WDC plans has also been signed by more than 3,650 people.

The council have insisted that new powers would be used sensibly, however.

WDC spokesman Catherine Spalton said: “Fixed penalty notices could be issued to anyone behaving anti-socially such as defecating or urinating in public places, graffiti and drunken behaviour.”

To view the ongoing petition, visit and search “Wycombe District Council”.