A number of organisations in Oxfordshire are open and ready to help rough sleepers over the holiday season.
Oxford City Council can help people who fall into homelessness over Christmas time. The local authority has emergency officers on duty on bank holidays and weekends, and services will be open during normal business hours over the coming week.
Day centres like Steppin’ Stone in East Oxford and Gatehouse in central Oxford are providing food and Christmas presents. Hostels and other supported accommodation will also be open.
The Oxford Street Population Outreach Team (SPOT) can refer rough sleepers to the day service at O'Hanlon House which will be open every day, providing lunch and other activities. The SPOT team works early in the mornings and late at night, to help people who find themselves on the street and need accommodation.
If you see someone sleeping rough you can contact SPOT to let them know by telephoning 01865 304 611, or send an email to the team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Wherever you are in the UK you can contact the 24-hour Streetlink service on 0300 500 0914 or use their app at http://www.streetlink.org.uk/
Streetlink is part funded by the government and public donations. It is a way for the public to alert local authorities in England about people sleeping rough in their area.
Oxford City Council is to spend £900,000 on promoting the recycling of food waste over the next three years. Officials are hoping to recycle up to 300 tonnes more of the material each year. The project began in April and is due to finish in March 2017. One of the measures includes distributing special containers and bins to four thousand council flats.
A meeting will be held later to elect a new mayor, following Councillor Armitage's resignation from the post.
The standards committee for Oxford City Council carried out an investigation earlier this year into alleged comments made by Councillor Alan Armitage while he was still mayor. They censured him and said it was "highly probable" he had made the comments to a member of an under 13s sports team.
But they did not say he had to resign. They said the remark was "inappropriate and disrespectful" and was a breach of the code of conduct he was expected to follow.
They said they agreed with independent advice that: "there was no reason why Councillor Armitage should not continue to undertake the full range of his mayoral duties and noted that Councillor Armitage had given an indication that he would do so. The matter is now closed.”
There will a meeting today to elect a new Lord Mayor for Oxford after the previous mayor resigned. Councillor Alan Armitage resigned following the backlash over comments he allegedly made to a schoolgirl. He said he did not recall using the word "sexy" at a school prize-giving event.
But Oxford City Council said it was "highly probable" that he did. An investigation by a local government standards committee found had brought the council and the office of Lord Mayor into disrepute. He was censured, but the committee did not say he should resign as mayor.
However, Councillor Armitage later resigned, saying he did not have the full support of his councillors. There will be a meeting in the council chamber of Oxford Town Hall to elect a new mayor.