Royal wedding: Theresa May wades into Windsor begging row

Thread: Royal wedding: Theresa May wades into Windsor begging row

  1. Raptor's Avatar

    Raptor said:

    BBC News Royal wedding: Theresa May wades into Windsor begging row


    Theresa May has waded into a debate about "aggressive begging" in Windsor ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
    The prime minister said she disagreed with council leader Simon Dudley, who [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] before the St George's Chapel ceremony on 19 May.
    Mrs May said councils should "work with police" and ensure accommodation was provided for homeless people.
    Mr Dudley has been asked for comment.
    He had written that beggars could present the town in a "sadly unfavourable light" ahead of the royal wedding.
    Asked about his remarks during a visit to a hospital in nearby Camberley, Mrs May said: "I don't agree with the comments that the leader of the council has made."
    Mrs May, who is MP in the neighbouring constituency of Maidenhead, added: "Where there are issues of people who are aggressively begging on the streets then it's important that councils work with the police to deal with that aggressive begging."
    Lord Bird, founder of the street newspaper, The Big Issue, said criminalising or temporarily moving rough sleepers was "not the answer".
    "The young royals have a fantastic track record in addressing this issue," he said, "so I've no doubt that Harry and Meghan will be equally concerned that this issue is tackled in a way that creates real, and sustainable change in the lives of homeless people."
    James, 35, who lives on the streets of Windsor, said: "[Mr Dudley] should come out and talk to the homeless and find out what their stories are before he makes those kind of accusations."
    He said he did not believe there were aggressive beggars in the town, and that ultimately deciding to give money or not was up to the individual.
    "It is not our choice to be homeless," he said. "Everyone has their own reasons, everyone has their own story."
    Murphy James, of the Windsor Homeless Project, said the views expressed by Mr Dudley were "misinformed".
    "It was totally unwarranted to bring the royal wedding into this," he added.
    "This shouldn't be a situation that's hit the headlines because of a royal wedding. This is a situation that should have hit the headlines because there's people sleeping in bus shelters."
    Mr Dudley described street begging in the town as creating a "[Only registered and activated users can see links. ] in a letter to Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld.
    Mr Stansfeld said many of the people on the streets of Windsor were "very vulnerable and have mental health issues".
    "It's not as easy as putting them in a police van and dumping them in Southall or somewhere. It's much more complicated than that," he said.
    The Rev Louise Brown, a vicar in nearby Dedworth, said no beggars had ever been aggressive to her in Windsor when she had spoken to them.
    She said: "Yes some of them have got drink problems, but without support from the council to find real solutions I think the problem is going to be there.
    "You can't just sweep it away because it's a royal town."
    Eight people were sleeping rough in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead at the last official count in 2016, according to government statistics. This was down from 35 in 2015.
    Resident Robert Colwell, 70, said he thought Mr Dudley's comments were "disproportionate".
    "Their wedding is going to be headline news and you don't want that underlined by something insensitive," he said.
    Jesse Grey, Mr Dudley's Conservative colleague on the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, said there were concerns about "persistent beggars".
    "People do get attracted to Windsor - we get seven million visitors a year and it's quite lucrative for some people," he said.
    "If the beggars are persistent it's not very nice for our residents and visitors to Windsor."
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    Last edited by Over Carl; 4th January 2018 at 10:28 PM.
     
  2. Over Carl's Avatar

    Over Carl said:

    Default Re: Royal wedding: Theresa May wades into Windsor begging row

    Firstly this whole situation disgusts me, and I think this is the first time I recall being glad the Maybot got involved and I agree with the position (the one she has publicly presented anyway)

    However a personal experience make me want to highlight the next two lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor View Post

    Mr Stansfeld said many of the people on the streets of Windsor were "very vulnerable and have mental health issues".
    "It's not as easy as putting them in a police van and dumping them in Southall or somewhere. It's much more complicated than that," he said.
    When I was a teenager I was part of a massive group of lads that came from London/Greater London for a house party in Windsor. Things got out of control and a fight started between us and a wedding next door.

    Police came and shut down our party and let the wedding continue because obviously the "kids" are wrong without any investigation. However we had all planned on staying the night and when the police "escorted" us to the station there were no trains left that night so they realised they had to "supervise" us until the station opened.

    Being young and having had a few drinks, we were boisterous but not causing any trouble. One of my friends had his phone stolen the day before and I suggested while we were going to spend a long time waiting with the coppers, why not report the theft of the phone. Coppers refused (I wonder if they would refuse if the wedding party had alleged we had stolen a phone from them?). Anyway mate comes back to us, tells us the police refused to help him and we all burst out in laughter at the situation. 5 seconds later my friend who tried to report the stolen phone finds himself slammed on a police car bonnet and arrested for breaching the beach. Just to be real cunts, they made him appear at court as well rather than just giving him a fine at the station.

    When the police eventually realise we have no way of getting home for a good few more hours, they then asked us where we came from, and we all replied with various parts all over West London. Next thing, police have decided that Staines is on all our routes home so they have sent two riot vans and loaded us in the back of them and dumped us in Staines so we were no longer their problem. Funny thing was half of us had small bags of cannabis but they didn't check, they just wanted us gone from their patch.

    So funnily enough I have first hand experience of the type of behaviour they mentioned.

    The other bit that bothers me is why Southall has come into the matter. I can make some sense of me and my friends being dumped in Staines as this was on our route home. However why Southall? Sounds like someone feels a highly ethnic area with numerous problems of it's own (including large numbers of homeless people) is fair game dumping ground for people not posh enough to be seen by royalty or the residents of Windsor. Any racism at play?
     
  3. flumperino's Avatar

    flumperino said:

    Default Re: Royal wedding: Theresa May wades into Windsor begging row

    This story has at least shone a light on homelessness, as it doesn't seem to get talked about much.

    The fact that people are living on our streets is direct evidence that our government has failed. Phillip Hammond promised in the budget to end rough sleeping by 2027 - but what good is that to the rough sleepers who will be dead before then?

    Money to spend on corporation tax cuts, HS2 and DUP bribes, but no money to immediately get people a roof over their heads, a bit of grub and maybe some help with addiction if necessary? Downright callous.
     
  4. Clubber Lang's Avatar

    Clubber Lang said:

    Default Re: Royal wedding: Theresa May wades into Windsor begging row

    I live a couple of miles from Windsor and go there regularly. I have never seen aggressive beggars. Seen a few homeless dotted around but nobody has ever harassed me for money.