Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweeping the poor from the streets

Even as they plan to ship their housing benefit claimants off to the outer reaches of London, Tory Westminster council is hatching a plan to eliminate homelessness as well by banning rough sleepers from the Victoria area of the borough and also outlawing the giving out of free food and drink. This prohibition was suggested in 2007, but was scrapped because of a massive outcry amongst charities and support groups across London. I wonder if it will fail this time round?

This is an ingenious assault on those elements of the Big Society - charities like the Salvation Army - who carry out great work amongst the homeless and run things like soup kitchens and soup runs into areas where people congregate. It also attacks those businesses like Pret A Manger (amongst others), who quietly and unfussily give away their out of date food to those in need.

I look forward to council officers bravely issuing fixed penalty notices to the Sally Army.

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