Preston City Council have published on their website a page stating that the homeless people across Preston should not be helped.
“The majority of people you see begging on the streets of Preston are not homeless and have accommodation. For those genuine people who are homeless there are housing options and support services available via the City Council and Voluntary Sector Organisations.
“The Police, City Council, and Preston Business Improvement District (BID) have received many complaints from businesses, visitors to the City Centre and Commuters passing though. Having investigated the situation it has become clear that we need to work together to assist people to stop begging.”
Many have expressed their disbelief at the attitude the Council have taken to one of the biggest issues we face, with Clive Betts, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee in Parliament saying:
“The scale of homelessness is now such that a renewed government strategy is a must. It needs to not only help those who are homeless but also prevent those vulnerable families and individuals who are at risk of becoming homeless from joining them.
“No one should be homeless in Britain today, but the reality is that more and more people find themselves on the streets, in night shelters or going from sofa to sofa to keep a roof over their heads. They are often driven there by the availability and cost of housing and have been failed by frontline support services along the way.”
This is not the first time that Preston City Council has invoked controversy – in 2014, resignations were demanded after the Council flew the Palestinian Flag from City Hall.