'I don't want people from other countries coming to beg on London streets', says Julia Hartley-Brewer

'I don't want people from other countries coming to beg on London streets', says Julia Hartley-Brewer

Council leader Simon Dudley has called for a crackdown on begging

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Julia Hartley-Brewer has said she doesn't want people coming to the UK from other countries to "beg on the streets of my capital city."

Simon Dudley, the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, has called for action to be taken against "aggressive begging" in Windsor ahead of the Royal Wedding in May.

Julia said whilst many have criticised Dudley for being heartless, there's no need for anyone to beg in the UK, given this is a first-world country and there is a robust benefits system in place.

She said: "I don't want people coming from another country to come and beg on the streets of my capital city."

Our talkRADIO host added that "begging is a crime. We can all sit and shout heartless heartless, but there is no need for anyone to beg in this country. People are entitled to have some form of accommodation and access to money to buy food."

She made the comments whilst talking to Maeve McGoldrick, the head of policy and campaigns at homeless charity Crisis.

McGoldrick agreed that nobody should be sleeping rough but said we need to take a "radically different" approach to homelessness, adding that the way the councillor suggested removing homeless people "isn’t the right" idea.

She believes Dudley's comments do "imply" the homeless are an eyesore and thinks "there’s a degree of naivety in what he said."

The woman explained some don't accept temporary accommodation as "they don’t potentially want to go into an environment where it will...reinforce their addiction."

However, McGoldrick said "Government agrees with the concept that nobody should be sleeping rough" but to achieve it "that means us doing something radically different from the status quo.

"We need a housing led approach" so people are housed before dealing with addiction or mental health problems as "they’re much more likely to engage" rather than dealing with the problems first and then housing.

Listen to the full interview above

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