Windsor homelessness: 'Council leader Simon Dudley should resign, 2018 is no place for Victorian words'

Windsor homelessness: 'Council leader Simon Dudley should resign, 2018 is no place for Victorian words'

Simon Dudley called for beggars to be removed by police (Stock image)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

In 2018 we should not be using Victorian words to talk about the homeless and council leader Simon Dudley should "absolutely" resign, the manager of a homeless charity group has said.

Simon Dudley, the Conservative council leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, has said the police should remove the homeless and beggars from the streets of Windsor ahead of the Royal Wedding. He reportedly referred to “an epidemic of rough sleeping and vagrancy in Windsor.”

The manager of the Windsor Homeless Project, Murphy James, told Sam Delaney: "We’re living in 2018 and we should be speaking as though we are living in 2018, not using words like vagrancy, which were brought about in Victorian times."

He says there are "people taking up residency in bus shelters and doorways [in Windsor] but by no means any aggressive begging going on or vagrancy."

When asked whether Dudley should resign, James responded: "Absolutely."

He also said: "We can’t just provide a blanket solution for everybody [who is homeless or begging] because everybody’s problem is different."

Labour MP Graham Stringer gave his view on the matter and believes "just to say we'll do something about it now because members of the Royal family are having a wedding I think is very offensive indeed.

"If there is a problem...the way to deal with it is to support those people in genuine need of housing to try and find what help [they need].

"If, after you've done all that and made that effort, people who aren't homeless are being aggressive with people and demanding money, then you can deal with them.

"For a long time the country as a whole has had its priorities wrong. We have not built enough houses, we have not dealt with people who need housing."

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