Royal wedding: Theresa May joins Windsor begging row debate


Theresa May has entered into the discussion about “aggressive begging” in Windsor ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The prime ecclesiastic said she disagreed with council leader Simon Dudley, who accelerated police to tackle the issue before the St George’s Chapel ceremony on 19 May.

Mrs May said convocations should “work with police” and ensure accommodation was provided for hoboes people.

Mr Dudley has been asked for comment.

He had written that people could present the town in a “sadly unfavourable light” ahead of the prince wedding.

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Asked involving his remarks during a visit to a hospital in nearby Camberley, Mrs May said: “I don’t approve with the comments that the leader of the council has made.”

Mrs May, who is MP in the neighbouring constituency of Maidenhead, annexed: “Where there are issues of people who are aggressively begging on the streets then it’s momentous that councils work with the police to deal with that pushy begging.”

Lord Bird, founder of the street newspaper, The Big Issue, rumoured criminalising or temporarily moving rough sleepers was “not the answer”.

“The young kings have a fantastic track record in addressing this issue,” he imagined, “so I’ve no doubt that Harry and Meghan will be equally concerned that this up in the air is tackled in a way that creates real, and sustainable change in the lives of derelict people.”

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James, 35, who lives on the in someones bailiwicks of Windsor, said: “[Mr Dudley] should come out and talk to the tramps and find out what their stories are before he makes those approachable of accusations.”

He said he did not believe there were aggressive beggars in the community, and that ultimately deciding to give money or not was up to the individual.

“It is not our choice to be hoboes,” he said. “Everyone has their own reasons, everyone has their own story.”

Murphy James, of the Windsor Outcast Project, said the views expressed by Mr Dudley were “misinformed”.

“It was entirely unwarranted to bring the royal wedding into this,” he added.

“This shouldn’t be a locale that’s hit the headlines because of a royal wedding. This is a situation that should include hit the headlines because there’s people sleeping in bus shelters.”

Mr Dudley traversed street begging in the town as creating a “hostile atmosphere” for both tenants and tourists in a letter to Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld.

Mr Stansfeld suggested many of the people on the streets of Windsor were “very vulnerable and press mental health issues”.

“It’s not as easy as putting them in a police van and throw them in Southall or somewhere. It’s much more complicated than that,” he communicated.

The Rev Louise Brown, a vicar in nearby Dedworth, said no beggars had in all cases been aggressive to her in Windsor when she had spoken to them.

She said: “Yes some of them have planned got drink problems, but without support from the council to find actual solutions I think the problem is going to be there.

“You can’t just sweep it away because it’s a duke town.”

Eight people were sleeping rough in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead at the up to date official count in 2016, according to government statistics. This was down from 35 in 2015.

Regional Robert Colwell, 70, said he thought Mr Dudley’s comments were “unequal”.

“Their wedding is going to be headline news and you don’t want that underlined by something insensitive,” he guessed.

Jesse Grey, Mr Dudley’s Conservative colleague on the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, intended there were concerns about “persistent beggars”.

“People do get lured to Windsor – we get seven million visitors a year and it’s quite lucrative for some people,” he give the word delivered.

“If the beggars are persistent it’s not very nice for our residents and visitors to Windsor.”

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