Home / Uncategorised / Living rough stirs feelings

The upset caused by the remarks of the Leader of The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has stirred the feelings of many people across the country, as evident in our local and national press together with local radio, the BBC and other television programmes, social media, etc. There are some varied opinions but it is clear that there is strong support for homeless people and their dignity as human beings.

The debate will continue and, in my opinion, will not be resolved until people feel that relevant people are called to account. One such occasion will be the open meeting of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead on January 29th at the Town Hall Maidenhead where a vote of no confidence in the Leader is to be brought by councillors opposed to what has happened.

Meanwhile, of course, attention has shifted away from those at the centre of the debate; namely  the homeless people in Windsor who are still facing sub-zero temperatures at night and who are reliant on the generosity of people who offer them food and comfort. Despite the statements by some councillors that all is being done, provision is inadequate. For example, the shelter in Maidenhead is for 8 people, is full and is for men only. The evidence of Murphy James, manager of the Windsor Homeless Project, that he met and gave presents and food on Christmas Day to 12 people sheltering in doorways and bus shelters was supported by that of a gentleman speaking on local radio that he counted 11 people on Christmas Eve sleeping rough in the town. And in case anyone wishes to counter this, they were not begging.

Care more for the homeless

So too, it has become evident that there is a lack of joined-up thinking and coordination to ensure intervention is successful in helping those who are homeless and those who are likely to become so. Despite claims by some councillors, advice and support are often provided by charitable organisations and local churches which are addressing the need because council support has been so lacking. These agencies are continuing to do their great work but it is not enough.

I have mounted an online petition for residents in the borough. It petitions the council to take urgent steps to establish a 365 days per year permanent shelter in Windsor for our homeless residents. Further, that there should be close collaboration between the council and relevant agencies, including the Windsor Homeless Project, to ensure that such provision is appropriate and with the facility for signposting to additional agencies which provide advice and support for such vulnerable people. I hope it will succeed.

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The petition may be found at http://petitions.rbwm.gov.uk/SHELTER/

Please sign and share to your friends and families.

Yours faithfully

Margery Thorogood
21 Albert Street
Windsor

 
 

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