Too many with­out a home sweet home

Home­less need help not po­lit­i­cal point scor­ing

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Views -

Any­body who spends any time in Pe­ter­bor­ough city cen­tre will not be suprised by the city coun­cil’s rev­e­la­tion there has been a big rise in the num­ber of home­less peo­ple.

A stroll around Pe­ter­bor­ough’s ex­pen­sively revamped streets re­veals an ever in­creas­ing col­lec­tion of rough sleep­ers, beg­gars and buskers. They may not all be home­less and con­versely not all home­less peo­ple end up sleep­ing or plead­ing for some cash in the city cen­tre.

They might be holed up in the Trav­elodge.

Who­ever they are and wher­ever they are it is a pretty des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion. And for a grow­ing city in the fifth big­gest econ­omy in the world a pretty em­bar­rass­ing one too.

The coun­cil dared to sug­gest gov­ern­ment pol­icy might have played a part in ex­ac­er­bat­ing this prob­lem.

It got all those wannabe Sir Humphreys in White­hall in a flap. The re­sponse was to rub­bish the city coun­cil’s as­ser­tions claim­ing that home­less­ness was due to a num­ber of cir­cum­stances (no **** Sher­lock) but con­ve­niently of­fered no ex­pla­na­tion for what the coun­cil calls an “un­prece­dented spike’’.

Cages were well and truly rat­tled and a de­fen­sive gov­ern­ment spokesman bragged how the gov­ern­ment had poured £500 mil­lion into home­less­ness.

No, sorry, as MP Stew- art Jack­son pointed out in a Tweet on this sub­ject, the gov­ern­ment doesn’t have any money it’s the tax­pay­ers.

So the gov­ern­ment has thrown £500mil­lion of our money at the prob­lem and there’s still been an “un­prece­dented spike’’.

Not some­thing to crow about re­ally is it?

Per­haps the gov­ern­ment would do bet­ter to of­fer a real so­lu­tion rather than to trot out faux out­rage at the coun­cil’s points.

Still at least we can be com­forted by the re­ac­tion of city coun­cil cab­i­net mem­ber Irene Walsh who, play­ing a straight bat for the Tory party, gives us the less than re­as­sur­ing pre­dic­tion that the prob­lem will sort it­self out in ‘years’.

I’m sure the peo­ple I see sleep­ing on the streets and even those in rel­a­tive com­fort in the Trav­elodge are de­lighted to know that.

To be fair to the coun­cil they are not sit­ting on their hands and have come up with an imag­i­na­tive scheme which will see a pri­vate com­pany buy up scores of prop­er­ties to cope with this spike.

I say imag­i­na­tive, bark­ing mad might be a bet­ter de­scrip­tion, as we learn that peo­ple have been evicted out of these homes to make way for the ‘home­less’.

I think Sir Humphrey would be im­pressed.

It seems the home­less have taken over the Trav­elodge... and the lu­natics have taken over the asy­lum. Again.

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