Credit where it’s due... this is progress

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR VIEWS - >Mark Ed­wards >@PT Mark Ed­wards

The city coun­cil came in for heavy crit­i­cism when it hired ‘guards’ to keep home­less peo­ple away from St Peter’s Ar­cade in 2016. It was a heavy-handed tac­tic. But it was a tricky prob­lem... busi­nesses were un­der­stand­ably con­cerned about peo­ple sleep­ing rough in their door­ways while many cit­i­zens were sym­pa­thetic to peo­ple strug­gling to find shel­ter and wanted to see them helped. This week a new scheme has been launched that al­lows ‘con­tact­less’ card do­na­tions to a project that sup­ports home­less peo­ple and of­fers a so­lu­tion (page 19). Con­cerned mem­bers of the pub­lic can do­nate in good con­science and the money will di­rectly help peo­ple liv­ing on Peter­bor­ough’s streets. Credit where it’s due, it’s a creative idea, and it is some progress on a prob­lem that is con­cern­ing most towns and cities - not just Peter­bor­ough.

On the sub­ject of things the city coun­cil has de­servedly been crit­i­cised for, of­fi­cials joined politi­cians at a meet­ing with res­i­dents of St Michael’s Gate (pages 12&13). The is­sues that had been raised over weeks and months by the PT were aired by res­i­dents, ed­u­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als and se­nior politi­cians. Coun­cil of­fi­cials promised ac­tion. We will turn a blind eye to the fact that they seemed sur­prised by some of the prob­lems when they have pre­vi­ously been so widely re­ported by us. But credit to the of­fi­cers and cab­i­net mem­ber Wayne Fitzger­ald for at­tend­ing the meet­ing in per­son and lis­ten­ing. Credit to them for promis­ing ac­tion and sup­port for that com­mu­nity on a num­ber of fronts. It’s badly needed but, it too, is progress.

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