Brighton and Hove City Council will debate on Thursday whether to adopt a homeless bill of rights.
Great! Then it can twin with Seattle…
Lead petitioner Barry Hughes said a bill of rights will give homeless people “respect, dignity, and help in their struggle to survive”.
He said: “In truth, rough sleepers are treated at best as a problem and at worst as a nuisance to be cleared away.”
Gosh. I wonder why that is, Barry?
The bill protects 13 rights to homeless people.This includes the right of “access to decent emergency accommodation” and the right to “use public space and move freely within it”.
It also protects the right to a postal address, basic sanitary facilities, and privacy.
Bit hard to guarantee ‘privacy’, I’d have thought, but then I’m clearly not one of the Brighton Brains Trust…
The bill reads: “While the council strives for a city in which such practices are not necessary, we recognise that where people have no other option they will seek support from other people through begging or foraging for discarded food to survive.
“Such survival practices should not be criminalised as such, or banned, or arbitrarily confined to specific areas.”
So when your elderly gran is hassled for spare change by a smelly beggar, better not report that to the police. Or they’ll probably arrest you….