Socialist Party
| Print

14 February 2018

Royal wedding homeless clearance

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street

A Labour Party member and activist, Windsor

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street.

Homelessness is on the increase, and particularly so since 2010. Neighbouring towns like Slough suffered more, but social problems became more the norm in Windsor too.

In 2009 a man died on the steps of Holy Trinity Church near the centre of town, frozen to death. He was hungry, he was homeless.

The Windsor Homeless Project was formed and granted the use of the local Baptist church. To date it opens three days a week with a small number of staff including volunteers. Lack of funds prevents them doing more.

The Tory leader of the council, Simon Dudley, decided the police needed to get rid of them using the Vagrancy Act of 1824.

He attacked "aggressive begging" by those he said had made a "commercial life choice."

Many people are compassionate and give time, money, food and gifts to homeless people. It's true people can sometimes feel threatened and anxious around some beggars. That is how many homeless people feel too.

Dudley wants the homeless off the streets before the royal wedding in May. He plans to fine them 100. There's a protest planned on the day of the wedding, including sleeping out on the castle grounds.

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street.

Dudley comfortably survived a vote of no confidence after thousands signed a petition against. A group of six independent councillors brought the motion to an open, emergency council meeting on 29 January.

Three councillors had resigned from the Tory group, calling themselves 'Independent Conservatives'.

A protest of 20 or more gathered outside with placards, mainly from the local Labour Party. As is their habit, the Tories slid in a back way to avoid any potential interaction or confrontation.

Did Dudley then realise what a nasty man he was and how harshly he had treated the homeless?

Let's say he withdrew all his comments and resigned in shame, apologising to the council and local community.

The Tories promised to build a shelter in Windsor, open all year round to anyone in need. Not just the one Dudley had referred to so often in the media - situated in Maidenhead, with eight places, men only, and full.

Services would be coordinated by properly trained and paid workers, including those with direct knowledge and experience like the Windsor Homeless Project, on secure contracts.

Dudley would resign his position as a director for the Homes and Communities Agency, a government body with responsibility for homelessness.

... But then I woke up from the dream.

Windsor and Maidenhead Council voted 43 to nine against the no-confidence motion. All Dudley's little Tory clique applauded noisily as their leader won his day.

And with breathtaking arrogance, he walked off with his mates to their expensive cars to celebrate.

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube


triangle20 Jun Save our NHS

triangle20 Jun Rolls Royce: fight all job cuts!

triangle20 Jun Desperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act

triangle20 Jun 1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud...

triangle13 Jun No to Trump and Tory racism

triangle13 Jun Civil service pay strike ballot: vote yes!

triangle13 Jun How can we fight for trade unions that fight for women?

More ...


triangle23 Jun Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Karl Marx walk

triangle26 Jun Manchester Socialist Party: Who are the 'alt-right' and how do we stop them?

triangle27 Jun Harrogate NSSN: Fight austerity in Harrogate

triangle27 Jun Salford Socialist Party: The abortion rights victory in Ireland


Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551


What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you


Alphabetical listing

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018