Rough sleepers still an issue in Aylesbury despite Government grant to tackle the situation

More than £230,000 in Government funding has been given to the district council to tackle rough sleeping across the town - but a number of rough sleepers are still spending nights on the streets.
Aylesbury town centreAylesbury town centre
Aylesbury town centre

Despite the cash the plight of homeless people is still a standard sight during a trip to the town centre, prompting the question - could more be done to support those who are forced to rough sleep?

The council says that it is set to receive further funding in the next financial year (2019/2020) and that good work is still taking place in collaboration with local charities including Street Link.

Aylesbury Vale District Council cabinet member for communities Mark Winn said: "Some really inspiring work is taking place in partnership with several local charities and specialist services.

"This includes mental health and substance abuse workers offering a client-led individual approach to rough sleepers who often have complex issues, with a view towards getting them back into housing.

"Street begging by another group, so-called professional beggars, who may not be rough sleepers, is being investigated with our partners in Thames Valley Police.

"One option being examined might be to exclude those who persistently undertake this activity in the town centre.

"Quite rightly, any such legal redress would require proof that we had tried to work with an individual to address the issues that may have led to them undertaking this activity.

"I am also clear that such action must not impact or apply to those who are rough sleeping.

"In the meantime, I urge members of the public not to give money to anyone who they think may be homeless.

"Instead, please give money to any of the local charities that are trying to help the homeless."

This week an Aylesbury resident got in touch with this paper to say how concerned he was about the issue, and that (rightly or wrongly) he felt 'apprehensive about walking around town'.

The reader said that he hoped the authorities could do more to tackle street begging which he believes to be a 'problem'.