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OUTRAGED Brits have launched a huge fightback against plans by homeless-hating Windsor council to clear the streets of rough sleepers ahead of a royal wedding.
A petition opposing the move by Windsor & Maidenhead council, spearheaded by its leader Simon Dudley, to criminalise the town's homeless, looked set to surpass 100,000 signatures last night.
Campaigners are also calling for a “take your bedding to the royal wedding” sleep out protest when Prince Harry weds Meghan Markle in Windsor on May 19.
And music mogul Alan McGee is setting up a “Royal Bedding” fundraiser on the big day with a series of homeless benefit gigs raising money for rough sleepers.
The former Creation Records boss, behind legendary acts including Primal Scream and Oasis, is behind the Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH) charity.
Council boss Mr Dudley sparked outrage last week after he demanded police use the Vagrancy Act 1824 to remove rough sleepers from Windsor’s streets before the royal wedding.
In a letter to police, the Tory council leader complained about “aggressive begging and intimidation,” and “bags and detritus” on the streets, arguing that beggars could present the town in a “sadly unfavourable light.”
He also claimed, in a series of Twitter posts, that roughs sleepers had made a “commercial life choice” to “prey” on others.
However in a shocking twist, as reported in the Star, Mr Dudley receives up to £20,000 in public funds as director of the Homes and Communities Agency tasked to help tackle homelessness.
Holly Fishwick, who launched the petition campaign on change.org, said: “I’m calling for this demand on the local police force to be withdrawn, and for people who are homeless not to be removed.
“Instead the council and local authorities should offer a suitable long-term solution for these people, including safe and secure accommodation and health advice and support.”
She also said that Mr Dudley’s views contradict Prince Harry's charity work for mental health and homelessness.
One signatory, Rebecca Taylor, wrote: “It’s a disgrace, the freeloaders and parasites of this society are the monarchy while veterans are sleeping rough on the street.
“I’d rather my taxes paid for accommodation and help for the homeless than a stupid royal wedding.”
And Michael Adams added: “The best way to remove rough sleepers off the streets is to invest in social housing.”
MAH co-organiser Emma Rule said its day of action has been launched in response to Mr Dudley’s “uncaring view of the homeless.”
Mr McGee said: “We can raise money and awareness for the poorest in society while some celebrate the pomp and glory of the aristocracy.”
Plans for a royal sleepover by campaigners are encouraging supporters to head to Windsor on May 18 with sleeping bags.
The grassroots action will also bring flasks of hot drinks, soups and snacks to give to Windsor’s homeless.
“Let’s show the homeless people of Windsor they are valued and loved and don't deserve to be treated like rats,” a spokesperson for the campaign said.
Find the petition at www.change.org/p/stop-windsor-council-removing-rough-sleepers-before-royal-wedding
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