NEWS
22/01/2018 15:38 GMT

Russell Brand Wants Slough Rough Sleepers To Be Given Building As Royal Wedding Gift

More than 72,000 people back the petition.

Russell Brand has called for a building in Slough to be donated to rough sleepers from Windsor as a wedding gift for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a move the town’s council has described as “bizarre”.

The 42-year-old comedian has launched a petition to support the demand which has so far garnered more than 72,000 signatures.

It comes after Windsor and Maidenhead Council leader Simon Dudley called for action to be taken against “aggressive begging and intimidation” ahead of the royal wedding on May 19 at Windsor Castle.

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Russell Brand has called for a building to be donated to rough sleepers in Slough.

Brand states in the petition that Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC) day centre is “being made homeless by Slough council, meaning the vulnerable clients that depend on them will be in even more trouble”.

But Slough Borough Council has labelled the petition “bizarre”, adding that they were “bemused” that Brand was targeting Slough, rather than Windsor.

A council spokeswoman told HuffPost UK: “Perhaps he could direct his petition to the route of the issue as opposed to us mopping up an issue that is, of course, somewhere else.”

The petition states: “Many of the rough sleepers swept out of Windsor as result of Councillor Simon Dudley’s proposed economic cleanse in preparation of Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle will need SHOC and other local facilities to care for them.

“As a wedding present for Harry and Meghan and as a rebuke to the low frequency conduct of Councillor Dudley and any who would further victimise the vulnerable, we are asking that Slough Council agree to a ‘change of use’ for a building in the town that will enable SHOC to have a new home.

“It will cost them nothing but the ink in the pen to commit to a ‘change of use’ for this building - you know how easy it is to do that - councils have to do it every time they turn a local shop into a supermarket chain express store.”

A Slough council spokeswoman told HuffPost UK that they will be meeting with the homeless charity on Thursday to discuss the situation further.

HuffPost UK has contacted Windsor and Maidenhead Council for further comment.

A separate petition calling for the council to leave homeless people in Windsor alone has been signed by more than 107,000 people.

Earlier this month, the leader of Windsor and Maidenhead Council sparked outrage when he wrote to Thames Valley Police calling for rough sleepers and beggars to be removed.

His comments were criticised by a local homeless charity manager, who described them as “sickening”.

HuffPost UK spoke to rough sleepers at the time about the problems they have had with council offers of accommodation and how being told they’re a security risk makes them feel.