NEWS
29/01/2018 09:15 GMT

Windsor Council Leader, Simon Dudley, Faces Vote Of No Confidence Over Rough Sleeping Comments

More than 270,000 people signed a petition to stop the removal of beggars.

The Tory leader of Windsor council who called for police to remove rough sleepers ahead of the royal wedding is facing a vote of no confidence.

Simon Dudley said that beggars could present the town in a “sadly unfavourable light” when the world’s gaze is on Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle in May.

An extraordinary meeting will be held on Monday night, where the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead will hear public questions and a motion of no confidence. 

PA Wire/PA Images
The Tory leader of Windsor council who called for police to remove rough sleepers ahead of the royal wedding faces vote of no confidence.

In a letter to Thames Valley Police’s police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld, Dudley called for action to be taken against “aggressive begging and intimidation in Windsor”.

He said “bags and detritus” had been left on the streets and claimed that many of the adults begging in Windsor are not  homeless.

Dudley said police should use their powers under the 1824 Vagrancy Act and the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to “protect residents and tourists”.

A petition to stop rough sleepers being taken off the streets has attracted more than 270,000 signatures.

Three councillors, Paul Brimacombe, Asghar Majeed and Geoffrey Hill, resigned from the council’s leading Conservative group in protest over the remarks.

The motion that will be voted on, which was proposed by former Tory councillor Claire Stretton, reads: “To pass a Motion of No Confidence in the Leader of the Council following events during the week commencing 1/1/18, instigated by statements on Twitter and a letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner by Cllr Simon Dudley, that have brought the council and councillors into disrepute.”

Dudley later apologised for his comments and said he was not referring to genuine homeless people, and that he regretted referring to the royal wedding at the time.

The full council will meet from 7.30pm at the Town Hall in Maidenhead.

Last week it was revealed that rough sleeping in England had reached the highest level of record.

There was a 15% rise in rough sleeping from autumn 2016 to autumn 2017.

Homelessness charities slammed the figures as a “scandal” and a “catastrophe” while the mayor of Manchester called it a “humanitarian crisis”.