Islington Council backs down over ‘rough sleeping’ ban under Stroud Green bridge

A rough sleeper under the bridge on Stroud Green Road. Photo: Polly Hancock

A rough sleeper under the bridge on Stroud Green Road. Photo: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Isilngton Council has backed down over a controversial plan to ban rough sleeping under Stroud Green bridge – but will still ask the High Court for an injunction to stop begging and anti-social behaviour in the area.

After meeting with the police and agencies such as grassroots outreach group Streets Kitchen earlier today, Islington Council has agreed to remove the words “rough sleeping” from its proposed injunction.

The council has argued the ban will protect “extremely vulnerable and seriously” at risk people sleeping under the bridge, as well as the thousands of pedestrians that walk past them every day.

“They have taken the rough sleeping element out of the injunction,” said Jon Glackin, of Streets Kitchen.

“We had a meeting and said we were totally opposed to the rough sleeping element because it criminalises homelessness.

“It’s a good result. I’m glad they’re not targeting homeless people but it [the injunction] is not 100 per cent the answer.”

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Street Kitchen earlier tweeted that the proposal was “both obscene and unworkable”.

Islington’s housing boss Cllr Diarmaid Ward told the Gazette:“As a council we want to pull together with the community and tackle homelessness and make sure everyone’s got a safe and secure place to live.

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“It was always our intention to do this collaboratively with all our partners. “The issue for us was that people were being put in dangerous situations, drug dealers were there regularly, a rough sleeper was physically assaulted – it’s all about the safety of vulnerable people.”

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