On Friday 24th November it was reported that Stoke-on-Trent Council is in the consultation process for a new Public Space Protection Order, this order would make it an offence to “assemble, erect, occupy or use” a tent unless part of a council-sanctioned activity.
Which while is not an Order directly levelled and created against homeless people, will have an extreme affect on them.
As someone if found in breach of this Order would face a fine of £1,000 which in effect is punishing those who are the lowest and poorest in our society at best and at worse is criminalising them for having the smallest bit of shelter they can attain.
To many a park with tents in may be an eyesore but when you are someone that has little more than a tent between yourself and the cold, rain or snow it is the greatest luxury in their life.
At a time when welfare cuts, council cuts and funding cuts have led to a rise in homelessness, it is morally abhorrent that a council should even consider motions that will just make the problem worse.
Here at Hugo’s Earthquake we find it appalling that such a motion is being considered and urge everyone to make Stoke-on-Trent Council reconsider this policy before they bring it into effect.
We should be helping not undermining the most vulnerable in society especially in the run up to Christmas, a time for togetherness and kindness.