‘No reason for anyone to be homeless in Peterborough’ says council deputy as St Peter’s Arcade closure is mooted

Big Issue seller Mick Holmes with his dog in St Peter's Arcade EMN-161219-182711009

Big Issue seller Mick Holmes with his dog in St Peter's Arcade EMN-161219-182711009

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Conversations about shutting St Peter’s Arcade, the route into Bridge Street, have been raised due to rough sleeping in the area.

Deputy Peterborough City Council leader Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald said senior council officers and cabinet members had discussed the idea with rubbish being left in the arcade, including needles.

But he added: “Why should I and thousands of other people be inconvenienced?”

Cllr Fitzgerald will now lobby Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite for police to tackle begging.

He added: “There’s an ongoing discussion about the plague of beggars and rough sleepers that seem to blight the city centre. I say that with some compassion. Everybody feels for certain people down on their luck, but there’s help for every single one of them.

“I’ve been told by senior officers there’s no reason why anybody should be sleeping on the streets in this city unless they’ve committed a violent crime in a hostel.”

See tomorrow’s Peterborough Telegraph for more.