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Opinion : Should High Wycombe have a special ‘homeless friendly zone’ in White Hart Street?

| March 29, 2018

Many times my good self has written on the topic of the homeless begging on the streets of High Wycombe.

Let’s face it our town has a large number of street beggars indeed anyone walking through the town centre can see the scale of the problem for themselves. Sadly the social changes needed to solve issue of homelessness are unlikely to take place as quickly as one would desire.

While our town also has many support organisations to alleviate the suffering of those in need such as night shelters and food banks there will always be the hard-core element who will sit on the pavement asking for money.

A short while ago yours truly wrote a blog asking ‘Should High Wycombe have more anti-homeless benches?‘.

From walking around the town centre it seems that certain parts of town are equipped with anti-homeless benches to deter the vagrants from sleeping while some parts of town are not.

After speaking to many of my friends on the topic it seems the problem with street beggars is that they are all over the town. So this leads me to ask if Wycombe should have a special and officially recognised ‘homeless friendly’ zone where those without a roof over their head can safely ask passers by for donations for food?

Of course any homeless friendly zone would need to be somewhere that is busy enough for the unfortunates to get enough money to survive yet not be slap bang in the most fashionable part of town.

How about declaring White Hart Street as Wycombe’s ‘homeless friendly’ zone?

Indeed the area from the junction with Bull Lane to the entrance with the shopping centre would tick all the boxes. That part of town, where the picture at the top of this blog was taken, is already popular with the homeless so they should be more than happy being able to remain there.

Anyone wanting to get to the High Street, but not wanting to see the gentlemen of the road, could go through the shopping centre rather than using White Hart Street.

Of course the rest of the town centre would need enforceable regulations, such as the Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) that exist in Desborough Road, to ensure that the homeless were contained in the special ‘homeless friendly’ zone. If Frogmoor was covered by the PSPO it would be a start towards rejuvenating that area of town.

High Wycombe needs to tackle the problem of the homeless begging in the town centre head on rather than by the current wishy-washy solutions that are obviously not working.

Let’s face if the issue of street begging is always going to exist while there are homeless people so rather than try to eliminate it entirely perhaps the town needs to learn to live with the beggars but on a smaller scale that is under control.

What do you think?

My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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