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Slough charities hit back at Cllr Dudley's comments on homelessness

Homeless charities and volunteers from Slough have hit back at the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Cllr Simon Dudley, for his comments about Windsor’s homeless.

The chairman of charity London and Slough Run John Power said: “Moving people off the streets in advance of a major event is the sort of thing we will see happen in Moscow in advance of the World Cup.

“It's not something I will ever want to see happen in Berkshire.”

He said Slough has formed a more ‘joint up approach’ to homelessness than Windsor, with council, police, voluntary and business sectors, and faith groups working together closely.

“I have recently had a conversation with Cllr Jesse Grey of RBWM as he expressed an interest in finding out more about the approach to rough sleeping adopted in Slough,” he added.

Slough Homeless Our Concern’s CEO Steve Hedley said Cllr Dudley’s comments were ‘based on hearsay.’

“Before his one-sided tirade, maybe he should have actually spoken to the people he is disparaging and hear their stories and the stories of the people who actually work with people having to sleep rough,” he said.

“Windsor is known the world over as home to the Royal Family, wouldn’t it be great if it was also know the world over as a place where everyone can find a home, even the most vulnerable?”

For the past four weeks, 51-year-old volunteer Shin Dhother, from Cherry Avenue Langley, has been coordinating a service in Slough High Street every Monday, where homeless people can show up and receive food, water, essentials and support.

His initiative is part of charity Nishkam SWAT (Sikh Welfare and Awareness Team), based on the Sikh principle of selfless service.

He says the past four weeks have been ‘very humbling’ and that he has learnt a lot about the area’s homeless need and said that more and more people want to get involved with the project.

After the team finishes in Slough, the SWAT team travel to Windsor.

He called Cllr Dudley ‘out of touch with the community and with the homeless.’

“Maybe he should come out to see what we do,” he added.

“We’re not judging anyone even if there are people who are living in their homes, if they can’t afford to buy food we will provide food for them.”

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