London SE1 community website

Anti-rough-sleeper spikes: Simon Hughes calls meeting with residents

London SE1 website team

As the petition calling for the removal of the controversial anti-rough-sleeper spikes reaches 100,000 signatures, the local MP has asked to meet residents of the block at the centre of the row.

118 Southwark Bridge Road
Simon Hughes has written to residents of this block to invite them to a meeting
Anti-rough-sleeper spikes: Simon Hughes calls meeting with residents

As of Wednesday evening more than 105,000 people have signed the petition started by mental health nurse Harriet Wells.

Following Monday's intervention by the Mayor of London and Tuesday's demonstration, Bermondsey & Old Southwark MP Simon Hughes has now joined the debate.

“Measures such as these spikes are not any solution to homelessness, either locally or nationally," said Mr Hughes.

"However, I am cautious about rushing to local conclusions without first listening to local residents and understanding their perspective.

“That is why I have written a letter to each of the residents of 118 Southwark Bridge Road to invite them to a community meeting to discuss their concerns about their area.

"I sincerely hope they will take up this offer so that we can find answers, not just for residents but also for vulnerable people who find themselves sleeping rough.

“I am aware that this part of my constituency has a problem with anti-social behaviour.

"Only last week at the South Bank Forum a group of residents from a nearby street approached me concerned that they were not being supported in dealing with anti-social behaviour from drug and alcohol users.

“There is also a wider issue here. Those without homes or fighting addiction need our help and compassion. They must not be stereotyped.

"I have worked with many Southwark charities dealing with homeless people and know about the great work that they do. Indeed our borough has many facilities to help people who are homeless, including a nearby St Mungo’s hostel only temporarily closed for rebuilding.

"Good voluntary organisations often provide an invaluable support network and are greatly appreciated by many.

“If some good is to come from this story, more people may have a better understanding of homelessness and what we must do nationally and locally to help provide support.

"It is shocking that in one of the richest and most progressive cities on the planet there are still people who have to sleep rough.

"Spikes outside homes in Southwark or elsewhere do not reduce homelessness by a single person. Solutions that house the homeless are the priority now, as always."

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.