by Graham Pierrepoint
The upcoming marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has got the British press talking ten to the dozen – and it certainly makes a change for something resembling positive news sneaking its way among all the gloom over Brexit and whether or not Donald Trump will be making his way to UK shores on a proposed visit.
Watch: Everything You Need to Know About Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding ▶
Harry and Meghan’s wedding is set to take place in May this year in Windsor Castle, near Slough, which has unfortunately given way to a controversial movement involving the homeless people living in the Berkshire town – as a local councillor made an appeal to police to try and clear homeless and begging citizens from the streets in time for the nuptials.
Simon Dudley’s motion towards the local police has been covered negatively in the press and has inspired actor and comedian Russell Brand to mount a petition in an effort to try and protect those who may be sleeping rough in nearby Slough as a ‘wedding present’ of sorts. Over 15,000 people have already signed Brand’s petition which demands protection for those who may face action as a result of Dudley’s request to local police.
In the main description for the appeal, Brand writes: ‘As a wedding present for Harry and Meghan, and as a rebuke to the low frequency conduct of Councillor Dudley and any who would further victimise the vulnerable, we are asking that Slough Council agree to a ‘change of use’ for a building in the town that will enable SHOC (Slough Homeless Our Concern, a local charity) to have a new home. It will cost them nothing but the ink in the pen to commit to a ‘change of use’ for this building – you know how easy it is to do that – councils have to do it every time they turn a local shop into a supermarket chain express store.’
Prime Minister Theresa May has outwardly disagreed with Councillor Dudley’s move to request that begging be eradicated from Slough in time for the royal wedding, advising that it is the role of the council to continue working with police to ensure that aggressive begging is avoided. Will Brand’s star power allow his petition to scale the heights? Homeless people in Slough hope so – let’s wait and see how it does.