Allow me to commend you on using the front page of last week’s Clitheroe Advertiser and Times to address the “elephant in the room” that has become a dividing conversation piece in our town this year.
Yet I for one feel the underlying issue is that the Ribble Valley is rather “too posh” for common sense.
Having lived in both Clitheroe and Manchester in recent years, I have seen all colours and creeds resorting to begging and one can soon decipher the needy from the greedy, the meek from the weak, the genuine and sanguine from the outright conmen.
Regrettably there are those in our town who see the world through rose-tinted lenses; the type Elizabeth Gaskell would have described as “do nothing ladies who bother shopkeepers all day”, who feed fuel to the flames by acquiescing to this poor fellow’s begging.
By “donating” a few bob hither and thither you are enabling, encouraging and perpetuating the problem.
What is perhaps more distressing is Mr Andrew Church-Taylor’s accusation we are “too posh” for social ills such as homelessness. It seems his position on begging is so matter-of-fact we should just sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn’t occur. Sadly such tales of misfortune are happening today, even in the privilege-denying bubble of the Ribble Valley.
Increasingly so, we see houses in the area fetch over one million pounds and yet Clitheroe has a foodbank.
Ironically enough, our tramp (yes, he is ours), who vagrantly wanders the area allegedly “too posh” for the homeless is from good stock. He is in the lucky minority who has an option to turn to.
Banning this man from the Ribble Valley would only worsen his quality of life. Rehabilitation is the only solution.
Name and address supplied