IN THE early 1980s I counted myself very fortunate to have moved into a home near a high street with all the shops and services anyone could want.

We had a first rate Co-operative three story departmental store. And we had Woolworths, national chain stores, gas and electricity showrooms, and much more.

And what have we got now?

Still many excellent shops in Ashley but then at worst an endless struggle with rough sleepers and day drinkers.

But then this issue is certainly not straight forward.

Look into the history of these people and all too often young people who have been in care, out on their own at 17, ex-military, those who have lost homes in divorce, or unemployment, and all the many with serious mental health issues.

But then when it gets to half a dozen sleeping rough in Ashley Road, drinking the day away, pestering shoppers for money, shop-lifting and causing no end of disruption, we have serious problems.

BCP council is now bringing in Public Space Protection Orders. This means rough sleepers can be fined, and arrested. But then they wont have money to pay fines and even being arrested seems no deterrent to many.

And what we have now most recently is one landlord piling palettes in a doorway to stop rough sleepers sleeping there.

They look absolutely dreadful, not to mention being a major fire risk, or ending up scattered over pavements, or worse again – used to smash windows.

In all a testament to massive decline in standards and values, our high street plummeting from one with a major departmental store to one where discarded crates are piled in a doorway to stop rough sleepers.

Solutions have to be getting rough sleepers into hostel.

This then with PSPO enforcement and we would very much hope we see the end of day-time drinking, thieving, at worst general mayhem.


Jubilee Road, Parkstone