WE RECENTLY asked one of the guys from Ashley Road, who has been homeless, then in a hostel, and trying to move on with his life, if he could help clear weeds in our local roads.

He took up the suggestion with enthusiasm, worked hard for a morning and did a good job clearing street weeds.

Which begs the question why can we not in our country connect up more people who are out of work, including those in hostels and those spending their days in high streets, with work that needs doing?

But then the problem is, you have to say all to often, bureaucracy.

If council were to employ teams of unemployed to clear street weeds then every employee would have to be set up with contracts, insurance, sick pay, holiday pay and much more.

We cannot just get on and do the work. There is a whole body of employment legislation and benefits regulations that have to be followed.

So work – a lot of community work – doesn’t get done whilst millions are all too often stuck in unemployment. And worse losing interest in work and ending in downward spirals.

We need more bridges back into work, from the streets. Everyone with a set basic national income, in work or not. would be a very good start. Not as it is with convoluting permutations of in work/out of work benefits.

With then for community work hourly paid day contracts and cut through the suffocating bureaucracy. Incentives are everything.

You work you are better off, not find yourself worse off or lost in a world of form-filling.


Jubilee Road, Poole