‘Sometimes it is not necessary to read the national newspapers to discover the truth. Sometimes it is right under our very noses,’ Cllr Galloway said.
‘To say that homelessness has increased fivefold since two years ago is patently obvious with a cursory walk around our own city.
‘I have sat on a homeless committee for a year now and nothing has happened.
‘There is a lot of talk and a lot of good intentions but virtually no action.
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‘I believe that we have been going about this the wrong way, but now we need help.
‘Every day there are at least four or five beggars – yes beggars, note I didn’t say homeless, who position themselves in shop doorways in Commercial Road precinct.
‘Walk down that same precinct at night and you will see a lot more taking up temporary residence in their preferred doorways. ‘Portsmouth city is no longer a welcoming city to either business or tourist because it seems we prefer to have vagrants.
‘It is time to get our police and crime commissioner to put pressure on his police force to help us clean up this unwelcome detritus.
‘These beggars, vagrants, rough sleepers, homeless, troubled folks or whatever label you want to put on them must be removed from our city and placed in specific care whether they want to or not.
‘We have tried the soft approach and have found it wanting. It’s time for some serious tough love. We need to save our city and we need to save these lost souls.
‘This chamber asks the leader of the council to write to the police and crime commissioner to instruct the local police force to be more vigilant and to help the council to remove the ever increasing beggars and rough sleepers that are beginning to dominate the city.’