A UKIP councillor has demanded the removal of homeless people from city streets and blasted them as ‘unwelcome detritus’.
Colin Galloway’s comments are contained in a motion due to be debated at a Portsmouth City Council meeting on July 11.
These beggars, vagrants, rough sleepers, homeless, troubled folks or whatever label you want to put on them must be removedColin Galloway
It comes as the number of rough sleepers in the city has ballooned from eight in 2014 to 60 as of this May.
Cllr Galloway’s motion, backed by Cllr Stuart Potter, says Portsmouth ‘is no longer a welcoming city to either business or tourist because it seems we prefer to have vagrants’.
He added: ‘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.’
A former member of Cllr Galloway’s party, independent councillor Paul Godier, has been made the council’s homelessness champion.
Speaking to The News, Cllr Godier said people needed to be treated with compassion – and Cllr Galloway needed to be educated on homeless people’s complex needs.
‘The approach must be very soft, it must be compassionate,’ he said.
‘We’re dealing with, in the majority of cases, broken adults, people who have not faith in local authority.’
He added: ‘I’ve listened to Colin Galloway and I asked for him to be on the homeless working group.
‘He even came on a walk with me but I think he needs to sit down and be educated on their complex needs.’
People are on the streets due to a range of problems, including childhood abuse, Cllr Godier said.
Cllr Potter defended the proposal he seconded but said: ‘This motion does come across hard, I do admit that.
‘Maybe we could have used different words but it needs to be hard to get attention.’
He added: ‘There has to be strong words in there otherwise the left-wing snowflakes, it’s pandering to what they want to hear.
‘Enough is enough, if we speak up we can use the forcible words to get attention to this and get these people help.’
And Cllr Potter said despite the wording of the motion ‘it is not about rounding them up and sticking them behind a fence’.
‘They need help to start getting their lives back together,’ he said.