Westminster Council has announced the introduction of a new scheme that will see the homeless forced pay for their sleeping bag pitches by wearing advertising boards.
The council says the policy, called “Extracting Human Value From Public Space” is being rolled out to address concerns that the homeless provide unfair competition with street traders, who pay the council tens of thousands of pounds a year.
A spokesman for the council said: “This innovative scheme is another world first, continuing the good record of public service our councilors established since 1986.” He added: “We’re calling time on the free lunch for the homeless in Westminster”
The advertising is to be provided by Westminster Council’s commercial partners, which include Capita and McKinsey.
The government is understood to be enthusiastic about this scheme, and has asked civil servants to look at having it rolled out to the entire country.