Big Issue given 20 pitches in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 16 Aug 2010 at 11:41 am

Brighton and Hove has set aside 20 official pitches for Big Issue sellers as part of a drive to tackle begging in the area.

Apart from branded pitches, Big Issue sellers will also be given their own uniforms.

According to Brighton and Hove City Council, its policies aimed at tackling street beggars are working, with the number falling.

The marking of pitches coincides with the introduction of a nationwide uniform for vendors.

The Big Issue, with the support of fair-trade wine company Fairhills, created the branded tabards to make genuine vendors more visible and approachable.

George Prall, who sells the magazine outside Boots in North Street, said: “My approach has always been to encourage the public to buy and read the Big Issue.

“With a tabard I’ll sell more magazines.

“It makes me look professional and shows the public I´m a genuine professional wanting to earn money.” 

Councillor Dee Simson, Brighton and Hove’s cabinet member for community safety, urged the public to buy the Big Issue from an official seller at a designated pitch rather than give to those begging on streets.

She said: “By giving to the Big Issue you are helping to get people out of the cycle of homelessness, begging and street drinking.”

The Big Issue’s regional manager Tristan Wallis said: “We’re really pleased to be back in Brighton and value the support offered by local partners.

“Through working with them we hope to reduce instances of begging and anti-social behaviour and provide legitimate Big Issue vendors with every opportunity to maximise their income.

“Hence the introduction of a uniform and clearly marked official pitches.

“These measures will ensure that our homeless and vulnerably housed vendors are safe, visible and approachable.”

Profits from magazine sales go to the Big Issue Foundation which supports local services, such as the council, in getting people off the street and into housing.

Soozie Campbell, city centre manager for Brighton and Hove’s Business Forum, said: “This is a great initiative, particularly the uniforms, as it will really sort out the genuine Big Issue sellers from the fraudsters.

“This is important because most people do want to help those in need but they are losing the will to do that because they are continually being ripped off and taken for granted.”

There are 19 main pitches in the city. They are at:

  • QS – Blatchington Road, Hove
  • Peacocks – Blatchington Road, Hove
  • WH Smith – George Street, Hove
  • Tesco Metro – Lansdowne Street, Hove
  • Waitrose – Western Road, Brighton
  • HMV – Western Road, Brighton
  • Marks & Spencer – Western Road, Brighton
  • Air Street, Brighton
  • Waterstones – West Street, Brighton
  • St Paul´s Church – West Street, Brighton (until 7pm)
  • Body Shop – North Street, Brighton
  • Donatello’s – The Lanes, Brighton
  • East Street, Brighton
  • St James’s Street, Brighton
  • Gardner Street, Brighton
  • Sainsbury’s – New England Street, Brighton
  • Seven Dials, Brighton and Hove
  • Open Market – London Road, Brighton
  • Sainsbury’s – Lewes Road, Brighton

There are also two training pitches in Brighton by Boots, on the corner of North Street and Queen´s Road and outside the 99p Store in North Street.

There is also one restricted pitch at Brighton Station and one weekend pitch in Kensington Gardens, Brighton, from 10am to 3.30pm.

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