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Beggars are a 'turn off' for shoppers

It's claimed beggars are putting people off going into the town centre
It's claimed beggars are putting people off going into the town centre
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Aggressive beggars are putting people off from visiting Blackpool town centre, a councillor has claimed.

Aggressive beggars are putting people off from visiting Blackpool town centre, a councillor has claimed.

Coun Maxine Callow told a meeting of Blackpool's tourism, economy and resources committee residents prefer to shop in Cleveleys and St Annes.

She said: "There is one woman who is very aggressive, going up to people and she has been here about a year.

"Once people encounter all these beggars they are not going to come back.

"People at the north end of Blackpool prefer to go to Cleveleys than come into Blackpool, and people in the south end can go into St Annes."

But committee chairman Coun Peter Hunter said the resort's problem was not as bad as many other towns and cities.

He said: "I go into Preston two days a week and on one occasion counted 11 or 13 beggars in one area. To me, that town centre is significantly worse than Blackpool."

Council deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell said powers were being used to move beggars on and last year 77 'problematic individuals' were removed from the town.

She said: "It is about trying to separate the people who have huge problems, who we need to help, and those who are just begging in a professional way to make money.

"We have had success in getting people sent to prison for aggressive begging. It is really hard to deal with and we are doing as much as we possibly can."