After one year, the ban on begging in the Eindhoven city centre has been lifted. A narrow majority of the city council enforced this on Tuesday evening.
On the initiative of the SP (socialist party) and the Schreurs Group, 23 councillors decided to remove the ban. GroenLinks (green left party) and D66 (democrats), among other parties, went along with this. 22 Councillors did want to retain the non-begging rule, including the politicians from the largest fraction, the VVD (people’s party for freedom and democracy).
When the rule was introduced, there was immediate criticism. Many shopkeepers found it undesirable to have this ban. They did not experience any inconvenience. Various political groups think so too. They are afraid that wandering people in the inner city will be chased unnecessarily. ‘The way the ban is applied now, means exclusion of those who cannot make it in our society’, the parties write.
Mayor John Jorritsma is less happy with the decision. “The ban is a last resort, if warning and a conversation do not help we can apply it. That is important for shopkeepers and neighbours. We are extremely cautious to use this rule but if beggars really cause a nuisance, we need to have a possibility to enforce it”.
Translated by: Bob