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The Big Issue

The Big Issue 4/5/2021

The Big Issue is one of Britain’s leading news and cultural magazines. Every week’s edition is packed full of original takes on the biggest issues of the day as well as interviews with the most significant figures in politics and entertainment. The Big Issue was founded 1991 to give people experiencing homelessness the opportunity to earn their own income. We continue to support hundreds of vendors across the UK and all proceeds from sales go to help anyone wanting to lift themselves out of poverty.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min
pay rent debts or face larger homelessness bill, government warned

The UK government has been urged to spend £300m paying off renters’ arrears to prevent evictions – or face a bigger bill to deal with homelessness later. Westminster’s Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee is the latest body to plead for leaders to pay off rent debt accumulated during the pandemic, joining homelessness charities, landlords and tenant groups. The committee’s report called for an end to last-minute extensions to eviction protection measures. Since the full eviction ban ended in September last year, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced short-term protections pausing bailiff action – the latest of which came in mid-March when Jenrick announced an extension until May 31. But renters must be given a “coherent exit plan” from the pandemic to rival Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, MPs warned, including paying…

1 min
homeless bill of rights comes to brighton

The pioneering Homeless Bill of Rights has been adopted in Brighton and Hove, the first UK city to put the initiative into action. Councillors voted in favour of the bill last month after a hard-fought campaign launched in 2018. The bill, which recognises the rights of people experiencing homelessness, passed with 31 votes to 13, and seven abstentions. “It’s not about giving the homeless extra rights,” said Jim Deans from Sussex Homeless Support. “It’s about giving them the same rights.” It means the right to housing, the right to shelter and the right to public space – which means, for example, people experiencing homelessness should not be moved on from places such as parks and pavements – will all be enshrined in council policy. “It has been a long journey,” said David Thomas, legal…

2 min
viral glasgow food queue photo inspires bowie single

The viral photo that shocked Scotland has kicked off a campaign to tackle homelessness and food poverty – but the Bowie charity single to raise funds is more Scotsman than Starman. Glasgow radio DJ George Bowie’s cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence – produced with singer-songwriter Phil Campbell – raced into the iTunes top-10 last week with all proceeds going to Kindness Homeless Street Team (KHST). The Big Issue broke the story of how the grassroots group’s soup kitchen was feeding hundreds of people during sub-zero temperatures in Glasgow in February. A photo of the food queue in a snow-covered George Square – just yards from the city chambers – sparked anger on social media, while future Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar branded the snap “devastating”. It also tugged on…

1 min
supportyour local vendor

VENDORS Across the country vendors are prevented from working on their pitches by Covid restrictions. Our staff is working closely with each vendor to make sure there is extra support to make up for lost earnings. We also understand that apart from reduced income, the lack of social interaction will cause a lot of distress. If you would like to pass a message on to your local vendor please email editorial@bigissue.com and we’ll do our best to make sure they know they still have your support. SUBSCRIPTIONS AND SHOPS Since the first national lockdown last year, we have supported our vendors with more than £1m of financial assistance to make up for lost sales. As the only certainty is more uncertainty, we urgently need your help to make sure we can continue to…

3 min
get in touch

Since subscribing to The Big Issue last year, I found the Locked down in Lockdown [March 22] the best and most thought- provoking special feature yet. All the contributions were so valuable and certainly have helped me gain a far better understanding of prison, prison life and the real challenges in the system. The highlight however was the article by the anonymous contributor [The best people to tell you about prison are prisoners] – a simple outstanding piece of writing and one which has gone a long way to change my probably rather stubbornly fixed views on the matters covered. Well done and thank you to all the contributors. Jamie Black, Largs As a regular reader of The Big Issue, and a recent subscriber, I set about the Locked up in Lockdown issue…

3 min
change is in the air

The British Gas dispute feels like the canary in the mine. That is not meant as a glib gas reference. The issues it has surfaced will be amplified as we emerge back into normality. The British Gas battle has been raging for nine months. It’s tied to the company’s fire and rehire plan. They want 20,000 staff, including 7,500 engineers, who repair and service machines for more than 3.6 million customers, to accept new contracts. Unions say the terms are terrible and leave loyal, long-standing and experienced employees much worse off. The company says that due to a changing market, it needs to take radical steps to survive. Whichever way this ends, it’s clear it’s not going to be very positive for all employees. And it’s not just private company employees impacted. The one per…