I WARMLY welcome the news that Bolton Council is getting tough on street beggars.

By all means, we need to do more to help people who are genuinely homeless, but to turn a blind eye to the passive begging that is now blighting our town centres is equally bad.

I have witnessed one person outside the back of Marks and Spencer passively begging when two of his friends walked up to him and handed him some change (presumably their share of the "profits").

In high footfall areas, I have seen three separate beggars stationed 30 metres apart from each other.

I am concerned however, that the council only appears to be focusing on the town centre.

I have seen beggars sitting close to cash machines at supermarkets throughout Bolton and I have witnessed several times a beggar waiting at traffic lights for the traffic to stop before approaching stopped cars asking for money.

I can only imagine how threatening this must feel for a lone woman inside an unlocked car on a dark winter's afternoon.

Bolton doesn't begin and end with the town centre. I understand that that is where the investment lies but I hope the council does not forget it has a duty to look after the rest of Boltonians, too.

Mr M Kozlowski