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Agenda item

Proposal for a Public Space Protection Order in the Fitzwilliam Road area

Report of the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment

 

Recommendations:-

 

1.    That approval be given to the implementation of a Public Space Protection Order on the boundaries as shown as draft in Appendix 1, for the maximum three year period.

 

2.    That the specific conditions recommended in section 7 and captured within the draft Order at Appendix 1 be approved and adopted.

 

3.    That the action to pilot a ‘Tidy Garden Scheme’ in relation to waste in gardens be noted.

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 129 of the Cabinet held on 18th March, 2019, consideration was given to the report which launched targeted consultation in relation to a proposed Public Space Protection Order for the Fitzwilliam Road area. The draft order published proposed a range of conditions. 

 

Ward Members were supportive of an Order following an increase in anti-social behaviour and as a result more than twenty events were held as part of the consultation process given the diverse community in that area.  Time was taken with Ward Members to speak to people with strong support.  74% of people believed a Public Space Protection Order would help with some of the issues along the Fitzwilliam Road area with two-thirds of people there experiencing at least one of the types of anti-social behaviour.  This was clearly affecting people’s lives and just another tool to tackle the concerns.

 

Having listened to feedback changes were made to the Order around vehicle nuisance, which involved speeding and parking (which were a Police issue) and not something that could be included.  These issues would be picked up elsewhere.

 

Concern had also been expressed about drug use and drug dealing and whilst this was not directly for the Public Space Protection Order to deal with, a multi-agency plan would be developed to deal specifically with this issue.

 

Issues relating to noise, drinking, abusive language and tidiness of business premises could be included as a tool to improve the area alongside Fixed Penalty Notices.  Tidy gardens were an issue in this area and also across the borough and there was a specific recommendation for officers to draw up a wider proposal around a Tidy Gardens Scheme.

 

This report had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board as part of the pre-scrutiny process who were in support of the recommendations, subject to there being an update provided to Improving Places Select Commission in six months’ time on the implementation of the Public Space Protection Order

 

Cabinet Members noted that from the consultation one of the concerns that was raised was about the use of language that caused or was likely to cause harassment, which was determined as an existing offence under the Public Order Act 1986 and needed to be mirrored by officers in applying the same kind of principles as part of the Order.   

 

One issue that did need to be considered was around a person’s ability to pay a fine.  Whilst this Order was about changing behaviour in the area, it was not necessarily about financial matters.  Whilst a fine was a big driver in a penalty, if people could genuinely not pay other mechanisms would need to be used to enable behavioural change, such as community payback.

 

It was important people were treated fairly and the rules applied equally, but the easiest way to avoid a fine was not to carry out the inappropriate behaviour in the first place.

 

The Council would draw on its experience from the Town Centre Public Spaces Protection Order on how to deal with specific issues.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the implementation of a Public Space Protection Order on the boundaries as shown as draft in Appendix 1, for the maximum three year period be approved.

 

(2)  That the specific conditions recommended in Section 7 and captured within the draft Order at Appendix 1 be approved and adopted.

 

(3)  That the action to pilot a ‘Tidy Garden Scheme’ in relation to waste in gardens be noted.

Supporting documents: