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Agenda item

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

Cabinet Portfolio:                 Waste, Roads and Community Safety

Strategic Directorate:           Regeneration and Environment

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented for pre-decision scrutiny which had been submitted by the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment ahead of the Cabinet meeting scheduled to take place on 10 June 2019 where the matter was due to be determined. It was reported that following the Cabinet decision on 18 March 2019, the Council had launched a targeted consultation in relation to a proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for the Fitzwilliam Road area. The draft order published proposed a range of conditions as detailed within the body of the report. The report detailed the consultation process and summarised the responses received during the consultation, finally making recommendations based upon the views expressed.

 

Recognising that much of the point of the PSPO was to increase the efficiency of enforcement officers, Members sought to understand how much more productive they might be in their enforcement activity and how that would be measured. In response, officers advised that there was no specific estimate as to how much more productive enforcement activity would be and that it would be challenging to quantify that.

 

Assurances were sought in respect of the plans in place to complement enforcement with education, particularly in view of the cultural links in the area of the proposed PSPO. In response, officers advised that there had been a lot of work within Eastwood prior to the development of the PSPO with the introduction of the Eastwood Deal and street champions, which had been a recent development, who were residents who were happy to be ambassadors and offer education. Officers also worked with Clifton Learning Partnership and REMA to work with the community. An example was provided of a tidy garden scheme, which would provide clear and concise information in respect of what was expected in terms of maintaining gardens and open spaces.

 

Members sought clarification in respect of how the PSPO would work and wished to understand what contingency arrangements were. In response, officers confirmed that additional plans were always in development, but principally the approach would rely on redoubling efforts to change behaviours. The PSPO was considered to be part of a suite of options available to improve public spaces and community areas and enforcement activity was relatively straightforward in process terms, particularly in view of the use of fixed penalty notices. Members were encouraged not to be concerned in respect of the paperwork involved in administering enforcement activities.

 

Following on from earlier comments in respect of the difficulty of enforcement, and despite the high degree of support for the introduction of the PSPO, Members sought to understand how the authority would follow up with individuals who refused to pay the fines issued as part of that enforcement activity. Furthermore, Members sought assurances as to how success would be measured so that they could be assured as to the value of introducing such an order. In response, officers advised success would be measured in similar ways to the existing PSPO in place for Rotherham town centre. In terms of specific measurements, the team would monitored reported levels of anti-social behaviour and crime data. As a result of some of challenges raised by the public in consultation period, officers were keen to keep engagement open with community to understand how the introduction of the order was progressing from the public perspective. It was proposed that the implementation of the PSPO should be reviewed by the end of its first year in operation and that would be an opportune time to address any issues of concern.

 

Members queried how the proposed PSPO would link with the Council’s Thriving Neighbourhoods agenda. In response, officers confirmed that community safety and enforcement teams worked closely with the Neighbourhoods Service and plans sat alongside each other. Officers from services met on a monthly basis to review progress against plans and check that priorities were being met.

 

Resolved:-

 

1.    That Cabinet be advised that the recommendations be supported.

 

2.    That an update be provided to Improving Places Select Commission in six months’ time on the implementation of the Public Space Protection Order

Supporting documents: