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Consultation to start next week on proposed Public Spaces Protection Order for Shrewsbury

A formal consultation on a proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for Shrewsbury town centre and Frankwell playing fields is to start next Monday 9th January 2017 and run for eight weeks.

The PSPO would help the police and council officers to address certain antisocial behaviours and has been developed in response to concerns expressed by the public, local businesses and the police in conjunction with Team Shrewsbury.

The PSPO has four main provisions consisting of; two prohibitions covering urinating/defecating and leaving personal belongings in a public space; a condition that controls the consumption of alcohol in certain circumstances; and a wider enabling provision for an authorised officer to require a person to leave the area if causing antisocial behaviour.

The PSPO aims to provide an additional tool for agencies, in particular the police, to address antisocial behaviour where it is causing nuisance, alarm, harassment or distress to any other person. It will provide a mechanism to stop antisocial behaviour and remove it without resorting to criminal action through the courts unless absolutely necessary.

The consultation is open to anyone who has an interest in Shrewsbury town centre and will be available via an online survey on the Shropshire Council website from Monday 9th January here.

In addition, anyone who needs access to a computer to complete the survey or wants to complete a paper copy of the survey can visit the Shropshire Council Customer Service point in Castle Gates.

Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s trading standards and licensing operations manager said:

“PSPOs are intended to deal with nuisance or problems in a particular area that is are detrimental to the local community’s quality of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area. They’re designed to ensure that the public can use and enjoy public spaces and do not face incidents of antisocial behaviour.

“The proposed PSPO for Shrewsbury has been drafted particularly with this in mind having also taken into consideration representations made to the council by partners, and the specific evidence available.”

Mal Price, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for public protection, said:

“The PSPO is part of a series of measures that are intended to help address issues affecting the town centre. We have recently introduced procedures in conjunction with the Public Fundraising Association (PFRA) to address the proliferation of charity street collections by ‘chuggers’ and implemented a student accommodation accreditation scheme to help students find safe places to live within the private rented sector in and around the town.

“The council is also currently working to develop Evening and Night Time Economy Planning Guidance (ENTEPG), which aims to assist in the management of evening and night-time economy activities in specific areas in order to minimise the impact on residents.

“I encourage all interested parties to contribute to the PSPO consultation to help the council and its partners ensure the PSPO is an effective part of this series of measures.”

On behalf of Team Shrewsbury, Helen Ball, Shrewsbury Town Council clerk, said:

“The development of a Public Spaces Protection Order is not something that has been done lightly, and it has been created through the collective involvement in with all partners including Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council, West Mercia Police and Shrewsbury Business Improvement District.

“Team Shrewsbury’s vision has always been to make Shrewsbury a better place for those who live, work and play in Shrewsbury and this Order will give those organisations the necessary enforcement powers to make sure that vision is maintained throughout.”

Andrew Bannerman, Shropshire Councillor for Quarry and Coton Hill, said:

“Shropshire Council and Team Shrewsbury have collaborated to produce what I hope will be a very useful tool for those of us who are striving to conserve and improve the ambience and appearance of our historic town centre.  Town centre residents are very fortunate to be living in a beautiful and historic place – they play their part as stewards of this heritage.  In recent times this has been threatened by abusive behaviour, which we are aiming to curb by adopting powers which will enable the enforcement agencies to deal with this behaviour swiftly and effectively. I congratulate officers and the Portfolio Holder Mal Price for responding to residents’ and visitors’ concerns in this way.”

For more information about the proposed PSPO, read the report here, which presented to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet in December 2016. (scroll to item 9 on the agenda).

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