Council launches consultations on Public Spaces Protection Orders

CONSULTATIONS have been launched on plans to introduce Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) to help combat anti-social behaviour in the borough.

Rugby Borough Council has launched the public consultations to find out what residents think about the proposed PSPOs, which cover dog control, the taking of intoxicating substances in the town centre, anti-social behaviour at Newbold Quarry Nature Reserve, and cycling in the pedestrianised areas of the town centre.

The proposed orders were drawn up after a task group of councillors investigated how PSPOs could help tackle issues which cause residents concern.

The task group's work included an online public consultation and 'listening posts' in the town centre, where councillors talked to residents to identify problems which the council could target.

The proposed PSPOs put forward by the task group for consultation include the renewal of the existing orders which cover dog control and taking intoxicating substances in the town centre.

The proposed dog control PSPO retains the terms of the current order while including a new restriction which requires dog owners to have a means of picking up dog faeces when walking a dog in a public place.

The draft intoxicating substances PSPO also keeps the existing order's restrictions but contains a proposal to expand the area in which the restrictions can be enforced.

Residents can also comment on plans to replace the bylaws currently in place at Newbold Quarry Nature Reserve with a PSPO, while the council also wants to hear the public's views on the possible introduction of a PSPO to make cycling in the town centre's pedestrianised areas an offence.

The Government introduced PSPOs in 2014 to give councils extra powers to combat anti-social behaviour in public places.

Under a PSPO, authorised council officers and police officers can issue fixed penalty notices to individuals who refuse to comply with the terms of an order.

Cllr Lisa Parker, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for environment and public realm, said: "Public Spaces Protection Orders can be a useful tool to help tackle repeated incidents of anti-social behaviour, be it irresponsible dog owners who fail to pick up dog mess or individuals who drink or take drugs in public places.

"While we're keen to use the powers at our disposal to make Rugby a safer place to live, work and visit, it's also vital our communities have the opportunity to comment on the plans.

"We want to hear evidence of the anti-social behaviour we're targeting with the proposed PSPOs and get feedback on the restrictions we've drafted.

"The consultations run into the new year so residents have plenty of time to have a say."

For more information on the proposed PSPOs, and to take part in the consultations, visit www.rugby.gov.uk/consultation 

The consultations close at 5pm on Thursday 3 January.

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