Decision Maker: Director of Communities
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
1. Agree to commence a public consultation on the potential to implement Public Spaces Protection Orders in respect of the following:
• Playing loud music to include amplified or acoustic instruments or singing at levels which has a detrimental impact on others.
• To act in a manner which has a detrimental impact on others in the locality which includes but is not limited to, the irresponsible lighting of fires or BBQ’s, swearing, spitting, and causing intimidation either by an individual or a group.
• Overnight camping, staying or sleeping with or without a tent or gazebo, on beaches or open spaces.
• Overnight staying or sleeping within vehicles in car parks and other open spaces.
• On beaches and coastal areas a person or persons are prohibited from having open fires at any time. In addition BBQ’s on the beach or coastal areas can only be used/lit between the hours of 18:00 – 07:00.
• In open spaces a person or persons are prohibited from the following activities: the lighting of fires; lighting any barbecues; or using any article/object which causes a naked flame, and which poses a risk of fire.
2. Agree that the public consultation shall commence on the 23 January 2023 for a period of four weeks.
A report was presented to Cabinet on the 14 December 2022 and is appended to this report at Appendix a. This report provides detailed background to this matter. Below is a summary of the issues and the reasons for the decision sought:
Through the Seasonal Response Programme delivered at peak visitor periods over the last two years, a number of negative behaviours presented by some individuals have impacted on our environment, on visitor and resident enjoyment of our beaches and open spaces and have required significant additional resource to manage despite best efforts. The Seasonal Response Programme successfully addressed issues as they emerged during these peaks by increasing staff within key core services and targeting known hot spot areas with proactive security and staff presence. However, robust enforcement of particular behaviours is limited given antiquated bylaws and restrictions of existing legislation resulting in limited prevention and impact in addressing the issues in real time.
A review of the Seasonal Response activity over the last two years has highlighted the success of the programme, but noted the management of challenging behaviours as a priority area for development. Having explored all available options for addressing this, the review resulted in a recommendation to consider the use of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO’s) where appropriate, in order to prohibit these behaviours, thereby creating a strong deterrent and enabling the Council to take effective action in a timely manner.
On 14 December 2022, Cabinet resolved to: Delegate authority to the Director of Communities in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulation, to approve the final proposals and consultation documents by way of a Portfolio Holder Decision. The Portfolio Holder has been consulted in relation to the decision to consult.
A detailed evidence assessment has been concluded. The next step is to launch a public consultation on the resulting proposals which are outlined in this decision record.
Following completion of the public consultation, a further options appraisal will be completed to include full consideration of the feedback from consultees with recommendations on final proposals and implementation as appropriate.
Publication date: 20/01/2023
Date of decision: 20/01/2023