Agenda item

Scrutiny of the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO)

To consider the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) report scheduled for consideration by Cabinet on 9 September.

The O & S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Vikki Slade and Lewis Allison


The Leader of the Council presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. A number of issues were raised by the Board in the subsequent discussion, including:


  • A Board member queried the results of the consultation, specifically the removal of clauses b-e, and stated that the proposals seemed to contradict some of the results of the responses received. She added that she felt it had been an odd time to undertake such a consultation and could not understand the rationale behind removing the clauses before further consulting on a conurbation-wide PSPO because it was not clear from the consultation that had already happened in relation to the Holes Bay and Poole Town Centre PSPO, what people really thought about it. She therefore proposed that the clauses that were due to be removed be retained for the consultation across the conurbation, which was duly seconded.


In discussing the proposed amendment there were a variety of opinions and a number of issues were raised by Board Members, including:


  • There was a mandate for the consultation to go ahead as planned, as the figures were balanced. Additionally, it would be counter-productive to issue fines to those already in poverty and the removal of clauses b-e was appropriate.
  • The PSPO in its current form was prejudicial to those in need and could put the Council at risk of challenge via Judicial Review.
  • There was an evidence base to support the use of PSPO’s and that the current one had been successful in its operation as it’s purpose was to prevent issues and the proof was that since its introduction only three fixed penalty notices had been issued.
  • A member had conducted a walk around Bournemouth Town Centre after lockdown measures had been eased and made a note of his observations. He added that while he did have sympathy with those less fortunate, there was clearly an issue with the town centre and the measures currently weren’t working stating that residents, visitors and businesses were becoming fed up with these issues and he would therefore support the amendment as proposed.
  • Dealing with issues in a heavy-handed way was not always the best approach and more sympathy should be shown as everyone was generally within a few pay checks away from poverty.
  • Intervention was the best solution rather than enforcement and this would involve working more closely with external agencies.


The Board took a vote on the motion and it was:


RECOMMENDED that no changes should be made to the existing Poole Town Centre and Holes Bay PSPO and that its existing clauses (a-g) be included as part of the BCP wide Public Spaces Protection Order consultation.


Voting: For – 7 Against – 6


Cllrs G Farquhar and C Rigby requested that their votes against the motion be recorded in the minutes.


Cllrs M Greene and N Greene did not vote due to their declared interest.


Supporting documents: