It seems that common sense has broken out over CBC’s plans to move on homeless people from the town centre.
The agenda [pdf] for the Scrutiny Panel on 27 September has been published. It explains how a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is now no longer considered the best way to solve the ‘problem’:
“Homelessness and rough sleeping has been highlighted as an area of concern throughout the consultation process with very strong views expressed.
A PSPO is not the right approach to solving this problem. The Council would agree and the PSPO is not being introduced to tackle this very complex issue.”
You may remember how the debate started with a review of the use of advertising boards around the town.
This somehow widened the scope to cover how to move along homeless people, and not just the advertising boards.
It was all very strange, tbh…
The Scrutiny Panel has been invited to offer feedback to Cabinet – the originators of the idea to use such draconian powers to tackle homelessness.
This has now been dropped. The Scrutiny report doesn’t give the precise reasons as to why.
Advertising boards are still very much on the radar of CBC.
The Scrutiny report explains how CBC estimates that 228 of these exist in Castle ward alone.
The proposal is to use the PSPO powers to clear the pavements around the centre of the town.
Currently CBC would have to rely upon Planning policy:
“The net result of this is prosecution through the Magistrates Court, a drawn out and costly process for both offending businesses and public services.”
A PSPO would make it a lot easier – and cheaper – to remove the boards.
Some of the other details in the report are worth considering.
PSPO’s last for a period of three years, then they expire. Four locations around the borough are currently the subject of a PSPO:
Mill Road Sports Ground – Dogs on leads for the site and no dogs allowed on pitches
Town Centre Car Parks – ASB
Borough wide – No Dog Fouling Allowed
East Bay & The Moors – ASB & Unauthorised Encampments
Plus four have expired:
Firstsite – ASB
St Botolphs Circus – No Alcohol Consumption
St Botolphs Priory – No Alcohol Consumption
Turner Rise – Sale of Goods and parking
It would be interesting to see some evidence based data about how successful the expired PSPO’s have been.
The fact that they have been left to expire suggests mixed outcomes.