Eastcott Councillor Encourages People to Take Part in Town Centre PSPO Consultation

Swindon Council is proposing to vary an order designed to curb anti-social behavior in the town centre. The current Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which was introduced almost a year ago, focuses on issues such as keeping dogs on leads, begging, aggressive charity collecting and drinking in public. It also prohibits peddling or street trading, marking surfaces without the permission of the council, as well as skateboarding.

Following  feedback  from  members  of  the  public and  local businesses and  close  monitoring of  behaviour in  the  area,  Swindon  Borough  Council have proposed a number of amendments to the existing order.

PSPOs  were introduced  as  part of  the  Anti-social Behaviour, Crime  and  Policing  Act  2014 and  are primarily  aimed  at  changing  and  improving  behaviour. Anyone  caught  breaching the  order will be  advised  to  stop  their  activity  and,  if  they  fail  to  do  so,  a  fixed  penalty  notice may  be  issued. The fixed  penalty  is set  at  £100.

Following  the  success  of  the  ‘warning  and  informing’ policy,  it is proposed  to  slightly extend  increase  the  area  of  the  PSPO  so  it  now  covers Regent  Circus,  the  public thoroughfares  into  the  town  centre  from  Swindon  railway  station  and  the  area  around Spring Gardens.

The  proposed  amendments  to  the  order include  allowing  authorized  events  in  the  town centre  to  be  exempt  from  the  alcohol restriction  in  the  PSPO,  while  it  is also  proposed  to extend the skateboarding prohibition to include car parks and pedestrianized areas. Under the  new  restrictions dog  owners would  be  required  to  keep  their  pets  on  a  lead  no longer than  two  metres  in  length  and  it  is proposed  to  remove  the  restriction  on  peddling and  street  trading  as  the  activities  can  be  adequately  dealt with  by  existing  legislation  and policy.

It  is also  proposed  to  remove  the  restrictions  on  marking  surfaces/chalking  and  aggressive charity  collecting  as shoppers and  businesses have  reported  there  is no  longer an  issue with these activities.

The  consultation  opened on the 27th October  and  closes  at  12pm  on Thursday,  8  December.  Members of the public can access the consultation  by  visiting: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SwindonPSPO

Labour Eastcott Councillor, Paul Dixon, said:

“I do encourage all residents who have an interest in the future of the Town Centre to respond to this consultation as it will have an impact on the character of the Town Centre. It is only be hearing your views that we can make the best decisions on the future of our high street.”