Agenda and draft minutes
Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 11th March, 2020 2.00 pm
Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions
Contact: Rachel McKeon
The decision of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) has been called in by Councillor Hacking (Chair of Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee) in accordance with paragraph 13.3 of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules.
The terms of the call in are:
“To hear from the Decision Maker that the concerns raised at the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on the 7 November 2019 have been taken fully into account prior to the decision being made.”
A copy of the Decision Notice is attached.
Members of the Committee are asked to consider whether or not they will refer the decision back to the decision maker for reconsideration.
The Committee considered a call in of the decision taken by the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) relating to the decision to make a Public Space Protection Order in respect of the City Centre for a maximum of three years.
The Call In had been proposed by Councillor Hacking, Chair of the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Hacking informed the Committee that the reason he had called the decision in was to seek an assurance from the Strategic Director that the concerns raised by the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 7 November 2019 in relation to the proposed PSPO for the City Centre had been taken fully into account prior to the decision being made.
The Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) responded to the concerns raised by the Chair. In doing so she advised that to enable the Council to enable its strategic objectives of a safe, clean and welcoming city centre the Council and the police used a wide range of informal and formal powers to protect the public and tackle crime and antisocial behaviour. These measures included community resolution, warnings, Acceptable Behaviour Agreements, Community Protection Notices, injunctions, dispersal powers, arrests, prosecution and Criminal Behaviour Orders, alongside appropriate offers of intervention and support. The use of these powers had enabled the Council and Police to address some of the ASB that occurred in the city, however there were limitations to these powers. Current powers did not always facilitate an appropriate response to some of the problems that were frequently reported in the City Centre, like urination and defecation, health and safety hazards caused by the erection of tents and obstruction of exits, and build-up of commercial waste on the city streets.
The Strategic Director commented that she felt satisfied that the conditions as set out in Section 59 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 had been met and that by introducing the PSPO it would prohibit certain activities or require specified activities to be carried out by persons to ensure compliance with the Order. In order to make the decision, the Strategic Director advised that she had taken the following into consideration:-
· The evidence of the issues concerned’
· The consultation responses from the statutory consultation between 12 Feb to 8 April 2019, which included over 2000 responses; and
· The proposals for the PSPO presented to the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee on 7 November 2019 and the associated feedback form Committee Members.
The Committees attention was drawn to two specific points that had been withdrawn from the original proposal. These were the removal of begging with associated ASB as either a prohibition or a requirement and at Article 7 in relation to the obstructions and erection of tents and structures had also been amended to ensure that this requirement was intended to address health and safety risks only.
The Strategic Director assured the Committee that in making the decision she had taken full account of the concerns that had been raised by the Committee at ... view the full minutes text for item 22.