Friday, September 8, 2017

News: Town centre businesses back ASB order

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99% of the local businesses consulted are backing new powers to help address the perceived level of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Rotherham town centre.

Consultation has taken pace around a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Rotherham town centre and Clifton Park after the Council said that it continues to receive complaints about a minority of people who behave in an unacceptable way.

It is part of a drive by partners in the borough to challenge and change the perceptions of Rotherham and follows a vow from the Council to support existing businesses as they wait for the catalyst projects in the new masterplan to revive the town centre.

A PSPO introduces a number of prohibitions to address the anti-social behaviour of individuals visiting a defined area. By outlining these prohibitions it makes it clear what kind of behaviour is acceptable in the town centre. It has been designed in response to complaints from a range of sources including the public, business and Councillors.

The identified issues relate to persistent street drinking; littering; dogs running free (unleashed); people sleeping rough; rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour and drug related issues.

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As part of the consultation, visits were made to 82 town centre businesses and a report on the development of the PSPO shows that support for the order was given by 99% of the local businesses consulted regarding conditions relating to rowdy behaviour and foul language.

In total, officers gathered 525 responses through the various methods. Of those responses, 492 (93.7%) were in favour of the introduction of the PSPO.

Any individual in breach of the PSPO would be subject to a £100 penalty. Those that failed to pay this would be liable for prosecution.

If authorised, the order would commence in Autumn 2017 and is initially set to run for three years. Due to the risk posed by displacement of issues, with this order focusing on the town centre only, a review is scheduled for 12 months time.

A number of ways to the enforce the order are being looked at.

The Council report concludes: "Rotherham is regenerating and the town centre in particular has faced many challenges. The promotion of the town as a great place to live, visit or work is the key driver of the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

"This Order seeks to remove any barriers to new investment and improvement by dealing with the minority of people that continue to act in an anti-social way. Challenging and changing the perceptions of Rotherham is a thread running through every service area of the organisation and its partners.

"Our goal is to change the perception of the town; to promote its forward looking innovative stance and be a place which can attract investment and stimulate growth."

Images: Brassington Rowan


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