The Committee considered the report presented by the Business Manager – Public Protection which updated Members on the public consultation exercise carried out between July and August 2019 on the proposed revised scheme of Alcohol Control Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) within the district.
The report set out the background to previous alcohol control measures; Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs) and the requirement, under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014, to review both the geographical area and nature of the controls with a view to adopting the revised PSPOs. Any PSPO would need to be reviewed at least every 3 years to ensure that restrictions imposed remained necessary and proportionate to the levels of ASB effecting the location to which they applied. Paragraph 2.2 of the report set out the purpose of the consultation with Parish Council’s and the public and listed the 14 areas in the district covered by PSPOs with a note of the public consultation document being appended to the report at Appendix 2.
Paragraph 3.6 highlighted the concerns in relation to nuisance drinking in public places in Newark town centre and set out two options for consideration on how this may be resolved. A table summarising responses from all Parishes consulted was listed at Paragraph 3.7 with Paragraph 4.0 setting out the proposals based on the consultation responses received.
In considering the report Members expressed concern in relation to the proposal to revoke some of the PSPOs. Specific reference was made to the following areas:
The Local Member, also a Member of the Committee, stated that she had spoken with Inspector Heather Sutton about the matter and she had said that she would wish to see the Orders remain in place as they acted as a deterrent. She advised that it was her understanding that the Parish Clerk had not been contacted and that there continued to be problems in the area that were being dealt with by the local PCSO. The Member queried as to the name of the Parish Clerk who had been contacted and that Sutton-on-Trent be included on the proposed further consultations.
In response, the Business Manager advised that, during discussions, Inspector Sutton had suggested that the Orders be removed as the Police no longer had sufficient resources to support them. The Assistant Business Manager reiterated the above comments, adding that if there were problems in Sutton-on-Trent no evidence had been submitted. She added that she would review the addressee of the consultation.
The Local Member, also a Member of the Committee, also queried as to the name of the Parish Clerk contacted as Edwinstowe PC had undergone a change in Clerk. He requested that the Parish be included on the proposed further consultations.
The Committee’s representative on the Community Alcohol Partnership in Ollerton advised that they were receiving conflicting information at their meetings with that being discussed. The Assistant Business Manager advised that using Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to enforce PSPOs did not include U18’s. She added that Youth Offending Teams; the Police; and schools all agreed that other methods of enforcement, including restorative justice, were a better alternative method. The individual would still be approached if they were in a designated area but would not be subject to prosecution. The Business Manager advised that the overriding control was to remove the alcohol or to pour it away adding that the use of FPNs was for consistent breaches. Work was ongoing to use restorative justice with this type of enforcement recently being used successfully in Newark and Balderton.
In relation to the new signage referred to in Paragraph 6.1, a Member requested that this be amended from that previously used and that the wording be clear and concise in its purpose and erected at a level that it was easily read.
Councillor R. J. Jackson left the meeting at this point (7:34pm).
In order to clarify the matter the Business Manager advised that when DPPOs had originally been made evidence to support them was less stringent. The requirement was now to remove them unless evidence could be produced to support them. If problems arose then they could be re-issued if the necessary evidence was produced. He suggested that, subject to the removal of Sutton-on-Trent from the list of parishes to have their PSPO revoked, the proposals be actioned, following contact being made with each parish to ensure they were fully aware of the proposals.
In considering the comments of the Business Manager a Member commented that the suggested 12 month period for reconsideration was too long. The Business Manager commented that any issues would be reviewed as to whether it was an isolated incident but if found to be a sustained problem then consideration would be given to putting an Order in place.
In response as to whether all the parishes could be contacted to ascertain their understanding of the issues prior to proceeding the Assistant Business Manager advised that although the Orders remained in place, the Police did not have a mechanism to deal with them as it was now the responsibility of the Council. The proposals would give NSDC Officers the authority for the initial intervention thereby freeing up Police resources. She added that until the proposals were approve, the Police or the Council could not issue a FPN as a means of enforcement.
AGREED (unanimously) that:
(a) the terms of the PSPO are:
an authorised officer of the Council or Police may ask a person who:
· is consuming or appears to be consuming alcohol in an area covered by the PSPO; and
· that person is causing or is likely to cause anti-social behaviour
· cease drinking the alcohol and dispose of the alcohol;
· or surrender the alcohol to the Officer;
· or immediately leave the area covered by the PSPO;
(b) the fixed penalty level for all Public Space Protection Orders is set at £100.00 reduce to £75.00 if made within 14 days;
(c) the Parish Clerks of the previously declared DPPOs incorporated as PSPOs for:
· Sutton-on-Trent; and
· Rufford Country Park (NCC)
be contacted requesting completion of the consultation document and the supply of evidence to support any ongoing issues. The decision on future PSPOs will be brought back to 14 November 2019 Committee for consideration;
(d) a Public Space Protection Order covering Newark Town Centre as shown in Appendix 3 (Option 1) be approved (revised plan circulated at the meeting); and
(e) the previously declared PSPO’s as shown below be revoked:
· Newark Castle Grounds
· Newark Town Centre
· Newark Winthorpe Road
· Newark Yorke Drive