Banbury residents are being invited to let the council know what they think about an Order which prohibits rough sleeping, begging, and street drinking in the town centre.
Published: Tuesday, 6th August 2019
Cherwell District Council has launched a consultation on its Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) and people have until 11 September to have their say. The Order covers the town centre - including People’s Park - and was brought into effect in November 2016 for a three-year period.
When the PSPO was first proposed, Banbury residents and businesses who responded to a consultation said they were largely in favour of it. The council is keen to ensure a range of views are heard before a decision is made on its proposed renewal for another three years.
Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “Visitors, residents and businesses in Banbury want to be able to enjoy a friendly and safe town centre, which is why we first introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order.
“Our community safety team report that the PSPO has been really useful for tackling antisocial drinking and begging. As well as offering enforcement powers, it lends weight to the informal advice and instruction officers give, making it easier and quicker for them to diffuse antisocial behaviour linked to drinking and rough sleeping.
“When officers are patrolling the town centre and enforcing the PSPO, they talk to anyone who appears to be at risk of homelessness to make sure they are aware of the support and advice that the council can offer. We are interested in people’s views about including rough sleeping in the PSPO.
“We are keen to hear from as many people as possible to inform our decision, so I encourage anyone living, visiting, or working in Banbury to respond.”
Cherwell’s support for people at risk of homelessness or sleeping rough includes funding to Connection Support, which provides outreach services and refers people to the Adult Homeless Pathway. Following a recent successful bid by Cherwell to the Government’s Rough Sleeper Initiative Fund, Connection Support recently employed a new support worker to advise and support people sleeping on the streets.
A decision on the proposed renewal of the PSPO is expected to be made by the executive in November 2019. The council is set to confirm details of engagement events to publicise the consultation in the coming days.