Consultation on new Public Space Protection Orders begins

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Last Updated: 06 Aug 2019 2:03pm

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is inviting residents, parish councils, community groups and other local organisations to take part in a consultation regarding its proposal to renew the current Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to tackle anti-social behaviour across the borough.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 placed new duties on local authorities to tackle anti-social behaviour by working in partnership with the police, social landlords and other agencies. In doing so, the Act also repealed a number of powers which the Borough Council currently exercises. Public Space Protection Orders are intended to control and restrict anti-social behaviour in public spaces.  They can also help by giving local councils and the police additional powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in specific locations.

Each local authority is responsible for making new PSPOs for their district and for taking enforcement action against any breaches.  In Tonbridge and Malling, the current PSPOs cover the public open spaces within the borough as well as some specific locations (Leybourne Lakes Country Park, Tonbridge Memorial Gardens, Tonbridge Moorings, Haysden Country Park, Tonbridge Racecourse Sportsground, Tonbridge Castle, Tonbridge Farm Sportsground and Tonbridge Cemetery). The PSPOs must be renewed every three years and therefore we need to consult with the public on what should continue in the PSPOs and whether we want to include any additional proposals.

The Borough Council is therefore proposing that the majority of the restrictions contained within the PSPOs remain the same, however, we are consulting on two new proposals and we want to seek the public’s views on these.

The public consultation will last for six weeks and all responses must be submitted by Monday 30 September 2019.

Cllr Mark Rhodes, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, says: “We are very keen to hear what the public has to say about the proposed PSPOs and I hope people will take the time to give us their views. The proposed restrictions are designed to ensure that people can enjoy our public spaces safely and without having to encounter anti-social behaviour – an issue which we know is important to our residents.  We are taking the opportunity to consult on two new proposals around dogs on a lead in two closed churchyards and the unauthorised use of drones in our public spaces and we are keen to hear the public’s views on these.”

Full details of the all the proposed PSPO restrictions are available online along with a Public Consultation Questionnaire.  Views can also be emailed to csp@tmbc.gov.uk or posted to PSPO Consultation, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Gibson Building, Gibson Drive, Kings Hill, West Malling ME19 4LZ.  Hard copies of the PSPO’s can be viewed at the Council’s Kings Hill offices and at Tonbridge Gateway.  All responses must be submitted by 5pm on Monday 30 September 2019.