Report of the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Co-operation/Director of Neighbourhoods to be circulated.
Cabinet considered the report of the Director of Neighbourhoods that informed Members that on the 30 March 2021, a report was presented to Cabinet regarding the current Public Space Protection Order (PSPO); due to expire on 23 July 2021.
The report contained reasons to seek an extension for the current Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) and also included three recommendations for consideration by Members. The recommendation agreed by Cabinet, on the 30 March 2021, was to commence the process to extend and vary the current Public Space Protection Order 2018, maintaining the same restricted area, subject to the following:
· Ensuring the Council is satisfied that the criteria for an extension and a variation has been met;
· The undertaking of a public consultation;
· The undertaking of an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA);
· That a further report being submitted to Members to help inform the final decision as to approve the extension and variation or not.
The proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) restrictions that were consulted were detailed in Appendix 1 to the submitted report. The proposed restricted area remained unchanged from the current order – introduced in 2018.
The report also provided members with an overview of outcome of the public consultation and the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) to help inform the final decision as to whether the proposed extension and variation is agreed, or not.
In addition to the submitted report, a further representation had been submitted by Liberty and had been circulated to Members.
In considering the submitted report, Cabinet members made the following comments:-
· In noting that there had been an extensive consultation exercise, it was felt that more could have been added to the EIA in relation to mitigating any potential impact on protected groups like LGBTQ and armed forces veterans;
· There was concern over the possible effect on organisations like the Scouts and Cadets undertaking charitable collections;
· Following a suggestion on the inclusion of electric scooters being used on footpaths being part of the section of the proposed order relating to anti-social vehicle use, it was noted that a separate piece of work was underway to look at the use of electric scooters;
· Members were very supportive of the approach of offering vulnerable people packages of multi-agency support, also acknowledging that some people would not wish to engage. Members requested that further details of the support being given and outcomes be circulated to Members;
· Members were able to ask questions of the Legal Officer in relation to the objections to the amended wording of the PSPO following the consultation process;
· Further data was requested on the breakdown of the demographics of respondents to the consultation;
To discharge the current Public Space Protection Order.
To let the current Public Space Protection Order lapse following the 23 July 2021.
1. That Cabinet is satisfied that
a. the criteria for an extension and a variation has been met (also taking into account the available evidence in the 30 March 2021 Cabinet report);
b. the necessary public consultation has been undertaken;
c. that an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) has been undertaken;
2. That the restrictions in the draft ‘Rochdale Borough Council Rochdale Town Centre Public Spaces Protection Extension and Variation Order 2021’ as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report be approved;
3. That taking into account (1) and (2) above that the extension and variation of the Rochdale Town Centre Public Space Protection Order until be approved until 23 July 2024:
Reasons for the decision:
The current Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is due to expire on 23 July 2021 and a decision is required to either:-
· discharge the current Public Space Protection Order;
· let the current Public Space Protection Order lapse following the 23 July 2021;
· approve the extension and variation of the Rochdale Town Centre Public Space Protection Order.
Eligible for call in - yes