A Public Space Protection Order will come into force from today (1 July), following a recent consultation.
Gravesham Borough Council undertook the consultation from October to November 2015 and had more than 650 responses. The council has also used comments received from other interested parties.
Out of a total of seven possible restrictions, four have been supported by the respondents of the survey. These include Alcohol Restriction Zones, a no cycling area, no lying on the street and no littering of legal highs.
There was support for an order to deter cycling in New Road, to introduce alcohol restriction zones, and prevent the use of legal highs in public spaces. There was also support to prevent people lying in the street. This measure has been amended to deter people lying in the street who are not homeless. The council will continue to support and work alongside agencies that are able to assist those who find themselves homeless.
Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Samir Jassal, said:
“This protection order was proposed because of concerns about anti-social behaviour and some other issues within the town centre. This consultation has provided us with a clearer sense of what the public consider their key concerns.”
There was less support and evidence for the use of a public space protection order to deter the feeding of pigeons, to discourage unauthorised street collections and to stop inconsiderate busking. As a result of the survey there is a recommendation to introduce a code of conduct working with street entertainers/musicians and businesses. This will operate separately from the protection order.
Cllr Jassal added:
“The introduction of this public space protection order is a really positive outcome for the people of Gravesham. I’m expecting to see a real difference to the quality of life of our residents, visitors and businesses that come to the town.”
For the first month until the beginning of August, no fines will be issued to allow people time to understand the order. After this time, if people are caught flouting the order then a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued.by