However, a report being presented to the next Cabinet meeting on 9 September, contains recommendations that are at odds with those of the Overview & Scrutiny Board, whose job it is to scrutinise Cabinet proposals.
Following feedback from a public consultation, the report to Cabinet is with regard to the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in place for Poole Town Centre and Holes Bay.
It proposes the removal of the restrictions of begging; sitting or loitering in a public place with a receptacle used to contain monies from the public; leaving unattended personal belongings such as bedding or bags and causing an obstruction in shop doorways, or car park or public area such as hallways, stair wells etc.
The area would then only be restricted to drinking alcohol in public, whilst behaving in an anti-social manner; possession, supply or use of intoxicating substances and behaviour which causes harassment, alarm or distress.
Cabinet will also be asked to approve a public consultation on whether this amended PSPO should be extended across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
This Order would then replace all existing PSPOs relating to alcohol and general anti-social behaviour across the BCP area.
Alongside the recommendations in the cabinet report, the Overview & Scrutiny Board has voted to recommend that no changes should be made to the current PSPO for Poole Town Centre and Holes Bay. The Board also recommends that the council should consult on extending this existing PSPO to cover the wider BCP area.
Cabinet will therefore have to decide whether to take forward the recommendations within the report, or the recommendations of the Overview & Scrutiny Board.
Cllr Vikki Slade, leader of BCP Council, said, “BCP Council is committed to reducing rough sleeping by increasing access to suitable accommodation and re-modelling a range of sustainable housing support pathways.
“The recommendation in the report to Cabinet is to remove clauses which enable the issuing of fines to people begging and leaving belongings unattended, as this is not consistent with our priority to ensure we support the most vulnerable people in our communities. The report evidences the much detailed consideration and effort that has gone in to devising effective solutions to what is a complex issue, which seeks a reduction of harmful behaviours that impact negatively on the wider community, whilst placing the needs of vulnerable people at the heart of this approach. The report recommends a PSPO across the whole area that focuses on anti-social behaviours that have been causing distress and alarm to residents, whilst ensuring that the homeless are not targeted.
“Cabinet will be considering the recommendations both within the report and from the Overview and Scrutiny Board.”
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