Richmond Council’s abortion clinic PSPO: Manifesto Club response

Richmond council is planning a PSPO targeting anti-abortion protests outside an abortion clinic on Rosslyn Road. Here is the Manifesto Club response to this proposal. Dear Richmond Council, The Manifesto Club would like to register its opposition to your proposed text for a PSPO, on the grounds that the text is too broad, and fails to target harmful or nuisance detrimental behaviour. We specifically object to the prohibition on Protesting, namely engaging in any act of approval or disapproval or attempted act of approval or disapproval, with respect to issues related to abortion services, by any means, including, without limitation, graphic, verbal…

The idiocy of prison smoking bans – report from the Isle of Man

A guest post by Stuart Hartill: Filming has finished for a TV series (as yet un-named) about life in the Isle of Man prison, due to be screened later this year. It’s the latest PR stunt for a jail which in 2008 proudly announced itself as the first smoke-free prison in Europe. But despite numerous uncritical UK press articles at the time, that wasn’t strictly true. This became obvious in 2011, when a long overdue HM Inspectorate of Prisons visit finally happened. In one press report, for example, Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons said: Many prisoners appeared to be intensively and…

The problems that remain with Nottingham’s PSPO

So far as we know, Nottingham City Council last night rubber stamped a PSPO regulating busking, begging, leafleting, and other activities in the city centre. After fierce opposition and criticism (including from the Manifesto Club, Keep Streets Live and the Musicians’ Union), the council reduced some of the conditions. These changes include – – A removal of the requirement to gain consent before handing out religious, charitable or political leaflets; – A removal of the requirement to busk in designated busking sites. Instead, busking is banned in two small areas, including next to the town hall. Yet significant problems remain with the…

Defra cracks down on corrupt litter police

For several years, the Manifesto Club has campaigned against the practice of private companies being paid on commission to issue fines on behalf of public authorities. Normally, the arrangement is that the company receives 50-100% of the fines income. Unsurprisingly, private litter wardens have engaged in corrupt practices, including fining people for non-offences or trivial acts, fining people for litter dropped by accident, and tailing or following people. Our report ‘The Corruption of Punishment‘ – in association with Panorama – found that fines by the private litter police had topped 140,000 a year. Still worse, private companies were moving into the policing…

A right dog’s dinner! – on the new Defra guidelines on day boarding for dogs

(Guest post by ‘Dog Owners Against Discrimination‘). There has been a real ballyhoo on our campaign page lately, following the enactment of the Animal Welfare Act 2018 and the release of Defra’s Guidelines for private businesses offering boarding and day care facilities to dog owners. In recent years, these small businesses have grown in every locality. They are generally run by dog-lovers with big hearts and low incomes, looking to have their own business doing something that they love. For working ‘dog parents’ and busy families, doggy day care is a Godsend; drop the kids at school and the pooch at doggy…

Response to Nottingham Council’s crackdown on busking, begging and leafleting

Nottingham City council is planning a wide-ranging PSPO, cracking down on busking, leafleting, begging and charity collection. The council employs over 100 community protection officers, who are notoriously heavy-handed and will make these prohibitions count. You can view the PSPO here, and send your submissions to the council by 3 October. The Manifesto Club response is below. We will be working with the organisation Keep Streets Live, and with local residents, to oppose this PSPO.   Dear Nottingham City Council, Here is a response from the Manifesto Club, regarding your proposed draft PSPO. Restriction on busking: We do not think that it…

‘Helping’ the homeless by fining them

The new Home Office Statutory Guidance included a restriction on councils using PSPOs to target the homeless. Some councils have heeded this, and withdrawn or modified PSPOs that affect homeless people. But others seem to have taken another approach: they introduce a PSPO banning begging or rough sleeping, but insist that they are only doing it to help and support homeless people. Doncaster Council has brought though a PSPO that bans sleeping overnight in  the town centre, begging, lying or sitting in or adjacent to doorways. This amounts to an outright ban on homelessness, yet the council insists that it is doing…