LGA Guidance on PSPOs: a campaigner’s guide

The Local Government Association has produced guidance on Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs), which may be useful to those seeking to oppose PSPOs locally or nationally. The guidance is non-statutory, and so councils are free to ignore it. But the guidance has advisory authority, and could be invoked by those seeking to oppose PSPOs in their area. It shows that there is some concern in councils and local authorities about the over-use of these powers, and efforts to direct them towards more reasonable uses. Some of the salient points in the guidance are below: 1. The LGA guidance suggests that PSPOs should target actually…

Petitions against the private litter police!

There are several long-standing and recent campaigns against the private litter police exposed on Panorama on 15 May. Here are some petitions below, highlighting the abusive practices in different areas. Read and share, or start your own.   ‘Stop the partnership between Kingdom and Ealing Council now‘ – a new petition to Ealing Council by Ealing Litter Prevention Team: In light of the BBC Panorama programme aired Monday 15th May 2017, which has illustrated the clear failings of Kingdom and their questionable working practices, we are calling on Ealing Council to drop their partnership with the company. Whilst we agree that action must…

Manifesto Club response to Redbridge Council PSPO

Redbridge Council is currently consulting on a PSPO that will ban busking in non-designated spots, badly organised pubic events, charity collectors in non-designated spots, spitting and ‘aggressive begging’. The Manifesto Club strongly opposes this order and considers it to be an unreasonable intervention into public freedoms. Our response to the consultation is below. You can respond to the consultation here.   Planned PSPO: “No person shall refuse to stop drinking alcohol or hand over any containers (sealed or unsealed) which are believed to contain alcohol, when required to do so by an authorised officer in order to prevent public nuisance or disorder.”…

Take action! – current PSPO consultations

Here are some current consultations on PSPOs proposing unreasonable restrictions on public spaces. Do respond – especially if you live in the area. Blaby District Council is planning an order banning 10 to 17 year olds from standing in groups of four or more. See news coverage of the order; see the consultation. The PSPO would cover the whole of the village of Countesthorpe, including the high street, cricket club and village hall, except for parks (see PSPO zones). The council has thoughtfully exempted the local school from the ban on young people standing in groups, realising that this may make school…

Football Fans Not Criminals

The Manifesto Club is supporting a new campaign, Football Fans Not Criminals, highlighting the ways in which ordinary law-abiding football fans are being treated like criminals. For merely attending a match and supporting their team, fans are subject to a series of special controls and restrictions which do not apply to supporters of other sports. There are 11 laws which apply only to football fans, creating offences which would not be an offence in a rugby or cricket stadium. It is an offence to carry alcohol into a football stadium, to drink in view of the pitch, to sell or give away tickets,…

Brighton Council – why on earth would you ban smoking on the beach?

Brighton Council is proposing to ban smoking on the beach. Brighton and Hove beaches is a long, windswept stretch, running for several miles. For most of the year, most of this large area has only a handful of people on it. Anyone smoking in this area would not only not affect others, they probably could not even be seen by them. The council’s director of public health said that ‘in certain weather conditions’ smoking on the beach could cause harm to others. One wonders what weather conditions he is thinking about. Most of the time, the prevailing weather condition is a stiff…

New PSPOs – speak out against hyperregulation

Councils’ have been announcing a swathe of new plans for new ‘public spaces protection orders’ banning activities in public spaces. These new orders show the dangers of these arbitrary, open-ended powers, with towns and cities planning bizarre new offences such as ‘loitering’, carrying out card tricks, or failing to be carrying a poop bag. In every case, these new laws target an activity that is not in itself problematic or criminal. The entirely innocent and anodyne will be punished. There will be new criminals created: the mother who smoked a cigarette in a children’s playground, the busker who played a tune on…

PSPO Consultations: Stand up against the regulation of public space

The new, dangerously open-ended ‘public spaces protection order’ powers allow councils to ban any activity which they judge to have a ‘detrimental effect’ on the ‘quality of life’ of an area. Many councils have passed or are planning to bring through these orders (see our list, here). Below are the currently open consultations for public spaces protection orders. Please take the time to respond, especially if you live in or visit the area concerned. If councils receive enough critical responses, this will make it much harder for them to bring the measure through. OXFORD CITY COUNCIL is proposing new laws restricting: sleeping…

Westminster Council – stop the prosecution of young musician Dan Wilson

A guest post by Jonny Walker, director of Keep Streets Live On Wednesday 20 August at 10am a talented young musician who has represented Great Britain in the world loop championships appeared in court in Westminster answering criminal charges of ‘illegal street trading’ and using a speaker in the street, for a 10 minute busk in Leicester Square early this year with a couple of CDs of his own music with a sign saying ‘suggested donation £5’ and giving details of his Facebook page. This was his fourth court appearance relating to this one incident of spontaneous live music and he now…