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The weekend of 6–7 August will be a national weekend of protest against 'public spaces protection orders' (PSPOs), blank-cheque powers which allow local authorities to ban all kinds of activities in public spaces.

We will be carrying out protest actions – big and small – to sound the alarm about these unaccountable and draconian powers, which are leading to absurd new criminal offences across the country.

These include:

If you would like to carry out an action on the weekend of 6–7 August, do get in touch – we can register it as part of the day of action and publicise it on this site.

(If you aren't free on the weekend of 6–7 August, you can carry out an action on any day in August)



CAMBRIDGE 06 Aug Street theatre performers will bring back to life the Cambridgeshire Witch Finders of the 17th Century, who having landed in 2016 find that the PSPO laws are just as effective as witch ducking for the 'bad behaviour' of local society. They will pay homage to the Cambridge PSPO banning punt touting.

FOREST OF DEAN 06 Aug Members of the sheep Commoners Association will deliver a petition against the council's plan to ban sheep from village of Bream. Convening in front of the Council building at 10.00am, with commoners, sheep and dogs. Contact:

HILLINGDON 06 Aug We will stand in groups of two in Hillingdon, to protest against the council's ban on 'standing in groups of two or more unless waiting at a designated bus stop'.

WOKING 06 Aug We will express our opposition to Woking Council's ban on begging by lying down in sleeping bags in Woking town centre, 12.00am–2.00pm. If you want to take part, contact: Sign up on Facebook

HACKNEY 07 Aug A protest festival against the extension of unaccountable controls in public spaces, including speeches, public art and music. Detail: Gillett Square, Hackney, 12.00am–2.00pm. Speakers include: Zahira Patel (founder of petition against Hackney PSPO), Johnny Walker (busker and founder of Keep Streets Live Campaign), Danny Lake (pavement artist banned by Swindon council's PSPO), Tom Arnold (independent punting operator banned by Cambridge Council's PSPO), Claire Fox (director, Institute of Ideas, and Municipal Journal columnist), Tim Clement-Jones (Lib Dem peer), Ian Browne (Liberty), Samir Jeraj (Hackney Green Party). Performance art by Tom Pope. Pavement poetry by Danny Lake. Music by Jonny Walker and Fredy Beats.Sign up on Facebook

SWINDON Protest pavement art, to oppose the council's ban on chalk pavement art. date:tbc





Activities banned by local authorities in England and Wales

Region name ×

Number in brackets indicates number of PSPOs issued.
This map shows PSPOs passed by 346 district and borough councils in England and Wales, grouped by county council area. Source: Manifesto Club FOI request, February 2016







Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) are broad powers which allow councils ban any activity in public spaces which they judge to have a 'detrimental effect' on the 'quality of life'. There are very few checks and balances; a PSPO can be introduced by a single officer after minimal public consultation.

The power to impose PSPOs was created under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act and enacted in October 2014. The Manifesto Club has opposed PSPOs since their inception, and has dubbed the power a 'busybodies' charter'. We are seeking to get these powers scrapped or dramatically curtailed.

See our report investigating the use of PSPOs. See our other campaigning work and briefing documents.

PSPOs represent a serious ramping up of the control of public space
Anna Minton




130 PSPOs have been issued by 79 local authorities

4 Street trading 3 Rough sleeping 5 Music/street art 12 Legal highs 13 No-dog zones 34 Drinking alcohol 4 Disorderly behaviour 2 Caravans 10 Shouting/Making noise 6 Anti-social driving 6 Begging 3 Face coverings 9 Swearing 2 Aggressive charity collection 8 Ball games/skateboarding/Swimming 12 loitering/Congregating in groups 3 Street trading Sorry, your browser does not support inline SVG.
Source: Manifesto Club FOI request: survey of PSPOs passed by England and Wales councils, February 2016
Sale of lucky charms, loitering around cash machines, selling unauthorised publications, engaging in card tricks
Activities banned by Blackpool Council's PSPO