People across Stafford Borough are being given the chance to make their views known on regulations aimed at helping tackle anti-social behaviour.
The borough council has reviewed existing orders after having feedback from shoppers, visitors and businesses in the town centres of Stafford and Stone.
With the Market Square in Stafford currently undergoing a £1m makeover to attract more events, specialist markets, and footfall to the area - the local authority wants to tackle issues that people say puts them off coming into town.
Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) are already in place which make it an offence for groups to loiter or ride bikes through the pedestrianised area, for example. There is also a ban on so-called ‘chuggers’ - people trying to canvass for direct debits or bank account details.
People face a £100 fixed penalty notice for breaching a PSPO - with more than 80 fines issued since they came into effect. The current PSPOs will expire this December.
Senior councillors will now be asked to give the go ahead to consult with partners, organisations, local people and businesses to gather views on extending the potential orders.
A report to the council’s cabinet on Thursday (6 July) states: ‘Given the ambitious plans and desire to increase footfall it is important that anti-social behaviour doesn’t undermine the investment and have a detrimental effect”
Councillor Jill Hood, Cabinet Member for Community, said their goal was to make the conditions right for people to want to come into town centres.
She said: “We have a refurbished Market Square in Stafford starting to take shape, we have work on a fantastic £1.5m redevelopment of Westbridge Park underway, and we have a scheme to improve the appearance on the approach and the entrance to Stafford Railway Station - which demonstrates our commitment to help our areas thrive.
“But if we want our residents to use our towns, if we want new businesses to open in our towns, if we want visitors to come to the borough to shop, meet friends or family and stay for a drink or something to eat, we need to make the conditions right for them to do so - and that means listening to what local people are telling us.”
She added: “We already have evidence from the members of the community about what puts people off coming to an area and these PSPOs are a practical way the council can help address the issues.
“If this report is approved then I would urge everyone to give us their feedback as part of the public consultation.”
Other parts of the PSPOs prohibit a person from walking more than four dogs at any one time - and new rules could stop loud buskers causing a nuisance for local businesses.
You can read the full report at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/cabinet
Press Release No 6045