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Agenda item

Merton's Public Space Protection Order


The report was introduced by Kiran Vagarwal, Interim Head of Community Safety. She said that the report sets out proposals for a new more localised Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), based on analysis of data and currently subject to public consultation. The Commission was invited to make comments that could be taken into account by Cabinet when it is due to sign off the PSPO in November.


The Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Community Safety, Councillor Edith Macauley, provided background on the legal framework  and assured the Commission that the impact of the PSPO would be assessed to determine whether there was a need to extend PSPO coverage into other parts of the borough.


In discussion, several members of the Commission expressed concerns that the town centre areas in Wimbledon and Morden would be excluded from the PSPO and sought assurances that the problem drinking in these areas would continue to be addressed. They also expressed concern about displacement from the PSPO area into surrounding areas. Kiran Vagarwal said that other enforcement measures could be taken in these areas, including a localised PSPO for Wimbledon town centre in future. She undertook to investigate the boundary of the PSPO in relation to Morden town centre.


In response to a request to include the whole of Morden and Wimbledon town centres within the PSPO, Kiran Vagarwal said this would not be possible because the areas covered by a single PSPO have to be adjacent. She said that it was common for local authorities to address this by having several localised PSPOs.


Members urged Cabinet to submit applications for localised PSPOs for Morden and Wimbledon town centres at the same time as the Mitcham application. Councillor Macauley said that Cabinet would listen to views expressed during the consultation period, including the views of the Commission, and would consider whether a separate PSPO was required.


In response to a further question about street drinking outside Wimbledon Centre Court shopping centre, Kiran Vagarwal said that this was currently being monitored and that there were a range of intervention measures that could be applied should the problem recur.


In response to a question about enforcement, Kiran Vagarwal said that the localised PSPO helps to focus the response to those areas that most need it.


The Commission RESOLVED to make the following reference to Cabinet:


That the Commission supports action being taken to address street drinking that occurs to such an extent that it intimidates the public, makes an area undesirable and becomes an area that people wish to avoid. The Commission wishes the proposals to be expanded to include other areas where there is unacceptable street drinking, namely Mitcham and Wimbledon town centres. It is understood that this wouldn’t cover all of the wards, just the town centre areas.


The Commission further RESOLVED that this reference should be included and responded to within the officer report to the meeting of Cabinet in November at which the consultation results and proposals for the PSPO would be considered.

ACTION: Director of Environment and Regeneration and Head of Community Safety.



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