Additional powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and associated issues in designated communities of inner north west Leeds have been introduced from this week.
The decision by Leeds City Council to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) follows concerns raised by residents, local businesses and other stakeholders regarding a number of issues that are having a detrimental impact in their areas. The PSPO will cover three council wards; Headingley and Hyde Park; Weetwood; Little London and Woodhouse. Set to be targeted through the PSPO which is in place for a three-year period includes; noise nuisance, and large scale parties in the street; the disposal of rubbish and household waste; anti-social behaviour and criminality; the drinking of alcohol and the use of psychoactive substances in public spaces.
The introduction of the PSPO which was delayed due to the varied work being undertaken across all council services to tackle coronavirus, will support the authority and partners in their work across each of these communities and reflect changes in government guidance that has seen social distancing rules alter and more shops and businesses being allowed to open and more people returning to work. In terms of the disposal of rubbish and household waste, the council is continuing to work very hard to meet the current challenges that it faces due to coronavirus in communities across the city, which includes those in west Leeds.
The council’s environment team has been engaging both individually with residents and key stakeholders including the universities on the implementation of the PSPO and will be phasing-in use of powers contained under the PSPO specifically around the rubbish and household waste from autumn, 2020.
When the powers relating to the disposal of rubbish and household waste are fully operational, there will be a requirement that bins and other waste are not left on the streets for long periods and that every attempt is made to ensure they are recycled in an appropriate way. Bins therefore will only be allowed to be left out on the street from 6pm the day before collection and only allowed to remain until 9pm on the day of the collection. This order will apply to all residents living or residing in residential properties or premises. Continued failure to comply with any requirements contained under the PSPO could result in enforcement action being taken, which could include a fine or action through the courts.
As part of a public consultation regarding the potential introduction of a PSPO, Leeds City Council engaged with a wide range of stakeholders including West Yorkshire Police, local councillors, universities and colleges, community associations, sporting institutions, churches, and businesses. A public consultation survey also generated 430 responses.
Supporting the council’s work in all of these communities will be a wide-ranging behavioural change and face to face engagement and outreach programme. This will seek to consult and use the expertise of local organisations to ensure that all residents and stakeholders are aware of how they can play their part in helping to make significant improvements which will be of benefit not just to themselves, but everyone living and working in each of these areas.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for communities, said:
“We will always seek to acquire any additional powers or legislation which can further support our work to tackle any issues that are having a detrimental impact on the day-to-lives of residents, businesses and stakeholders in all of our communities.
“It is for this reason that we have taken the decision following a public consultation to now introduce a PSPO in a number of communities residing in inner north west Leeds which was delayed due to the challenges that we faced across all our services from coronavirus. Our work on coronavirus very much remains, but having assessed our resources and with government guidance changing we feel that we are now in a position to move forward with many elements that form the PSPO, although some areas such as rubbish and waste may need a little bit more time in terms of implementation to ensure the appropriate consultation is undertaken. This PSPO will support our work to tackle various topics of concern which includes anti-social behaviour, noise nuisance, how rubbish and household waste is disposed of, and negative issues stemming from the drinking of alcohol and use of psychoactive substances in public spaces.
“The introduction of the PSPO will we hope make a positive impact in these different areas, but there is no doubt that if we are to see long-lasting improvements, local residents, organisations and all stakeholders have a hugely important and vital role to play in helping us achieve this goal. With that in mind, we are looking forward to working with and hearing their views through our on-going behavioural change and face to face engagement and outreach programme.”