Issue - decisions
Waterways Public Space Protection Order
The Executive Director for Sustainable City submitted a report which outlined the outcome of the consultation regarding the proposal to make a Public Spaces Protection Order in respect of the waterways of Oxford and make recommendations as to the way forward.
Cllr Sinclair, Board member for Community Safety presented the report. She said that after consulting with the public the Council had decided not to pursue a full waterways PSPO but would look at alternative solutions to deal with the problems faced on the waterways. She said to Cllr Landell-Mills that his waste disposal idea would be considered.
The Community Safety Service Manager said that the Folly Bridge to the ring road section of the Thames would take significant partnership work to improve the anti-social behaviour issues faced on that stretch of river.
He outlined the progress made in the other areas listed in the report.
· Aristotle Lane - the river trust are involved and the anti-social behaviour issues are being reviewed on a case by case basis.
· Castle Mill – the land ownership issue is being looked into; and
· Aston’s Eyot - work is progressing
Cllr Gant, Chair of the Scrutiny Committee presented the report and the recommendations were accepted.
Cllr Price asked about the timescale to take this project forward. The Executive Director for Sustainable City said that a project manager would progress the project. It is probably 18 months’ worth of work.
The City Executive Board resolved to:
1. Not progress the proposal for a Public Spaces Protection Order for the generality of the waterways of Oxford;
2. Commission officers to develop localised solutions to public safety concerns for four identified priority areas;
3. Commission officers to further develop policy proposals that will address public safety and anti-social behaviour problems and improve public enjoyment of the city’s waterways resources.
The Executive Director, Community Services submitted a report which detailed proposals for consultation on a Public Spaces Protection Order for the principle waterways of Oxford.
The Executive Board Member, Crime, Community Safety and Licensing presented the report. She stressed that the focus of the draft Public Spaces Protection Order was on public spaces and not private property and that it was about enforcement at the lowest level to tackle unreasonable and anti-social behaviour. She thanked the public and the Scrutiny Committee for their comments.
The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee presented the scrutiny report and recommendation on this issue. He explained that, following a lengthy debate, the majority of the Scrutiny Committee members had concluded that there was a reputational risk to the Council in proceeding with consultation as there had been insufficient involvement of key organisations at an early stage and the draft PSPO and supporting documentation needed revision.
The Chair of the City Executive Board thanked the Scrutiny Committee for its helpful contribution. He said that in response to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendation it was proposed that firstly, the Council’s Public Involvement Board should consider all the points raised by Scrutiny and provide professional advice on the details of the proposed consultation process, and specifically, that it will ensure effective engagement with all interested parties, including but not limited to UMBEG (Unlawfully Moored Boat Enforcement Group) and NBTA (National Bargee Travellers Association) prior to commencement of the public consultation process. Secondly that the Head of Law and Governance, and other relevant officers, should review the current drafting of the Order before it is published for consultation and agree an amended form with the Executive Board Member before it is used in that process.
The Board noted that the Head of Law and Governance had already reviewed the current drafting of the Order and proposed the following amendments to the draft Order:
1. That the draft prohibition at (d) be amended to read ‘No person shall create smoke, noise or fumes in such a manner as to give reasonable grounds for annoyance to any person.’
- That the draft prohibition at (e) be amended to read ‘No person shall damage waterways habitats, signage, lifebelts, fencing or other waterways infrastructure.’
The City Executive Board resolved to:
1. Approve consultation on the draft Public Spaces Protection Order for the principle waterways of Oxford, as amended by the Head of Law and Governance and subject to the following conditions:
a) that the Council’s Public Involvement Board should consider all the points raised by Scrutiny and provide professional advice on the details of the proposed consultation process, and specifically, that it will ensure effective engagement with all interested parties, including but not limited to UMBEG (Unlawfully Moored Boat Enforcement Group) and NBTA (National Bargee Travellers Association) prior to commencement of the public consultation process.
Councillor Brown joined the meeting during the discussion of this item and prior to the recommendation being agreed.