Committee Report NSC

6.3

 


North Somerset Council

 

REPORT TO THE Planning AND Regulatory Committee

 

Date of Meeting: 26 September 2012

 

Subject of Report: Congresbury Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places Order

 

Town or parish: Congresbury

 

Officer/Member presenting: Director of Development and Environment

 

Key Decision: No

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

That the Committee; if after considering the details contained in the report are satisfied that nuisance, noise or public disturbance which has occurred at King George V Playing Fields, Congresbury and Millennium Green, is; as detailed in the report, caused as a result of alcohol consumption, that it recommends to Council that Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places Orders are made for these places. (As shown on the plans annexed to this report).

 

1.                Policy

 

1.1       The provision of Designated Place Orders supports the Council's key corporate priority of ‘Building Safer Communities’ and supports the Community Safety theme contained within the North Somerset Community Strategy.

 

1.2       The order directly supports and fulfils the ‘Anti Social Behaviour Priority’ contained within the North Somerset Community Safety Strategy 2012.  One of the priorities being sought is ‘to target anti social drinking and associated nuisance in public places’.  The order also supports the key strategic priorities of North Somerset Early Intervention and Prevention Strategy 2011 -2015 ‘preventing alcohol misuse’, ‘reducing anti social behaviour’ and ‘increasing public reassurance and ‘community participation’.

 

2.                Details

 

2.1      Sections 12-16 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 give Local Authorities an adoptive power to restrict anti-social public drinking in designated public places.  It also provides the Police with the power to enforce this restriction.  The Local Authorities (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulations 2001 sets out all the procedures to be followed by Local Authorities in designating public places for this purpose.

                       

Section 26 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 which came into force on 6 April 2007 corrected an unintended problem associated with the licensing of public spaces under the Licensing Act 2003, and the use of Designated Public Places Orders (DPPOs) under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.

 

2.2      On 25 July 2012 a report advising members of the legislation and procedures for making orders to combat alcohol related disorder was made to the Planning and Regulatory Committee. It was resolved to recommend to the Council:

 

that the necessary consultations and advertisements be undertaken in accordance with the Local Authorities (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulations 2001 to enable a decision to be made as to whether or not it is appropriate to make designation orders under Section 12 – 16 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (as amended) in respect of

 

1.      King George V Playing Fields, Congresbury.

 

2.      Millennium Green, Congresbury.

 

Plans of these areas are shown at Appendix 1.

 

2.3      The Planning and Regulatory Committee has the authority to agree to undertake the necessary consultations and advertisements in accordance with the regulations and therefore a reference to Council at this stage was unnecessary (min no. PAR 9 refers). However Council approval is required for the making of the Alcohol Consumption in Designated Places Order as recommended in this report.

 

3.                Consultation

 

3.1       In accordance with the relevant regulations the following were consulted:

 

a)     the chief officer of police for the relevant area (This is to seek the views of the police on the nature of the problem and the appropriateness of adopting the powers to respond to it. It also recognises that it will be the police who will have the responsibility for enforcing the resulting restrictions on public drinking).

 

b)     the parish or community council covering all or part of the public place to be designated

 

c)   neighbouring chief officer of police, local authority and parish council which local authority consider may be affected by a designation order.

(This allows for consideration of consequences of order and possible displacement of anti social drinking problems). 

 

d)   Licensees within the area or who may be affected by the designation order.

 

e)   The owners and occupiers of any land that may be identified in a designation order. 

 

3.2       Responses received are attached at Appendix 2.

  

3.3      In accordance with the regulations notices were also published in a local newspaper that identified the places proposed to be designated, the effect of the orders and inviting representations. A notice appeared in the Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury on 2 August 2012.

 

3.4       Plans were available for inspection at the licensing Office, Warne Road, libraries at  Weston-super-Mare, Congresbury and Yatton.

 

3.5      No order can be made until at least 28 days after the publication of the notice in order that representations may be considered. Public representations were permitted until 3 September 2012.

 

3.6       Responses received from the public are attached at Appendix 3.

 

4.                Financial Implications

 

4.1       In addition to officer time, the initial costs of making the orders relate to advertisements and notices.

 

4.2       These costs are estimated at £425 for advertisements and £1,000 for signage.

 

4.3       The funds for advertisements will be met by North Somerset Council Licensing Department with the signage costs being contributed by Congresbury Parish Council.

 

4.4       Enforcement of Designated Public Place Orders, once in place, falls to the Police.  Therefore; apart from the initial costs described, there would be no further additional costs to the Council.

 

5.                Equality Implications

 

5.1       Every person is entitled to peaceful enjoyment of his possessions as a matter of human rights.

 

5.2       No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to conditions provided for by law.

 

5.3       Making a designation order would provide the legal framework for removal of alcohol from persons in designated public places.

 

6.                Corporate Implications

 

6.1       The proposal supports and takes forward the Council’s corporate priorities and strategies

 

7.                Options considered

 

7.1       The Council can decide to proceed with some, all or none of the areas described.

 

7.2       In considering whether or not to make an order members must be satisfied that nuisance or annoyance to the public or a section of the public or disorder have been associated with public drinking in that place. Where there have been no such problems, a designation order will not be appropriate.

 

7.3       Not only should members satisfy themselves of an existing problem, they should make some assessment as to the likelihood that the problem will continue unless these powers are adopted. The powers are not to be used disproportionately or in an arbitrary fashion that could be the case if one, isolated incident led to a designation order. Whether or not a designation order is appropriate will be a matter for local judgement, based on the circumstances applying.

 

7.4       As seen from the appendices responses to the consultation have been most supportive and favour the making of orders.

 

            In response:

 

a)     There is only power to make an order where there is an existing problem.

b)     It is recognised that other orders may need to be made in the future, either to cover any displacement problems or to cover areas where problems exist that were not, identified before the commencement of the present process.

c)      This is the reason that the police, who have the responsibility for enforcing the restrictions on public drinking, were consulted.

 

7.5       It would appear from the consultations that there is evidence to support the making of all orders. In particular it would appear that there is sufficient evidence to satisfy the Council that nuisance or annoyance to the public or a section of the public or disorder have been associated with public drinking in all of the said public places, and it appears that the problem will continue unless Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places Orders are made in respect of those places.

 

8.                NEXT STEPS

 

8.1       If the Council resolves to make the Orders, once the Orders have been made, and before they take effect:

 

a) the local authority must publish another notice in a local newspaper that identifies the place identified in the order, the effect of the order and the date it will take effect.

 

b) the local authority must erect signs to draw attention of members of the public to the effect of the order.

 

8.2       In order that sufficient time is given to make the order, advertise it and erect the necessary signs the Orders should not take effect until 1 January 2013.

 

Author

 

Caz Horton, Licensing Officer

 

Background Papers

 

Home Office Guidance 24 August 2007

Press notices 2 August Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury

Letters of consultation