Council backs drinking ban all along riverside - The Evesham Observer

Council backs drinking ban all along riverside

Evesham Editorial 30th Mar, 2018   0

A BID to extend the clampdown on anti-social behaviour and drinking in Workman Gardens to cover all of Evesham’s riverside has won the support of district council chiefs, writes Rob George.

Members of Wychavon District Council’s Executive Board met on Wednesday to discuss a new three-year Public Spaces Protection Order or PSPO for all the open spaces along the river in Workman Gardens, Waterside Gardens, Abbey Park, Crown Meadow, Viaduct Meadow and Corporation Meadow.

Councillors backed a consultation for the new PSPO which, if introduced, would replace the exisiting booze ban which has been in place since April 2015 following endless complaints of bad behaviour blighting the area.

Issues such as damage to boats, excessive noise, urinating and defecating in the shrub areas, jumping in the River Avon when drunk and requiring rescue are examples of some of the more serious incidents which have occurred.

The order is due to expire next month and in a report to council chiefs, officers said while it had helped to minimise the problem drinking and bad behaviour in Workman Gardens it had seen those responsible move to Abbey Park on the other side of the river.

“They have caused problems there by becoming so drunk they lay inert on the grass near the children’s play area to the distress of other park users and caused the emergency services to attend. Drinkers often dominate the use of seats by the War Memorial or the Lily Pool,” the report added.

Officers have also warned councillors the two Green Flags currently awarded to Workman Gardens and Abbey Park may be in jeopardy if the council fails to take action to tackle the problem.

If introduced, the PSPO will enable the police and Wychavon’s Community Wardens to confiscate alcohol and issue fixed penalty notices to anyone found breaching the policy.

The proposed order will not affect events for which licences for alcohol are granted and could be renewed for a further three years when it expires in 2021.

Speaking during the meeting, Evesham councillor Gerry O’Donnell and executive board member for Community Development, Culture and Sport said: “The residents in and around the area have been concerned about this for some time.

“It’s a real problem and I am delighted to be able to second Coun Emma Stokes proposals.”

Ward member Coun Martin King welcomed the proposals but asked if the council could review the the order after 12 months.

“When the proposals came forward to deal with Workman Gardens the problem was confined to there,” he said.

“It was solved to a certain extent but has moved elsewhere and I would hate to see us tied into a situation where we can’t do anything for three years.”

Members of the board passed the proposals unanimously.


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