Consultation starts on ban on town centre begging

Banbury town centre
Banbury town centre

A four week public consultation on the proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which would ban begging, repeated rough sleeping and drinking in Banbury town centre has now begun.

The consultation, by means of a survey, will run until Monday, August 15.

The 13-question survey asks people about begging and anti social behaviour in the town centre and whether these issues have become worse over the last 12 months.

Councillor Tony Ilott, Cherwell’s lead member for public protection, said: “There are two parts to this PSPO; the first is addressing concerns raised by shoppers and traders who feel intimidated by people who are begging for money and engaging in antisocial behaviour.

“The second is identifying those who are genuinely in need of support and using all approved channels to get them the help they need.”

The survey also includes a poster campaign and businesses across the town are displaying posters with details for a new text giving service which was launched by the Beacon Centre at St Mary’s Church, Banbury.

By texting NOXF11 (space) £(amount) to 70070 people can donate their chosen amount to the charity, which will use the funding to support local homelessness cases.

Councillor Ilott said: “Despite a much higher public perception, Banbury had six known rough sleepers at the end of June; the rest are people who we know are travelling into the area from outside of the district to exploit the generosity of shoppers before going back to their homes.

“This order will move those people on so shoppers and traders no longer feel intimidated and we can concentrate on working with the genuine cases.”