PSPO plan for Redbridge parks

Spitting, loitering or paddling in Redbridge parks could soon be punishable by a £100 fine.

The council is asking for residents’ support for its plan to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) banning a wide range of activities in 31 green spaces around the borough.

A total of 17 activities are listed, including begging, littering or refusing to surrender even a sealed container of alcohol when asked by an officer.

The PSPO, if introduced, would also make it possible to fine people for camping in parks, shortly after the High Court ruled the council could no longer blanket-ban Traveller camps.

The council has another PSPO in the Ilford Lane area, aimed at cracking down on men seeking to buy sex on the street, and which it is hoping to extend for another three years.

Writing on Twitter, deputy leader Cllr Kam Rai said: “We have amazing parks in Redbridge, and while most people respect them a significant minority do not. 

“It’s why the council and Vision want to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) across many to curb antisocial behaviour.”

The council’s website adds that current measures to police the use of parks “are not always sufficient” and claims the PSPO will “benefit the majority who do the right thing”.

The full list of activities that would result in a £100 fine is:

  • Refusing to stop drinking or hand over containers “believed to contain alcohol” when asked
  • Loitering and refusing to disperse
  • Public urination
  • Spitting
  • Begging, whether actively or passively
  • Littering
  • Unofficial events or gatherings
  • Bonfires, barbecues or fireworks
  • Use of drones
  • Camping
  • Use of horse and cart
  • Swimming or paddling in water
  • Use of motorised vehicles, except for those with a disability
  • Damaging trees, plants or wildlife
  • Fishing without a permit
  • Use and sale of drugs

Redbridge’s parks are managed by Vision, which the council’s leadership decided last December should decrease its reliance on council funding over the next five years. 

On December 15, council leader Jas Athwal told the cabinet the council must “modernise the relationship” with Vision, adding: “We want to have everything we do ‘wash its own face’.”

Redbridge Council is legally obliged to consult residents to ensure it has their support before introducing the PSPO.

Residents can give their views on the proposal through the council’s website here until June 11: https://engagement.redbridge.gov.uk/communities/parks-pspo/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Orlo

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter