Should Kettering's ban on street drinking, begging and skateboarding continue? Have your say now

A consultation is under way

By Sam Wildman
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 1:02 pm

It’s been six years since Kettering’s controversial Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) came into force.

The town centre order, which aims to tackle nuisance or problem behaviour, bans activities including street drinking, begging and even skateboarding.

Now, with the order set to expire this summer, North Northamptonshire Council has launched a consultation as it seeks the views of the public over whether it should be renewed and extended for a further three years.

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Some of the things which are currently banned under the PSPO.

Cllr Andy Mercer, the council’s executive member for housing and community, said: “Unfortunately due to its mix of retail, leisure and night-time economy Kettering town centre sees volumes of anti-social behaviour, which is why the PSPO was originally introduced.

"It is important that we work with and listen to the community, acting accordingly. This is why we have launched this public consultation.”

The order for the town centre currently prohibits street drinking, those under the age of 18 from being in the area from 11pm to 6am, driving/using a car in an anti-social manner, obstructing the highway or loitering, anti-social parking, begging, using a bicycle or scooter in a way that could cause a nuisance, and foul and abusive language.

It also stops people from collecting for charity or soliciting for money in the street, or distributing leaflets, without permission from the council.

And, most controversially, it stops people from using a skateboard AT ALL in the Market Place and Morrisons car park, although there are hopes the ‘crazy’ ban will be lifted.

Breaching the PSPO laws can result in a fixed penalty notice or prosecution if it is not paid.

The current consultation covers whether the PSPO should be renewed and if there should be any amendments to order.

Cllr Jason Smithers, leader of the council, added “Once the consultation has closed, all feedback will be analysed and considered before a report is taken to the executive.

"In particular, we would like to hear the views of those living and working within the PSPO area, so I really would encourage residents and businesses to have their say.”

The consultation ends on June 24.