Consultation begins on proposed night-time closure for market
Posted on: 18 July 2016
A public consultation is about to begin on proposals that could see Barnstaple Pannier Market closed at night-time.
North Devon Council, which owns the market, is asking for views on potentially putting a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in place. This would restrict people from gathering in the market, by closing public access in the evenings and overnight.
Councillor Pat Barker, Executive member for community safety, said: “Unfortunately, there has been a long history of anti-social behaviour incidents reported in the market in the evenings, such as vandalism, arson and rough sleeping. However, as there is a public right of way, it is very difficult for us to address and prevent these cases. Now though, a new provision has been made in the law, called the Public Spaces Protection Order, which could help us restrict access when the market is not open. Therefore, we’re keen to hear what local people, businesses and other organisations think about us going down this route.”
Barnstaple Central ward member, Councillor Faye Webber, said: “As the local ward member, we’ve been trying to get a night-time market closure in place for many years. This is because we’ve been concerned at the issues anti-social behaviour causes and the impact it can have, not only on our own staff who set up the tables first thing in the mornings, but also to traders and shoppers, and the police and fire who are called out to deal with incidents. Of course, some people may have different views, so it’s important everyone takes part in the consultation, so all opinions can be considered.”
Barnstaple Central ward member, Councillor Adam Bradford, said: “We often hear of anti-social behaviour at the market overnight, with damage being caused. Therefore, a Public Spaces Protection Order could enable the council to address this issue, preventing further damage and protecting the public building. If agreed, the Order will last for three years, with the potential to extend it, if appropriate. So it’s important people have their say now so their views can form part of any future decision.”
The consultation opens on Thursday 21 July and will be available on the council’s website, with local people, shoppers, traders and other businesses and organisations all being encouraged to have their say. The deadline to respond is Thursday 6 October.
Following the consultation, all responses will then be analysed, before a further report is put to councillors to decide whether to go ahead with pursuing the Order.Posted in: Economy