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CWAC backdown on Public Space Protection Order

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Chester Liberal Democrats are pleased that the council have listened to the people that responded to the PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) consultation and dropped the illiberal controls over homeless rough sleepers and buskers in the city.

We campaigned with the buskers and SOUL kitchen against these illiberal proposals as they would have adversely affected the liberties and rights of others and would have damaged this city’s aspirations to become a city of culture.

Mark Williams, from Chester Liberal Democrats said,

“We should be embracing arts and culture and not lumping buskers into the same category as begging.”

The PSPO would have zoned the city centre into an area where Police could conduct ‘social cleansing’ by removing people from the streets for infringing rules on controlled busking, homeless rough sleeping, bird feeding and taking ‘legal’ highs in public.

The Police do not need these powers as was evidenced by Project Centurion where the Police used existing powers to stop the sale of so called ‘legal’ highs within the city.

What is now clear is that none of these activities are a problem but all street activities were unfairly lumped in with begging – which is seen as a problem.

We sincerely hope that they now choose to dump the rest of the PSPO. We understand that some people have issue with bird feeding, begging and the taking of ‘legal’ highs in public but they already have existing powers to ‘move people on’ and the recent Project Centurion has shown that they can deal with these issues without needing the new PSPO powers.

Mark Williams, from Chester Liberal Democrats said,

“So we hope that the council will make the right choice and dump the PSPO for good and focus their attention positively on arts and culture in the city instead.”

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