Crack down begins to tackle begging, street drinking, rough sleeping and ‘legal highs’ #Gloucester

21st July 2016

Gloucester City Council cabinet round-up

Following agreement from the city council’s cabinet last night, a crack down will begin to tackle begging, street drinking, rough sleeping and so-called ‘legal highs’.

Yesterday evening, the council’s cabinet agreed to adopt a ‘Safe and Attractive Streets’ policy for the city.

The policy sets out how the council will take a three-pronged approach to tackle street nuisance – engage, support, enforce – to target persistent offenders and work with identified individuals.

Where support isn’t successful, the council will now look to enforce against persistent issues through civil litigation which is legally binding.

Cllr Jennie Dallimore, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods said, “We know that some residents, businesses and shoppers have been concerned about begging and rough sleeping in the city centre. The council will always provide support for anyone with genuine need, but we will be taking action against antisocial behaviour and anyone who uses people’s generosity and begs for money when they already have a home and receive financial support.”

The council also agreed plans for a new awareness campaign to raise better understanding of the support available for rough sleepers.

Other key decisions that were approved in last night’s cabinet included:

Improvements to housing conditions in the private rented sector:

A presentation was given by Cllr Kate Haigh, member of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, highlighting the findings and recommendations of the ‘task and finish group’ on actions to improve housing conditions in the private rented sector.

Work will continue until April 2017 to improve the worst privately rented accommodation in houses with multiple occupancy. Funding will also continue to employ an officer to make sure these improvements carry on into the future.

The council awaits the outcome of the recent government consultation to extend mandatory licencing for houses with multiple occupancy, before it takes any further steps to introduce a discretionary licensing scheme.

City Centre Investment Fund allocations:

It was agreed to reallocate funds to maximise the benefits of the City Centre Investment Fund. The Kings Walk Bastion will receive £20,000 to open it up as a tourist attraction. The city’s cultural strategy will receive a £30,000 boost. A figure of £20,000 will be set aside to carry out surveys to help support the planned Business Improvement District and Kings Quarter Regeneration Project. A city centre public realm master plan will be developed with £30,000. The targeted historic grants scheme of £40,000 will include £3000 towards the refurbishment of building plaques and to help the council secure a financial return where appropriate, £50,000 will be allocated for the development of a new policy.

ENDS

Issued by: Sarah Black, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 426887,

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