Plans to ban 'chuggers' from Stafford town centre up for debate
Residents and businesses are to be asked for their views on plans to ban 'chuggers' from parts of Stafford town centre.
The proposals are part of a number of changes regarding ‘Public Spaces Protection Orders’ (PSPOs) which are used to tackle local issues.
The move follows ongoing complaints from shoppers and workers around the town about being ‘harassed’ by groups who are trying to get people to sign up to direct debits for national charities. The groups are often referred to as chuggers.
In future the ‘chuggers’ – and utility company sales people - will have to apply to the council for permission to come in to town and be confined to a designated area only.
Now the borough council is asking residents and businesses for their views on using PSPOs to tackle issues in the county town including ‘chuggers,’ anti-social behaviour, and cyclists riding on the pedestrianised high street.
Existing PSPOs in place across the borough come to an end shortly – which is why the council is now taking steps to ensure they continue.
PSPOs are aimed at dealing with problems in a specific area that are detrimental to the quality of life for the local community. The orders can ban or restrict certain behaviour and anyone not complying is given a warning - and can be fined for breaching it.
The borough council has worked with the police, town centre partnership and residents associations regarding the proposed new PSPOs.
The proposals also introduce new restrictions – for example excluding dogs from play areas at Charnley Road in Stafford and in the village of Stowe-by-Chartley.
Councillor Jeremy Pert, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “We want to ensure our town centres are welcoming places. Places where people can spend leisure time, shop, relax, or even set up business and we don’t want that ruined by anti social behaviour, alcohol related issues, or other forms of nuisance.
“One of the nuisances complained of by our residents and visitors is that these direct debit collectors are harassing them and retailers have mentioned that customers say they have been put off coming in to town.”
He added: “We have already liaised with the police and other partners about how we address these types of behaviour and now we hope our residents, businesses and organisations will give us their feedback.”
The consultation will run until March 2 and more details can be found at staffordbc.gov.uk/surveys.