Leeds Council proposes ban on public drinking and street parties in Headingley and Hyde Park

Leeds Council has proposed an order which could ban street parties and public drinking in student areas of Leeds.

By Abbey Maclure
Monday, 11th November 2019, 12:29 pm
Updated Monday, 11th November 2019, 12:49 pm

The proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for North West Leeds would replace three existing PSPOs, covering Hyde Park, Headingley, Weetwood, Little London and part of Burley.

If approved, the new PSPO would ban street parties, public drinking and drug-taking in public areas.

It would make it an offence to breach rules on household waste, targeting residents who dump rubbish on the street, and introduce stricter controls on anti-social behaviour.

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A proposed PSPO for Leeds North West would ban street parties and drinking and drug-taking in public areas

Leeds Council says it is considering the order after serious concerns from residents and businesses about anti-social behaviour and waste issues in north west Leeds.

In May, residents in Headingley described feeling "under siege” when a 12-hour student party left them frightened to leave their homes.

The following month, police dog units were called in as students refused to turn down music at a Hyde Park street party.

Leeds Council ran a public consultation on the order last week and comments are being assessed before the council decides whether to introduce the North West Leeds PSPO.

The proposed boundary for the Leeds North West PSPO covering Hyde Park, Headingley, Little London and part of Burley (Photo: Leeds Council)

What behaviour would the Leeds Norrth West PSPO ban?

The PSPO would prohibit anyone from consuming alcohol in the restricted area, or from holding an open container of alcohol, in a public space.

It would also prohibit using "intoxicating substances" in a public space. This would not include tobacco, vaporisers or drugs used for medicinal reasons.

The PSPO would ban anyone from encouraging, promoting or carrying out a street party which causes amplified music or noise in a public space and would have a "detrimental effect" on neighbours.

People in the restricted area would also be prohibited from gathering in groups of two or more and engaging in anti-social behaviour.

The PSPO would introduce rules on household waste, penalising those who dump household rubbish on the street and do not not recycle or dispose of it correctly.

This would apply to anyone who dumps waste outside their property - except between 6pm on the day before bin collection and 9pm on bin collection day.

What penalties would be introduced?

If the PSPO is introduced, it will be an offence to engage in any of the activity mentioned above in the restricted area - and other prohibited activity in the order.

Those who are found drinking alcohol in public and refuse to hand it over may be fined up to £100.

Those who breach the requirements on household waste could also be fined up to £100.

However, the order does protect those who are forced to leave rubbish outside full bins if there was no other option available.

The draft of the North West Leeds PSPO states: "No person shall be guilty of an offence under this Order if that person demonstrates that he or she has taken all such steps as were reasonably available to that person to secure compliance, provided that proof of the same shall lie with that person."

What does the council say about the order?

Leeds Council says it is responding to concerns made by residents in the area and will work with universities, landlords and students if the order is approved.

A council spokesperson said: “Leeds City Council is currently considering the introduction of a proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for areas in the north west of the city.

"This follows long standing concerns that have been raised with us by residents, businesses and other stakeholders regarding anti-social behaviour and waste/litter related issues that are having a negative impact on those living and working in the area.

“One of these issues is the volume of household waste which is currently being left on the street and not recycled or disposed of in an appropriate manner.

"If the PSPO is given the go-ahead, we would aim to consult with and work closely with local organisations and residents, including universities, to ensure that significant improvements can be made around this area which would be to the benefit of everyone living and working in the area affected.

"This would not just be through formal enforcement and the greater powers provided through the PSPO to tackle irresponsible behaviour from landlords and residents, but also through other avenues, such as a wide-ranging behavioural change programme and face to face engagement and outreach.

We are also currently reviewing our waste collection arrangements to see how we can improve further recycling and re-use levels across Leeds.

“The student changeover period can be particularly challenging, which is why we despatch additional refuse vehicles and significantly enhance the presence of our Cleaner Neighbourhoods team in the area during this time.

"We remain committed through our strong relationships with the universities to jointly explore how further positive changes in recycling can be achieved.”