THE EXTENSION of a ban on antisocial street drinking in three Ceredigion town centres “will not prevent an elderly couple having a glass of wine on the beach,” members of the county council heard.
There are currently three Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in place in Ceredigion, covering the town centres of Aberystwyth, Cardigan and Lampeter, which allow the banning of drinking alcohol in designated areas in order to address anti-social behaviour in public places.
Implementation of an order makes it an offence should a person fail to comply with a request from a police officer or an authorised officer to not consume alcohol, or refuses to surrender alcohol to the officer.
Members of Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet, at their September meeting, backed a recommended to extend the orders for a further three years.
The matter came to the full council meeting of September 21, where members gave their unanimous support for the PSPOs to continue in the three towns after it was proposed by Cabinet Member for Partnerships, Housing, Legal and Governance and Public Protection Councillor Matthew Vaux.
One of those supporting was Aberystwyth Morfa a Glais councillor Alun Williams, who said: “This isn’t an alcohol ban, police can use their judgement, it doesn’t prevent an elderly couple having a glass of wine on the beach.”
He told fellow members: “I remember the type of situations that were taking place in Aberystwyth town centre before this came in; there was a very quick end to that type of behaviour,” adding: “To have enforcement, the police have to be informed of building problems, I think it’s a very powerful tool in the armoury of all the services in preventing antisocial behaviour in all our towns.”
A review must take place every three years and where a continuation of an existing order is involved, a full consultation is not required.
A full consultation would be needed if the geographical boundaries of the designated area were to be changed or if additional activities were to be added to the ban, such as begging or busking.
The extension of the PSPOs will cost of approximately £700 through public notices being placed in the press, councillors heard.