Calling Time on Street Drinking
Written by Gavin on 29th September 2020
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council will shortly be asking residents for their views on the measures introduced in 2018 to reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour – including ‘no alcohol zones’ on the streets of Aberdare and Pontypridd town centres.
Just over two years ago, the new rules were introduced by a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), and have been jointly enforced by the Council and South Wales Police since. Aberdare’s ‘no alcohol zone’ includes the Sobell site and its playing fields, Aberdare Railway Station and Gadlys Pit Car Park. Pontypridd’s zone includes Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd Railway Station, Pontypridd Bus Station and an area of lower Graig.
The PSPO also re-dedicated all of Rhondda Cynon Taf as a Controlled Drinking Zone. Authorised Officers can request a person hands over their alcohol and stops drinking if they are causing, or are likely to cause, anti-social behaviour. The maximum penalty which can be issued for non-compliance is £100.
From Friday, October 2, the Council will be undertaking a four-week public consultation with residents as part of its review and assessment of the stricter measures brought in by the PSPO. The process will ask residents for their views on the PSPO’s effectiveness, and whether it should remain in place.
Current consultation exercises being carried out by the Council are a little different at the moment due to the Coronavirus pandemic – but there are still a number of way which residents will be able to participate in the process.
On October 2, the webpage at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/currentconsultations will be updated with an online survey – along with a dedicated phone number, email and free post address for people to have their say. There will also be an opportunity for residents to join virtual public drop-in sessions on Zoom, while an Older Persons Advisory Group session will also be held on this platform.
Detailed information about the PSPO will also be made available on the webpage for residents to view – including maps of the ‘no alcohol zones’ in Aberdare and Pontypridd, Frequently Asked Questions and Statutory Notices.
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, said: “The Public Spaces Protection Order which came into force in September 2018 was introduced to reduce instances of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour,
and to generally increase the friendly and welcoming nature of our Town Centres for local residents and visitors to the County Borough.
“Following its joint enforcement by the Council and South Wales Police, the response from members of the public to the PSPO has been overwhelmingly positive. We have seen a steady increase in those who say they feel safe visiting our town centres year on year. The upcoming consultation is aimed at formally gaining residents’ views about the PSPO, as an important process in informing the Council’s decision on whether it remains in place into the future.
“I would urge residents to take part when the process opens on October 2. The four-week exercise will be somewhat different to our usual public consultations, as a necessary measure due to the Coronavirus emergency – but residents can still take part via email, letter or phone, and can participate in an online questionnaire and public drop-in sessions via video conferencing.”
Full details about the consultation will be confirmed by the Council on October 2 at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/currentconsultations. Information will also be shared on the Council’s social media (‘Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’ on Facebook and ‘@RCTCouncil’ on Twitter) – using the hashtag #AlcoholFreeStreetsRCT.