So called chuggers could be banned from Stafford Town Centre in proposals put forward by the borough council.
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 Stafford Borough Council is asking residents and businesses for views on using ‘Public Spaces Protection Orders’ (PSPOs) to tackle issues in the county town including the ‘chuggers,’ anti-social behaviour, and cyclists riding on the pedestrianised high street.
The existing PSPOs in place across the borough are in force until next year – 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 resident associations regarding the proposed new PSPOs. Now the council’s cabinet will be asked to give the go-ahead to a six week consultation period for residents, organisations and businesses to give their views on the proposals and the proposals introduce new restrictions – for example excluding dogs from play areas at Charnley Road in Stafford and in the village of Stowe-by-Chartley.
The cabinet meeting is being held on Thursday 7 November.
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 will give us their feedback.”
Details of a consultation will be released at a later date if the cabinet give the plans the green light.