Poole Liberal Democrats successfully opposed the use of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) in Poole. Lib Dem councillors called in the decision to ban rough sleeping in Poole “due to the lack of scrutiny and the fact it was an inappropriate officer decision,” said Councillor Mike Brooke (Broadstone). Councillor Sandra Moore (Canford Heath East) said that the decision was “made by an officer and should have gone through council process.”
The use of PSPOs proved extremely unpopular in a consultation ran by Poole Council with a majority of respondents opposing the use of PSPOs for rough sleeping in Poole Town Centre.
“Poole Liberal Democrats are extremely opposed to the use of PSPOs on rough sleepers in Poole Town Centre. The use of these measures on vulnerable people is appalling and going as far as to fine them is not only cruel but ridiculous. In Southampton, only 1 out of the 33 rough sleepers fined from April 2017 to February 2018 were able to pay back their fines after the implementation of PSPOs by Southampton City Council. We should be helping those in need rather than fining them money they will be unable to pay,” said Chair of Poole Liberal Democrats Grant Gillingham.
The opposition from Lib Dem councillors forced the council into a U-turn by removing a direct ban on rough sleeping.