Tough measures on anti-social drinking

Proposals by Erewash Borough Council to tackle anti-social drinking in the borough are expected to be supported by Council Executive (8 September) with a recommendation to Full Council for approval.
 
The introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is part of a partnership effort to curb anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol consumption, which remains a persistent problem within the borough’s town centres.  The PSPO will provide ‘authorised officers’ the power to request individuals stop consuming and surrender their alcohol, if they are also causing anti-social behaviour.  If the individuals fail to comply with an officer’s request, they can be issued with a fine. 
 
The new three-year PSPO, subject to Council approval, will come into force in October 2020.  It will replace the existing Designated Public Place Order which was approved in 2008 and covered the whole of Erewash. The new orders are designed to cover specific, troublesome areas within the borough.
 
Proposed ‘restricted areas’ to be covered by the new PSPO will include:
Ilkeston town centre and surrounding green spaces including Rutland Recreational Ground and Victoria Park
Long Eaton town centre and surrounding green spaces including West Park, Dockholme Lock and Petersham Green.
 
As part of the consultation process, an online survey was conducted by the council earlier this year, with feedback showing overwhelming support in favour of the suggested PSPO restrictions, with some 93% of respondents stating that drinking alcohol in public leads to or may lead to anti-social behaviour. 84% of respondents said that they were likely to avoid the area and 79% being of the opinion that it is likely to cause an increase in violence.
 
 
Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Community Engagement, Councillor Val Clare, says:
 
 
“The introduction of the new public space protection order will support our community safety partners in dealing with the problem of irresponsible drinking in our towns and open spaces. The public survey, which was completed earlier this year, received over 500 replies from residents and partner organisations in the first two weeks alone which goes to show how strongly public opinion runs with this particular issue.”
 

A fair decision

The cancellation of landmark events in Erewash which attract thousands of people – including the historic Ilkeston Charter Fair – is expected to be confirmed at an Extraordinary meeting of Erewash Borough Council next week.
 
A report to the 27 August meeting confirms that the major events should be cancelled in the interests of public safety and in line with safety advice on mass gatherings and the ‘red risk’ they pose for the spread of coronavirus.
 
One of the biggest decisions will be confirmation that the 768th Ilkeston Charter Fair will not go ahead in October, thought to be the first time the street fair - which attracts more than 40,000 people – will not have taken place since wartime.
 
November’s Erewash Bonfire and Fireworks Display at West Park in Long Eaton, another major crowd-puller in the council’s events calendar, is also expected to be rubber-stamped for cancellation.
 
Oher casualties of covid-19 are likely to be Long Eaton’s Chestnut Fair, the Christmas Lights switch-on events in both Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres and the traditional Christmas Eve Carol Service in Ilkeston Market Place.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“These are extremely difficult decisions but the safety of all has to be our number one priority. I can assure residents that the cancellation of events is not taken lightly but the recommendation and advice is absolutely clear and agreed by everyone involved – that the safety of the public would be at risk.
 
“So while it is disappointing, I am sure that everyone will understand the reasons. It has been an unprecedented year, but we look to 2021 with optimism and hope that we will be able to welcome back this borough’s historic Charter Fair and our many other events.”
 
The Remembrance Sunday wreath-laying events in Ilkeston and Long Eaton are expected to go ahead on 8 November but with restrictions on attendance and no parades or church services beforehand.
 
The council worked with Derbyshire County Council’s public health team and also consulted with the Showmen’s Guild Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Mid and South Lincolnshire Section during the summer. Its chairman confirmed that, while disappointed, they had no objection to the cancellation and sent their best wishes to the council with the message that they look forward to returning for next year’s Ilkeston Charter Fair. 
 

Parking charges to resume

Parking charges are set to resume in all Erewash Borough Council car parks.
 
The fees were suspended by the council on 27 March to support and show appreciation for key workers who needed to park in the borough’s car parks, including Long Eaton Railway Station, for long periods during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.
 
But with restrictions easing, and following the permitted opening of all non-essential shops, the council has made the decision to lift the suspension on parking charges returning to the standard tariff of up to 1 hour free, up to 2 hours £1.50; up to 3 hours £2; and £4 for over three hours from Wednesday 1 July.
 
All charges run from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday inclusive – excluding Bank Holidays. All parking in Erewash Borough Council car parks is free of charge on Sundays.
 
Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
 
“It was absolutely right that we suspended the charges to help our key workers and residents during what has been the most difficult of times for everyone. While the way forward out of lockdown is ongoing, the fact is that restrictions have been eased and we – along with councils across the country - had to make a decision on when charges would be reintroduced.
 
“We have to now start looking at the way forward, at the financial situation and how best we can continue – having, I believe, worked with our wonderful community in the monumental effort to get us all through this crisis. With town centre shops in Ilkeston and Long Eaton now able to open, we hope residents will support them as the High Streets look to recover from the lockdown.”
 
Before the coronavirus lockdown the council had agreed a new and simplified two-tier charging system of just £1 for up to three hours and £3 for any period over three hours, with the current rates remaining the same at the commuter car park at Long Eaton Railway Station. This is still going ahead and the revised charges will come into force on Thursday 1 October.

Council services

Erewash Borough Council has sent out a message of thanks for the understanding and support of residents and businesses as it continues to do all it can to maintain essential services in these unprecedented times.

To prioritise and focus on the collection of household waste and recycling, the council took the decision to suspend the collection of garden waste from this week – just one of many changes to ensure the key services can continue.

It has also confirmed that it has suspended charges in all its car parks for everyone – including Long Eaton Train Station commuter car park. Free parking had previously been on offer for all NHS staff and key workers.

Councillor Carol Hart, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, says:

“These are challenging times and as a local authority we have a key role to play in supporting our communities and especially the most vulnerable in our borough. We are doing everything we can to navigate our way through this. We continue to follow government advice and we will continue to keep everyone informed as we respond to the ever-changing situation.

“I would like to applaud our staff and those at all local authorities who are working so hard in these difficult circumstances. I would also like to send my thanks to everyone out there who is putting themselves on the line to help in Erewash and countrywide - NHS staff, volunteers, social workers and more. Let’s all work together in this to keep everyone safe and well.”

The council is working together with residents and businesses to offer the latest information and advice through its website, which features links to the government’s up-to-date pages, to the NHS and to the council’s own web pages. Facebook and Twitter are also being used to get information out.

Except for emergencies, the reception areas at Ilkeston and Long Eaton town halls are closed for the safety of the public and staff. The contact centre team continues to work but are dealing with a high level of calls so residents are advised to use the council’s online services and register for a My Erewash account.

Easter trail fun

The popular Easter Trails in Erewash are back again in time for half-term. The interactive fun trails are suitable for the whole family to enjoy and are a good way to get active outdoors. The walks around Ilkeston or Long Eaton will take 45 minutes to an hour and keep your eyes peeled for the Easter-themed clues along the way! 
 
Trail maps can be collected from West Park Leisure Centre in Long Eaton between Monday 6 April – Friday 17 April (closed Good Friday and Easter Monday) or Erewash Museum in Ilkeston between Monday 6 April – Saturday 18 April (closed Sundays, Good Friday and Easter Monday).
 
Completed forms can be returned to the leisure centre or museum in exchange for a small prize.
 
Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Mike Wallis, said:
 
“The Easter activities organised by the council’s Sports Development team are a great way to get out and about in Erewash and experience a fun day with family and friends. Have a go at spotting the clues on the Easter trails and enjoy having a good stroll around our beautiful borough in the springtime.”