Street magic ban under new council plan

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Street magicians who carry out card tricks for cash could be banned from working Blackpool town centre under new proposals.

Blackpool Council has carried out a 12 week consultation on plans to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order.

More than 1,062 responses have been received, with many residents giving the thumbs up to cracking down on anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

The new proposals involve banning a range of activities including drinking in a public place, selling “lucky charms” or heather, selling magazines or publications not for legitimate charities, taking legal highs, loitering around cash machines or shop entrances with the intent of begging.

One extra suggestion proposed as part of the draft order, included prohibiting people from engaging others in cards tricks or other activities for the purpose of gaining money.

This suggestion arose after a group of people were spotted in the town centre recently using tricks and games in order to win money.

If the proposal gets the greenlight anybody caught engaging in these activities from the area north of Chapel Street and south of Springfield Road, the eastern boundary follow ingCentral Drive, Albert Road, Adelaide Street, King Street George Street and Buchanan Street, would be committing a criminal offence and would be get a criminal record and a fixed penalty notice of £100.

All of the activities that would be prohibited by the Public Space Protection Order have been identified as regularly occurring.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We want to make sure that everybody who comes in to the town centre can feel safe and doesn’t have to worry about being harassed, tricked or made to feel unsafe.”

The draft order is available for comment until September 23 and can be viewed on the council’s website.