'Clean up our resort' - New Blackpool Council plans will get tough on beggars, booze and littering

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Begging, street drinking on the Promenade and glass on the beach are among the biggest problems in Blackpool.

That is according to hundreds of residents who took the opportunity to tell Blackpool Council what bugs them about the resort.

Now town hall chiefs are planning to extend powers to clamp down on nuisance behaviour in a bid to clear up Blackpool’s image.

New rules could see glass banned from the beaches and stricter rules imposed on pedlars and street performers.

The council’s executive will consider proposals next Monday to introduce four new restrictions to the town centre and promenade public space protection order.

It is also proposed to extend the order, which was introduced in 2015, for another three years.

The amendments are being considered following a consultation exercise held by the council this summer.

A total of 571 people responded to the survey asking them what they thought the worst problems in Blackpool were.

The issue that most people complained about in the town centre was beggars loitering around cash machines and in shop doorways, with 76 per cent of respondents agreeing this was a problem.

And 96 per cent said they backed extending the ban on begging – with councillors asked to approve new stricter wording that would cover all public spaces in the town centre, not just around cash points and shop doorways.

A report to the council’s executive committee said: “A key issue identified in the operation of the existing public space protection order, both informally by responsible authorities and councillors and within the formal consultation, has been the issue of problematic and anti-social behaviour begging in the town centre and amendments are proposed to ensure this developing issue can be effectively addressed.”

People said the biggest problem on the Promenade was street drinking, while the main issue on the beach was broken glass.

Councillors are being recommended to amend the order to introduce four additional offences.

These include banning people from taking glass containers onto the beach or sea defence wall and banning street performers who do not have written consent from the council.

The survey showed just over half of those who responded backed rules requiring street performers to get the council’s permission, despite just 13 per cent saying they were a nuisance in the town centre.

Pedlars would be forced to conform to new rules about the size of their barrow which must not be more than 2.1 metres long.

Unauthorised charity collectors would also be banned.

Existing restrictions banning street drinking, sales of ‘gag mag’ magazines and lucky charms and heather would continue along with banning the use of illegal substances, carrying out card tricks and begging.

A report to the executive committee says since being introduced the order, which covers the town centre and the Promenade to Starr Gate in the south and Red Bank Road in the north, has been successfully used to tackle anti-social behaviour.

It says the order “has provided clarity in terms of behaviours that are not acceptable and in the majority of cases once a warning has been issued the behaviours have ceased.”

In relation to the consultation, the report adds: “There was huge and overwhelming support for prohibiting glass products to be taken onto the beach which now forms part of the order.”