Calderdale Council to flex its muscles in fight against anti-social behaviour

The council will use its powers more often to cut out fly-posting
The council will use its powers more often to cut out fly-posting

Calderdale Council is starting to flex its muscles to clampdown on various forms of anti-social behaviour to improve its citizens’ quality of life.

The council’s Cabinet has green lighted a wide review of its enforcement policy on issues ranging from anti-social behaviour, bad parking and driving, environmental nuisances such as littering and fly-tipping and specifically moves to clampdown on graffiti, banners, posters and placards which are often placed on highway structures, grass verges and street furniture.

Prevention, engagement, education and enforcement would be drawn together to tackle issues raised by communities as key concerns in a “joined up” manner said Cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Coun Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden).

This meant delivering better services and better outcomes in partnership with other organisations, being more pro-active and using digital information to better protect communities, she said.

Key partners such as the police, the fire service and Together Housing will contribute to the review alongside the Community Safety Partnership and organisations such as Trading Standards and Environmental Health that operated on a regional or even national basis.

In terms of the fly-posting issue, the council will call more on section 132 of the Highways Act which give it powers to remove material, issue fixed penalty notices to someone reasonably believed to have committed such an offence and ultimately prosecute offenders through Magistrates Court.

Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said these were issues really cared about and she wanted to see digital information – such as social media – used and be a part of the review as it was not explicit in the briefing paper.

Liberal Democrat leader Coun James Baker (Warley) was invited to comment and raised issues where powers could be used to improve situations including derelict sites, which a recent Amercian study showed impacted negatively on neighbourhoods, and working up a complete policy on tackling abandoned cars.

He hoped all ward councillors would be involved in the review.