Rochdale Borough Council urged to ditch proposals banning people from ‘placing themselves in a position to beg or solicit money’.
A Labour-run council has been accused of effectively criminalising the poor and vulnerable, as campaigners claim the local authority is considering using Public Space Protection Orders against homeless people.
Rochdale Borough Council has allegedly proposed ten separate offences, including a ban on people “placing themselves in a position to beg or solicit money” and introducing on-spot fines for swearing.
The council is also said to want to place a curfew on under-18s between 11pm and 6am – a measure usually reserved for a national emergency – and criminalise the unauthorised distribution of printed materials, which campaigners say could violate residents’ freedom of expression and cause significant harm to local businesses.
Campaign group Liberty has now written to Rochdale Borough Council, which Labour held on to in the 2016 local election, accusing the council of a “misuse of power” and urging it to “abandon” the plans.
Liberty claims no consultation has been offered on the plans, and warns the council may be at risk of breaching residents’ fundamental human rights.
Lara ten Caten, Legal Officer for Liberty, said: “These proposals are a staggering misuse of power.
READ MORE: WELFARE WEEKLY