A campaign has been launched which aims to encourage people to show their love for Swindon by taking better care of the town.
The Love Your Swindon campaign is aimed at fostering a greater sense of pride in local communities and will eventually focus on reducing issues such as littering, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour across the borough with the intention of promoting safer and cleaner neighbourhoods.
The campaign has been officially unveiled to coincide with the introduction of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in the town centre.
A PSPO is designed to ensure that people can enjoy public spaces without the threat of anti-social behaviour.
The PSPO for Swindon town centre, which came into effect last month, focuses on issues such as keeping dogs on leads, begging, aggressive charity collecting and drinking in public. It also prohibits peddling or street trading, marking surfaces without the permission of the council, as well as skateboarding.
A public engagement exercise was undertaken on the draft PSPO which attracted 766 responses with the majority of people supporting five of the seven prohibitions. Sixty-four percent of those that responded were against the prohibition of peddling or street trading, while 68% were not in favour of banning the marking of surfaces or chalking.
PSPOs were introduced as part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. If a PSPO is breached the perpetrator may receive a £100 on the spot fine or fines of up to £1,000 if the case goes to court.
Officers from Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Police will enforce the order and will be on hand next week with council officers to hand out leaflets to raise awareness of the PSPO and the Love Your Swindon campaign.
Signs will also be placed at various entrance points to the town centre highlighting the Love Your Swindon campaign and signposting people to details of the PSPO.
Cllr David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “The Love Your Swindon campaign aims to encourage pride in our wonderful town and to promote the kind of behaviour that will present a positive image of Swindon.
“The PSPO, which has the support of traders and shoppers, is the first stage in this and I hope it has a ripple effect to the rest of the town. We want the town centre to be a welcoming environment and the restrictions in the PSPO will hopefully put a stop to the anti-social behaviour experienced by shoppers and passers-by.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, said: “I’m proud to be a Swindonian and
delighted to give my support to Love Your Swindon.
“I want people, young and old, both from the town and from further afield, to know they can come to Swindon and enjoy all that the centre has to offer without being bothered by anti-social behaviour.
“This is a great example of partners working closely together for the good of Swindon.”
A copy of the PSPO and the results of the public engagement exercise can be found on the Community Safety Partnership website www.swindon-csp.org.uk