Issue - decisions


21/04/2023 - Bury Town Centre Public Spaces Protection Order

Councillor Richard Gold, Cabinet Member for Finance and Communities, presented the report which outlined an application for a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) produced in conjunction with the Bury Business Improvement District (BID). Due to complaints made, investigations had been carried out and work with partners done to come to the best resolution to enable members of the public to enjoy Bury Town Centre, resulting proposals to ban amplification of music and the consumption of alcohol in public places.


Members discussed the need for appropriate signage, an example of which was included in the papers, and it was noted that there would be a period of education people on the new rules, and exceptions could be made when appropriate.




1.    Agreed to continue the existing ban on alcohol consumption within Bury Town Centre whilst in a public space;

2.    Agreed to ban the use of any amplified sound equipment, speakers, microphones etc.;

3.    Agreed that both these recommendations would be exempt if Bury Council give permission to any individual who is wanting to hold a specific event or festival; and

4.    Delegated the authority to approve future Public Spaces Protection Orders to the Council’s Chief Information Officer in consultation with the Director of Law & Governance and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Communities.


Reasons for the decision:

The reason for the recommendation regarding the banning of consuming alcohol in a public place, is mainly due to the deterrent that it provides to members of the public who consider this to be acceptable behaviour. The reason for the recommendation to ban the use of amplified equipment in Bury Town Centre, is due to the disturbances that excessive noise has caused for residents and local businesses. The initial request put towards Bury Council was to ban busking altogether to try and rectify this problem. However, after discussions with partners and looking at the impact on the community, it was agreed that busking brings positives as well as negatives, therefore the banning of amplified equipment was agreed as it is the volume of the busking that was reported as causing the most concern.


Other options considered and rejected:

Civil Injunction - A Civil Injunction is an order that could be considered to deal with a certain individual that is causing harassment, alarm, or distress. This is a highly effective tool in most instances and if applied to this situation it could be useful to remove a prolific offender. However, this would only apply to the individual in question, meaning that other people causing the issues raised within this report would be able to continue and the same work would have to be repeated for each individual.


Community Protection Notice (CPN) - a Community Protection Notice was designed and implemented in 2014 to help assist with such issues that cause harassment, alarm, and distress within the community. This option was a viable option at the beginning of this process and has been used on a few occasions. However, as with the Civil Injunction this is an action that can only be used towards an individual and not to tackle a collective problem.


Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) - An ABC is a low-level intervention that will still be used alongside the PSPO if these recommendations are approved. This is a non-enforceable contract between Bury Council and an individual which is voluntarily agreed. It is a way of an individual working with the Council to avoid any further actions being taken.


During the consultation process, the option to ban busking altogether was considered as this had be requested by some residents and businesses, however after assessing the situation and looking at the over impact this would have it was agreed that this was not a viable option and for the members of the public who are socially and economically struggling, it would possibly have a detrimental effect on them.