PEOPLE are being urged to give their views on extending orders which control the consumption of alcohol in public areas in Midsomer Norton town centre.

Bath and North East Somerset Council is seeking public opinion before renewing legal orders which make it easier for the authorities to tackle anti-social drinking in public places.

The authority wants to extend the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) for Midsomer Norton and Bath which would enable the council and police to continue to act on anti-social behaviour to keep people safe.

The PSPOs consultation launched on Monday, July 8, and asks for people’s views on continuing to prohibit people from having alcohol in their possession, care or control in any public place within the restricted area within Bath and Midsomer Norton town centre.

It would not be a criminal offence to consume alcohol within a restricted area. PSPOs are not intended to disrupt peaceful activities and are used explicitly to deal with anti-social behaviour in public places that is detrimental to quality of life.

It would be an offence, however, without reasonable excuse, to fail to comply with a request by an authorised officer to cease drinking or surrender alcohol. A person guilty of such an offence would be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000.

The existing PSPOs expire in September this year and the council has a statutory duty to consult on their renewal.

Residents can respond to the consultations up to August 16.

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said: “We are committed to maintaining Bath and North East Somerset as a place that residents can be proud of and people want to visit.

“People should feel safe when out and about in our city and town centres. We want to find out whether residents continue to support these PSPOs as they have done in the past, so please have your say in our consultation.”

Public Places are defined as those to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission.

Anyone who has questions about this consultation or needs any of this information in an alternative format is invited to email the council’s community safety team at [email protected], or email [email protected].