By Joseph Greenough
Leeds City Council has launched proposals to ban street partying in the city’s two main student areas, Headingley and Hyde Park.
The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) would make “engaging, promoting, encouraging, or assisting in carrying out a street party” a criminal offence in the proposed area.
The proposals would bring in stricter controls and extend the areas already covered by existing laws.
Loud music, intoxicating substances and loose household waste would also be more heavily policed.
Those found drinking or dumping waste in the public areas would face fines of up to £100.
In July, Hyde Park and Headingly saw 59 reported incidents of anti-social behaviour – the fourth highest of all areas in Leeds.
The council claims that the habits of the large student population in the area are having a “detrimental effect on the quality of life” of other residents.
40-year-old Anayah from Headingley agrees. She said: “I don’t think people should be drinking and partying outside when they can just do it in their houses.
“I have young children that get kept awake and there’s broken glass everywhere that they can step on when they walk to school.”
Despite such complaints being sent to the council, some Headingley and Hyde Park inhabitants see the restrictions as unfair.
27-year-old student Ben from Hyde Park said: “Why don’t they just make it illegal to have fun? I’ve thrown parties where we’ve literally just been sitting outside having a beer and a cigarette and someone will complain just because they don’t want to have to look at us.
“They shouldn’t put an all-round ban on parties, they should just make the policing better so that if someone does take it too far, they can deal with that group of people individually.”
Regarding the restriction on household waste, 24-year-old Izzy from Headingley said: “I’m not surprised that the streets are covered in rubbish, it’s the council’s fault.
“Our bins have been laying out on the pavement for weeks because for some reason they never get collected, then they just get ripped apart by foxes.”
Leeds City Council has taken public comments regarding the proposal into consideration before the order goes into effect.
To read the terms of the PSPO, visit https://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/North%20West%20Leeds%20PSPO.pdf