Council move to introduce public urination byelaw

Erewash Borough Council are looking to enact a new law to prevent town centre streets being used as public toilets.
Erewash Borough Council are looking to enact a new law to prevent town centre streets being used as public toilets.

Erewash Borough Council is to debate the introduction of a new bylaw to fine anyone urinating in public in Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres.

The matter is on the agenda for the full council meeting being held today (Thursday) at Ilkeston Town Hall.

The draft ruling outlaws urination or defecation in any street or public space within designated areas. Any person caught breaking the law could be hit with a fine of up to £500.

Leader of the council, Councillor Chris Corbett, said: “We carried out an extensive consultation to gather the thoughts of local people and we found they substantially supported the introduction of a new byelaw.

“The issue of people urinating and defecating in public areas of Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres is not, in my view, a major one – but when it does happen it is totally unacceptable.”

The possibility of the law first arose in council discussions in October 2013, when it also referred to spitting.

The matter has since passed consideration by the borough’s general purposes committee and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The DCLG’s view was that although the council could show urination and defecation was a large problem in the two town centres and at defined times, spitting was not a documented nuisance.

The council has since undertaken assessments on the cost of enforcement and public notification, which were found to be achievable within existing budgets.

Enforcement of the byelaw will primarily rest with police, supported by the council’s Neighbourhood Wardens.

Coun Corbett added: “If it gets the go-ahead at the meeting, the new byelaw should be in place by the summer and will give police more power to tackle the problem on top of the existing measures already in place.”

The council is granted powers to make law to suppress nuisances under The Byelaws (Alternative Procedure) (England) Regulations 2016 and the Local Government Act 1972.