Parks Byelaws – how we have responded to the 2013 consultation
In 2013 the council held a consultation on the introduction of byelaws to Bristol’s parks and green spaces. The idea behind byelaws is to improve the enjoyment of parks and green spaces for everyone, by deterring anti-social or nuisance behaviour.
967 responses were received to this consultation.
The majority of those responding (77%) were in favour of introducing byelaws stating that it would, for example; make parks and green spaces better for everyone to enjoy, make them safer, cleaner and more family friendly, as well as protecting the environment and deterring people from misusing our parks.
However, the council also picked up the concerns expressed in the consultation about the extent of the byelaws; to what degree the byelaws would be enforced and whether it was too heavy handed an approach. Concerns were also raised that the byelaws would adversely affect people taking part in everyday activities in a responsible way, restricting enjoyment of parks and green spaces as places to play, socialise and take exercise.
There were also queries related to why certain issues weren’t going to be covered by byelaws, but which caused significant problems for some people. These included dogs off leads and dog fouling, and anti-social behaviour linked to misuse of alcohol and drugs. These issues are recognised as causing concern but they are already covered by other legislation and the council and police have powers to address these issues already. There is no need for further byelaws.
Taking on board the feedback received, the council, in discussion with the police, have spent some time considering a way forward to address some of the issues that do cause a nuisance whilst not introducing unenforceable or overly restrictive byelaws.
The result of this review is that the new byelaw proposals cover fewer activities but ones that need some control. A further consultation will look at designating areas for some activities to ensure that the byelaws apply in the most appropriate places.
See the document below for specific changes that have been made as a result of consultation.