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Protest over council 'blank cheque powers'

Kensington & Chelsea, where an order exists banning revving car engines Photo: PA

Protests large and small have been held across the capital this weekend over council banning orders in public spaces.

The Manifesto Club, which campaigns against the over-regulation of every day, called for support to breach Public Space Protection Orders, which allow councils to ban activities in open spaces.

They were brought in under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Campaigners called for action over what they described as 'unaccountable and draconian powers', which are used up and down the country.

In London, council PSPOs include:

  • Hillingdon council bans ‘standing in groups of two or more unless waiting at a designated bus stop’
  • Brent Council has an order banning 'offering casual work or running minibuses which stop in restricted area.
  • Havering Council has an order banning parents from parking outside schools.
  • Kensington & Chelsea has an order 'banning revving of engines, using abusive language, sounding horns, repeated sudden or rapid acceleration (so as to cause public nuisance)'.

A festival is being planned on Sunday at midday in Hackney, where the council recently withdrew an order banning rough sleeping an loitering,

Supporters are urged to bring along something that has been banned by a PSPO, including a remote control car, banned in Hillingdon.