'Disgusting' - councillor slams culprits for defecating on footpaths and in front gardens
A councillor has condemned those responsible for defecating on public footpaths and in residents' front gardens on a busy stretch of road.
Claire Bowes, district councillor for Watton, said there had been multiple reports of anti-social behaviour on Brandon Road over the past two years.
She added that the worst of the problems had affected homeowners between the roundabout adjoining Swaffham Road and the Cranswick meat processing plant.
Ms Bowes was speaking on Monday as Breckland Council's cabinet approved Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) for Watton and Thetford, which had expired after a three-year period.
The orders prohibit consumption of alcohol, as well as public urination and defecation, within specified areas of the each town centre.
But Ms Bowes said Watton's new PSPO failed to cover a key area and needed to be reconsidered.
She added: "While I fully support the recommendation, I regret to see the PSPO area will not be extended to cover Brandon Road and that the opportunity has not been taken to do so given the reports of ASB.
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"They include people defecating along a public footpath and even in residents' gardens.
"What some residents on Brandon Road between Swaffham Road roundabout and Cranswick have had to put up with is quite frankly disgusting. Therefore, I do hope this can be looked at again in the very near future."
Steve James, the council's communities and environmental services manager, told the cabinet that quickly enforcing a new PSPO in Watton had been an immediate priority due to the previous order's expiration in October.
But he pledged to seek an extension to the order to cover Brandon Road, which may require further public consultation.
"We absolutely recognise the local issues which councillor Bowes raises," added Mr James.
Renewal of Thetford's PSPO also bans use of skateboards, bicycles and "other wheeled vehicles" in designated pedestrianised zones.
Jane James, ward member for Thetford Castle, said the order was "an important part of the toolkit for police in combatting anti-social behaviour".
Susan Dowling, member for Thetford Priory, added: "I have had lots of letters and messages from ward members really wanting these measures to continue. It's very important for their way of life and movement around the streets."