New byelaws could be introduced in Ipswich parks for first time in decades

Karl Bones was caught drug dealing in Ipswich's Christchurch Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

New byelaws could be introduced in Ipswich's parks and open spaces - Credit: Archant

New byelaws designed to protect Ipswich parks could be introduced for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Ipswich Borough Council's executive will discuss the notion at a meeting next Tuesday (June 15), with the existing byelaws in place since 1983 only covering one quarter of parks and open spaces in the borough.

The byelaws are designed to combat anti-social behaviour or acts that may cause distress or injury to park visitors, as well as to protect the environment and wildlife.

Local authorities are able to create byelaws under powers granted by parliament, although must be approved by central government before they are enforced.

The non-observance of byelaws can result in a criminal offence tried in a Magistrates' Court. 

Among the current byelaws enforced by the council include restrictions on cycling on paths within parks, regulations ensuring dogs are kept "under proper control" and age restrictions on the use of play areas.

Under those byelaws however, the use of barbecues and metal detectors are not covered, as well as overnight parking, public performances without consent and the take-off and landing of aircraft, hang gliders and hot air balloons within parks.

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Those are however covered in a list of model byelaws provided by the government.

Potential new byelaws would cover those areas, as well as a ban on the release of sky lanterns and the tampering of any life-saving equipment installed by the council.

If agreed, the council will propose a new set of byelaws and consult on these with the general public and businesses.

Phil Smart, the council portfolio holder for parks and open spaces, said: Ipswich and its parks have changed a lot since 1983.

"Not only do we have a great deal more parks, play areas and outdoor spaces than we did then, they are used by more people in more ways – to relax and unwind, to meet family and friends, and to explore the town’s wildlife.

"They are also the stage for some of the town’s biggest events.

“Replacing the current byelaws will enable us to include a full range of activities and locations, addressing visitor concerns and ensuring that all our cherished spaces are protected and able to be used safely into the future.”