Byelaw revamp to ban leisure activities in three areas of Stratford - including Bancroft - The Stratford Observer
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14th Aug, 2022

Byelaw revamp to ban leisure activities in three areas of Stratford - including Bancroft

OUTDATED byelaws controlling the type of activities allowed on the Bancroft Gardens, the Rec and the Tramway in Straford are set for a modern overhaul.

If given the go-ahead by members of Stratford District Council’s (SDC) Regulatory Committee on Friday (June 24), pursuits such as the lighting of sky lanterns, cycling, bathing, playing ball games and throwing missiles could all be banned.

Perhaps most significantly, motorbikes could be prevented from parking on certain areas of Waterside – a cavalcade of parked motorbikes having been an iconic sight during events such as the Bulldog Bash motorbiking event near Stratford for years.

The proposed regulations will replace the existing byelaws that date back to the turn of the last century and are no longer considered fit for purpose, as they do not reflect modern society or cover the gadgets that people can now use for leisure, including flying drones and model aircraft.

Other restrictions under the new byelaws will include no camping in tents, caravans or other vehicles in the grounds apart from in a designated area for camping, fires are not permitted or matches allowed to be lit and discarded. No missiles can be thrown liable to cause injury to others, including javelins, discus or hammer. Skateboards and other self-propelled vehicles are banned and there will be no bathing ‘without reasonable excuse’ in any waterway within the grounds.

The radical changes were discussed by district councillors back in January and sent off to the Secretary of State, for levelling up, housing and committees, for approval – which has been given. They will now be chewed over by members of the Regulatory Committee who are set to approve the new set of byelaws.

Following the committee’s approval, the proposal will be opened up for comments from members of the public before going before SDC’s Full Council for final approval.

A council spokesperson said the purpose of the byelaws was to manage the Bancroft Gardens, Rec and Tramway better and allow the public to understand what they can and cannot do so that everyone can enjoy the three areas.

The new byelaws will be clearly signposted and enforcement will be carried out by a council officer or the police.

Regulatory Committee spokesperson, Coun Ian Shenton, added: “The current byelaws are out of date and no longer fit for purpose. The proposed new byelaws reflect today’s modern society. Having a new set of byelaws makes it easier for the public to understand as well as being able to manage the area more effectively.”

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