“There is no need for anyone to be on the streets”, is one councillor’s response to new legislation which could tackle anti-social begging in the borough.

It came as Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s management committee unanimously agreed to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in specific areas.

It tackles alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, begging and the feeding of gulls. It will also permit cycling on Weymouth promenade at specific times. Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs) already exist in parts of Weymouth. These make it an offence to disobey the request of a police officer to stop drinking or hand over their alcohol in a designated area.

The new proposals are for these to be converted into PSPOs which, unlike DPPOs, are enforceable with a fixed penalty notice of £100.

Police will also have powers to deal with ‘persistent and problematic’ begging while urging vulnerable people to use the services available to them.

The powers are being introduced following a consultation with the community.

Cllr Jeff Cant, chairman of the management committee, said: “The order seems very limited.

“I live in a flat in the town centre. A lot of what I feel is unpleasant behaviour is low-level micro-aggression such as shouting and swearing and there’s nothing here to say we can do anything about that.

“The PSPO doesn’t give powers to patrol at night. It’s not enough to be there in the day time. When people go out in the evening this micro-aggressive behaviour is happening.

“We need to have sufficient powers to deal with people who don’t deserve to be around the town.”

Cllr Cant said although he understands the reasons behind those who resort to begging, the council is sometimes too willing to let it continue.

He said: “Sometimes we lean too far towards tolerance. We need to look at the needs of the majority rather than the needs of the minority.

“There is no need for anyone to be on the streets if they are using the services available to them.”

Cllr Gill Taylor said she welcomes the order which will help to tackle ‘aggressive’ street beggars who can be mistaken for rough sleepers.

She said: “I think we have very few rough sleepers on the global scale, but the numbers have been skewed because of the amount of street begging.”

As part of the PSPO, people who cause a ‘public nuisance’ by feeding seagulls could also be handed a hefty fine.

The new legislation also means cycling on The Esplanade and in pedestrianised areas of Weymouth town centre will be prohibited between 10am and 5.30pm from May 1 until September 30 annually. It will be permitted outside of these times. At the moment it is banned at all times.