The government’s decision not to introduce buffer zones outside abortion clinics has been criticised by Ealing Council.
The council - which was the first to issue a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to prevent protestors gathering near the Marie Stopes abortion clinic - said the decision could put vulnerable women at risk of being intimidated and harassed.
‘The government has let down women by today's decision,’ said leader of Ealing Council, Cllr Julian Bell.
‘Ealing was the first council in the country to introduce a safe zone and it remains in place, but now the government has created a postcode lottery where some women will be protected and others not.’
The council said it has seen a ‘dramatic’ reduction in anti-social behaviour since the introduction of the safe zone in April.
Cllr Bell added: ;Council powers are time limited - a PSPO can only be in place for three years before we have to go through the process again and apply for a new order. So even here where we have a safe zone, the clock is counting down on the time left to provide the protection people deserve.'