Saturday, October 26, 2013

Will Time Bell Ring For Late Night Drinking In Lambeth?

A London borough is planning to use new powers to stop alcohol being sold after midnight in an attempt to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Lambeth, with support from the Home Office, is in public consultation on imposing the curfew in part of Clapham to deal with noise and disorder linked to four licensed premises: a nightclub, two bars and an off-licence.

It would be London’s first early morning restriction order (EMRO)

If implemented, the EMRO will ban the sale of alcohol from midnight to 6am, and breaches would mean the venues could be stripped of their licenses and prosecuted.

Lambeth councillor Jack Hopkins said: “We’ve worked for years with businesses and residents trying to resolve this problem, but it hasn’t worked.

“We are consulting on using this strong measure, and if there is support for it from people in the area then the council will seriously consider putting the EMRO in place.

“Many councillors in other boroughs have contacted me expressing a lot of interest in this new licensing.”

The EMRO is a power, detailed in the Licensing Act 2003, which has now been extended to councils. The Act allowed premises to apply for 24-hour alcohol licenses, but critics claim that government attempts to encourage a “cafĂ© culture” have failed.

Lambeth residents have complained about nightclub The Artesian Well, bars Lost Society and Mist on Rocks, and Vesco News off-licence in Wandsworth Road and North Street for eight years.

The Artesian Well has already suffered a drop in trade after their operational hours were cut to 1:30am last year, after complaints.

Patrick Watson, 58, who lives in Wandsworth Road, said: “The venues evacuate people onto the streets but they don’t disperse properly. They urinate, vomit, scream, fight, and congregate outside our homes and opposite the retirement home and intimidate people every single weekend.”

The council will hear the views of residents and businesses until the end of next month. If there is enough public support, the EMRO will come into force in January.

Lost Society owner Mark Banks said: “We feel it’s unfair as we’re the earliest venue to close anyway, and we’ve complied with the council every step of the way regarding dealing with antisocial behaviour.”  Mr Banks and Rudy Weller, director of The Artesian Well, said their venues would have to close if forced to stop selling alcohol at midnight.

The owners of Mist on Rocks and Vesco News were unavailable for comment.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The EMRO was introduced to restrict the sale of alcohol within the minority of premises that drive crime and disorder.”

Other councils are holding similar consultations on EMROs

Source: Evening Standard.


Anonymous said...

not such a bad thing,pubs used to shut at week-days 10-30 ,on Saterday night 11 o`clock,there used to be a couple of places open,clubs,and the west-end was open,we all survived,perhaps there would not be so much poverty,I do know we have moved forward,but poverty and rickets in small kids,we cant manage now,without spending our hard earned money that we need for our harsh winters,on drink,by the way I`m an ex publican

The reverend Vaclav Haldady said...

Agreed, no need for all these late night venues in mainly residential areas.

You can bet the M.P.s would not allow them in Belgravia or Hampstead village!

Beside which these places can become a magnet for PH and non PH touts, drug dealers and sexual predators.

The councils used to be able to limit such numbers but the so called. 'Free trade' lobby and the Thatcher government abolished the powers that the council's had.

The same goes for cheapo booze in supermarkets, just visit and A &E after 10 pm to see that effect.

No trade is more keenly aware of the unforeseen consequences of 'light touch licensing' and politically correct and poorly resourced enforcement of already weak rules.

All so someone can run a sweatshop PH operation and other sell booze and drugs, this endangers the public, steals from our rightful living and makes the streets of London like a scene from Hogarth's 'Gin Lane' after midnight Thursday to Saturday.

All for nightlife and peel having a good time, but it needs management and an appropriate setting.

We pay for our licensing and enforcement therefore so should pubs, clubs and anyone else that sells booze.

'Repent ye, for the day of judgement is at hand'!

Anonymous said...

According to the information published on 24 Hour Alcohol Lambeth there are more 24 hour off licences in Lambeth than any other London borough. In Westminster and Camden there aren't any at all! This makes me think Lambeth Council probably issued too many 24 hour alcohol licences, which is why they now have this problem. I couldn't find any statistics for 24 hour pubs and clubs in London, but from my experience there aren't many at all. None of the pubs I frequent even applied to sell alcohol 24 hours, because they say it just wouldn't make financial sense.