Unfair to small corner shops
I am the solicitor representing the two licence applicants for KP Stores on Talbot Road and Trafalgar Road.
I also act for a large number of independent retailers in Blackpool in connection with licence applications.
While I read with interest issues raised in The Gazette article last week, notably by the police, Public Health and residents, I feel the article fails to deal with matters which I raised at the Licensing Committee hearing last Wednesday, and presents a bias against local independent retailers. I would like to raise some of these points :-
Applications for a Premises Licence (pubs, clubs and off licences etc) are submitted to The Licensing Authority – in this area Blackpool Council – and a 28 day period is allowed for objections to be made.
Where there are no objections the licence is granted automatically on the 29th day.
In Blackpool there is a blatant discrimination against small independent retailers. When applications are submitted by, for example, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi, the police and Public Health choose not to object, even though many of these are in a designated cumulative impact zone and therefore covered by the Saturation Policy. The most obvious example is the new Sainsbury’s store on Talbot Road.
Conversely, my client just down the road, KP Store, is seeking to open a very small off licence within a small retail shop. Sainsbury’s alcohol section is over a 100 times bigger than the one proposed by my client. How can Sainsbury’s get away with it when small independent retailers can not.
If Blackpool Council, fuelled by the police and Public Health, continue with this discriminatory approach to licensing, then the vast majority of small shops in Blackpool will soon close down and we will be left with an abundance of huge supermarkets and the increasing number of mini-Tescos, Morrisons etc.
Is this in the interests of the shopping public in Blackpool? I think not.
The independent retailers provide a massively important service to local people. Yes, there is also damage due to excessive alcohol consumption, but if the authorities really think that closing down corner shops will cure Blackpool’s alcohol problem, then they are more naive than beggars belief.
Adelaide Street, Blackpool
On the subject of homes of multiple occupancy.
I don’t know why there is so much freedom and time given over to HMOs –take a leaf out of the American way of doing it .
Each HMO by law has to have a person living on the premises and paid a wage (not simply £10 knocked of his rent) as a proper job who is responsible for the safety and welfare of the tenants and keep the property in good order.
Simple ain’t it?
Hawkshead Terrace, Blackpool
E-cig safety debate
Just give it up
All this fuss over e-cig safety! As an ex-smoker myself I say it is great that people quit smoking using nicotine replacement but nicotine is still a drug and an addictive one. So if you are taking the chewing gum or puffing on one of those daft contraptions don’t kid yourself. Give it up properly and be healthy.