D-Day in bid to ban late night boozing

Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
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A controversial bid to ban drinking after 3am in Blackpool goes back before licensing chiefs next week.

Councillors delayed a decision on whether to adopt an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) at their last meeting in order to give licensees more of a chance to put their case against the plans.

But since proposals were originally put forward, the area of the town centre which would be affected by the order has been reduced in size.

New Bonny Street, including Coral Island which has an alcohol licence until 6am, is no longer in the proposed zone.

The police have asked for an EMRO because they say tackling violent crime sparked by drunken behaviour is stretching their resources.

But pub and club bosses have warned forcing venues to close by 3am will damage the night-time economy.

Knobby’s Bar, on West Street, Shenanigans, on the Promenade, and Rumours and Hush, in Talbot Square, are among the nightspots which have so far sent written responses to the licensing committee, which is due to meet at 10am on Wednesday at the town hall.

Shenanigans said the EMRO would not affect its business because although it is licensed until 4am, it usually shuts at 2am.

But the other two venues said their businesses would suffer.

A director of Rumours and Hush warned takings would be reduced, forcing them to cut back on workers’ wages and hours.

They add: “I also question whether there is any real benefit in everywhere closing at 3am instead of 4am, with the added prospect of people moving to out-of-town venues and stretching police resources even further.”

If agreed, the next stage will be public consultation.

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