‘Nothing ruled out’ in resort drink plan

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Town hall chiefs today declared: “nothing is off limits” as discussions resume over efforts to cut down alcohol-fuelled crime in Blackpool following the failed EMRO bid.

A new committee has been set up by Blackpool Council to find a new way to improve safety in the town centre at night, which met for the first time this month.

The Crime and Public Safety committee is currently consulting emergency services, traders and members of the public over an alternative to the controversial bid for an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) that would have forced bars in a large part of the town centre to stop serving 
alcohol at 3am.

Asked whether the idea of an EMRO could be revisited at some stage, committee chairman Coun Adrian Hutton told The Gazette: “There are no set ideas on the table. We could end up with anything – nothing is off limits at this stage.

“Obviously we have got some ideas but until we have heard from everybody, it’s purely a consultation exercise.”

The group is a sub-committee of the Night Time Economy Working Group, which was set up on the recommendation of the council’s licensing committee when it threw out plans for EMRO.

Police had called for the order, saying it would help them manage their limited resources and tackle late night crime in the resort.

Pub bosses have said the group is a good way to find a solution to the causes of alcohol-fuelled crimes in Blackpool rather than simply dealing with their effect.

Craig Southall, Pubwatch chairman for Blackpool and general manager of Yates’s on Market Street, said: “Rather than trying to fire fight, this group is trying to find the root cause of the problems, whether that’s the nighttime economy, social deprivation or cheap accommodation. It’s a chance to have a say in a less formal environment than the EMRO hearings.”

Coun Hutton added: “We are consulting services and traders. But it’s key that we also hear from residents, young and old, on their views.”

To have your say, email licensing@blackpool.gov.uk by September 5 .