Web petition launched against 3am closure

Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
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An online petition against plans to curb early morning drinking has been set up.

And already the fight, on the www.change.org website, has generated nearly 700 signatures.

It has been set up by Ian McLean, from In The Pink Leisure, against the Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) which, if approved by Blackpool Council’s licencing committee, aims to curb late night violence by forcing venues to stop serving alcohol at 3am.

Such violence leaves police and health services stretched and facing an estimated £100m-a-year bill.

But night time traders say the EMRO would serve as an anti-social behaviour order for the town.

In his petition, Mr McLean says: “We feel this Early Morning Restriction Order would have a detrimental impact on the nightlife in Blackpool, people’s perception of Blackpool, have a negative impact on the local economy, cost jobs, and deter visitors to Blackpool.”

He asks Coun Norman Hardy, who chairs the licencing committee, Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn and Coun Gillian Campbell not to “stop the music” by passing the EMRO.

Signing the petition, Stephen Pierre says: “Blackpool is a seaside tourist resort and can ill afford to fall behind what is now ordinarily expected from other UK and continental tourist destinations.

“Regretfully the 3am closure will push Blackpool backwards and have a serious damaging effect to its already struggling economy. Closed down venues with higher unemployment will also affect takeaways, taxi drivers and the many hotels and guest houses.

“In football terms the introduction of EMRO would be an ‘own goal’ for the future of Blackpool.”

In a statement issued by Blackpool Council to clarify proposals on introducing an EMRO, Coun Campbell, cabinet member for public protection and housing, said: “The council’s licensing committee is currently considering whether or not to consult on the proposal to introduce an EMRO.

“A decision will be taken on May 15.

“If a consultation goes forward then licensees, businesses and members of the public will be invited to make representations and we will consider each and every one of those very carefully before deciding how best to progress.

“We recognise the license trade has an important role to play in these considerations and we remain keen to work with publicans and others to make Blackpool’s night time economy the best and safest it possibly can be.”

The areas currently proposed as part of the EMRO area are Queen Street and Queen Square, Springfield Road, Promenade between New Bonny Street and Banks Street, Bank Hey Street, Market Street, Dickson Road, Talbot Road, West Street, Corporation Street, Abingdon Street, New Bonny Street and The Strand.

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