Options to tackle alcohol issues in Swansea being considered
New powers to prohibit the sale of alcohol in the early hours will not be considered for areas such as Wind Street until other initiatives to address alcohol related issues in Swansea are explored first.
Swansea Council leader David Phillips said that although new legislation allows licensing authorities to introduce early morning restriction orders, or EMRO’s, it is premature to consider them.
And in a written explanation to councillors, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for Place June Burtonshaw said a cumulative impact policy had recently been introduced to control late-night drinking in the city centre, by limiting the number of new pubs, clubs, restaurants and off-licences selling alcohol.
EMRO’s allow authorities to prohibit the sale of alcohol in prescribed hours between midnight and 6am, but concerns have been raised that such a move would ‘close down’ town centres, and move problems elsewhere.
Councillor Burtonshaw said: “It’s considered that the introduction of an EMRO in the city centre would be premature at this stage as the success of other initiatives is not yet known. Research also shows that other local authorities have considered the use of EMROs but, to date, none have been introduced.
“The introduction of EMROs may also have an impact on the night-time economy generally.”
Swansea Council also hopes Purple Flag accreditation, which it hopes to win, will raise the standard and broaden the appeal of the city centre at night.
The Purple Flag scheme is run by The Association of Town Centre Management, and recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night.
Council leader David Phillips told colleagues at a full meeting of the authority: “An EMRO would be premature as other measures are not yet known.
“If the accumulative impact assessment does not achieve the desired objective, we will look at other measures, including EMRO’s.
“Some people have expressed concerns they will shut down city centres and transfer it to other places, such as The Uplands.
But Penllegaer councillor Wendy Fitzgerald, added “If an EMRO was applied between 2am and 6am, for example, it would have significance on the night time economy,
“But surely the economic success of businesses which rely on the sale of alcohol must be weighed against the stretched resources of our health service and police.”
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