No early hours booze sales veto
NEW powers to ban the sale of alcohol in the early hours will not be considered for areas such as Wind Street until other initiatives to address drink- 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 EMROs, it is premature to consider them.
And in a written explanation to councillors, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for place June Burtonshaw said measures had recently been taken to control late-night drinking in the city centre, by limiting the number of new pubs, clubs, restaurants and off-licences selling alcohol.
Mrs 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.
“The introduction of EMROs may also have an impact on the night-time economy generally.
“Concerns have been expressed by some key figures in the licensed industry that EMROs could close down city centres and that this will have a knock-on effect on jobs directly and indirectly linked to the night-time economy.
“Some have also expressed concerns that problems will be transferred from town centres to other areas.”
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 recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night.
Other initiatives likely to increase the chance of Purple Flag status for Swansea include schemes such as the night bus drop-off and pick-up point at The Strand, taxi marshals and the Help Point at Castle Square.
Council leader Mr Phillips told colleagues at a full meeting of the authority: “Some people have expressed concerns they will shut down city centres and transfer it to other places, such as The Uplands.
Penllergaer councillor Wendy Fitzgerald, added: “The economic success of businesses must be weighed against the stretched resources of our health service and police.”