24 hour drinking poses local concerns

Contributed by editor on Jan 22, 2005 - 01:30 PM


KCC Leader Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart is concerned that 24 hour drinking in the county could lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour.

Speaking on the Radio 4 Today programme on the proposed 24-hour opening of pubs and clubs, he said he had a number of concerns.

Sir Sandy welcomed the transfer of licensing from magistrates to local authorities and said: "Councils are responsible for youth and social issues and are democratically accountable to local people.

"Local councils need to be reimbursed in full for this new responsibility of issuing licences and carrying out inspections and enforcement. 

"Most importantly, all of us are concerned if the legislation and extended drinking causes a need for extra policing. It's not good enough for the government to simply respond that the pubs and clubs would pay the cost of extra policing, the real point is that we do not want changes that cause an increase in anti-social behaviour. 

"We also need to watch to see that, in practice, councils have powers not only to refuse licences but also to defend any consequent appeals.

"As Chairman of the Local Government Association I have also asked that we make sure that councils have sufficient powers to reject licence applications where appropriate and to successfully withstand legal appeals."