Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pledge No. 10 - Closing Down Nuisance Pubs & Clubs

So much crime and antisocial behaviour in our Borough is fuelled by alcohol. Whether it is being sold by careless landlords to binge drinkers or by irresponsible shop owners to underage children, we need to bring this to a stop.

In the first 100 days, a Conservative Council will begin to review the licences of troublesome pubs and clubs in the borough and if they are seen to be the catalyst for crime and antisocial behaviour, we will shut them down. We will keep under review closing times to ensure that we are not importing disorder from outside the Borough carried out by those attracted to late-night drinking in Sutton.

Our Commitment: Within the first 100 days of a Conservative Council, we will start a review of all licenced premises known to be trouble spots and if necessary, shut them down.

1 comment:

David B, CB said...

Hi Paul. A great headline grabber! But...

With this policy, isn't there a danger that the troublemakers will simply relocate to other, nicer hostelries in the borough and simply bring them down too? I drink plenty but I think I behave well; I don't want my nights in decent bars with decent people ruined because the idiots who congregate in a few known trouble spots are being forced to move elsewhere.

The bigger issue appears to be under-age and binge drinking and the clear use of recreational drugs within Sutton's nightspots. I've seen it happening myself. A trawl through the local papers suggest that most trouble is caused by males in the 16-23 age group.

By all means, help the police to control anti-social behaviour and disorder, and force the pubs and clubs to comply by policing them more closely. But please don't invoke my nimby tendencies by forcing the troublemakers to the nice places where I socialise!

I well remember the closure of the Merry Go Round on Roundshaw many years ago. The few trouble makers simply took the 154 bus to either Croydon or Sutton and carried on regardless, and left the decent and honest rump of the community without a social nerve centre.

Even these so called 'bad' pubs have decent people in them; they could be disenfranchised by the actions of a few.

Looking at the influence of closing times - which is part of your policy - is a far more sensible first measure, in my view, and should be the first port of call in a long-term strategy to reduce and manage the problems. You will never eliminate it; I fear this policy as it stands will simply move the problem around the borough.

I know there's an election on, and slogans and promises like this are flowing from every political orifice, but some national policies need detailed local application and adaptation to be successful.

I think this is a policy that needs a lot more 'real world' thought - you may need more than 100 days! But at least you're talking about sorting out the problems, which the current council has notably failed to do. And that's good.

Good luck with the campaigning - we'll keep you on your toes.