Southampton City Council has backed calls by the police to curb excesses of late night drinking in the centre of town.
On Wednesday 13th May the Council agreed a new 'Cumulative Impact' licensing policy for London Road, Bedford Place, Bevois Valley and the city centre. The effect will be to make it harder for new licences for pubs and clubs to be awarded.
The policy is a new tool that will help the City Council's Licensing Panel to assess extensions to licensing hours for premises or new applications by considering the potential adverse impact on the area. The onus will now be on the applicant for the licence to prove that the new premise won't add to problems associated with late night drinking.
Needless to say that this is not the sole answer to the problem. However, it recognises that Labour's grand plan to liberalise licensing laws has been a failure. We can now see that the excessive drinking culture in this country has simply got worse with more "fuel" to fan the fires.
The council has also agreed to close Above Bar Street to vehicles between 10pm and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays. This has received the backing of the police who feel that it will cut down on incidents of violent disorder by allowing late night drinkers more space as they come out of pubs, avoiding too many people being packed onto the pavements. The road closure will initially be a three month trial but could be made permanent if it works.